The Fighting Game Diaries: The Losses Do(n’t) Matter

The weekend just gone was the Guilty Gear Strive Cross play beta. From 14 – 17th October was free to play, with all the DLC characters. How convenient for someone who was interested in playing Guilty Gear Strive. I mainly used Ramlethal Valentine (more on this later).

First win! Lost the set 2 -1 but the first one always feels good. You will notice I didn’t use the kick or the punch button. This would change.

It was an up and down experience (but mostly up). The game assigned me to the second floor of the tower (GGS ranked mode is climbing a tower). I went up to third, and then went back down to two and then sunk back down to one. Then I climbed back up to two. Then I went up to three, then back to two. Throughout all of this, I thought about losing and my losses.

Just keep attacking. Sometimes it might just work.

Losing is a part of fighting games. I get that. I know I am meant to take it in stride and use it as a learning experience. Losing still sucks. It’s not the end of the world – losing in a video game isn’t all that. But it still sucks. I try to brush it off, but there is a point where it gets to me. I don’t get mad and rage – no point in that. Everything comes from my lack of skill and inexperience – getting mad at that isn’t solving anything. I just get sad and down on myself. Not that that solves anything. No one else missed the combo. No one else missed the block. No one else screwed up the block string. And since there’s rollback there’s very little lag to blame – mostly no lag whatsoever. It was pretty great playing people in Japan and America and having almost no problems.

Doing a little more stuff.

But, without those losses there is no appreciation for the wins. And there is no learning. The depths have to plumbed for the heights to enjoyed (I hate that I cannot think of a better way to say that). Making those mistakes is essential to learning. I won’t know what works and what doesn’t without playing the game. I can watch guides (and I did) but it’s hard to process everything and recall everything when I’m in the heat of combat. The mistakes are inevitable – and I have to learn that that is cool, and not get down about it. Because as long as I am dutiful and keep learning, those mistakes will lead to wins. Making mistakes is where the lessons are learned. The wins are where those lessons are applied.

Chipp fights were fun. Frenetic fun.

To give all of this a concrete example – night one and night two of the beta. Night one was where I went up to three and back down to one. I got off to a decent start, and then I stagnated. I had a run of what felt like 7 or 8 consecutive losses. I got a win to end the night, but I felt pretty bad about the whole thing. Early successes didn’t matter. I dwelled on the failures. I finished with a win but was a light balm.

The only Zato I saw in the beta. And perhaps my favourite fight – I’m trying to do more stuff here, and the learning process was enjoyable.

Day two – I watched some guides prior to playing. I did not execute everything in those guides, but I did some things from those guides. And I changed things up from what I was doing the night before. I stopped throwing swords from midrange – I did sometimes by mistake, but I stopped it as an intentional tactic. I stopped using heavy slash as much – takes a little while to warm up (I still like it way too much though). I incorporated more kicks and punches, and I went low more. I only lost one set of ranked matches. And climbed back from floor one to floor two. Pretty cool.

That being said, I do have to work more on how I process losses. I used to, even after six months of a failed invasion in Dark Souls III (sometimes years even), drag up said invasion and think about what I could have and should have done better. If I am to progress through fighting games I’m going to have to work on this. It might kill me otherwise. There’s going to be a lot more losses to deal with. In some case’s people will be better than me. Sometimes the opponent is just better. All I can do is try my best and apply lessons learned.

More Chipp because Chipp is cool.

And I do want to progress. Even when I have been feeling pretty bad after losing (both in GGS and Granblue) I wanted to go back. I wanted to get better. Even when anxiety bites (even though it’s only a video game), I want to get back online. Granted, this is early days. I do have a tendency to get incredibly excited about stuff, and then drop off said stuff about 2 weeks later. But playing fighting games again feels pretty damn awesome. And watching other people playing fighting games is awesome. A lot of my YouTube viewing is now fighting game orientated.

You think that’s a gun? This is a gun (unleashes giant sword wave). I suspect at higher levels folk don;t let you super like that.

I’m digging fighting games right now. I’m digging playing them, and I’m digging watching them. I’d like to continue with this. As much as I can.

Sorta looking decent.

Notes and asides

Day three – I lost my first match against a Testament player. I lost the second match. Rather than getting down I had a thought – I have to find a way to deal with all her projectiles. I managed it. Not completely clean but I snatched the final round. A 2 -1 loss but a nice bit of progress. Both game play wise and mental wise. Got to keep at it though – make it a regular thing. I got back to floor 3 with Ramlethal! Yay! Then I fell back to floor 3 while messing around with Nagoriyuki. Less yay! Still fun though. It’s been an incredibly fun weekend.

Day four – Left it too late and the beta was over. I felt pretty silly, and a little sad. Back to Granblue. Goodbye Rollback – you will be missed.

Why Ramlethal Valentine? I like big swords and I cannot lie. She has two of them. She can swing them around and fling them around with abandon. That is cool. She also has a cool hat, and I do like a good hat. She has a pet dog, and dogs are great. Cool cape too – always good to have a cape. Another reason is that in Elden Ring there is a boss called Elemer of the Briar. Elemer had a sword that could be flung around, almost telepathically (I say that because it was via magic – but the effect is that.) When the player gets his sword can they do all the cool stuff? No. It’s a standard greatsword with an Ash of War with the drill attack he has and that’s it. It’s…ehhh. Not for damage – it can do damage. But for being cool…ehhh. In comparison to what Elemer can do, it’s pretty mild.

Video uploaded by Powerpyx.

Ramlethal is everything that should have been. With two swords. That can launch a Kamehameha wave. She’s pretty damn cool and I dig her.   


I did try some other characters aside from Ramlethal – Baiken and Nagoriyuki. It turns out going to unranked lobbies is not the best place to practice a new character. Taking my 2nd floor talents aligned with 5 minutes in training mode Baiken against people who have reached floor 10 didn’t go too well. I guess fighting a high ranked Potemkin was not the best way to go about trying Baiken for the first time. That being said, with Baiken, unlike Ramlethal, I really struggled to generate offense. Ramlethal’s slash has a lot of range – Baiken didn’t have that range. That’s fine though. Things like that can be worked on. I do dig Baiken though – Wolf from Sekiro and her are basically gender swapped versions of each other. Neat.

Nagoriyuki was interesting. I know he is atop a lot of tier lists, and is apparently broken – not when he’s controlled by me though. I get he has range and can-do damage – but he hasn’t got a dash. He has attacks to mitigate that, but it was still a struggle for me to get used to that. Again, it was one night and about five matches with him – but I missed the speed I had with Ramlethal. Once more, this is stuff I could rectify with more time and practice – nothing to get worked up about (see – already working on this reacting to losing thing).

It’s neat throwing swords.

There are a ton more characters I would like to use – Anji Mito is someone I dig. Fighting that Zato player was a lot of fun – almost all of this roster looks fun. All of this roster looks fun in some way. I probably should buy the full game.  


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