Speed Running: A Journey

Back near mid-January I started playing Bayonetta again because I was inspired by Flicky‘s run of said game at the Awesome Games Done Quick Marathon from the first week of January. This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen him run the game, but rather the second. Since then I’ve been catching him streaming off and on. Funnily enough after awhile he noticed me as a constant recurring viewer and I told him the above and that I’ve gone back to Bayonetta and started learning it. I’ve picked up many tips on playing/running Bayonetta since and I’ve gotten my in-game time for a new game (normal) run down to about 2 hours 30 minutes. My NG+ (normal) in-game time is at about 2 hours. It’s been a ton of fun to go back and learn how to kick ass at Bayonetta! Ultimately, I’m doing this not to become one of the best speed runners at this or any game, but rather to just improve my skills for fun. Flicky has wondered aloud on his stream if I was gonna race the game against him or anyone who is doing so. I couldn’t give him my answer in text fast enough before he shut his stream off, but my answer is no. If I try to take it to that level I feel I wouldn’t have much fun eventually. Improving my skills is a lot of fun in any game, but I don’t want it to become more like work than fun. I love this hobby for a reason and I don’t want to lose sight of that.

A few weeks ago I made up a list of games I would like to go back to for the same reason that I went back to Bayonetta. Those games are:

Rockman X (Super Nintendo)
Rockman X4 (PlayStation)
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES)
God Hand (PlayStation 2)
Genji: Dawn of the Samurai (PlayStation 2)
Bujingai: The Forsaken City (PlayStation 2)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (PlayStation 2)

I’ve already gone back to two of the games on the list: Castlevania II and Bujingai. I played Castlevania II for two different nights to relearn the exact route I needed to know like I used to know, but forgot. I have it written down now in fragmented short-hand. My best time so far is 1h04m31s (real-time), but I know I can best that, but it’ll take some better attempts than I’ve had in those first two days. Since then I’ve been spending my time on Bujingai. It’s a pretty good action game by Taito and Red Entertainment staring famed J-Pop star Gackt as the model for the main character Lau Wong. The game can feel pretty unforgiving at times, be it the combat/parry system or the ridiculous platforming of stage 7. I’ve gotten my combined in-game stage times down to 53m51s. To put this in perspective, a new player to Bujingai on Normal difficulty might take about 8-10 hours on their first time through. Of course, a lot of that is figuring out the stages and also fighting random enemies to get orbs for spending later to pump up your attributes/abilities. I skip all the encounters I can unless the game forces me to fight for various reasons which saves buttloads of time. After that it’s all about shaving off little bits of time here and there by figuring out better ways to get though each level.

Well, that’s all for me. I had a hard time getting myself in the mood to write a blog for a week or two. I knew I wanted to do one, but couldn’t find the motivation. Once I finally just forced myself to start this one here, it came out rather smoothly. I’ll start playing some unplayed games again next week with the release of Street Fighter x Tekken. I’ll be getting the Japanese special edition instead of the North American one since the Japanese one comes with worthwhile extras instead of junk. Thanks for reading, until next time!

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