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96 comments

  • IHateMakingUserIDs - June 24, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    Allow me ot write the Cliff notes version of this article: If you can't beat'em, join'em, study'em, spend all your free time learning to be'em, live'em and maybe eventually you can beat'em. Personally I just play games and I don't spend hours and hours reading about them and studying youtube videos on them. Thats just too much. If I am going to spend all that time researching something I'd use it to better my education for the future.
  • DustyRooster - June 24, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    Nice work Matt! This is a great read.
  • Wolverine08 - June 24, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    Genuinely the most interesting article I've ever read on GR. 5 stars to you Matt. I would even go as far as to say more interesting than the 'things that look like penises article'. joking
  • theemporer - June 24, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    Iam so glad that didn't say yaoi on the last page...
  • pin316 - June 24, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    i love that princess bride clip - although it delivers a harsh lesson...the only part of Vizzini's musings which matters is the part where he switches the goblets and then waits for Russ Wheeler to drink first...then drinks once he thinks that it is safe. The fact that he is beaten purely because the MiB cheats delivers a key message to us all - guys who hack games and break the actual code in order to cheat should all be strung up and beaten! awesome article tho, some wicked wicked points...i used to get hung up on soul calibur all the time when i started meeting people who spammed certain moves constantly to win - then i realised that unless i stopped bitching and started getting better, i'd never enjoy the game properly again...
  • EnragedTortoise1 - June 24, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    That's pretty deep, brah. Srsly though, great article. It may actually help me.
  • Zanthis - June 24, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    First, OMGEEZ so much text. Second, this was a deeply fascinating article, it's just hard to read while sneaking peaks during off moments at work :) What you have done here is brilliant. It's not like you made your own strategy, you simply analyzed the facts and presented them in a clear and concise way. Thank you sir.
  • smbfanboy - June 24, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    fantastic article. the way i think about games has completely changed. thank you.
  • Thecakeisalie - June 24, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Amazingly insightful, I have been waiting for somebody to point this out for a while, especially the idea of 'skill' in a video game; the fact that the things that people deem 'cheep' are merely effective and they should not be looked down upon for it. The people who are being beaten by a simple tactic are the 'bad' players. Well done.
  • MediocreDinosaur - June 24, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    Wow. Great article there. The entirety of the Smash Bros. competitive community should read this article.
  • Snakeman - June 24, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    One of the best and most insightful articles I've read in a long time. Great job, Matthew.
  • philipshaw - June 24, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    Great article and I agree that there is no chaep tactics as long as the game is well desgined and there is a way to counter them
  • lozarian - June 24, 2010 10:08 a.m.

    If you read the sirlin article, whilst he says "play to win" - he even admits that there are circumstances where something is on a different power level, and a sensible game shouldn't use it - I think his example was akuma in one of the SF. So saying "nothing in the game is cheap - look even sirlin says so!" isn't quite accurate. Yes, examples of excessively overpowered segments of a game are rare, but they exist. Sirlin's play to win article is also a pet hate - people cite it when they can't come up with their own arguments. I play a lot of dota - continually evolving game - and there are a huge number of balance/imbalance/"cheapness" debates. Someone always comes up with sirlin and says - it's in the game, it's not cheap no need to change lolz it's fair. That has no impact on whether a tactic/equipment/character is overpowered. Whilst yes, applying the play to win - analyse everything and see why you lost sentiment to games will make you better (it certainly has done for me), it's not always applicable. It's also significantly more valid for 1v1 games, or organised team games, rather than pick up and go games where you have to rely on strangers. Recaptcha for those easymode players: wimpy that.
  • Vitoruss1 - June 24, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    I must admit, just reading the title of this article had me scoffing, "What stupid idiot is so stupid to write such a stupid article containing this stupid-brand stupidity?!" People like you are the reason why I read, good sir. Ah, yes, and bonus kudos to you for finding a proper application of The Princess Bride, as well as your brilliantly subtle sense of humor. You're a genius and quite a journalist.
  • speedfreekk - June 24, 2010 7:46 a.m.

    One of the best articles i have ever read on this site, Thanks!
  • M0rt1f1cat0r - June 24, 2010 6:40 a.m.

    I'm going to call you out on using Modern Warfare 2 in this. The chief reason being that in any sort of competitive play for the game, mainly Gamebattles, the N00b tube, claymores, shotguns,commando, and pretty much everything that pissed people off (except camping, and thats something that is debatable as to whether it even exists anyways)is banned. Same goes for MLG, who even ban things like bling. If the whole competitive body of gamers disallow and dislike something, the sequel's developers promise up front they will leave it out (Treyarch is not including Commando in Black Ops, they have confirmed this), and the only people defend it are typically new players, or "scrubs", it is obviously not something that should be in the game. That guy in the video with the ridiculous spawn-grenade launcher kills, would probably fare very poorly in a competitive setting, without all of his tools. the bottom line is however, even if the general public thought n00b tubes were ok, is it fun to get n00b tubed instantly and then wait 2 minutes for the remaining 2 players on you SnD team to get killed? The game is meant to be realistic, with concessions made for fun. N00b tubes exist, but the way in which they are used in that video, where you know exactly where to fire to hit people you have never seen before, is totally unrealistic. And its not exactly fun either, which is why they should not in MW2
  • avantguardian - June 24, 2010 6:23 a.m.

    excellent article...GR providing the dick/brain balance...
  • Twizinator - June 24, 2010 6:22 a.m.

    Great article. I plan to apply these suggestions to my game playing. Also, you are absolutely right about "Hard Mode." Once i played Veteran on Modern Warfare 2, i had to change my playstyle dramatically. It made me better at it. reCaptcha: "form jujubes". good advice!
  • JNewman - June 24, 2010 6:04 a.m.

    Fantastic article, fun to read and full of good philosophy. When I was in college, I was across the hall from the third highest-ranked Super Smash bros. player in Connecticut. I know, celebrity, right? I fancied myself quite the smash player (this is Melee, by the way) and thought I'd test myself, see if I could stack up. Can you guess what happened? Yeah, got my ass wrecked. I never took Smash as serious as he did (after all, he was a professional, and winning at smash was at least in some capacity putting him through college), but boy did he open up my eyes to how deep the game really was. I played a few tournaments after a year of his tutoring and yeah, I was playing on an entirely different level. He can still kick my ass any day (not at brawl, though!) It's just a disappointment to me now that I haven't found anyone as good as him to play with since. And brawl online is laggy and no fun. Boo!
  • AnonymouZ - June 24, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    well, goddamn. inspiring me to do better at dota (hon), but... i think that's a different road to take... since it's a team based deal... where if 2 of your 5 teammates fail, the odds are overwhelmingly against you and the game stops being fun. then again, 3v5 wins are so satisfying... real life's a bitch...but... haahha, i would lie if i didn't once think of it as an rpg (what i used to play the MOST till a couple of years ago)

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