Its been a while since I last updated my progress with playing Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. I’ve been busy with stuff – Kendo, work, new tv streaming device and with other games too. I have occasionally put VF on to run through command training though. But this just isn’t the same as playing against someone – the mind games, the outsmarting an opponent is what I enjoy the most about VF.
So I couldn’t hold back anymore and started playing again. I remember the first session coming back, it was 8.30pm and thought I’d play a bit until 9.30 the latest. But match after match I wanted another just one more, I ended up playing until 11.30 then I realised this means I’m going to be very tired at work the next day. It’s such an addictive game. Or is it me that has an addictive personality?
So last night after dinner and all the house chores I started up VF5 FS. After a few matches I had a chance to promote myself to the next rank (again). But for some reason, everytime I could, I would lose the match, hence setting me back so I had to regain some more wins to be eligible again. I did finally managed to beat someone and got promoted to the rank of “Defender”. Funnily, this isn’t the first time I’ve got this rank. The last time when I held a higher rank I decided to pick fights with people with much higher ranking – didn’t matter to me that I was losing, what mattered was I enjoyed the fights. Hopefully, this time, I’m worthy to hold this rank.
It has taken me 1361 matches to get back to the rank of Defender. Coming back into VF5 was not easy, I’ve had to re-learn the usage of basic techniques such evading and throw escapes. It’s not performing them that’s the problem, it’s timing them that was difficult. Like guarding an attack when I was thinking of evading but couldn’t because I hesitated. I am still learning to do things without doubting myself – it’s something that’s in my Kendo as well. Guess I can kill two birds with one stone if I can be more decisive when making choices under pressure. I’ve also found that I’m weak against characters with very fast combos such as Pai and Lau Chan. One thing I’m really happy about is that the number of online players that’s played Virtua Fighter has gone up! It doesn’t say how many are active players, but at least there is an increase which is good.
I read an interesting interview of LA Akira (http://virtuafighter.com/threads/q-a-with-la-akira.17282/). The interview covered slightly the decline of interests shown in weekly VF events which led to a discussion in the comments section on why Virtua Fighter is not as popular as other fighting games. I have a few thoughts on this too.
You often hear people say, oh “it’s too hard to play” when they haven’t even tried it. There are really only three buttons and a directional input – that’s less than Street Fighter, King of Fighters, BlazBlue and Tekken! So it’s not because it’s hard to play (although, to play it well is a different matter). I think it’s really about people finding that they have to come out of their comfort zone and have to constantly adapt to a variety of situations. It’s normal for someone who finds a way they are comfortable with to stick with that style. But because Virtua Fighter heavily depends on the person you’re fighting, what works on one person might not work on another. So you need to be flexible and versatile to be able to deal with what’s happening right now. I think it’s this aspect of Virtua Fighter that people are scared of.
[Update: And so after a few days, I’ve been demoted again. oh well]