Back in the olden days, when my world was decidedly smaller, I used to think I was pretty handy when it came to video games. When schoolmates came over to play GoldenEye or Mario Kart 64, I'd wipe the floor with the lot of them and I naively believed it was down to my unrivalled reaction speed and prowess with the pad. In my circle of friends, I was the Steve McQueen of the Mushroom Kingdom; a regular digital 007 who'd always triumph in the end.
Obviously, I was also an idiot. It didn't take long to realise that I wasn't some video gaming savant, I was just way more familiar with those particular games than my friends. As with any activity, the more you do it, the better you get, and compared to — oh, I don't know — my pal who only had a PlayStation or my little sister, I obviously had a significant edge. I'd clocked up hundreds of hours playing these games, versus people who still had to look down to know which button was which.
In recent years, the huge increase in the streaming of 'normal' gameplay from 'normal' people has helped reassure me that loads of people are a bit rubbish at games, and it's fine to be rubbish.
We've written before about how modern difficulty settings and optional aids are nothing but a positive, and yer man Chris Scullion penned a soapbox last year saying there's no shame in pros playing on Easy. Nowadays I'm in total agreement, although having to give my copy of GoldenEye to a classmate so his little brother could beat 00 Agent Facility in under 2:05 and unlock the Invincibility cheat was mighty humbling in the late '90s; a real wake up call that I was, in fact, distinctly average.
Below average, quite possibly. I had 'my' games — games I'd played a ton and was good at (it's hardly world record-worthy, but not everyone can 100% Banjo-Kazooie from memory in under five hours) — but it would often take me a long time to find my feet. I've always tended towards single-player games where I can noodle at my own pace. As footage of gamers performing incredible feats started proliferating on the internet over the last couple of decades, it became clear that I really wasn't all that.
However, the huge increase in the streaming of 'normal' gameplay from 'normal' people in recent years — as opposed to pre-teen multi-millionaires who split their attention between destroying all opposition, engaging with chat and slurping product-placed beverages — has helped reassure me that, actually, loads of people are a bit rubbish at games, and it's fine to be rubbish.
I grew more comfortable with my mediocrity over time. I loved playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but I was more than happy if my Kill-To-Death ratio hovered around 1:1. Much like with sporting activities, I now understand that my enjoyment of, say, kicking a ball around or heading to a tennis court for a swift game-set-match isn't related to my being any good at those things.
And that's still absolutely fine. I'm also not concerned if my feeble online abilities deteriorate with age — it really doesn't matter. With games like the '99 Battle Royales (Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35, Pac-Man 99), I jumped in early before the competition got too fierce, messed around with the mechanics to get my bearings, played until I got my chicken dinner, and walked away satisfied. I don't need to be The Master, or sit at the top of the table. Lack of ability aside, I just don't have the time to live, sleep and breathe a single game these days; there are too many. I'm quite happy to be a Jack-Of-All-Trades when it comes to video games; I'll 'git gud' if I'm having fun, otherwise what's the point?
"But hang on, how can you write about games for a living and not be super proficient at them!!" asks forumLerka372 in a whiny tone. Well, here's a secret — not all games writers are good at games. Some of them are super competent at a specific series and genre, but throw them in the deep end with something they've never played before and they'll be as ineffective as me in a Monkey Ball. As with any profession or walk of life, there are those lucky few who are irritatingly good at everything and pick up new things instantly, but proficiency at a game isn't a prerequisite for being able to discuss them in an informative, entertaining manner.
The great broadening of the medium's horizons — with more genres, more variety, more options and inclusivity — means that everyone is inevitably getting 'worse' at games, and perhaps that's one factor in why we've seen a mainstream move away from the brutal difficulty of previous generations. Our attention is so split and there are so many options that the average player these days just isn’t as good as the average 8-bit gamer. We reached the point a decade ago where punishment became a marketing point for a select few series. They remain the outliers, though — the majority of games are tripping over themselves to help you out so you don’t lose patience. And as much as Dark Souls might be the poster boy for challenging, inscrutable games, I managed to beat it. Can't be that tough, can it?
In spite of all the years of evidence that I'm not, in fact, a ‘pro gamer’, there's still an overconfident part of me that believes I'd beat anyone who dared challenge my superior skill with Donkey Kong on any Battle Mode stage of Mario Kart 64. Maybe I really am deluded, but hundreds of hours of muscle memory have to count for something, surely?
How good are you at games? Are you a super-skilled cross-discipline games master, ready to take down all-comers in any title of their choosing? Are you super invested in a single game and a little green outside your comfort zone? Or are you, like me, a genial have-a-go-hero that's pretty terrible at everything, but enjoys it all the same? Let us know in the polls below:
Thanks for voting. Feel free to let us know your fortes and failures in the comments below.
For the first question I’m a bit of a mix.
I do pick up how games work really quickly and learn from my mistakes.
I do have a few games I’m really good at.
However in most games despite what I just said I just straight up suck. I do however enjoy games and loosing is no problem if the game doesn’t become repetetive that way.
EDIT: besides plants vs zombies garden warfare 1 and 2 I really suck at multiplayer games but I really like playing them nonetheless especially with friends. My favorite genre used to be fighters and oh boy am I bad at them.
I feel like my skills have diminished somewhat. I suppose it goes hand in hand with parent / work life responsibilities.... and age.
Everybody has their level of game play for the same game. Unless this was their job 24/7 competitions that is different. But I play for the fun and sometime to kill stress or take my mind off other things. But if it's grinding sometimes that becomes a chore but if that helps my character level up and survive then it's all for the better.
Im an oldschool gamer. Emphasis on old. I don't have time or interest anymore to spend countless hours in a game to "get gud". Right now I'm enjoying Monster Hunter Rise, have hardly any problems and am a beast with the Bow, quite formidable with the Hammer, but that's about it.
Back in the day, on NES for example, when games were really hard, I tried a few times, but if it was too hardcore, I quite and went out play outdoors. To me games are art and enjoyment, if they are not enjoyable anymore, I stop.
I also never was too keen on competitive games. Besides owning the arcades on MK1 and MK2 machines back in the day when you trained your immune system by using a grimy arcade-stick for hours and rubbing your eyes plenty of times, I usually gravitate more towards coop games or "building" games like Two Point Hospital. And I am fine with that. Gaming is a pastime and not a job or a grind for me.
@sikthvash I know what you mean, I clearly notice a difference in reaction times and memory (remembering combors or something like that is extremely difficult for me).
When I was younger I was pretty good, not great. Now in my mid 30s I suck at everything and usually have so little patience and time I play everything on easy.
Probably like a 4 out of 5. I can hold my own in plenty ‘hard’ games although I’d say that’s more out of determination than skill. I was pretty good at Counter Strike for a while too.
I went for 2 out of those options, or maybe a 3. I can usually (though definitely not always) reach the end of a single-player game at least, but I tend to lose more often than not when playing online. I like to think I'm alright at Mario Kart though.
Like if the game is fun but I’m not very good at it I usually try to get better by practice, if I’m not improving then I give up.
Because a game if not fun for me if I always loose.
But if there is no challenge at all then it’s also not fun.
Usually I don’t run into games that are too difficult these days.
Back in the 90s there was a lot of brutal games compared to the number of brutal games being released today.
And game over usually meant, start over from the very beginning.
Imagine playing for hours and getting game over on the final boss…
I’m happy things have changed, but back when I was a kid I beat some brutal games because they were the games I had.
I remember almost crying as I cursed the games.
I had especially trouble beating TMNT for NES..
I'm in my mid 30's and my skills have only gotten better since I was a kid. I play plenty of hard games and I even hold a few speedrunning world records. I enjoy the challenge.
I'm a jack of all trades, master of none type of gamer (although, I'll happily give any master out there a run for their money.) Do I play seriously? Heck no. Fun > owning.
4 outta 5
I mean it depends. I'm dramatically better at platformers or certain specific games and series I'm familiar with than say, a stealth or strategy game. But I don't try to be the master of any one game, because that would be time not spent on other games.
I beat Metroid Prime 2 on hard without getting all the items back in the day and I beat Celeste's level 9, and all the B side levels (and nearly all the C sides) a year or so ago. That's roughly the ceiling for how good I am.
I can do a 5 hits combo at Puyo Puyo
I'm pretty good at most games I care to be good at. I'd probably get smoked in an online shooter, but, aside from Splatoon, I don't play those, so I don't really care.
In general, though, my skill level is vastly higher than it was when I was younger. I'm consistently amazed at the games I used to struggle with.
I'll never be the 'top player' in any game, though, and I'm cool with that. I'm not out to prove anything to anyone.
The only type of game that I suck at where I wish I was better is rhythm games. It's a fun genre, but once those arrows and button prompts start flying in on harder difficulties, I just... shut down. I could probably get better at it with consistent practice, but they're not my favorite type of game anyway, so I just play them in a more casual manner.
@nessisonett Unless a person is old and/or mentally/physically impaired, I'd say probably 90% of what people often attribute to natural skill is just a result of determination and practice. With that said, it's probably easier to tell yourself that you can't do a thing then take responsibility and either rise to the challenge or else honestly tell yourself that you don't want to bother working for it.
Depends on the game! I’m great at Mega Man on NES, can stick me on any boss order in any game and I’ll be fine. Same for MMX series. I’m also proficient at shmups and especially bullet hells. Dark Souls/Demon’s Souls (any game in the series) is my jam. I’ve done SL1 runs on all the games and beaten them, along with losing my sanity in the process. If there’s a challenge run in Dark Souls, I’ve done it numerous times. F Zero games are my other jam, LOVE those games so much.
I’m hilariously bad at Mario 64, gonna fix that soon but it’s fun laughing at myself when I mess up simple things. I’m also extremely bad at FPS games like COD, but I excel at the OG classic Doom games. Games that tend to be very very fast mess me up, too, unless I’m very familiar with them.
It’s funny though, I think some classic games are much much harder than Dark Souls. Ghost ‘n Goblins comes to mind, as well as Super GnG. Any of the classic Castlevania games I find are more challenging than Dark Souls, as well. Maybe I’m weird!
"How good are you at games?"
Well, depend on what games I played.
Here are my skill comparison from my BEMANI games.
Dance Dance Revolution = Expert, can pass some level 17 / 18 songs on Expert or Challenge, can get AA or even AAA on almost every DDR songs under level 13, can play certain DDR songs with blindfold and without seeing any arrows, have been playing DDR for almost 18 years.
Para Para Paradise = Advanced, can pass every songs on Expert difficulty but oftenly got B or C on Expert, use almost every body parts to dance.
DrumMania / Gitadora = Advanced, can pass until level 50 - 70 DrumMania songs or level 7.00 Gitadora songs.
Beatmania IIDX + Pop'n Music + Keyboardmania = Amateur. Still struggle to press the correspondent buttons with all my fingers. I have no experience at all in playing piano. 😩
If by genre, overall here are my skill stats.
Rhythm = Very Good
Platformer = Decent
Shooting = Terrible
Fighting = Decent
Life Sim = Good
Party = Good
Tactic = Decent
Puzzle = Good
Racing = Good
RPG = Good
I am usually really bad even at the games I love, doubly so for tabletop games. I often end up losing to the person I am introducing the game to, and not on purpose. What matters to me more is if I am enjoying the time. I'd rather struggle in a game with tension or decision making throughout than go through the motions and win.
However I will still disagree about making games too easy. The whole point of video games is that one can be bad at them. Not everything needs to be for everyone and products that try usually fail (unless they're basic needs things like food or hygiene and those still are extremely varied and aimed at different targets).
I just want to know why banana blitz hd is so hard. I’ve never been more frustrated with a game. I beat the main campaign last night and tried to champion medal a couple of earlier worlds, and I couldn’t do it. Gosh I now despise each and every one of those little monkeys.
@Quarbit That’s awesome, which is your favorite speed game?
I dont view games as something to be good at.
I hate saying this, but I kinda suck at video games, but love them always. Which is why it's always surprising when I'm actually GOOD at something, like a 3D platformer.
I believe in éliteness of skill, but not éliteness of attitude (sometimes called "élitism").
Our individual journeys to become proficient and overcome challenges should always be encouraged. It often seems these days that we don't wish to celebrate these journeys, based on an exaggerated fear of excluding others. I note, however, that the truly élite are those who invite others to become skilled, and pass on their own understanding.
Superhero difficulty forever!
@Anti-Matter Do you play the 17’s and 18’s with or without the bar?
I used to be good ... I beat Ninja Gaiden 3 NES every day, TMNT NES and many more.
Now I am a wuss that when feel adventurous I start games on NORMAL!!!
I suck. Probably about a 4 on a scale of one to ten....
From 1st: I learn from mistakes, yeah, can't say pick things up quickly, but I hardly ever rage quit.
Good at fighting games, good at shooters, good at racers but love story-based games more.
From 2nd: When I am solo in a BR game, I am having a blast. And I only blame myself for failure.
But when with in a team, I'd like them to be a little organized, cause I always be there for them.
Been gaming for about 40 years and I'm still not that good. Some of it is age with hand/eye coordination not being what it used to be but being mostly into adventure/RPGs it doesn't usually require the same you would need in a FPS. I have no problem lowering a game's difficulty, if needed. I mostly enjoy the ride and battles are secondary.
I have to hold the bar whenever I played DDR on any level even when I played DDR with blindfold. Safety is first and by holding the bar, I could get Perfect / Marvellous timing oftenly.
Don't even think to play Healing-D-Vision on Challenge difficulty without holding the bar.
That deadly 180' spin tho...
@Anti-Matter Oh. I played for 15 years without the bar, playing at all the highest levels and succeeding at PA tournaments that way. Train your core a little more, blindfolded is more impressive without the bar it’s just tap dancing.
Smash Bros Melee was my jam. I'd wipe the floor using Samus, dodging and doing long range. I'd take on teams of computer played enemies, max their levels out and still stomp. Then came Smash Ultimate and it's online play. I've never won a match lol
Back in the day I did things like beat Contra and Gradius on one life. These days I just do whatever feels good in games. I've got nothing to prove, I smashed my head against the wall enough for one lifetime.
I just play for fun and enjoyment and don’t compare myself to others or even pay attention to what they’re doing - I don’t check trophies/achievements and have no idea how many I have.
I have beat all the From Software games (except Sekiro) and loved the challenge but they all took me a lot of hours to beat (more than average I’m sure)
I’m generally OK at most games. I have Super Mario Maker 2 on 605 hours and can destroy any ‘Super Expert’ levels I find.
@Ralizah Yeah, I just tend not to give up. Unless it’s Celeste’s B Sides! Games like Cuphead and the Souls games are mostly just trying until you succeed. Although I’m pretty good at rhythm games actually, I play a lot of Guitar Hero and I totally shredded at Theatrhythm on 3DS 😂
The 2nd ones suck, For me If i'm bad at a game I will just get better, its just that simple.
I'm so good that I sometimes get "game over" in a matter of minutes, even with games that are supposed to last dozens of hours. How many can you finish a game so fast, huh?
❗I'm in my late-30s and don't have the time to 'get good'.
I am currently playing through the Switch version of 'Miitopia' and have no intention of FULLY levelling-up all characters in ALL Job Classes.
I'll play until each character has reached a certain level.
As regards multi-player, I always win but ONLY/MOSTLY because I'm used to the Control Pad and play Games all of the time.
It's hard to tell. I don't play any kind of multiplayer since local multiplayer on N64 (I was really good at ISS, won some local retailers' tournaments). The games I try I'm good enough to finish in any difficult but I know it's not a good standard to use
@nessisonett Playing Cuphead is a lot like playing Contra: it's recognizing that a pattern exists, and then continually working to better respond to that pattern. It helps that retrying boss battles is instantaneous, as, when I'm going for perfect runs, I'll obviously restart the instant I screw up in some way.
I actually really like Theatrhythm (Curtain Call even moreso), but the diagonal inputs usually ended up ruining my day. Also, while the stylus is easily the superior control method, when I have to slide it for long periods of time, I become weirdly neurotic about running out of space to slide it on the touchscreen.
I have definitely noticed that my 'gaming skills' have deteriorated over the last decade since I left education, and that's both understandable and okay.
Having half terms/school holidays and only working a six hour day, combined with a limited pocket-money-sized budget, of course that means you'll spend a lot of time absolutely mastering a specific few games.
Then you fall out into the world of full time work and other commitments, where you've got an hour or so for gaming on occasional evenings and a couple of weeks holiday a year - again, with other commitments demanding your time.
RPG's are one of my favourite genres, but I've had to start being really selective about what I play these days; Octopath Traveller took me a year of sustained play to finish, whilst Witcher 3 took me 6 months (during lockdown, so I had my extra hour a day from not commuting).
It makes me so glad that games have started adding 'Story mode' to the difficulties list, it means I'm much more likely to be able to get through an experience.
Personally I never cared much for competitive gaming or being the best, that is not why I played video games. It seems like some people obsess over the competitive aspects of gaming, personally I just liked to have fun and enjoy my own experiences.
I am more of a casual gamer. my sister. is the core gamer.
No, seriously, just discussed it elsewhere today - if it's not a genre I can grind, explore, sidequest and unlock my way through (and even that all doesn't always guarantee steady success) you'd marvel how much I can suck. 😄 I'm not incapable of things that require reaction speed and muscle memory, but maintaining them for long periods of time, especially between sessions, is a different story - and even during one session, say, an obstacle platformer with relatively sparse checkpoints can drive me to make stupid mistakes at the beginning of the course by the time I finally get the hang of its end. It also concerns racing games (no matter the number of laps in a Grid Autosport race, there's no guarantee I won't goof up that one turn... or those few), rhythm games (the bane of my full combo attempts in Osu and such) - you name it. And since I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, puzzle games, even verbal logic like Ace Attorney fare, can often stump me, too. There are times I persevere beyond expected - I still can't fully believe I platted FFX or gathered all the trinkets in VVVVVV, - but they are exceptions in such genres.
Does it affect my enjoyment? Not to the point where I'd steer clear, but I certainly do get frustrated when I spend a gaming session on a number of futile attempts and still end up with NO progress since last stage/checkpoint/save. This could have been time spent exploring, grinding, unlocking, gradually fulfilling something in an RPG or actventure, and this kind of regret is stronger when you're an adult gamer and your backlog is disproportionately larger than your gaming time. Video games are interactive Fiction to me first and foremost (stuff like sudoku collections or Tetris 99 notwithstanding), but this interactivity clashing with my incurable noobery also means it's the only kind of Fiction I can spend time on without moving anywhere down the plot.😅
Again, thanks for coming to my FWP talk.
@Ralizah I’m one of those philistines who uses their finger instead of the stylus. I feel like I play better in Theatrhythm without it but the difference is probably negligible!
Sometimes the best games are the ones that don’t make you want to quit, even after losing or failing. You embrace or grow from the challenge, rather than simply feeling let down. Or it’s just THAT fun.
I'm pretty decent at platformers and JRPGs, but am beyond godawful at shooters, fighting games, puzzle games. Everything else I'm just sort of okay at. I'm not a young man anymore and I don't have the time to master games, so I'll lose interest if I'm sucking pretty bad with no improvement. Like, I love the idea of Dark Souls, the whole world and lore are so cool, but I don't have the patience to git gud in my 30s.
I tend to pick up new games with Nintendo's IPs pretty quick, but I think more just from decades of experience and muscle memory.
People would tell me how awesome they were at Mario Kart 64 or GoldenEye even up through college, about 10 years after release. I usually wouldn't have too much difficulty beating them. When I played with my friends and neighbors before that I'd literally play 1v3 and play with my controller behind my back to make it somewhat competitive. I'd still win 75% off the time though.
I think my skills were better as a kid, simply because I had more time to spend getting better at the game. I did every single mission in Goldeneye on 007 difficulty and unlocked all of the cheats. I 101%'d DK64 and got all 180 emblems on Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. I could actually beat Kid Icarus as a kid. Ask me to do that these days? Umm... yeah, I wouldn't be able to.
I still am quite good at a certain game or two, if i spend the time really playing it. I'm still the best player I know of in Smash, and I still can do pretty good in many newer games. However, I just don't have the same time to spend in a game like Dark Souls to "git gud" so I tend to give up on those games real quick. If I only got an hour or two to play every other day, why would I spend it on a game that is frustrating me because I can't figure it out? I'd rather relax and play a more methodical game like Xenoblade or a stress free game like Stardew.
@BloodNinja Darkwing Duck for sure. I adored that game as a kid and it's super fun to speedrun. I have a 12:54 which places me at 17th out of 72 runners, but I want to come back to bring that time down a bit. I have a profile on speedrun.com if you want to see what else I've run.
Although I should probably add that outside of platformers my skills vary quite a bit. Playing Devil May Cry 5 made me feel like I was an 80 year old grandma who didn't even know how to hold a controller upside right.
Started playing ultra street fighter 4 again recently. I think I went 1-50 since then. Still hasn't stopped me from having fun.
Some good points were made in the comments. For multiplayer games, I generally don't care how well I do if the game is fun.
For single player games, if I hit a brick wall that lasts way too long, I'm likely moving on to the next game.
I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate recently, and that’s given me some real insight into this very topic. For me, it absolutely depends on the game. Or the genre. Or whether it’s online or solo. Fighting games (like Smash), I absolutely suck at, and I just can’t enjoy them, much as I’ve tried with Smash. Same goes for sports games. RPGs, Action, and platformers, though, I’d consider myself fairly above average. And as such, those are the games I love. Additionally, it seems I’m really bad at online games. Gimme a hard boss fight in Hollow Knight, Breath of the Wild, or games along those lines and I’ll put up a solid fight. But plop me in a PVP battle in Call of Duty, Pokémon, or whatever, and I’ll be out like a light in a minute.
So it just really depends.
My gaming skills peaked for me in my early 20’s. I used to regularly dominate in Halo 4. A friend of mine and I would play daily and would always alternate being the top player in any match. I definitely suck at FPS games now though. I’d say I’m a 3/5 now, just because I don’t really play them frequently enough. I’ve got the eyes to see how to play them well, but my reflexes are slower than they used to be. With party games, I used to be excellent and unstoppable, but now my fiancée can beat me, so either she’s more excellent or my abilities have waned. With platformers, I’d say I’m probably still around peak skill if I play for a bit, but I need to restore my skill. I’m better than anyone I know with platformers by a wide margin once I get into them. Racing games, I’m weak. Fighting games, I’m ok. I tend to be more likely to play open world or story based games now though, so I don’t exactly push myself to a challenge anymore. I still play FPS games with friends, but I’m definitely very casual with that.
Multiplayer in Goldeneye, timesplitters 2, and then online with the original Gears of war. I was a god among men! Now I'm old and suck at everything.
It really depends on what game/genre I'm playing at this very moment. I'm pretty good at platformers and kart racers for example (I'm also a pretty decent Tetris player), but I'm awful at fighting games and a lot of shooters. I'm all right at Smash Bros. and Splatoon, but not too great at them. The last few Smash Ultimate online matches saw me get destroyed, lol.
But yes, the important thing is this - if I'm enjoying myself regardless of my skill, that's all that matters. I don't like getting stuck in games, though.
@Quarbit LOL very nice analogy. Good stuff!
There are certain games where I struggle because I simply haven't devoted enough time to learning the mechanics and physics. For example, while I'm great at shooter games, Fortnite is the exception because I never got used to building.
And then there are games where the mechanics are simply far too difficult to learn or the playstyle just doesn't click with me. Any "official" sports game feels much more difficult than playing IRL, and certain franchises like Monster Hunter are beyond my understanding, because I'm so used to playing either action-adventure or hack 'n slash.
"I have my days - or my one particular game - but generally I'm no pro"
I would say this describes me perfectly but others may say it flatters me.
My skills depend on the genre but I have realised that I don't like very complex games. I don't mind challenges, I usually choose "normal" or "hard" but I don't feel like learning a ton of controls, menus and items for each game. I like intuitive menus and controls.
I feel like I am above average seeing as I play all the Souls games and rarely have trouble with any of them, just about any game I play I can overcome with enough learning. Am I the best? No not at all but I am pretty confident that anytime I play a game I will do well enough to get the job done. That being said I am glad there are games for players of all skill levels.
I can code 'em, but I sure can't play 'em.
I'm terrible at playing.
I've played a handful of games to completion, but all other gaming has been bits and pieces. I really oughta stop buying games, but I sure do love to try them out! .. then try to pinch the ideas and make something vaguely related.
Aside from kicking my siblings' butts in Mario Kart, Smash Bros,, and the like, I've painfully average at best, and awful at worst... It doesn't affect my enjoyment in any way, unless I'm ruining someone else's experience because of my incompetence
I am definitely not the best, but I will give them a pretty good fight. I am also not a pro and gaming is a bill vs. paying the bills.
I’m ok at games. At this moment in time I think about games I never completed. I never done sonic 1 and I feel I should. I so want to complete super ghouls and ghosts. Played this evening and am stuck on the second level will stick at it xxx
Lol I suspect it's this is why so many gamers have such fond memories of local multiplayer. As I lived without a console to my later teens mine were almost universally bad!
My skills at games is VERY hit or miss since my childhood days. There's way too many to list specifically however right off the top of my head this game came to mind. NFL Blitz 2000 for the N64. For whatever reason I was God Tier freaking Jedi Master at that game No matter who I played (including the hardest CPU difficulty...mostly) I ruled to the point it wasn't even fun to play. I knew exactly how to control the game at any point. If I wanted to score I scored. If I wanted the ball back I could play defense better than the Chicago Bears. Sure random fumbles and interceptions would swing things some but I knew how to steer it all back to whatever I wanted. It made it really hard to find opponents after smashing any challengers back in those days so yeah it just stopped being fun because of it. Kinda ironic, eh?
As I inch closer to my 40s, my reflexes and dexterity I've noticed have declined from my late teens-early20s.
However, I'm still able to compete well on Tetris 99 and complete many single player games.
Unfortunately, I'm horrible at FPS games. Probably why I stick with campaign mode with all of them.
Im proud of my Crash Bandicoot: Its About Time achievemnt. I got all of the perfect relics
I play real well but I played even better when I wasn't in my 50s lol.
I am pretty average at most things. I hate the attitude on games like Rocket League where you are 2-0 down and the rest of the team want to forfeit. Is winning all that matters?
However, I am pretty good at Sensible World of Soccer!
I was the exact same way when I was a kid. Goldeneye and Mariokart 64 were my jam, and I would absolutely DESTROY my friends at those games. I have a few more games that I've been highly proficient in, like Sonic 2, Halo 1 and 2 and a few others. Otherwise, I'm usually good enough at games to reach the end credits. There are some games that I'm miserable at, such as archaic designed retro games that I didnt play as a kid, and some roguelikes. Overall, I'd probably average out as a 4 on the list.
I'm very, very average. . .or just a little below average. Then again I've become much more selective about what I play. As far as online goes, I have good days and bad days, but I have fun regardless.
I have been playing games my whole life and I am good at learning theam and beating them. But I never became a pro.
There are games I master (like Mario kart) and others that I am average (most fighting games) and others I just don't have the patience for (Minecraft).
Something interesting I found is that lately, when it comes to "cinematic" games (like the majority of the Playstation games), I play them on Easy. Maybe because in these games, difficulty is pretty much useless here. It's about going from point A to point B and get done with it. I don't even bother getting 100%. I mean what for? for a silly 2-minute clip I can watch on YT?
I'm the best of all time. There is no denying it, so bow before me!
Jokes aside, I'm okay.
I have to disagree with the assertion that "being good" doesn't matter for games journalism. If a reviewer doesn't know the genre like the back of their hand, their perception of the games quality will be distorted. I can think of plenty of above average games that got sub par review scores because the reviewer didn't understand the games mechanics and thought they were "frustrating". I never watch sports and actively avoid simulation style games. You'd never want someone like me to review the next FIFA because I'd just dump all over it.
So I'm terrible at games, but it doesn't make me not enjoy them! It doesn't matter to me if I need a friend to help me or if they destroy me at games. Same with needing a guide. Like with Zelda games, I accept that I'll either need several runs with bosses,along with a long time in a dungeon, or I'll need a little help from Google.
To me, the memories of the hilarious L's I've taken are at least half the fun with games.
I will say, that at my age, time is way more limited for games. There's so many new experiences or new takes on familiar tropes and I want to taste them all. However, if I find one that resonates with me, like children of morta, I'm on that like I was 12 again. I was never good at games but the ones I did beat like a milk fed veal were ones people thought were impossible for us normies. Good on ya, mate!
Don't have to git gud to be good.
I tend to only play single player games and do ok. I thought I was good at Mario - breezed through SMB and SMB 3, 96 levels on Mario World and 120 stars on Mario 64 pre-internet and guides. 120 stars on Galaxy, 880 Moons on Odyssey. I'm now 3 green stars short on 3d World because of stupid Champions Road and it's stupid laser rings. I don't seem to be as good at Mario as I thought anymore. Think reflexes slowing at 43 annoyingly.
I'm the excellence, of execution. Best there is. Best there was. And the best, there ever will be.
I feel like I'm reaching a point where my gaming skills will be on par with Shinya Arino, the Kacho of Game Center CX. Anyone who has seen that show will know what I'm taking about.
Not only on Multiplayer games I'm starting to suck, but also on games I used to play a lot. I recently replayed Kirby Super Star and The Arena handed my ass to me when I could do a no-Copy Ability run on it 7 years ago during the Wii U days.
My presence on any competitive multiplayer's team automatically puts that team at a disadvantage. Competence, but zero eSports skill.
This might sound a bit controversial, but I don't think games reviewers finish most games they review.
In fact I bet more gamers than not have unfinished games at home. I have, or I've traded them in unfinished. Games become repetitive after a while, and many seem far to clinical nowadays.
I think I miss the 3ds, there was a good selection of games to play while waiting for Nintendo's next big home console release. But the big releases are few and far between and there is so many unknown indi games that it is a gamble as to what you are getting. You pays your money and takes a chance.
Maybe gaming has lost some appeal or maybe it's just harder on to find that really good game.
I suck a FPS and when I play games like Mario kart I suck online. But against the cpu I am pro
I was probably better as a kid/teenager with some multi-player games, but I'm still passable today. My kids are getting older and more competent at games now, with one being able to hold his own against me in Smash Bros (granted, he practices his craft and I don't, so it makes sense). I'm still the go-to for getting them unstuck in other games, though. Still, I'm primarily a single player gamer and generally get owned by other players when I go online. Not sure what all that makes me overall.
"We've written before about how modern difficulty settings and optional aids are nothing but a positive, and yer man Chris Scullion penned a soapbox last year saying there's no shame in pros playing on Easy."
Well, this is obviously not true. If it really was nothing to be ashamed of, you wouldn't have had to write an op-ed about it. If you're explaining, you're losing.
I'm very experienced with most games. And I also play smash ultimate competitively.
I love games, and I'm probably best at smash, mario kart, Fifa and Goldeneye. I also love a good metroidvania and Zelda game, although I'm not the best at puzzle solving or pulling out sikk moves on Street Fighter.
The journey toward improving skills is fun, even if I don't make it to pro. It's exciting to play at higher skill levels. Why not ride the wave as far as you can take it?
Learning & getting better at game, and taking new skills into matches is super fun. I do ok in Rocket League, but I don't have the consistency to be pro. I just reached diamond, and got destroyed, but it's fun figuring out where I need to improve next. (the funny thing is, training in rocket league reminds me of learning something new on a bike - the trial and error.)
I already tried to go pro riding bikes. It was something I had to give a good try, or I would have regretted it. After 15 years of riding, I really pushed for about 4 years, put in lots of time on the bike. I got decent, but nothing crazy. And I found I couldn't stand doing it daily as a job, which was essentially destroying one of my favorite hobbies.
I think I'm okay at games I've gotten about 6-7 wins at tetris 99 and usually finish within the top 10 and got to A+ in the original Splatoon. I enjoy games like Souls and Hollow Knight and I did a dual long swords run of Dark Souls 2. I think the main thing though is having fun, gaming is a fun past time that we're meant to enjoy
I'm sort of a jack of all trades when it comes to gaming, though I find that I get bored too quickly to stick with any 1 game for too long so I rarely master anything. Still, I can get from start to finish on most games with minimal deaths or failures or whatever.
I agree with this. Modern games focus on padding to artificially extend the life of a game (otherwise players complain it's too short). Rarely you get a game that tells it's story without getting repetitive or throwing in random side missions that mess up the flow of the story...but it's what people want nowadays so the devs gotta toss that stuff in.
But it makes them all the more annoying to actually finish for people who don't want to sink hours of their life into just one game.
I can hold my own in most games except fps. I didn't grow up playing many fps games, but I just get destroyed 99% of the time if I ever play online.
I probably hold the record for the most deaths racked up to beat every level in Celeste. Chapter 9 alone killed me 6589 times.
But… I did beat every level in Celeste (B and C-sides included). I suppose the takeaway is that, if I enjoy something enough, I’ll stick at it. But I can’t promise to be very quick in the process.
As a method of progression, I suppose it could be described as ‘make every mistake and pick every wrong answer until the right answer is the only thing remaining’. Not exactly efficient, but you do get to understand the workings of a system quite well after learning every way of failing within it.
I'm really not good at action games. I have slow reflexes, poor coordination and terrible vision. I can get gud at a game, usually, but it takes me a lot of time and effort.
What I am good at is puzzles and strategy.
I still enjoy playing a lot of actiony games, despite being a bit rubbish. I tend not to buy games that are known for extreme difficulty (Dark Souls, Cuphead et al), but I actually love shmups and action roguelikes where I'm dying again and again as long as I have some sense of progression. I have just as many action games as RPGs and sims in my collection.
Wrestling games on the N64, I was so much better than my mates.
They used to team up by one of them keeping me outside the ring while the other taunts to build up their meter.
Took a while, but I'd still come out victorious.
Very interesting discussion! I don't like competitiveness so much, sometimes is fun, but I do love a single player experience so much more.
All comes down to the genre. I'm pretty decent at fighting games, but my skills really shine best at side scrollers.
That being said, I suck total butt at any FPS played with a controller. But with a keyboard & mouse, I have no issues.
Gyro controls help mitigate this significantly. When Doom 2016 updated with new control options, it was like night and day.
@Maxz Hey, just be proud that you managed to beat it. It's a hard game and a lot of people didn't finish it. You got there in the end and you had fun while doing it. That's the important part.
@Maxz Good for you! I thought I was high at over 5000 deaths for the game. But that doesn't matter, we finished a great game with a great story. I admire your perseverance.
I really like most of the posts here! It seems we love the game, the hobby and life we share--but we are okay with most of us being average. Yes, we want to win, but what we value most is this incredible art called video games.
I suck. You should see me play dark souls
I used to be good when controllers had a proper joystick and a single button…
I really good at some games like Tetris, racing, platform and some sports games (notably tennis) and Street Fighter 2. I answered 4.
As for the second question, proficiency is not linked to winning, it's to enjoyment. I'm more than content to be proficient and still lose to someone better. I answered 4 again.
I like to stick with a game until I get it down. I don't give up. Like Hades, I stunk bad at it at first. Then I kept playing it, and I can beat it on the 14 punishment pact.
Games are fun, and while I have games I'm very good at, my kids wipe the floor with me on the newer games like Fortnite. I'm still proud of my 271 lines in NES Tetris though!
I love games but admittedly I'm not very good at them lol. I love old school platformers & metroidvania games but sometimes the difficulty can be off putting. I'm playing through Ori and The Blind Forest right now and I've actually caught on quite quick with it and am getting through it pretty well. I blazed through Katana Zero but I've gotten stuck on Messenger recently. I tend to gravitate towards RPGs like Dragon Quest XI or Fire Emblem where they can be challenging at times but usually they're pretty tame & you simply enjoy the experience. I've definitely been scared to get in something like Dark Souls or anything marketed on it's challenge.
I've started playing Fortnite on Switch recently and I'm kinda shocked that I seem to be decent in it, coming in the top 10 in most matches.
Seriously any gamer has to play the game enough to be good at it, no one can just be naturally good at the unknown.
As for being good at all games no one is, everyone has their genres and games their better at, it’s called being human.
It ultimately depends on the game/genre, but overall, I don't really think highly of my personal skills. I'm stubborn and tend to play some genres/games I'm familiar with on hard (I played Doom Eternal's Switch port on Ultra-Violence, for example, though I had already played through on Steam before then), but I still wouldn't say I'm really good since I still die a LOT. I just push very hard to actually get through games I'm really enjoying. I do play a lot on normal if I'm not super into the genre, though.
I'll admit I can be a little too hard on myself as well. I feel like I'm pretty bad at rhythm games, but I got at least an A rank on just about every track in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory on Proud difficulty, which might not be the toughest in the genre, but I suppose it's still telling. I can't do any of those rhythm games that get absolutely insane with their difficulties, though (nor do I personally enjoy them).
Online/multiplayer games tend to be what I'm worst at I feel, and it does affect my enjoyment when I feel like I'm having a very rough run and holding back teammates. I struggle to think of any multiplayer games I'm particularly good at; I'm told I was good at Smash Bros. for a while, but I lost that skill quickly after most of the guys I played with got really into the competitive scene and I had no interest in pursuing that side of things. I love Splatoon and Team Fortress 2, but I'd say I'm pretty bad at those despite putting in hundreds of hours. Single player games tend to be where I feel more comfortable as there's less pressure, but I do enjoy a number of multiplayer ones, including the three I already mentioned here. I hate competitive gaming though, I don't find anything about it enjoyable personally. If others like it, that's fine! It's just not my thing, I find the environment too negative and I don't have the time or interest to practice enough to get that good at a game.
Depends largely on the genre for me. I'm not what I would consider very good at strategy games like Fire Emblem. I can hold my own on a lot of the games' hard modes, but I know my skills could be way better. I'm absolutely terrible at Advance Wars. I'm also not very good at racing games and time trials.
Now reflex based games on the other hand... platformers are and always have been my bread and butter. Shooters too to a somewhat lesser extent. Lately I've gotten good enough at Doom Eternal to the point that I've been quick scoping the turret off of an arachnotron at a distance and doing the same to both of the Mancubus's cannons in quick succession with no crosshair. Arenas that I used to think were almost impossible I now just blow through like they're nothing. I've even gotten to where I can beat some of the TAG 1 levels on Nightmare difficulty (still haven't beaten The Holt on Nightmare yet). I love games like that and Furi that really test my reflexes. Rhythm based games too. One of my favorites of all time is Bit Trip Core, and it's extremely satisfying when you get the hang of it. So...basically I'm a lot better at reflex based stuff than I am at thinking.
@Maxz I really gotta start Celeste...I've had it on Switch forever and heard nothing but praise for it. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Generally speaking I doubt there is anyone out there better at video games than me.😉😉
I actually made it quite far in MK 8 online (until it became too repetitive), I am pretty decent at platformers and I usually master rhythm games. That being said, if a game has tough combat mechanics or boss fights (sekiro, ori, hollow knight, cuphead) I utterly suck at them :')
I used to be pretty competitive in multiplayer games and beating all singleplayer games on the highest difficulty.
But since my 30s I lost all my will to compete and give up on most games when they get to complicated or tedious. I really don't enjoy gaming as much as I used to anymore.
Just like this article, I used to think I was great on the n64 back in the late 90s. However, since watching people online these days I’m pretty darn average.
And come to think of it, I was never that good in the first place. I could never ever get past Villa in Perfect Dark hard mode (perfect agent).
Difficulty is a balancing act and that’s why I love it when games have difficulty modes. I really enjoy Zelda but Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are just too easy for my tastes and it knocked the enjoyment a little for me. I heard the HD games on Wii U had a harder mode? I look forward to trying them out if they ever get released for Switch.
I completed Ori and the Blind Forest on hard mode on first playthrough. I died over a thousand times but I persevered and I loved the challenge. Maybe I should have played on normal for my first play through and then played through again in hard for the second playthrough? I’m currently doing this with the sequel.
Difficulty modes are great though. Going back to Perfect Dark/Goldeneye they did it perfectly (no pun intended). I completed them in agent, then in secret agent and then had a crack in perfect/00 agent. Couldn’t complete them in hardest mode but at least I’d already got hours and hours of enjoyment from them.
I rarely really get stuck on a game and feel the need to 100% it. At least not on a very arcadey level. I did it with games like Steamworld Dig 2 and Ori and the Blind Forest, as both were really pushing me to 100% them and right now I'm into Subnautica which also feels like a game I could keep playing forever, so who knows, maybe thats next.
But when games just offer thousands of collectibles for completionists sake, I pass.
One game to definitely break anyone who clicked on the very first entries in the lists above is Ikaruga. This really is a game that I just play to celebrate losing.
I don't think it's one size fits all and mostly it's down to experience.
At puzzles, spotting patterns quite quickly and general gaming prowess I think i'm pretty good, not great, but well above average. But this is to be expected, conditioned from decades of experience.
At twitch shooting, or procedural rogue-like twitch gaming i'm pretty bad. In part due to my ageing reflexes and reaction times but more to do with my relative inexperience in these games because I don't play/enjoy them.
I have no doubt if I spent a lot of time in Warzone or Spelunky or Dead Cells I would get good at them (I got OK with Dead Cells, completing 4-5 runs before getting bored), but equally I don't think i'm going to rock the world at any as I always want to move on.
Post Script: Also Dark Souls isn't hard. That's not a flex, it's just conditioning, taking things slowly and mindset. But It is punishing initially. If you struggle you can always level up a bit more to even the odds.
now Cuphead, Super Meat Boy, Sekiro and a few others recently, THOSE are hard. But again you can play enough and condition yourself to play any, if you have the patience and time.
I don’t mind being poor at a game, as long as I can feel like I’m improving. If I’m bad and don’t improve, there’s no enjoyment.
I was really close to going pro at the first half life game. I know my ways.
Still, not being the best fortnite nerd is a relief - I enjoy games now, even though I know how to get to king levels I rarely put in the time.
I am bad at games. I love them, but I'm usually bad at them, and I'm okay with that. For genres or series I enjoy, I'll crank the difficulty as it's fun for me, but usually I'll play on a lower difficulty. They are an entertainment product to me, not a competitive sport. I'd rather spend my time learning/improving at something useful.
This is a nice topic/discussion. I answered both 3s but I can say that I do learn from mistakes quickly and make adjustments to my playstyle in order to "git gud". However I am also fine with losing and sucking as long as I'm having fun.
When it comes to comp shooters I reminisce competing in LAN tournaments in Counterstrike with my friends during my teen years in our community. I was not the best player on our team, didn't have the most kills or anything but loved the strategy and teamwork aspect. We did have some sucessful runs as far as I remember but very far from being pros or anything close.
Nowadays the dynamic is so much different as there are various ways one can find success in gaming (content creation, esports, livestreaming etc.) though I think the competition has gotten bigger as well so many players, even those with exceptional talent, are just on the average end of the spectrum.
Terrible, but much better than I used to be, I am happy playing on normal and even dropping down to easy if needs be. Before the switch I just played life sims and Pokemon.
Still struggle to read maps properly, and since I've expanded on the types of games I play my competitive Pokemon skill has tanked hard (I peaked in gen 5) I mostly play JRPGS and Rhythm games these days, I try and think how far I have come and how much I have improved rather than worry how crappy I am compared to other people and since I play single player games anyway, it doesn't matter. I was actually quite good at splatoon for a while, but that skill quickly evaporated once I started fretting about losing my high rank.
I'm stealing @Anti-Matter's list:
Rhythm = Not bad, a big improvement at least
Platformer = shocking but improving
Shooting = god awful except for those couple of years in Splatoon
Fighting = god awful
Life Sim = Amazing
Party = don't play them
Tactic = terrible but they are fun
Puzzle = nope I have 1 brain cell
Racing = Ok if i'm with noobs
JRPG = Ok I can usually overcome things these days
Western RPG = where am I?
Im "good" at driving sims with a wheel setup and twinstick shooters and that's pretty much it. I play most of my games on easy.
@Scollurio Beautifully said. Man, I just want to have some fun and be entertained. I play games to de-stress.
I'm not into the "git gud" mentality. That being said, if people are into that go for it...different strokes for different folks.
As a gamer who cut their teeth on the original Atari I am nothing special if not meh skill wise these days. Having two budding gamers who will soon be old enough to hand my butt to me without breaking a sweat I have lost my drive to be the very best as they say. As it stands now I am not ashamed to select dad mode and avoid games that seem to describe themselves as 'punishing' as I don't have the time or the drive to master the pixels anymore.
"Obviously, I was also an idiot."
(dislikes this (negative) language in the article)
I AM THE GREATEST!!!
Nah, not really. I have more aptitude for certain genres over others, but my skills are average I'd say.
That being said, I am a living god when it comes to Rampart on snes. I crush all challengers mercilessly.
I'm hopeless at games like shcumps and other games, where reaction, koordination and fast reflekses is essential. (But some of them is still fun to play).
Games where puzzles, patience and brainpower is the main gameplay, I'm ok.
I'm not as good at games as I used to be simply because I no longer have the time to sufficiently develop my skills. It's the primary reason I don't enjoy multiplayer, because I could never hope to be competitive.
I am Gold Rank at Rocket League doubles and duel. Low level platinum for standard.
What about you?
Jokes on you I mostly play single player games because my internet sucks.
@NeonPizza I DO get that. I had a short burst of "I want games to be hardcore". Played XCOM and Fire Emblem with perma death, tremendously enjoyed Dark Souls I and Bloodborne. But that was that. I also get really pissed in teambased games like Battlefield or COD when you have no chance against a good team when you're playing with randos, but you don't have the time or ambition to get into a group of players just for that one game.
Being grown up with all responsibilities and crap, I do enjoy the "mobility" and the vast array of "retro" games and remakes on the Switch. Sold my gaming PC years ago. Got rid of my PS4 years ago.
But yeah, I do "get" the hardcore gaming crowd! It's a great feeling of accomplishment beating that hard stage or enemy. But I am old. I want to relax!
I'm always upset if I let my Splatoon-mates down during a Splatfest... but at the same time, I get seriously miffed when others don't pull their weight too...
Games are my escape from the day-to-day. I play about 1-2 hours a day in a normal week and proficiency is not my goal. Why I love BotW so much, can do whatever I want without worrying about timing or scores. Multiplayer isn't for me, some people I think spend way too much time on there for some weird ego boost.
Well, i suck at platformers without assist modes. But i am a god at splatoon 2. And mostly SSBU tourneys.
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