Archive for the ‘STGT 2010’ Category

A week with Raiden Fighters 2

ON TIME

So. Whoa.

Sequel week indeed. Raiden Fighters 2. We played Raiden Fighters Jet last year, and I ended up doing alright.

Now, this is the story of a man, his past failures, and how he finally redeemed himself.

I’m going to start off on a tangent here. If you’ve read all my previous posts, you’ve seen that this year, I’ve always been the second worst scorer of the team, and in previous years, I’ve never done that great either. Keep this in mind.

At the start of this week, I was all like “It’s the game that’s like the game we played last year, only worse!” I’m not so sure of that anymore. After having learned how to medal, how to activate 100k medal mode in stage one, and actually score well, I started liking it more and more.

I’ll go further into this in a future Seibu Kaihatsu retrospective, but I’ve found our a few things about the Raiden Fighters games. First of all, they’re oddities in that while I normally wan to be able to enjoy a shmup without caring about scoring, I can’t enjoy Raiden Fighters if I don’t play entirely for score. Second, I’ve come to find Raiden Fighters to be games that takes concepts that have been tried by other compahnies that didn’t execute them all that well, and actually do them right. The gameplay in general feels like Psikyo done right, the medals – at least after activating 100k medal mode – is like a less asshole version of Raizing medaling, and the whole aspect of memorization to play well I’ve never enjoyed, but don’t mind at all in Raiden Fighters. I don’t know why.

The week started out well. Already on Monday, I posted a 24 million score, which was better than what a lot of people managed all week. I followed it up with 28 million, followed by 34 million, 38 million, 41 million, 44 million…

Quite obviously, my goal was 50 million at this point. And on Friday, after a session of much adrenaline pumping, fueled by candy and energy drinks, I hit 51 million. That had been my goal for that day, and technically my week goal. But I wasn’t done.

I kept pounding on the game. And I seemed to be the only one that did. My team seemed to be lost in space – there were a few early scores, and Vox was also trying to hit 50 million during Friday, but reported that he was stuck in restart hell. He never posted another score. But the weirdest thing of all was that Dragoforce, our cap’n, was utterly missing. Early during the week, he had said he had a goal of 80-100 million – which I never really trusted, but I expected him to easily come up with 70+ million – and later on that he had to revise his goal, and then… not a word. We still haven’t heard anything from him. Javel bowed out early in the week, hating the game.

So I kept on fighting. My goal was to defeat Sand Lobster. I kept setting higher standards for myself, not accepting any deaths before stage 4, make sure to get medal value to 100k on stage one, get the fairy on stage one, everything. I restarted time and time again, trying, finding new and novel ways to fuck up… and then, I went deep into the zone.

Very late on Friday – or, more accurately, very early on Saturday – I struck gold. Sand Lobster didn’t fall, but I was very close. But I got my score. My high score. My 54 million points.

There was one thing in particular that made my performance this week so special. When I posted my 41 million score on Thursday, for the first time in history, Team Sweden had three or more scores posted… and mine was the highest. I was temporarily overtaken, but my relentless beating of the game brought me back up.

And that’s how the week ended. I, KennyMan666, always team member of Team Sweden, having consistently sucked in the past, second worst every week this year, finished a week as the highest scorer of the team. It should, however, be said that I didn’t WANT this to be the cause – until the end, I hoped for Drago to come out of the woodwork with a score of 70+ million. I really, really did. He didn’t.

And thus, our standings, out of 128 players:

#32, KennyMan666, 54,459,980
#34, toby, 52,476,220
#39, Voxbox, 47,904,970
#47, Charlieton, 43,694,240
#52, Hikikomori, 38,854,250

Javel didn’t play and Drago didn’t post any score. Team Sweden stays as #5 on the global scoreboard, and on the global player scoreboard I’m now the third best player on Team Sweden in spot 51 out of 198.

Now, you’d think I’d keep praising the game. But I can’t break tradition now. And I am quite tired of the game – MAME reports 29½ hours spent with it during the week, but that has probably recorded longer periods of pauses too. Thus…

Fuck Raiden Fighters 2.

And in other news, I got a Chimney Imp, so now I’m unbeatable.

A week with Mars Matrix

Stereometry week passed. And it was Mars Matrix. It indeed had to do with shapes. Squares, specifically. Golden cubes. Too many of them.

Mars Matrix is something like GigaWing turned up to eleven. There’s the far too many golden things raining down, the reflector, the utterly inflated score… Mars Matrix adds chaining of the golden items, you having to direct the reflect yourself and wasting the reflect if you hold the button down for too long. WHAT.

The week started out slow for Kenny and never really got better. It had a lot do with that he hated the game immensely. The beginning of Monday was “Alright, maybe this isn’t so bad after all”, but that went away fast after realizing what a fucking asshole the game is.

I was still only the second worst scorer of the team. The third red digit was very, very tempting, but in the end… we at least had one guy who owned at the game. Our standings:

#13, Javel, 268,870,285,060
#25, toby, 93,466,693,520
#37, Dragoforce, 35,529,366,140
#46, Hikikomori, 24,494,752,720
#54, Charlieton, 20,346,183,840
#78, KennyMan666, 9,046,883,480
#94, Voxbox, 4,230,660,110

Two participants counterstopped. Mars Matrix is like that. Team Sweden reclaimed spot #5 on the global scoreboard, knocking down Team Oldschoolers again. Next playing week has already started, and it’s looking good. Very, very good. But more on that next post.

Yeah, I have nothing more to say. Well, one more thing to say.

Fuck Mars Matrix.

And in other news, I was going to start replaying Shadow of the Colossus but then remembered I had forced my friend to borrow it since it’s an epic game everyone must play. Oh well.

A week with Xexex

Yeah. This is late as shit.

So, Repeat Week. Turned out to not be a repeat of a game. Turned out to refer to the name of the game. Xexex. And someone pointed out that checkpoints is about as “repeat” as it gets.

Xexex is essentially the love child of Gradius and R-Type, and if that doesn’t raise six thousand warning flags for you, it should. Because Xexex is a horrible, horrible game.

So you play this ship and you have this thing in front of it, which I’m going to call a force since it works almost exactly like the force devices in R-Type. It blocks shots, you can detach it, it damages enemies, behaves differently when detached and you have to have it attached to use anything but the peashooter. It just doesn’t fire when it’s detached.

I seriously don’t have much to say about the game. It utterly, utterly sucks, for reasons I’ll probably go into whenever I write Gradius and R-Type retropectives. Speedups that have to be collected, large hitbox, lethal walls, SEVERE Gradius Syndrome… but Xexex has one thing in particular. Something on a level so low that not even Gradius or R-Type ever descended to it.

Random extends.

Yes, you read that correctly. Every stage in Xexex has powerups that can be revealed by shooting a specific point. These are COMPLETELY RANDOM. From them, you can get a speedup, a force powerup, any weapon powerup in the game or an extend. This is also the only way to get extends. No score-based ones at all.

I finished in place 107 of 171 as the worst scorer of the team. I had lowballed a target of 500k early in the week, but I just couldn’t care ONE BIT about the game. Playing it was akin to physical torture. I pretty much stopped bothering halfway through the week. Luckily the rest of the guys pushed on. Our standings:

#8, Dragoforce, 1,730,900
#32, Javel, 965,900
#53, Voxbox, 753,000
#60, Hikikomori, 707,600
#94, toby, 521,300
#107, KennyMan666, 482,800

Charlieton did not submit any score for the week.

We’re down to #6 on the global scoreboard. Team Oldschoolers passed us. We’re going to come back again.

The break week is over now so we’re awaiting the next game. Stereometry week, whatever THAT means.

Fuck Xexex.

And in other news, Robot Arena 2 is a pretty fun game.

And in other OTHER news, I’m going to break tradition here a bit, for I wish to announce that I am no longer a lonely, pathetic loser. I am now a pathetic loser with a girlfriend.

A week with Cyvern

Week one of STGT 2010 is over. The game was Cyvern, which either is what would happen if Raizing tried to make a Psikyo game or if Psikyo tried to make a Raizing game. I can’t decide. Week theme was Item Collection Week, which was mildly accurate – the scoring system is heavily centered around collecting items, but you don’t collect more items than in your average shmup. We were all guessing it would be Dimahoo.

I wasn’t a huge fan of a game when I started playing it. It’s not a bad game, per se, but it’s downright unfair at times. Second boss, I hate you. First boss milking, I hate you. Rank, I kinda hate you too. I managed to one-life up to stage three once, but that wasn’t worth it at all, because then the rank was turned up to “To make up for that, we’re going to kill you ten times at the start of the stage”. I’m no fan of that kind of rank, but my Raizing Retrospective will have a lot more bitching about that. I’m a strong believer in The Zone, but no matter what, I just could not zone with Cyvern. I found myself trying to emulate it during stage 2, which may have helped. I don’t know. It was a special kind of focusing I normally don’t do when I play.

Team Sweden were fairly strong. I, personally, finished as #58 out of 171 participants… which made me the second worst scorer on the team. Our standings:

#3, Javel, 19,657,690
#22, Dragoforce, 8,980,200
#32, Charlieton, 6,783,880
#34, toby, 5,974,260
#48, Hikikomori, 4,867,120
#58, KennyMan666, 4,153,050
#106, Voxbox, 2,175,820

This performance has put us as #5 on the global scoreboard, with Team Cowboy Apes Cannibal whatever, Fatloli Luftwaffe, Society for Batriderian Philosophy and Team Sweet Tacos above us. But we’re gonna take you down. Oh yes, we will.

My scoring advances during the week were alright. My initial goal, as in “I’m not posting any scores until I’ve broken this”, was simply the million. After that, my goal of course was two million, which I also got. Then came three million. Then I got a score of 3,973,110 points.

Now, Cyvern awards extends every million points. I was less than 30,000 points away from the fourth extend. I was frustrated to no end.

That score, I got during the friday. I had no luck saturday. Or sunday. Technically. For me.

But on sunday evening, I put in my final batch of credits. The final bashing of the game. There were lots of swearing. Lots of punching the desk. Lots of scores around 3,5-3,7 million.

And then, it finally happened. After four hours, at 02:00 in the morning, I got that fourth extend. I had broken four million. I was immensely satisfied, since I could now consider myself done with the game.

Fuck Cyvern.

And in other news, Mamono Sweeper is far more addictive than it has any right to be.

Unleash the fury

Update, booyah!

It’s that time of the year again. shmups.com are once again having Shooting Game Tournament, or STGT. And Team Sweden has assembled, with the following lineup:

Captain: Dragoforce

Liutenant: Javel

Ensign: toby

Cannon fodder: KennyMan666, Charlieton, Hikikomori & Voxbox

Yes, only one Team Sweden this year, as opposed to Team Sweden Blue and Team Sweden Yellow of last year. Last year also saw Swedish newcomers Bröstlaser, but they’ve not signed up this year yet, if they’re going to at all. Meaning Team Sweden has to streamline their efforts and put in 200% to maintain our viking honor! Yes!

Hopefully, for me, there won’t be anything like Battle Garegga this year. (and yes that Raizing article IS coming, geez)

Five playing weeks with a week break after the first two weeks, four week themes have been revealed – Item Collection, Stereometry, Sequel and Repeat, Repeat being a game that has already been played in STGT. I hope for something fun like Blazing Star.

I’m going to try to be keeping weekly updates during the tournament. It even got its own category.

And in other news, I now have a stream where I play games from time to time, mainly random Mega Man hacks. Check it out sometime.

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