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Playstyles & Design pt.2

In part 1 of this series I defined the styles. Now, it's time for lots of video examples. If you know of any videos that can be added to this list, send them my way. 



  • KirbyKid(Kirby) vs. Chang(CF) 6-26-07. In this match, I fight an old buddy of mine. Notice how Kirby must constantly move around in response to Captain Falcon's high speed, high range attacks. In other words, Captain Falcon sets the tempo and I try to survive and fight within it. 
  • SF4 Match of 2009: Arturo "sabin" Sanchez (Dhalsim) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ryu) [Match 9/9]. In this match, Dhalsim (the one with the long arms) is most effective at a distance. Ryu gets the advantage up close from an aggressive playstyle. The entire match displays the dynamic between these two forces/playstyles. 
  • Street Fighter: The Beast Is Unleashed. Daigo/Ken (the male character) is clearly losing the battle. The video opens up and apparently Daigo is angry, which is rare for this particular Japanese player. When your back is to the wall in a fighting game, you have to turn on the pressure and go offensive. In this video we see Daigo doing just that. But keep in mind that his opponent is none other than Justin Wong, the player known for his ultra defensive turtling style. Right at the end of the match, Wong uses a super against Daigo. If Daigo simply blocked it, the chip damage would have killed him. Using a very difficult, defensive technique (the parry) Daigo pushes the game to the limit, prevents the chip damage, and effectively turns the tide on the match coming back from nearly nothing. 
  • Halo 3 Sniper Camping by Dios Guthix. This player is playing defensively using the energy doors as cover to maximize the effectively of his powerful long range weapon. This is also a good example of playing to win because this player is riding this strategy to victory. 
  • Chess Lesson: Ruy Lopez Opening - Classical Defense.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Anouleth vs. GipFace. Notice how the blue player retreats away from the middle of the field and bolsters his defense with long range/indirect attacking units. Whenever a player retreats in a tactical/strategy game, they are usually playing in a defensive mode by responding to an opponent's strong move/position or giving up the ability to set the tempo. 
  • Justin Wong (Fei Long) vs Mario (Zangief). In true Bruce Lee fashion, Fei Long (the skinny Bruce Lee looking character) plays both sets using an explosive defensive style. By hovering just outside of his opponent's comfort zone, he can dance around, react, and poke his opponent to death. 
  • Famous Chess Games: The Immortal Draw. If you can't win a chess game, the next best thing to do is to draw. Becoming good at retreating, worming out of checkmates, and positioning your King just right can be the difference between losing and continuing the fight. 

The Specialist

  • Timedog - Saikyo Ryu. This Ryu player specializes in using grabs. Though this match isn't played on a high tournament level, the playstyle is clear. 
  • SSMB Shined Blind. In this video, the character Fox uses the reflector move or "shine" in a variety of different ways to achieve victory over the opponents. Notice how the shine can be used in a defensive or aggressive playstyle. 
  • Do A Barrel Roll 3 Part 5. It's me again in this video. This time I'm on the ultra defensive trying to survive a match against a really good Peach player. Peach is faster, stronger, more versatile in the air, and has a greater range than Kirby. It's an uphill battle for sure. Observe how many times and in how many different ways I use the back air attack with Kirby starting at 2:30. As the holder of the title "Best Kirby Player In The World" for Melee, I used my deep knowledge of Kirby to gain advantages over my opponents.  
  • Daigo vs. Sirlin. In this high level match Daigo (Ryu) fights against another Dhalsim (David Sirlin). You should recognize both names by now. Notice how many successful Shoryuken Ryu lands starting at 0:45 to win the round. Daigo knows just how to use the Shoryuken (rising dragon punch) to jump over attacks, to build special meter, to bait opponents, and to knock them flat on the ground.  

Playing to Win

The One True Style

  • Mew2King vs. Crazy Return Part 1. I was standing in the crowd at a tournament I flew to California to participate in when this amazing event happened. This is a video of the crew battle of 5 players vs. 5 players. The matches are 1v1 and you go down the line until you don't have any more stock left. Then the next player in line takes the seat. Well, a top player named Mew2King was second up, and he wiped out nearly the entire crew of the opposing team. All of these players were some of the best players in the world. Remember that Falco player in the first video under the aggressive style? He's first up in this crew battle. It's that epic. 
  • EvO 2k8 Bas vs John Choi Semis CvS2 *HQ*. If you can keep track of which 3 character are a part of Choi's team, you'll see how amazing he is. He has come back with his last of 3 characters in both rounds. Keep in mind that Choi is on the right side.
  • STX Masters Finals! S1: Hwasin v Hyuk. Follow this entire StarCraft tournament if you can. If you're not familiar with StarCraft tournament play, don't worry. The commentary tells you everything you need to know. 

The Meta Gamer/ The Snake/ The Cheater


The Soloist

  • Leeroy Jenkins. Even if this video is completely staged, the idea is clear; Leeroy Jenkins impatiently started the battle which lead to everyone's demise. 
  • NSMBWii (P)layered Design. A quick example of what happens when one player forges ahead in a co-op game. To put it frankly, one player can drag the screen and other players along for the ride. 





In part 3 we'll look at the interplay and balance of playstyles. 

« Playstyles & Design pt.3 | Main | Playstyles & Design pt.1 »

Reader Comments (2)

Now I'm questioning the real difference between "Playing to Win" and "The Meta Gamer/ The Snake/ The Cheater"...

The last one will do anything to win like the first one, but the only difference is in "The Cheater" type. A "playing to win" kind will never be a cheater, but he might exploit all the game's flaw to succeed, right? So the only difference with these two profile will only be the use of cheats. Does it sound correct? Maybe it has been already discussed with Sirlin, I don't know...

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimon B.

@ Simon

You're right, there's only a slight difference between a meta/snake player and a playing to win player. The playing to win player stays within the game rules and the tournament rules. The Snake stays within tournament rules. And the cheat doesn't style within any rules.

January 14, 2010 | Registered CommenterRichard Terrell (KirbyKid)

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