The thing about challenging myself to at least one post per week, during a time where I’m not going outside much due to disease and the weather being in the negatives, is that I worry about becoming too boring. It’s why even though I’ve mostly been writing about one subject (games) all this time, I like to cover other types of games, and different generations. I don’t want to do racing games every week, or posting any incremental progress in an RPG every Wednesday, mostly because I would get bored of writing it, and I can only begin to imagine how bored you would get with reading it. The idea of being repetitive scares me. This paragraph is sort of a long-winded way of saying that I’ve been getting into shooters this past week.
Something about shooters really appeals to me. I am, at the moment, mostly terrible at playing them. Despite that, they have this sort of video game purity that I enjoy so much. Shooters and fighting games (puzzle games too, arguably) have this; this moment where you play long enough, and your mind begins to become one with the internal mechanics that the game presents to you; this strange ballet of brightly colored bullets and a spaceship dancing around all of them. During this time, you either master the challenge of the obstacles and opponents before you, or you fuck it all up, and still learn something from it. Watching high level play in either of these genres is fascinating to me because of this. I love to think of new strategies or ways to rectify mistakes I made mid-game.
I also love the feeling I got from 1cc’ing (that means “1 Credit Clearing”) the few shooters that I have. For the record, those games are:
- Sin and Punishment (Nintendo 64)
- Coryoon: Child of Dragon (PC-Engine)
- Gradius* (PC-Engine)
(putting an * because I’m not entirely sure how I accomplished this, or if it was even legitimate. I was incredibly fucked up on Vicodin at the time (want to say around 2011), and I haven’t been able to replicate this success since then)
I’ve currently been “sampling” various games, trying to find one or two good ones to really dedicate my time to, so as to get that coveted 1cc. Of those, I’ve been sampling Blazing Lasers, Super Star Soldier, Gradius V, Thunder Force IV and V (I fucking suck at Thunder Force), and Raging Blasters (BUY THIS GAME). I’ve gotten close to that 1cc goal in Blazing Lasers and Gradius (only played Raging Blasters “arcade” mode once, opting for getting points in the Caravan mode), while failing miserably at the others. Needless to say, I think I’ll be sticking to those two games until I can get it, before moving on. It’s like getting into fighting games: if you spread yourself too thin amongst vastly different games, you’ll never really master any of them. Unless you’re SonicFox.
“Traditional” shooters are the order of the day, here. One, because I fucking love old-school shit. Two, because Danmaku (“Bullet Hell”) shooters probably aren’t the best place to learn how to finish one of these games, especially since I can’t even get past the third level in most Danmaku games without having to use a continue every thirty seconds. So no DoDonPachi or Touhou. Let me learn how to crawl before I learn how to run a marathon.
I’d like to come back to this with another post once I finally 1cc something. The concept of getting better at something is what drives me. Doesn’t matter if it’s art, writing, music, even something as relatively unimportant as “being good at hard video games.” STGs are an entire genre dedicated to that very thing, and I fucking love them for it.