Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Case study #257

The stages of  MvC3, by Chamberlain, for Chamberlain.

Stage 1: wow, shiny. Upon initial introduction the subject, henceforth know as scrub #1, is taken aback by the vivid colors, smooth animations, large characters and multi-tiered levels. It should be noted that scrub #1 is easily amused by swiftly moving objects and this should not be taken as an early indication of quality of or affection toward the product, only a symptom of scrub #1's incredibly short attention span.

Stage 2: wait, this isn't Street Fighter. Scrub #1 has had a modicum of success in other games in the genre, notably as a Blanka in a Street Fighter IV that has been described as 'slightly less spazzy than most and oddly honorable.'  Upon finding no charge characters he defaults to Ryu as part of his team, only because he feels slightly familiar. Scrub #1 rounds out the rest of his team with Zero, because he saw some really cool videos of him, and Hulk, because in his own words: 'Hulk SMASH.'

Stage 3: delusions of grandeur. Knowing that starting out online is not a good idea, scrub #1 hides himself in practice mode for what for him is an abnormally long period of time (note: it was only about an hour). He finds it very easy to pull off what looks like impressive combos (note: they were very basic and used none of what the game's engine had to offer). Feeling better about his ability than he should have scrub #1 accepted an invite from another individual he knew and who was of approximately the same ability in Street Fighter.

Researchers note: the opposing player was significantly intoxicated during the competition. They played for well over an hours; scrub #1 never won a match.

Stage 4: this game fucking sucks and I am never touching it again. After what can only be described as a continuous, savage and merciless beating scrub #1 retreats once again to the safety of practice mode, wondering why what he can do there has little to no impact on what can be done against actual people. Content to blame internet latency and/or his opponent having the game for a week longer, scrub #1 engages in matches with random individuals on the Xbox Live service (note: this has been proven to be a bad idea and not conducive to one's mental well being). After another hour of abject failure scrub #1 very nearly begins to hurl objects throughout the room, then stomps off to bed.

Stage 5: damn, that was $60, one more try. While not one to pay too much attention to the finer details of economics, scrub #1 does realize that spending money on a game and giving up on it after a single evening's effort is not the best decision. He then forces himself to sit down and try again.

Researchers note: scrub #1 has a history of violent, often humorous and destructive bouts of rage. A previous Street Fighter induced episode ended with an arcade stick being stabbed repeatedly with a sharp pair of scissors followed by a several month long hiatus from the game while he saved up money for a replacement.

Stage 6: this game still fucking sucks and I hate it and everyone who plays it. Fuck it and the horse in rode in on. After another hour of play scrub #1 decides that it is in the best interest of himself and all of his possessions within reach that McV3 never enters his dedicated gaming console again. In a vain attempt to find solace he returns to Street Fighter, only to find that what little he played of MvC3 on top of his mounting frustration have left him unable to defeat even the easiest of opponents. After losing to a Zangief with no battle or player points scrub #1 begins to seriously call his worth as a human being into question. Finding no alcohol to consume, he is also frustrated by his sobriety and decides to actually not play video games for the rest of the evening. (note: this a rare occurrence and should not be taken lightly)

Several days pass between Stage 6 and the final stage. The only notable event is scrub #1's viewing of tournament featuring the suspect game: MvC3. Scrub #1 has been quoted as saying 'how many goddamn fingers does it take to pull off stuff like that? This game is bull shit.'

Stage 7: grudging acceptance and eventual embracing of inherent scrub nature. Still not willing to accept the blame for just not being very good at the game and still reluctant to simply write off the investment, scrub #1 returns yet again to MvC3. After much soul searching (note: scrub #1 in remarkably resistant to change of any sort) he removes Ryu from his team and begins to experiment with replacement characters. Settling on Dr. Doom (according to scrub #1, 'fuck it, I am just going to cheat' he returns to the practice room. While concepts like OTG combos are still clearly beyond his ability or comprehension, the new team of Zero, Doom and Hulk are synergistic enough to allow a three part DHC combo that briefly returns scrub #1 to stage 1 levels of enjoyment. Much to his surprise this new team also leads to limited success against random online opponents. Defeats still greatly out number wins, but the fact that there are any wins at all is enough to suppress scrub #1's juvenile rage.

Researchers note: Scrub #1 will never be any good at MvC3. He lacks the inherent ability to be competitive, but his acceptance of his 'scrub' designation may very well add years to his life. It will most certainly lower his bills for replacement electronic devices. Upon being asked for a summary of his experience, scrub #1 replied 'The game is still balls, but what else am I going to play while waiting AE to come out?'

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