246: Legend of the Drunken Mashter

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Bayushi_Kouya:

This +1. As my level of dedication to fighting games often varies from my friends, I run into a lot mashers and 'static repeaters.' Beating them is not hard, it just requires a totally different strategy from normal players. It's particularly easy if you're willing to switch characters.

Most fighting games have at least one character that HORRIBLY punishes button mashers -- for Tekken, it's one of my favorites, Asuka. They generally have one or more moves where if an opponent sticks and arm or leg out, that arm or leg gets broke.

I've always imagined that button mashers fight in real life how they play in a fighting game. That is, flail around wildly like they've got a rabid dog biting their ass, waving all their limbs and hoping to God for a hadouken.

you spelled "master" wrong in the title there.......

Otherwise good read.

UnusualStranger:
This reminded me of a time in which I fought a masher. And I learned that skill did beat the random smashing if you know what to do.

It was Soul Cailibur II, and I had just given the controller to my teacher at the time. He was a smug guy, feeling that fighting games were nothing more than mashers. I was a little rusty, but I had experience.

Once I had shaken the rust off, I was a professional. His random swings and special moves i simply dodged, and then charged, beating the hell out of him, then stepping away. His flurry of random moves began again, and I easily dodged them, then kicked his character in the face.

Another round, another set of characters, same result. I'm not sure if it goes for all fighting games, but sometimes, Skill does win the day.

And to think I play with Drunken fighters in most games with drunken fighter while being very calculating of my moves on the controller...

Future Hero:
you spelled "master" wrong in the title there.......

Otherwise good read.

I lol-ed.

Awesome article, btw. I tried not to be a masher but I play fighting games so very rarely that I forget all the moves anyway.

I read the title and thought "All the way to the store to buy a new Controler"

Ive found that spamming one particular move will beat even the most skilled fighters.

Brendan Main:
The original Drunken Master remains one of my all-time favorites - if you like that one, I'd suggest also checking out "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow," another film directed by Woo-Ping with a similar cast.

'Legend of a Drunken Master' was a big favourite of mine (Who can not love the bench fighting scene??), but I confess never to have seen both those you mentioned. I'll have to take a watch! I love kung-fu movies!

More on topic: Another great article from my fellow Simcoe County resident!

I could never get into fighting games. I'm a masher who wants to learn strategy, but can't be bothered to memorize the move list. Screw that, I've got guys to beat up! But I digress. A great read!
Always entertaining.

A video showing your matches as your experiment went on would have been a great addition to an already good article.

If both players are completely new to the game (or even the entire genre), then the player who mashes buttons will often win against the player who tries to play the game 'correctly' (placed in parentheses because it's a stupid word to use in this context), because neither player is good enough to successfully pull off moves and strategies. It's not as effective as simply being good at the game, but when both players are very bad it can be significantly more effective than trying to 'do it right' and failing.

As mentioned in the article, the success of button mashing quickly starts to drop once your opponents get more skilled. There's only one skill level to button mashing, because you can't get better at 'randomly pressing buttons'. However, you can get better at 'proper' moves, combos and strategies. Sure, a button masher might surprise a good player once in a while, but it's far, far more likely that he'll make a lot of useless moves that will leave him entirely open to punishment from the more experienced player.

Awesome read. Makes me feel better about getting my ass handed to me in Soul Caliber by button mashing the other night.

Wait... You were spamming Blanka's electricity and your opponents didn't just kick you down?

I used to get beaten by button-mashers in Soul Calibur until I mastered impact guard. Some characters have some really gay moves that go low-high-low etc quickly, and if the first hit connects the rest will too. It's like the perfect premise for mashing.

Let's not forget why we play games. Fun. Overly technical games, be they realistic racing sims or overly-nuanced fighting games, are simply a barrier to more people enjoying the game. Button mashing is fun. Taking a corner at 100 mph is fun.

Do we really need to be reminded what fun is?

I've never been a big fan of fighting games. I don't enjoy button mashing much, so fighting games and others that use button mashing as any sort of legitimate tactic are lost on me. However, I don't mind hack-and-slash games so much, though sometimes they do tend to get a bit repetitive.

What I like to see in games with button mashing is the sort of thing used in games like Kingdom Hearts. Button mashing gets you somewhere, up to a point, but after a while you need to look at other tactics as well. You try button mashing in KH and you'll do okay against all the Shadows and Soldiers and Dusks, but the bigger opponents are going to swamp you. So what does the game do? QTEs in the form of Limits, which actually work really well in the combat mechanic, and specific strategies that you can use against different enemies. In the Journal tips are given to beat opponents without having to button mash.

Kingdom Hearts is just one example. It's not a fighting game, true, but a JRPG. But the point still stands. Button mashing is no indicator of skill or talent. Anyone can hold a controller in one hand and press buttons willy-nilly with the other. What games need to do is go the KH route and use different tactics to defeat different enemies, so that whenever you're in a fight you are forced to analyse the situation quickly and come up with a way of beating your enemy. After all, it surely can't be that much fun to beat the pulp out of your controller, right?

Dectilon:
Soul Calibur... It's like the perfect premise for mashing.

Pick up Ivy and tell me that button mashing is the way to go. I've rarely seen a more technical fighter.

ok this was probably the most entertaining read in a very long time. XD Moral of the story: the farther back u go in fighting games the ezier it is for a button masher to win?

well thanks for mentioning those 'advanced tactics' then not telling us what they are.

Would it have helped if he hyphenated mash-ter? I'll be the one to explain the joke: this article is about fighting game button mashers. So, to make a pun out 'Way of the Master' the writer changed it to Mashter.

Rorschach: "Obvious, really."

And this is why I suck at Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, which are the only two fighters I own right now outside of Super Smash Bros., which is practically a different genre in itself. I guess I still need more practice.

On a side note, this seems like it addresses Yahtzee's biggest problem with fighters. Has he read this yet?

In fighting games it can get you pretty far. Is there another way to playing SSB? In other games, like shooters, racers, flight sims; it will get you killed, wrecked, and shot down respectively.

i started off as a very capable button masher when i was like 8 or 9. through that i actually learned how to play. then i learned how to win. now i rule with an iron fist at fighting games until my cousin occasionally defeats me.

those are good fights though.

i usually test out the water in the first round then see where it goes from there. I will do ANYTHING to win. Including button mashing. lol

I have no interest whatsoever in fighting games but I enjoyed reading this article, nice job. :)

I love it when fighting flowchart kens,

1) Hover around random characters before selecting Ken
2) Heavy Shoryuken
3) Repeat step 2
4) ????
5) Get your ass kicked.

Trivun:
What games need to do is go the KH route and use different tactics to defeat different enemies, so that whenever you're in a fight you are forced to analyse the situation quickly and come up with a way of beating your enemy.

Errr... that's exactly what you do in games like Street Fighter with the distinction that usually all of your opponents are actually people. It's not enough that you know how to pull off, say, a spinning piledriver; you also have to get close enough to actually make it hit.

I will point out that there is no such thing as "totally random" with these kinds of games. Even if not conscious, even button mashers tend to be fairly predictable once you know them since they tend to generally perform the same, or very similar motions.

I'll also be honest in saying that it's a matter of timing as much as what moves you do, and if your looking at the screen, even if hitting attack buttons randomly, your going to try and time things to some extent... and honestly that can carry games very easily. I for example managed to win a good portion of my Soul Calibur IV matches simply using 8 way run and the two basic attack buttons without throwing much else in, because where I was standing and when I attacked meant as much, if not more, than what kind of move I was actually trying to pull off.

Such are my thoughts. I'd guess you simply have pretty good timing, people slowly got better facing you as they began to get a feel for how you did things. Karate Champ is also not a random game, I put stupid amounts of time into it. It's one very much based on timing though, you can pretty much win the game (well the fighting part, not the minigames) with nothing but the basic "Front Kick" and the occasional block if you get a feel for it. Or that's how I rememer it from when I was much younger.

>>>----Therumancer--->

Great article, you had me laughing pretty hard.
I tend to find that the more people get involved in a fight, the likelier the mashers are going to win, just because its too much to keep track of. Granted, most fighting games are a 1 on 1 setting, but I've seen plenty of SSB games go to a masher. SSBM Peach's down smash, anybody?

I had a friend challenge me years ago on SC3 (ps2). He called me out and said that you can win any fighting game with just button mashing. He did beat me with just random button mashing although I wasn't really that good at the game either.

I like the concept of this tournament though, using a wide variety of games too (I was impressed you brought in karate champ. I was just thinking about that with a bushido blade post from another blog on this forum). Two things I would recommend though, one being that you should allow all characters (because it shouldn't matter, if someone really, truely is skilled they should be able to beat another player, regardless of who they're using). I also feel you should do this across a spread of about 10 unskilled players using only button mashing versus 10 masters (or use a larger control group I mean for this).

cool idea though :)

If you play against a competitive player you will lose everytime with button mashing. I used to work with a kid who played in those fighting game tournaments. He even organized one. He could beat me and my other coworker all day long if he wanted to. We would win a little bit but only because he used playing against us as a way to practice various things and wasn't playing just to win.

Baby Tea:

Brendan Main:
The original Drunken Master remains one of my all-time favorites - if you like that one, I'd suggest also checking out "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow," another film directed by Woo-Ping with a similar cast.

'Legend of a Drunken Master' was a big favourite of mine (Who can not love the bench fighting scene??), but I confess never to have seen both those you mentioned. I'll have to take a watch! I love kung-fu movies!

More on topic: Another great article from my fellow Simcoe County resident!

I could never get into fighting games. I'm a masher who wants to learn strategy, but can't be bothered to memorize the move list. Screw that, I've got guys to beat up! But I digress. A great read!
Always entertaining.

God, I LOVE that scene! I honestly think the Drunken Master movie, or just the role, fits him perfectly. It has a little of that slap-sticky kung-fu that he's famous for, and the fights with it are both comical to watch and impressive. I've never gotten around to watching the Original Drunken Master film though, I REALLY need to look it up on Netflix.

As for this article, did you end up grabbing the PS1 Gundam fighting game? Oh, I remember my sister used to button mash in that game whenever we rented it. She chose this one certain Gundam, because its basic attack was to fire off its laser. She'd mash that punch button again and again, just hoping that you'll sit there and guard it.

It never worked for her.

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