For years, I have kicked around this silly hypothetical question in my head. “In a world where characters are scored based on their abilities within each video-game-related skill, how would I score in each?” In this post, I pick a handful of genres that represent my strengths and flaws as a gamer and give them a score based on a 0-10 scale. Let’s try this out!
Fighting: 9 out of 10
Being good at fighting takes a lot more than just button-mashing. It requires a deep understanding of your tools, the ability to analyze and predict your opponents next moves, and the physical dexterity to maximize your offensive bursts. Over the past decade, I have dedicated thousands of hours and an immeasurable amount of brain power towards being a skilled fighting game player. Having climbed to the top of the leaderboards on numerous occasions, as well as having participating in a number of tournaments, I feel comfortable giving myself a really high score in this category. That said, I will deduct a point for being much worse at 3D and platform fighters than 2D ones. If we can keep the combat out of the worlds of Smash Bros. or Tekken, I’m golden.
Platforming: 7 out of 10
Being able to traverse treacherous lands by jumping is a skill I’ve had decades to practice. Many games I played growing up and still play now involve some level of platforming, and by virtue of practice, I’d say I’m pretty good at it. However, I haven’t put in the same level of dedication to getting good at this skill, which became very evident as I floundered through the B-Sides in Celeste.
Shooting: 6 out of 10
Though I’ve played many shooters in my life since the days of Wolfenstein 3D, I wouldn’t give myself more than a 6 out of 10 in this category. Give me a controller and a console shooter and I can decently hold my own in Call of Duty, Fortnite, or Overwatch. My deficiencies arise if you ask me to play on keyboard or play the role of sniper. I have no idea how to play anything with WASD controls, and I suck at sniping regardless of what controller I’m using.
Puzzle-Solving: 3 out of 10
My first real deficiency as a gamer, and in real life for that matter. I’m AWFUL at solving puzzles. I struggle to understand the logic in many of them, and am quick to resort to a guide if I get stuck. It’s extra embarrassing when I’m stuck in an Uncharted puzzle and Nathan Drake is trying his hardest to tell me what to do and I still don’t understand what to do next. Though it might be cheating a bit, the score is buoyed by my above average ability in puzzle games like Tetris and Puzzle League.
Racing: 5 out of 10
Years of Mario Kart, F-Zero, and other arcade racing games have sharpened my driving skills. But when it comes time to race in a simulation like Gran Turismo or Forza, I fish tail and wall slam with the worst of them. Let’s split the difference with a five.
Rhythm: 8 out of 10
Whether the challenge requires me to hit buttons to a specific tempo or play plastic instruments, I have a strong sense of rhythm that translates well to rhythm-based games. I play Rock Band on expert with every instrument and excel at all but the hardest of songs. Minus two points for having two left feet in dancing video games like Just Dance and especially Dance Central.
Strategy: 7 out of 10
From Advance Wars, to Fire Emblem, to XCOM, turn-based strategy games are some of my favourites. Fire Emblem games are my go-to, as I’ll play through each game multiple times on increasing difficulty while going out of my way to ensure that not a single character dies for the duration of the campaign. Where I stumble is in the real-time strategy department. I have essentially zero experience with the genre, and I struggle to even follow what’s happening on screen when I watch other people play games like Starcraft. Who needs actions-per-minute anyway?! 😛
Stealth: 1 out of 10
I loathe stealth. I hate feeling underpowered in video games. I hate having to be ultra precise in my movements. I hate having to memorize AI walking patterns. I hate fail states that trigger the moment you get spotted. I’m also terrible at them in virtually every game I’ve ever played. Far Cry 3 has about two stealth sequences in the entire game, and I’ve yet to beat it because I can’t get past the second one. The only thing stopping this from being a zero is my ability in – and adoration for – Mark of the Ninja.
Management: 4 out of 10
Need a city to crumble from poor planning and a blown budget? How about the life of an individual to flush down the toilet? Simulation games are not a strong suit of mine. I struggle to figure out how to grow and maintain whatever I’m managing until it devolves into chaos. The only two sim games that I ever excelled in were Lemonade Tycoon and Game Dev Story.
After all of that, this is what I net out with. Clearly, I’m more of a do-er than a thinker. Barbarian class maybe? What would your stat card look like?