KO2 Psychology (warning: contains scumminess)

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KO2 Psychology (warning: contains scumminess)

Postby waynie » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:41 am

I've always wanted to write a guide on the scummy side of KO2. In the end, I found the best way to present this was to take the structure of Catlord's Tekken Psychology 101 from the internet and modify/apply it for KO2. I therefore can't take credit for writing this guide, but I'll take pride in posting this, in true scummy fashion! :D


Foreword

Let's be brutally honest about this, KO2 is played as much in the head as anywhere else. I may not have played as many official matches as someone like Robert or Alkis, but I do understand that there are two people who can dictate the outcome of a KO2 match. Most of you are happy to concentrate on your own game, and that's fine. But I've made many observations and will report on my findings here to show you that there are ways in which you can influence your opponents game and gain that extra edge.


1. Types of KO2 player

There are many types of KO2 players. Some don't agree with the labelling of player stereotypes, but I think it's pretty accurate. All KO2 players want to win, some want to toy with you, some want to crush you relentlessly. but they all strive to WIN. Remember that the type of player you are doesn't just depend on your KO2 experience and knowledge, but also on your mental status, coordination, and reflexes.

1a The Masher
The Masher can be clearly identified by his lightning reflexes and skill in beating the hell out of his fire button (he might even start mashing your fire button...watch out) as well as his prowess in yanking his joystick stick in a fashion as to break it so the diagonals will never work again. Mashers really have no skill but their randomness could prove rather frustrating to play against.

1b The Sensible Soccer player
These are people who are familiar with football games but lack the knowledge in KO2 moves or physics. They will mash on occasion, but they have some strategy. They will pass, trap and move, header and slide. Alas, without the KO2 knowledge, they should not be hard to defeat.

1c The Average KO2 Player
The Average KO2 player is one who is relatively familiar with standard KO2 physics, knows a few PB manouvres, knows how to defend against player switching, and the KO lob.

1d The Pitbull
An Average to Master player who is on you like a rash as soon as the whistle blows. He will keep assaulting you with over the top balls and PB dribbling, not giving you any room to breathe. If you are unfamiliar with player switching and defensive heading, they will eat you in no time flat.

1e The Turtle
The exact opposite of the Pitbull. They will play a very defensive game and usually sit back with 5-3-2 or lockout, then pop up to lob you occasionally. Defensive heading and block tackling is their strongpoint, so be very wary against dribbling with a midfielder that will leave you wide open to a counter. Always keep a few good long range shots up the sleeve when playing them.

1f The Nutjob
They're not a class on their own, but you probably know a few of these. They feel a compulsion to learn every KO2 stat there is, every bug, and every player's attributes. They do odd things like hack the game code, fly to other countries to play other players, maintain stats and rankings, create their own KO2-related images, write long posts on pointless KO2 information, then go to bed dreaming up corner routines.

1g The Master
The Master is a blend of the Pitbull, the Turtle, and a Nutjob all mixed into one. They know better than to use the same PB attack over again, they attack when they see you glimpse an opening, they counter-attack everything you throw at them. Pretty unbeatable unless your mad skills are better than theirs. Masters should be treated with respect, so don't talk trash to them in attempt to throw their mind off the game.


2. Sizing Up Your Opponent

Lets just say you're at an international tournament like the World Cup, and your next game is against a rather mysterious, possibly suspicious, probably dorky person. Let us look at the different factors to prejudge (prejudice sucks, but hey, this is the KOA) their skills. If they go straight past the tactics and ref screens without checking, you are 99% sure you are going up against a Masher. If they immediately select 4-2-4, then you're probably up against a Sensible Soccer player. Masters will pick any formation at random - they know they are gonna school your ass with whichever they pick, regardless of which formation you pick. Formations to be wary of: 5-3-2, 4-3-3, falcon, 4-4-2, balanced and blitz.

Okay, now you've selected your formations. Now look at the other person's hands. Do they grip the stick tight and hold it by the top? If so, they're probably not so hot. If they ground the side of their stick palm against the controller panel, expect a good game. Now look over to their button hand. Are they warming up? Did they just select lockout and are now going through the motions of the mid-range diagonal lob? Expect trouble.

Now the match has started. What is the first thing that your opponent does? If they go back to the keeper, it usually means they could be good and waiting to feel you out or they are a Turtle. If they immediately attack, they are either a Masher, a Pitbull, or someone who wants to take the initiative. If they just lobbed you, it's probably an Average KO2 player or a Turtle or a Master. A hard call indeed.


3. Gameplay Strategy

Here is where I will discuss eating into the other person's psychological gameplay by way of a gameplan intended to frustrate.

3a. Turtling
Bring the ball out of defence with Cox, dribbling around a few of their players and then return the ball to Fisher. If you get a roll-out, rinse and repeat. Keep yourself in your own half and don't attack. You will notice either a) A more aggressive and erratic attempt to dispossess you or b) They will catch onto your game and stop moving, waiting for you to bring it to them. After a while, switch your gameplan to the exact opposite, a Pitbull. This contrast in gameplan will confuse your opponent even more. Repeating this will let your opponent know you are trying to mess with their mind, angering them. Therefore their concentration will be partially thrown to you rather than the game at hand.

3b. Mosquito Warfare
Much like the turtling strategy, but throwing long and mid-range lobs occasionally. This will result in extreme frustration and the opponent will try to throw practically anything in their arsenal to try to hit you. Wait for a messy attack and come in with a major counter-attack. From there take the beating to them. Someone who has been trying to take the game to you for the best part of a game will have a tough time switching to a heavy defense.

3c. Horsefly Warfare
Mosquito warfare taken to a heavier level. Turtle, then strike hard with the most potent attack you know. Return to turtling. Your opponent will either a) Be intimidated and play much more of a defensive and worried game or b) Get pissed off and do anything they can to return the favor.

3d. Back2U
This is the most frustrating type of strategy but also takes the most skill to perform. In essence, you win all the balls in the midfield from their goal kicks and launch it out for a goal kick to them time after time. What could be more frustrating to someone than having the clock run down like this? After doing this for about a minute, switch to a heavy offensive. They will not be expecting it at all.

3e. Throw-in OD
Another frustrating technique against those who cannot throw in properly. Gets them very riled up. Basically you keep kicking the ball out of play. When your opponent takes a throw-in, get to the ball first and kick it out. For added affect, make sure it's the same touchline. After about a minute of this, expect to receive trashtalk. One more minute of this will put your opponent into serious pissed off mode. Lay on the heavy offense right there.

3f. Run Away, Run Away
Best done after you edge a goal in front and there's not much time left. Just keep taking the ball to remote areas of the pitch, prefereably with someone like Cox. For effect, have their closest player fall over Cox and stay stationary whilst he takes his time getting up. Rinse and repeat until the game ends. Expect many calls of "Cheap!" and a very pissed off opponent.


4. Strategy Outside of Gameplay
Alright, so we have dealt with actual gameplay psychology. Now lets deal with what you can do outside of actually playing the game to increase your odds of winning.

4a. Trash Talking
Trash talk can be either good natured, or, as most of us prefer, cold-hearted and very demeaning (my personal favorite).

i. Good-Natured:
Of course, you can have fun talking trash and not hurt anyone's feelings. Say you and your buddy have a best of 10 or something like that. It's not uncommon to hear two buddies yelling at each other with things like "HOOOO, you like that don't you!?" or "come on, I'll even give you the KO lob!". When this happens at a large tournament, you can tell that the players are friends, or they know each other by the freindly overtones and gestures. There's not too much to good-natured smack talking... I mean...it's all in fun and it makes the game more enjoyable.

ii. Cold-Hearted:
This is where the physical game ends, and the mental game begins (and sometimes the hospital bills... if you don't know what you're doing). Cold-hearted smack talking is meant to make the other guy/gal feel bad...plain and simple, you want to hurt your opponents feelings. Why you ask? Well...the more your opponent is thinking about how much of an asshole you are, and about how bad they wanna beat you, the less they are thinking about their game. This is an obvious advantage, as you have just taken their thoughts off playing KO2.

iii. Wayne's favourites:
Here are a few of the quotes that might go down well at a WC.
#1: "Ohh so THAT'S how we're gonna play?!"
Makes opponents think THEY were cheap... sometimes this effects their playstyle.
#2: "Ahh you wanna lob ehh?"
I think myself, more than anyone, loves to lob... but, it sucks to concede a lob. When this happens against a shitty player, I bust out with this quote and come back the next half with, "ok...NOW let's lob." Players end up moving up the field, and making midfield fouls, which leaves them open to the over the top ball and quick passing moves.
#3: "You should have used lockout."
After beating someone with a corner routine move, I tell them the formation they SHOULD have used. The thing is... if they KNEW what to use... it's even better. For added insult, you can tell them in advance, "Okay..the corner is going to my man at the far post who's going to tuck it in." Tell them during a KO lob where the lob is going to be hit from with a split second warning. It's a good laugh to see them frantically try to block your shot.
#4: "Here, (handing the joystick over to Sid) you practice on this guy."
Now that's just plain mean... but this isn't KO2 Ettiquette now is it? Actually... I haven't done this yet...but it's just so damned scummy I had to include it...
#5: (after having someone say) "Damn you're pretty good!" (I say) "I am ok, I need to learn some more lobs."
This one rocks... especially when I slammed their ass with every lob in the book, and a KO-lob.
#6: (After beating the crap out of someone...I take the disk out of the Amiga and say...) "Here, take this and go practice before you come back to another tournament..."
Yeah, it's about as mean and cold-hearted as it gets.

4b. Communication
Communication is done during the match. It can consist of any conversation with your opponent while you are playing them. Stirring up conversation or just constantly talking about anything while playing will help you out or at least take your opponent's mind off the game. If you are especially good at motormouthing, their subconscience will be too preoccupied with telling you to shut your hole or waiting for you to do so. If they are of the friendly sort, they might even engage in conversation.. Bringing up the subject of KO2 and asking them how to do certain routines could screw them up (or backfire on you as they suddenly remember a move you just reminded them to try). If they still aren't pissed off at you, the fact that you are trying to be friendly might make them refrain from using their dirty, cheap, or psychological attacks. (That doesn't mean YOU can't use them now..)

4c. Body Language
Body language is a big factor if you wanna mess with your opponents mind and mess with their game. These are a few examples of things that you can do that involve body language.

i. Casual Picking
Acting casual while picking your formation is a good start. This leads your opponent to thinking you are not worried about them, and they try "extra hard" to beat you... which ends up making them play in a way that they aren't used to.

ii. One Hand Playing
Funny to do against people that suck. Just stand there and wait for them to come to you then take the ball away from them. Gets the message across that they're so bad, you can beat them with one hand behind your back (or over your mouth laughing..). A similiar result can be achieved by doing passing moves with single button presses, raising your finger about a foot away from the joystick with each press. Remember though, doing this against those are half decent will only make you look like the jackass when they intercept the ball and run up the other end to score.

iii. Humming
Humm a little tune as you play. Make it clear to your competition that they are nothing but a brisk walk in the park. Make it an annoying song you're humming for extra flavor.


5. How To Get People To Play You Again

Lets face it, nobody wants to play against the CPU. Therefore, it is in your best interest to figure out a way to get human opponents to invite you to tournaments or to turn up at yours. The way to do this is simple.. Feel your opponent out and play down to his level if you can. Now I know some people's prides may say differently, but if you think you don't face a threat, make sure to _throw the odd goal_. Nobody wants to lose a game to someone of lesser skill but if you desire to play them again, it's a must. If you stick ten goals past them with no reply, I am sure they have better things to spend their spare time and travelling expenses than your master ass. As long as the opponent has the time and motivation, and seriously thinks to himself, "Hey, I have a chance here..", they are going to play you again. Making comments about how good they are or how close the game was (wink wink) adds grease to the wheels.


6. Conclusion

As many topics as have been addressed, I am sure there are others that have slipped my mind or I haven't thought of.. In KO2, you learn something new everyday, whether it's a new move, new routine, or new set-piece. By harnessing the psychological aspects of KO2, you will find both a better mental stability in the game - You know the tricks and you know not to fall for them. You will also find a new weapon or two to use against an opponent when dexterity and reflexes will take you only so far. Mortal Kombat was the game that first used the quote "Knowledge is Power", but in looking back, maybe this should have been the quote of KO2. Know yourself, your abilites and limitation, and know your opponent.


7. Disclaimer

This post is meant in good humour and is in no means responsible for any broken noses, decapitation, castration, foreign objects shoved where the sun don't shine, or any other types of bodily damage resulting in the misuse and overuse of the Trash Talking section.
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Re: KO2 Psychology (warning: contains scumminess)

Postby Bounty Bob » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:49 am

waynie wrote:1f The Nutjob
They're not a class on their own, but you probably know a few of these. They feel a compulsion to learn every KO2 stat there is, every bug, and every player's attributes. They do odd things like hack the game code, fly to other countries to play other players, maintain stats and rankings, create their own KO2-related images, write long posts on pointless KO2 information, then go to bed dreaming up corner routines.
I see which camp you are in Waynie. Ffs, I don't even think that Garry has made a post this long! :lol:
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Postby durban » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:20 am

you missed a type of player mate.

1g. Durban!
No longer the only UK based Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Crewe supporter in the whole of the KOA!!!
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Postby Steve1977 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:33 am

:lol: :lol: Great Thread! Will read more later :)
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Re: KO2 Psychology (warning: contains scumminess)

Postby gdh82 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:57 am

:lol: :lol: Fun read, Waynie. I can see I've got nutty turtle tendencies! :D

Bounty Bob wrote:I see which camp you are in Waynie. Ffs, I don't even think that Garry has made a post this long! :lol:


Yep, Bbob's right - you've even eclipsed my nuttiness with this thread!!! :lol:

But I have to say, even if you have these scummy thoughts, you're not nearly as scummy as this topic suggests! Thank God! :) Or maybe you're publicly annoucing you're about take it your scummy performances to another level!!! :shock: :eeko: :yikes:
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Re: KO2 Psychology (warning: contains scumminess)

Postby Bounty Bob » Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:03 pm

gdh82 wrote::But I have to say, even if you have these scummy thoughts, you're not nearly as scummy as this topic suggests! Thank God! :)
I think you just haven't played him often enough. :D
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Re: KO2 Psychology (warning: contains scumminess)

Postby gdh82 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:05 pm

Bounty Bob wrote:
gdh82 wrote::But I have to say, even if you have these scummy thoughts, you're not nearly as scummy as this topic suggests! Thank God! :)
I think you just haven't played him often enough. :D


:lol: Could be a case of the better he knows you, the more scummy he becomes! A twisted sort of compliment really! :lol:
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Postby Rodolfo » Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:27 pm

A big applause for this brilliant essay, Waynie 8)
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Postby waynie » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:19 am

Thanks guys...although the original essay was written by another person who intended it as a psychological aid for playing the arcade beat 'em up Tekken. The main principles and concepts remain the same, so I took the liberty of keeping the framework and changing certain bits in there to adapt it for KO2. e.g., where Catlord talks about 10-strings, blocking and throwing, I use terms like PB play, defensive heading and lobbing. I hardly had to change the trash talking section though! :lol:

I did say that when I got my doctorate I would like to take scumminess to another level...maybe diving, fouling and KO lobbing was just the tip of the iceberg! :wink:

I must admit, however, that I'd need to get a lot better at KO2 (and martial arts) to use any of those in-game strategies or provocative quotes! :P
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Postby Robert Swift » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:01 am

A really great read. :-) Sure I must have employed some of these strategies myself.

I must comment in response to this, that I've never seen a more effective user of KO2 psychology than Rikki Fullarton. His entire approach is based around making his opponent uncomfortable. It starts of course with the physical ownership of the space around the Amiga and screen. Then, in game, if he's beating you, he trash-talks you into the ground. If he's losing, he moans excessively and blames everything in the world (except you, who scored the goals) - he makes out that him losing would be a totally ridiculous idea, forbidden in the rules of KO2, and maybe even contrary to the laws of physics? This carries on until he at least equalises, or even wins. He's mastered the art of motormouthing which totally distracts you, while not impeding his own game, and he even has irritating tricks like drumming the joystick with his fingers after scoring, like it was the easiest thing ever and he is impatient for more goals.

A truly fearsome opponent and head KO2 bully. :lol: :lol:

Must play Wonka again soon.......but when? :)
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Postby Rodolfo » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:28 am

Robert Swift wrote:His entire approach is based around making his opponent uncomfortable.


Just change 'approach' for 'life' and then 'his opponent' for 'everyone', and that is the complete perfect picture :P
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Postby gdh82 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:23 pm

Rodolfo wrote:
Robert Swift wrote:His entire approach is based around making his opponent uncomfortable.


Just change 'approach' for 'life' and then 'his opponent' for 'everyone', and that is the complete perfect picture :P

:lol:
Robert Swift wrote:A truly fearsome opponent and head KO2 bully. :lol: :lol:

Must play Wonka again soon.......but when? :)


I'm not sure I now want to play Wonka after reading this!!! :yikes:
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Postby waynie » Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:55 am

Garry, considering where you forced Fabio to play his game with you from the other week, I would be interested to see how the pre-game tussle for Amiga territory goes when you play Wonka! My guess is that the jostling will not be confined to merely pre-game! :lol:

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