I Finally Made It!

I'm not exactly a newb when it comes to fighting games. I can make Ryu hadouken AT LEAST 75% of the time. And if you're going to try to take me down when I've got my Sub-Zero threads on, bring some hot chocolate and a sweater. But even with this wealth of dedication and experience under my belt, playing Skullgirls is an ordeal, man. After dozens upon dozens of minutes spent helplessly crouched and blocking, breaking only for the occasional panicked "combo", my foray into Skullgirls has suddenly reached both a new high and a self-image-shattering low: "Waiting for a Tier 1 Opponent".

My first online match was a jaw-droppingly abrupt "battle" spent among the gods of Tier 4, followed by a similarly instantaneous game with a Tier 3 fighter. I could almost feel my opponent's gratitude for having his climb to the summit of Skullgirls' Mount Olympus made effortless by the likes of me. But I refused to give up! Onwards and downwards I trudged, hoping to soon reach a comfortable level at which I could learn alongside other learners. I dreamed of a day when as one we would rise to the top of the Skullgirls hierarchy, demolishing all who stood before us with gorgeously fluid combos. Instead, I was greeted with the emotional hills and far-more-frequent valleys of Tier 2.

At first glance, I thought I may actually be able to hold my own against these opponents. I wasn't entirely wrong. Now I could survive for more than 5 seconds! And, through what I can only assume to be luck, I even took down a couple opponents, most of whom I'm fairly sure were either mentally unstable or infants. Likely both. These occasional victories bred within me a bliss that would last only until the next battle started, and kept me prisoner to Tier 2's purgatory much longer than my skill alone would dictate. But hey, at least I wasn't being knocked from one side of my screen to the other for the entire round. Maybe now I could take these few micromoments of control and try out some of those chains that worked so well against a lifeless training dummy, maybe top it off with a special or, dare I dream, a blockbuster. It's only fair that I too get to put into action whatever the tutorial was trying to teach that was apparently so practical and relevant for everyone else, right?!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Maybe I should've just gone through the tutorial a third time. I must keep skipping through the lesson that begins with "but all this is useless unless you...". Who knows. But now I'm finally where I should be, and it is here among the lowest of the low where I will carve my own way through this sexy cartoon world. Button Mashers of the First Tier beware, I'm coming for you.. One sluggishly executed combo at a time.

9 Comments
10 Comments
Posted by killacam

I'm not exactly a newb when it comes to fighting games. I can make Ryu hadouken AT LEAST 75% of the time. And if you're going to try to take me down when I've got my Sub-Zero threads on, bring some hot chocolate and a sweater. But even with this wealth of dedication and experience under my belt, playing Skullgirls is an ordeal, man. After dozens upon dozens of minutes spent helplessly crouched and blocking, breaking only for the occasional panicked "combo", my foray into Skullgirls has suddenly reached both a new high and a self-image-shattering low: "Waiting for a Tier 1 Opponent".

My first online match was a jaw-droppingly abrupt "battle" spent among the gods of Tier 4, followed by a similarly instantaneous game with a Tier 3 fighter. I could almost feel my opponent's gratitude for having his climb to the summit of Skullgirls' Mount Olympus made effortless by the likes of me. But I refused to give up! Onwards and downwards I trudged, hoping to soon reach a comfortable level at which I could learn alongside other learners. I dreamed of a day when as one we would rise to the top of the Skullgirls hierarchy, demolishing all who stood before us with gorgeously fluid combos. Instead, I was greeted with the emotional hills and far-more-frequent valleys of Tier 2.

At first glance, I thought I may actually be able to hold my own against these opponents. I wasn't entirely wrong. Now I could survive for more than 5 seconds! And, through what I can only assume to be luck, I even took down a couple opponents, most of whom I'm fairly sure were either mentally unstable or infants. Likely both. These occasional victories bred within me a bliss that would last only until the next battle started, and kept me prisoner to Tier 2's purgatory much longer than my skill alone would dictate. But hey, at least I wasn't being knocked from one side of my screen to the other for the entire round. Maybe now I could take these few micromoments of control and try out some of those chains that worked so well against a lifeless training dummy, maybe top it off with a special or, dare I dream, a blockbuster. It's only fair that I too get to put into action whatever the tutorial was trying to teach that was apparently so practical and relevant for everyone else, right?!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Maybe I should've just gone through the tutorial a third time. I must keep skipping through the lesson that begins with "but all this is useless unless you...". Who knows. But now I'm finally where I should be, and it is here among the lowest of the low where I will carve my own way through this sexy cartoon world. Button Mashers of the First Tier beware, I'm coming for you.. One sluggishly executed combo at a time.

Posted by Ravenlight

I'm the same way with fighting games. I see them in action and think "That looks like a cool game, I want to punch some dudes!" but in practice, it's a struggle for me to beat Easy Mode AI.

Best of luck, duder!

Posted by jozzy

Really like your writing style, very entertaining read.

Posted by MonkfishEsq

Curse you! I still need to work my way down into Tier 1 but it's hard. The crushing disappointment of being beaten that badly over and over again to get into the right Tier is hard work. (please tell me you are on a 360 oh god I need to fight people on my own level)

Posted by killacam

@MonkfishEsq sorry to add one more disappointment to your fighting experience, but it's ps3 for me.. you'll get there, don't give up!

Posted by Smokay
@MonkfishEsq: Add me,my gamertag is RawrIsmash im also pretty bad ive only ever done pratice matches in lobbies pretty much
Posted by Twiggy199
@killacam: That was actually a good read.
Posted by killacam

that's really appreciated, thanks for reading!

Posted by ShaggE

Sounds like me trying to play MVC2 online (or against anything but the easiest AI)... just endless crushing defeats with the occasional blissful (and often accidental) small air combo that makes me feel like I might someday beat somebody.

I play a mean Raiden and Kano, though. I can beat most button mashers nearly half the time!

Edited by pochunki

This made me feel so much better...I'm not that bad at fighting games in general (not good, but not awful...played a fair amount of SF/MK/UMVC3, stuff usually goes okay...except for maybe in UMVC3 that shit is hard) but Skullgirls is kicking the fuck out of me. Like...I don't know. All other fighting games I've played, I can beat the story on normal mode. I started with Filia, who I assumed to be Ryu-like (ie, relatively simple and easy character), and I lost the first match in her story 7 times in a row before giving up. This was after I had played through most of the tutorials and did some training to figure out a combo or two.

GAME IS FUCKING HARD! But I really like its art style, it feels pretty good to play, and I'd love to get better at it.

Haven't tried online yet, but...TIER 1 HERE I COME!