Person of Interest – A Compelling Show

Person of Interest is quite the show. It’s a science fiction action drama with mystery elements. It warns us of the problems of Artificial Intelligence and reinforces the importance of human life. 

Every episode has its own story while building up the main story; it happens slowly, but that makes it all worth while.

Most importantly, the show has a major point that it conveys throughout its entirety. If you want to know it now, here it is:

You can watch the show on Netflix. The first four seasons are on there, and the fifth should be on there by the time you get to it.

Just watch the first episode, and I bet you’ll be hooked.

Not that getting hooked is a good thing. But if you’ve been looking for something to fill your free time with, watch this show.

I give it a 9.5/10, with a finale of 10/10. You don’t get finales like this one, folks.

Should You Play Street Fighter?

Last night I was watching CEO 2016. It’s a yearly tournament for fighting games hosted in Orlando Florida.

The event is very unique in that they hold Top 8 for all the games there inside a boxing ring.

Anyway, the final Top 8 was for Street Fighter V, the game that replaced Ultra Street Fighter IV this year.

Personally, I think Street Fighter is a swell game. It’s got a huge cast of characters, frame-tight combos, and a very simple and easy to follow interface.

Since I started watching bits and pieces of Street Fighter, even back at EVO 2014, I always wanted to try it to experience what it was like.

Luckily, the Steam Summer Sale is currently going on. A large part of the platform’s most popular games are on sale for ridiculously low prices.

Both Ultra Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V were on sale. The former for $7.50, and the latter for $40.

Since I wasn’t yet sold on spending $40 for a game I’ll play for an unknown amount of time, I went for 4.

After an hour of downloading and installing, I got to watch the opening cinematic. Hype!

This was my first time playing a traditional fighting game since playing Street Fighter II for my college Humanities class.

I booted up into practice mode with the character I was most familiar with, Ryu, to get a feel for the controls. I ended up going with this keyboard setup (fighting games are meant to be played with a joystick and 8-button setup, like at an Arcade):

  • Up: Space
  • Down: S
  • Left: A
  • Right: D
  • Punches: Num Pad 4, 5, and 6
  • Kicks: Num Pad 1, 2, and 3
  • Grab: Num Pad 0
  • Triple Punch: Num Pad +
  • Triple Kick: Num Pad Enter
  • Focus: Num Pad 9
  • Taunt: Num Pad 8

This keyboard setup has a layout similar to a traditional arcade cabinet, with movement on the left and attacks on the right.

After I got accustomed to the moves, I played some arcade mode and then some challenge trials (where you can practice moves), and even a bit of online multiplayer via Steam.

My experience? Street Fighter is difficult.

I couldn’t complete Arcade on the EASIER difficulty (Seth is a monster… or I just suck), so I had to lower it to EASIEST. Then I was able to finally “beat the game”.

After beating Arcade I thought I could wreck some kids in Ranked. I got bopped. Barely could get a few hits off. This guy played Seth too… c’mon!

Finally, challenge trials. At first, the trials just want you to use a certain move. Then they make you chain two moves together, and they keep adding moves, so on and so forth.

I will say that I will definitely be playing this mode a lot more, since it’s challenging and it will up my combo game a lot. Well, once I pass the one I’m stuck on.

Trial 14 requires you to do the following combo:

  1. Aerial heavy kick (space key-> 3 key)
  2. Standing heavy punch (6 key)
  3. Shoryuken (Forward -> Quarter Circle Forward -> Punch)
  4. EX Focus Cancel (Focus -> Dash)
  5. Metsu Hadoken (Double Quarter Circle -> Triple Punch)

That leads to the following stroke of keys:

space -> 3 -> 6 -> d -> s -> d -> 6 -> 9 (hold) -> d -> d -> 9 (release)    -> s -> d -> s -> d -> +

I had so much trouble I looked it up on Google. Some guy rated it as a difficulty a 4/10!

And I still can’t get it right, after over an hour of trying. Maybe it’s easier with a joystick.

Anyway, what did I learn from my first 7 hours of gameplay?

It’s easy to start playing.

The game provides a bunch of fun, easy training modes that let a complete beginner learn the ropes. There’s even an in-game manual with information on many of the mechanics.

And if you buy it before the 4th of July, you’ll get a big discount on Steam!

The game is complex.

So many moves, so many combos, so many strategies. And it all requires precise timing.

It’s fun.

I had a blast playing all the game modes, and I’m sure it’ll be even better if some of my friends start playing.

Comparing it to Smash Bros Melee, they are completely different games. The only way you can truly experience the striking differences is by giving it a try, though.

So to answer my question, yes, you should play some Street Fighter!

Melee Skill Tiers Analogy

Last night I was wondering about how I could compare Melee skill tiers to another game.

Normally, when someone asks if I will win X regional tournament, I always say that I have no chance, and they get confused.

I try to explain that Melee is a game of levels – each level has players that will almost always beat the players in the level directly below.

For example, let’s say Level 1 is the highest skill level. This would be the top 6, namely Armada, Hungrybox, Leffen, Mang0, Mew2King, and PPMD.

They have had such a high reign that they’re expected and usually do beat people in Level 2, namely players like Westballz, Axe, SFAT, Shroomed, and Lucky.

These players will be expected to beat Level 3 players like Wizzrobe, S2J, and Chudat. And the cycle continues.

It continues all the way through the lowest skill tier of players, AKA the players that just play for fun and don’t know that you can hog the ledge to kill someone.

The lower you go down, the more of a chance of a 4-stock in between levels.

I’d get 3-stocked by someone who got 4-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by someone who got 3-stocked by Armada.

In this case, I’d be on level 7, and truly I see myself as a level 7 Melee player.

So last night I came up with an analogy that connects Melee skill tiers to World of Warcraft levels.

World of Warcraft is a game where you create a character and level it by completing quests and killing monsters. As you level, you acquire new abilities that expand your skill set to help you kill higher level monsters.  Also, leveling increases the power of your current abilities.

When World of Warcraft launched, the highest level was 60. The game has had 5 expansions so far, increasing the level cap to 100.

Each expansion made the previous content a bit easier and a bit faster, and also raised the bar for experience and attributes at a multiplied level.

For example, here’s the estimated health for the max level at each expansions:

  • Level 60: 5,000 HP
  • Level 70: 10,000 HP
  • Level 80: 30,000 HP
  • Level 85: 100,000 HP
  • Level 90: ???
  • Level 100: 500,000 HP

I propose that Level 60 is the level of player that have learned about the competitive scene, know what most of the tech is, and want to become good. A person must level from 1-60 to gain this knowledge, to be filled with inspiration, and to be prepared start the rest of their journey of Melee.

On the complete other side, the top 6 players are Level 100. They’re at the level cap, but not at the skill cap, because Blizzard will continue to release expansions that will increase the level cap (Legion, which comes out in August, will increase it to 110).

The players right under the top 100 that sometimes take sets off the top 6, like Axe and Westballz, are also level 100, but they still have better items to acquire.

To level up, you must fight others of similar or higher level by going to tournaments and practicing, and through this experience you gain new skills are solidify your old skills.

As time passes, it becomes easier to level up, because there are better practice techniques, more tutorial channels, and more frequent tournaments.

Thanks for reading. Does my analogy make sense? Leave a comment with your opinion!