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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, '14, 5:00 pm 
Of all of the video game genres out there, which do you think takes the most skill to be good at?

In my opinion, I would say that fighting games take the most skill to be good at. Not only to you have to have your moves, combos, and execution in top shape, but you also have to know your opponent's tendencies, play style, and their strengths and weaknesses. Competitive fighting game players are on another level these days. Breaking into the scene is pretty tough, and it's hard to stay relevant without good training partners and in-depth knowledge of the game. There is also metagaming, exploits, infinites, and so much more.

Another genre that takes lots of skill is the RTS genre. I don't like RTS games, but I know what they consist of, and it boggles my mind that people are able to process all of the relevant information that's going on and still be successful. I think my brain would go into overload.

Those are my two picks. What video game genres do you think take the most skill?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, '14, 5:31 pm 
I definitely think fighters are up there. There's always the mechanical aspect, you have to know frame data, execute combos and reversals and techs and all that, like you said, and then there's the psychological aspect, which is where I think fighters really shine, because it's truly more about you and your opponent than your sheer skill. Some fighting game players do well based more on reads and incredible predictions and conditioning than in sheer technical ability. Simply knowing the motions isn't enough.

I think real-time strategy deserves a mention, given the legendary APM and sheer data-processing ability of top players. Competitive Starcraft just looks insane. And there's clearly a predictive and psychological component to top RTS play, as well.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, '14, 7:31 pm 
Probably fighting games and RTS games, as were mentioned before.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, '14, 10:04 pm 
I think it's really interesting to try to analyze what makes a game difficult or really requires skill. I keep feeling like there's some genre I'm missing out on, too. A lot of twitch run and gun games and shmups and stuff like that probably take pretty insane skill, too, at the higher levels, like speed running and perfect runs, just a different kind than fighting games and RTS games tend to require.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 1, '14, 3:50 pm 
Depends on how you define skill, I think. Fighting games, sure, but even platformers (especially tough ones) require skill and patience to get through them.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 1, '14, 4:52 pm 
Yes there are some pretty tough platformers that require a lot of skill to get through like Ethan: Meteor Hunter, Super Meat Boy, and some other games that I can't think of. I just recently starting getting back into platformers, so I missed out on a lot of them over the past few years.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 2, '14, 12:21 am 
Well, as Wolf Bird says, that's a bit difficult to define. Fighting games and RTS games are the most obvious; though I'd argue certain RPGs such as Dark Souls are equally demanding of skill (and patience).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 2, '14, 3:23 am 
As far as defining skill levels, I do think the more twitch or memory oriented games, like platformers and side-scrolling shooters and shmups and things like that, require a huge amount of manual dexterity and patience and insane reaction time, but they're all, in the end, fairly static. They only pit the player against the computer, which tends to be more or less the same every play-through, or at least follows certain patterns, rewarding memorization and patience rather than any deeper ability.

Even stuff like Contra that most people find difficult to beat under normal circumstances is routinely beaten with one life, with one weapon, under the most insane conditions, like speed runs. The experience doesn't really change with each playthrough, because it's limited by the game's preset conditions and AI. But any fighter requires you to analyze and understand a human opponent who is often at an equal or higher skill level, from a purely mechanical standpoint, at which point a much deeper metagame aspect becomes significant, becoming something closer to a competitive sport with all the psychological considerations that go into it.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 2, '14, 7:13 pm 
I'll add to what Bragatyr said (skill = vs Human) and add another one: time constraint. Any game that gives you a set amount of time to do something will require you to acquire skills. Beating a puzzle intended to bend your mind does not take skill, you can arguably win by using an infinite amount of trial and error. Take that same puzzle and add a time limit: skill is suddenly needed.

FPS dungeon crawlers are notorious for this. Timed puzzles were the only real difficulty there.

Now, while a game can be won without skill, it can also be said that skill changes the game completely. I remember playing the SNES Street Fighter 2 at the hardest difficulty for HOURS, getting to M.Bison effortlessly and being beat into sheer anger and frustration, tens and dozens of time. I did end up beating him once or twice. Skill? Nope. Luck. Skill would have meant beating him more often than he beat me.

Still, luck is another thing entirely. I'll leave you with this delicious quote from the Macross Plus movie:

Neuman: "Skill has nothing to do with this. It's gonna take pure luck this time."
Isamu "Luck is one of my skills!"


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 2, '14, 10:41 pm 
Time makes anything a hundred times harder for me, ha ha. I can't stand timed sections in games, really works on my nerves. But I think that's a good point, it's one thing that really distinguishes difficulty in both single player and multiplayer competitive games, which is the limited time the player has to make decisions. That's one reason I never want to speed-run anything.

And the computer in Street Fighter games is evil. Very notoriously so, based on Youtube testimonials. It's really silly, when it's deciding to be mean it's pretty much unbeatable. Especially characters like Ryu with invincible, frame-one reversals, even if you knock him down he's pretty much guaranteed to Dragon Punch any follow-up. In times like that it's pretty much just AI exploits that will beat them. One of those funny examples of how AI can totally out-perform or out-calculate a human being, but not out-think.


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