The Fighting Game Diaries: Me and My Friend Learn Mashing Does(n’t) Work

My friend, who has made a previous appearance on the fighting game dairies appears once more. Always cause for celebration. This time she came to my house to play fighting games, so no taking the PS4 to work. Not that that happened anyway.

This time around, owing to the extended time we had we played a whole bunch of stuff. As always Xrd Rev (2) lead off, and then we headed off to Street Fighter (a medley of Third Strike, II Turbo and one match of Alpha III). We then stopped off at Granblue Fantasy Vs. And as before, thoughts were vocalised, and things where learned.

Giving Technical Controls a go: Xrd always makes for a good start. She likes Xrd, and the stylish controls let her do a lot of stuff and have a lot of fun. This time around we did one match – she played Sol and I played Johnny. She did some mashing, did some cool combos and won the first round. I adjusted, used slash and far slash more to out space the mash and took it from there.

She has mentioned that she would like to try the technical controls. I showed her training mode and combo practice with Sol in Xrd and let her have a go. She managed to pull off Gun Flame successfully – yay! Then she got a bit bored. I mean, I do sometimes forget that these controls can be tricky for newcomers. But the fact she can pull of Gun Flame means she can do Bandit Bringer and Bandit Revolver – it’s the same quarter circle but with kick instead of punch.

One thing she did bring up – on the screen the buttons say P, K, S and HS. And D is there to. On the controller its square, cross, triangle and circle. And R1. That is a little confusing now I think about it. There is an option to switch it to the latter in the game – I might do that for next time.

Street Fighting: We then checked out Street Fighter. Thanks to the 30th Anniversary Edition, there is a whole bunch of Street Fighter games in one place. The most time was spent with Third Strike and Street Fighter II. We pretty much ran through every character in both games – I think that speaks to how much fun we had. Aside from Alpha 3. It turns out, the Alpha III character selection screen has a hidden timer. It’s frustrating for anyone who has not seen the cast before and wants to see who’s who. Although the same applies to Third Strike, except Third Strike has a visible timer. I’m not in an arcade anymore – let me take my time.

Compared to the matches in Guilty Gear, and later Granblue the matches in Street Fighter where a lot more even. I edged Third Strike. In Street Fighter II though, and this is not an exaggeration she kicked the shit out of me. I got to like 9 – 2 in her favour. I got bodied.

Getting Yun’ed.

In Third Strike my friend finally started to block with some consistency. This time I gave a more detailed explanation of blocking and how it functions – certainly more detailed than just hold back. It worked – she blocked out extended attacks – high and low. Didn’t her long to get used to it either – one or two matches and she had it. And in her mashing she managed to parry a few times as well. I managed some parries as well – by the by, parrying in Third Strike feels so good to do. She also threw me a good few times – I can’t throw people in Third Strike (I should look it up) but she can. She doesn’t know how she can but she can. She also managed, with Necro to throw me as Yun whilst I was in the middle of Gen’ei Jin. Won the match too. She’s a god.

(Gif of Hugo Super should be here – see note at the end.)

And for the first time in any game, she did supers. She hit me with Hugo’s super – the one with two 360 inputs – I can’t even do those. It was amazing – I had my own will it kill moment in my head before the final hit. And we both found out Chun Li has amazing buttons that go 17 miles – just stand in neutral and poke people to death. My friend digs supers – even when I was winning matches with them. She thinks they look cool – I agree. Super moves a pretty great – satisfying to pull off and visually pleasing. It’s a good combination.

Where I find out Chun Li has good buttons.

Thanks to Makoto I managed to pull ahead – but the whole thing was a close-run thing. My friend did say whether it was her or me she liked seeing a match end on a super. Super’s are pretty cool.

Mashers Paradise: Not Street Fighter II. Not even remotely close. A shit kicking is what it was. It’s possibly the most one sided one of these sessions have been. What was interesting about this was her reasoning for this. Now, bear in mind I’m not the best player of Street Fighter II (clearly) – so what follows is skewed by that. But also bear in mind up until this point my friend has played Strive, Xrd (Revelator and Rev 2), Third Strike and (after this) Granblue. And she is a self-admitted masher.

Paraphrasing her, she said of all those games Street Fighter II was the easiest one to play because… it rewards her mashing more than any other game. I mentioned to her that this surprised me. If you play fighting games, particularly modern ones you might be familiar with some opinions of some people who play older fighting games. They can harp on about how the new games are too simple and they can be solved by mashing. By contrast, the old games are too complex to mash – you had to precise all the time, due to the complexity, which apparently all modern fighting games have binned.

This happened a lot. Also, she discovered the joy of the double KO.

Then there’s my friend, with her limited experience mashing away to her hearts content and winning at Street Fighter II. I was trying to do spacing and all that good stuff, and she just mashed and ran me over. It was fun to see. It was a lot of fun.

Also, while I am on Street Fighter II. When people complain about Strive damage – after Street Fighter II I don’t want to hear it. I’ve never seen a throw in Strive take half a health bar. Sometimes more. There are times in Street Fighter II when even Season 1 Sol Badguy would be saying “guys, that’s too much damage. Y’all gotta turn that down.”

I think my favourite moment was when she told me – as she was crouching in the corner, and I had low health – don’t come near me – I’m going to hit you. I went near her, and she hit me low. She won. Yeah, she said she would, and she did it. And she did the same again in another match. I should have listened.    

It got to the point where I stopped recording her wins – normally I record her wins, but she was just winning so many. You love to see it.

Looking the part: And finally, we come to Granblue Fantasy Vs. For the most part this was one sided – I got out to 9 – 0 match lead. My friend was enjoying herself though (again, ran through most of the characters) and was pleased whenever there was a close round. Then came the final match. I played with Ladiva and she played with Zeta.

I forgot how much fun Granblue can be. Hooray for Rollback (when it arrives). Also, my friends corner pressure – good stuff.

Out of all our play time, I think this was the most excited and happy I heard and saw her. She was downright ecstatic at points. I think I’ve mentioned she mashes. We watched the replay back. This time around, she said there where points and moments where she looked like a fighting game player. Not someone mashing – someone playing the game. She had a combo of 12 hits – she’s down 3, 4, 5 hits – never 12! She got so excited when she saw the 12 come up – there was an audible noise of glee. Specials were happening with some consistency – fireballs, Zeta’s thrust attacks – all that good stuff. Granblue has a dedicated block button. She liked that. She had some consistent blocking. She liked that. She commented on the replay how pleased she was with some of her blocks.

You love to see it. You truly do. I’m getting a little emotional writing this. We’ve been playing for a while; she’s been trying to do more and more stuff and she saw all of that come together. She was so happy that she did that, and I was so happy for her too.

You love to see it.

Notes and Asides:

This post is launching without Gifs because Gfycat is having a moment. Once it starts working again I’ll put them in.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s