Playing Mobile Legends for the first time: A timeline

Art by Maine Manansalan

Hi, my name is Ina and I suck at playing video games that involve a lot of fighting and teamwork.

Before you totally uninvite me from all your game nights, let me explain myself further: I can beat your ass in Tekken but expect me to be the olats teammate who always dies in Left 4 Dead. I am also that kind of player who can have the biggest base and army in Command and Conquer but only if I survive the first wave of attack in Hard mode.

Given my gaming experience, our editor Maine Manalansan still encouraged (or should I say forced) me to download her favorite gaming app Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) just so I would understand what the fuss was all about. She explained that it’s very similar to DOTA, a game I’m kind of more familiar with.

(Quick backstory: I did play a bit of the game back in college with some friends, but full disclosure, I only did this so I could kill three hours of break time with my crush. I died all the time and did not enjoy the stench of sweaty college boys inside internet cafes so I only got to play four times in total.)

Aside from sucking at teamwork, there’s a stereotype that games like this are a little bit jej. It took Maine months before she convinced our EA, Neal Corpus, to download it. But since I’m competitive by nature, I might as well give this game a try.

March 16, Thursday

Today is the day that I wholeheartedly agreed to download Mobile Legends. Unfortunately, the Apple store suggested I connect to wifi because the game is worth 100 MB.

Okay, maybe later after our shoot then. I’d rather use my data for work-related stuff than this.

Today I learned (TIL): You need a stable internet connection and enough space to play this game.

March 18, Saturday

The Young STAR team met up for YS Open Call so Maine had the chance to remind me (again) in person that I have to download it. If Neal (Corpus, our editorial assistant) has already downloaded it, I should’ve too.

March 20, Monday

Okay, so, I forgot to download it again yesterday. I had no excuses left anymore. After our Beauty and the Beast movie screening, I downloaded it as soon as I got home. Played for a bit and sent Maine receipts to show her.

Me: I keep on dying tho.

TIL: Think of a creative game handle, apparently full names make you look uncool. Noted with thanks, ultralightbeam.

March 21, Tuesday

I totally forgot about it… again.

March 22, Wednesday

“Maine, I kept on dying so I stopped playing,” I said. I asked her to play it for me and she told me, “Ina, you haven’t even finished the tutorial level yet.” And I’m like… lol.

I played for a bit and since I can play the game in real time with her, we played together. I enjoyed it for the most part but I was too impatient when I had to resurrect because it takes me about 30 seconds. And I had to resurrect a lot because I died all the time.

TIL: You need lots of patience and you need to learn how to back away when your life’s in danger. Choose your battles, literally.

March 23, Thursday

Busy day, had no time to play today even if I was with Maine all day.

March 24, Friday

“Maine, I really feel like I lose cool points the more I spend time playing this game.” Is it the reputation? Is it because my friends don’t play it? Or is it because it really takes me some time to like things?

I tried to play a few more rounds to understand the game better. Maine invited Neal and me to play together that night just to further prove that it’s a fun game once you learn the quirks. True enough, I found that round more enjoyable than the normal match-up with strangers. Two words: TEAM WORK.

I think the best part about this experience is that I actually found the perfect character for me. Rafaela is the BAMF support-slash-healer who helps the team stay alive once the opposing team attacks. She helps regenerate her teammates lives while causing damage to her opponents at the same time. Aside from her self-healing power, a skill I personally need to fully enjoy this game, she’s also easy to use.

After playing three more rounds I ended up suggesting the game to my family that night. Since we enjoy starting wars and defending bases (see: Command and Conquer), Mobile Legends could possibly be our new family game. Though I still hate the fact that the game requires much patience, I might have to accept defeat and agree with Maine that MLBB is quite fun. There were a few times that I played voluntarily and wished she wouldn’t see me online because for sure she would tease me about it. Eventually she still caught me and I had to lie explain that I was only playing it for this article but the truth was I was starting to be good at it.

It might take some time to convince people who have zero knowledge to play it in general. But — I can’t believe I’m saying this — once they get over it’s reputation, Mobile Legends is actually a cool game that you can play with your friends and family.

#games #technology

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