(Warning: long post ahead)
Yes, I am back for the third installment of this feature. Most of you who were following this (all three of you) probably figured I had given up on this or forgotten about it. Actually, it was a combination of things. Schoolwork starting to pile up. Other games taking my attention, like XCOM and Mists of Pandaria. And yes, a crippling fear every time I even looked at my PS3. I finally managed to overcome this fear and got in some matches online. Let’s talk about how it went.
I started out trying to find a lobby that had the tag for beginners, but the only one of those wouldn’t let me join, no matter how many times I tried. After a few minutes of contemplating joining some random lobby, I instead opted to make my own and add all the beginner type tags I could. A few minutes later, I had my first player and my first match – against a Yu.
My heart was pounding in my chest and the sweat already began to pool in my palms. Not only was this my first online match but it was against Yu, probably my least favorite match up from Arcade due to his mix-ups. Crap.
The match went about as well as expected. He was pretty good with Yu and beat my ass back and forth across the arena. My fear mixed with panic and caused me to fumble simple commands and block at the wrong times. I maybe did a quarter bar worth of damage to him both rounds.
Surprisingly, after the match, I felt great. All the fear I had for that first match had faded and it was just a video game again. It was no different than losing a round of Halo. I had gotten absolutely crushed, sure, but at least I tried.
I stayed in this room for awhile. Another person joined and fought the Yu, just barely losing to him. At this point, the Yu left and I got to fight the Naoto. The first fight was a bit rough, latency-wise. Having never played a fighting game online, seeing how it feels when laggy is really odd. Nothing seemed to come out right. Something I will have to get used to. We played several matches against each other but he managed to beat me every time. My failing here was my execution. I wasn’t pulling off something as simple as a forward air dash and was being heavily punished for it.
After I said farewell to that room, I decided to choose a room at random. This proved to be a bad choice. I was surprised to find myself in a mirror match with another Yukiko. This player had a few thousand matches with her and most of those were wins. Yipes.
I got worked so bad in this fight. It was cuh-razy. Half the round, I was up in the air and had no control whatsoever. The only good thing about this match was I saw some neat combos that might be worth learning in the future (which is why I saved that replay). As soon as we returned to the lobby, I hightailed it out of there. Not the right place to be.
I made another lobby to do a few more fights before stopping for the night. I fought two players here. The first was another Yu, one who wasn’t quite as good as the last. The first match went decently but I still didn’t even come close to beating him. We fought another game immediately after the first and this one went much better. Enough so that I think he went a bit easy on me to give me a chance. Normally, I would despise pity but I am very deserving of it here. I got him close in both rounds before he finished me off. It was actually fun, instead of frustrating.
My final opponent joined in after the second match with Yu. For our first game, he chose Teddie. It was an extremely close match, back and forth right up until the end when he managed to pull ahead. This was easily the most entertaining match I had, close enough to be exciting without either of us being bored. I feel the reason I lost was mostly due to mistakes in execution on my part. Sound familiar?
At this point, I had played about seven or eight matches and lost them all. This was my final game. Teddie switched to Akihiko, a character he didn’t have as much experience with (according to his matches played). The match was again heated but this time in my favor. Against all odds, I managed to actually win both rounds. I even feel confident saying it wasn’t a thrown match and that I did in fact beat him. A great way to end the session.
What I really need to work on is my execution. That got me into trouble more times than I could count. I can’t really tell what was making me fail at is so hard - nerves or lag? I usually do fine offline but I flubbed so many simple things. It had been a week or so since my last playtime too so maybe that had an effect on it. Picking up a few more combos wouldn’t hurt either.
This was an interesting experience. Getting over that first match hump was extremely terrifying but I don’t think I will feel quite as nervous about playing online anymore. I enjoyed myself after that point except for one little thing – getting into a proper room. You can apparently restrict room access by NAT type and most of them would not let me in, including the beginner room. The only way I could find games was to open my own lobby and that brought people that were still leaps and bounds better than I was.
For my next post, I would love to write about some matches I had with fellow community members. Of course, to do this, I need your help! Anyone who would be willing to play some rounds with me and/or give me some pointers should send me a PM here or add me on PSN (wemibelec90). I would love to find some players that are my speed so I could work on getting a bit better.