There is a fine line between an arcade scrub and a complete idiot.
By now, most of you readers would have figured out that I am some sort of arcade fanatic and a huge King of Fighters fanboy. You guys would also have realised that I have absolutely no sympathy for idiots with no brains.
Be afraid, be very afraid, because the same idiots have somehow infiltrated our local arcades.
It was about 2pm on Friday. While waiting for time to pass until my 7pm interview with the organizers of the BlazBlue 2vs2 competition, I decided to stop by the Virtualand at Tiong Bahru Plaza as I normally do after school.
After about five minutes at the KOFXII machine against the computer, this gruffy thirty-something Chinese guy walks up to the 2-player seat beside me and inserts a token.
He greets me with a brief, confident stare. Almost as if he were subconsciously telling me: “Bring it on pal, let’s see what you got”.
Awesomeness. I was finally able to play a KOFXII versus match against a player with some gamesmanship. Time to prepare myself for an entertaining and closely-fought battle.
Hope is the first step to disappointment. Unfortunately.
The first sign of trouble was during the character selection screen: my opponent decides to boldly go random for all his characters.
Lesson number one for fighting-game beginners: stick to just one character and master that character. In the case of KOF, stick to three characters that you are confident with.
I had already picked Raiden, Kyo, and Terry while I was fighting the computer, so those were the characters I was stuck with for now.
During the stage-loading screen, his random characters were revealed to be Raiden, Andy, Chin. The first order of battle: Fop’s Raiden versus Chinese guy’s Raiden.
Chinese guy’s Raiden was unable to land any offensive as Fop’s Raiden dropkicked, poison misted, and body slammed his way to victory.
I decided to be more defensive when it was time to face Andy. As soon as Raiden vs Andy started, I waited. And waited.
What was Chinese guy’s Andy doing? Rooted to the same spot, doing a forward and backward emergency roll over and over again. The hell? [An emergency roll is performed in KOF by pressing the A+B buttons and holding forward or backward on the joystick]
“This must be some sort of elaborate mind game,” I thought to myself. And so I decided to attack Andy with a Jump D.
As I suspected, no Shoryuudan uppercut came. Instead, Andy was still emergency rolling back and forth. I tilted my head to the side in order to glance at my opponent’s hands — he was just randomly spamming all six buttons (KOF uses four buttons only), and rotating the joystick aimlessly in an endless circle.
Fuck. Another random button masher. A fucking button masher at the KOFXII machine.
I could feel my revenge meter approaching maximum. The great justice that is Glimmerous.Fop cannot stand the sight of button mashers. Especially button mashers at his favourite fighting game.
It’s already bad enough that nobody is playing KOFXII here in Singapore. Now, these morons are flocking to the game as if it’s some sort of haven to fulfill their destructive tendencies.
Lesson number two: button mashing makes you look like an idiot (unless you are trying to break out of a dizzy state or from Jin’s ice cage, then by all means MASH as if your life depended on it). Learn to play the game properly, or don’t bother.
All my sportsmanship as a gamer had faded by then. I didn’t even bother to offer him a handshake after I defeated all three of his characters.
And I still haven’t got to the point about why Chinese guy is a complete idiot. He actually thought that he had won the match, and remained seated at the machine. While I was fighting the computer opponents again, he resumed his button-joystick spamming, believing that he was still in control of the characters on screen.
What. The. Hell.
Ten minutes later, Chinese guy taps me on the shoulder and asks me in Mandarin: “Do you want to take over from me and help me finish my game? I have to go now.”
The fuck? I just simply gestured towards the monitor, pointed towards myself, and signalled with both hands on my joystick and buttons that I was the the one still playing the game.
Chinese guy said, “Oh, so you’re the one playing?”.
I turned to face the monitor and ignored him. It was then, when he finally decided to get up and leave. Good riddance.
My girlfriend keeps telling me that Chinese guy was probably an arcade noob, not just a fighting-game noob. I should at least show him some sympathy for even bothering to step forward and challenge me.
No chance in hell. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the people responsible for damaging the joysticks at your local arcade and spoiling the buttons. Yes, although Hori makes exceptionally high-quality arcade parts, even the most determined button masher will be able to wear them down eventually.
When I played on the two-player side of the KOFXII machine awhile later, I noticed that the joystick knob had been scratched. By fingernails. Oh great, thanks for leaving your mark on the machine, Mr Chinese dumbass.
I’ve since learnt that there are two types of button mashers: the incredibly lucky ones, and the incredibly stupid ones. Chinese guy would fall under the latter.
Incredibly lucky button mashers, by some sort of divine and inexplicable luck, are able to perform Super Moves and even some simple 2-hit or 3-hit combos. All this from randomly smashing your buttons and wobbling the joystick any-old-how.
Here is a list of some of the things I’ve seen an incredibly lucky button masher do at the KOFXII machine:
- Raiden’s desperation move, successfully landed on the opponent.
- Shen Woo going Super Saiyan
- Iori’s standing C comboed into his uppercut
- Ryo’s hurricane kick
- Guard Cancel Attacks
The list goes on, but you get the idea. Thank goodness no one has figured out how to mash out Terry’s Power Geyser yet, or I will start erupting into a Buster Wolf rage. And I am not going to shout out “ARE YOU OKAY?”.
One of the organizers of the BlazBlue 2vs2 competition, Kilvear Thor, said during our interview that every player starts out as a scrub in the beginning.
“Most fighting games, especially Guilty Gear, are quite complicated. The system can be difficult to understand for beginners,” he said.
The other organizer of the BlazBlue tournament, Akane Matsumoto, had this to say: “We can’t teach them the fundamentals of fighting games”.
“They just need to play more”, she said.
Unfortunately, as I have stated in the first line of this article, there is a fine line between an arcade scrub and a complete idiot. How do you expect idiots and button mashers to learn the fundamentals when the only thing they know is spam, double-spam, and rotate ad nauseum?
The next time I see another button masher at the KOFXII machine of any arcade, I will insert a token without hesitation and boot you off from the cabinet mercilessly.
For Great Justice indeed.
The author also plays at Bishan Star Factory, Bugis Virtualand, Bugis Iluma, and Clementi Virtualand occasionally. If you see a bespectacled, skinny guy at the KOF machine lugging a Deuter backpack or a black-coloured Manchester United slingbag, that’s Glimmerous.Fop. Button mashers beware.
Article image taken from the round1.sg forums in this message thread.
Have your say. Add your comments: