Miscellaneous Time Attack Stuff

#1Rocky2418Posted 2/2/2014 12:06:09 AM
First off, I recently finished playing through the normal story mode with a friend, getting all the puzzle pieces and KONG letters along the way. I wanted to wait to do my own slot until we finished, so that both of us would be playing it blind. (Took a while, as we couldn't get together all that often.) Now that that's done, I've started my slot, and decided to try to get the gold in time attack for each level right after doing each one normally. I did everything in world 1 (and was shocked at how unforgiving the times were, for world 1). After taking a break from the game for a month or so, I started up with world 2. And coming in ice cold from not playing it, I got to do level 2-1. Holy crap, that was insane. I wasn't sure if it just seemed worse because I hadn't played it in a while. But no, it was just the level. The next few, while still difficult, took me nowhere near as long. Well, I decided to come check out this board. (While here, I saw that 2-1 is one of, if not the, hardest levels to time attack.) And that's when I learned some very disheartening news - beyond gold, there's shiny gold (or "super" gold, or whatever).

I'm a big-time completionist by nature, and I didn't enjoy learning of this. And the truth is, I may not try to get all shiny golds, or even all golds. A certain bonus challenge in the latest Zelda game (Link Between Worlds), being the most ridiculously unreasonable video game challenge I've personally ever come across (and I've done some whoppers), has sort of paved the way for me to occasionally throw in the towel, rather than drive myself crazy. That said, I decided I would try to get a shiny gold medal on 2-1. I was thinking, If I can do this one, then I could probably (eventually) do just about any of them. And after a long time - as well as after watching packattack's videos - I did it. (On my successful run, I succeeded at one of the two difficult jumps off of crabs. Sadly, on one of my earlier failed attempts, I actually did both jumps. However, since I was still in the hurrying mindset, and didn't fully know the timing of the pattern of ledges at the end, I fell. Now I know better - I could've taken the end very slowly and still made it, after doing the two earlier maneuvers.) I also decided to try for a shiny gold in a boss battle, so I tried the first one, since I saw that the time needed was way below the one for gold. I read that the time needed is different in different copies of the game - either sub-37 or sub-38. Eventually I got 37.xx, and was actually given the shiny gold. But I decided I wanted to have to get the time that others had to get, so I kept trying, and eventually did it.

So I was wondering, is it generally the consensus that 2-1 is the hardest, more or less? And if so, is it the hardest in both the regular gold and shiny gold categories, or just regular gold, or what? Just trying to gauge whether that level is as hard as it gets for shiny gold.

Also, I have to throw in the common complaint about Time Attack - continuing with the timer still going every time you die. Now I've heard some make the case that the checkpoints let you learn each part of the level. Okay, fine. But why not give the player the option to have or not have them; the option to start back at the beginning with a new time counter after each death? Even those who defend it for the reason I stated have to admit that it makes no sense for the timer to keep going after dying before any checkpoints, and starting back at the beginning. I've had to learn to be ready to pause and select retry every time I start to fall down a pit, so I don't have to sit through two loading screens between each attempt. Time Attack is frustrating enough already - this oddity makes me contemplate not going for all of them.
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#2Sparx555Posted 2/2/2014 2:08:58 PM
So I was wondering, is it generally the consensus that 2-1 is the hardest, more or less? And if so, is it the hardest in both the regular gold and shiny gold categories, or just regular gold, or what? Just trying to gauge whether that level is as hard as it gets for shiny gold.


2-1 is absolutely one of the most difficult shiny gold medals in the game. Not the most, there are other difficult ones (they're all difficult but you know what I mean...), but they're probably on the same level and not actually harder. If you can get through 2-1, you could probably get them all with enough practice, congratulations on doing it. As for just the gold medal, it probably is the hardest gold medal, even getting that is as difficult as getting some of the easier non-cart/rocket shiny golds in my opinion.

Also, I have to throw in the common complaint about Time Attack - continuing with the timer still going every time you die. Now I've heard some make the case that the checkpoints let you learn each part of the level. Okay, fine. But why not give the player the option to have or not have them; the option to start back at the beginning with a new time counter after each death? Even those who defend it for the reason I stated have to admit that it makes no sense for the timer to keep going after dying before any checkpoints, and starting back at the beginning. I've had to learn to be ready to pause and select retry every time I start to fall down a pit, so I don't have to sit through two loading screens between each attempt. Time Attack is frustrating enough already - this oddity makes me contemplate not going for all of them.


I do agree with this. I heard the tip but I just can't force myself to continue after having died already, I'm probably just too impatient. I never thought it was that big a flaw, but the little things like that can get extremely frustrating in combination with the shiny golds. Despite that I wouldn't let it discourage you from trying to get them.
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Ice Cream Topics Gotten to 500: 4
"WHAT KIND OF MADDNESS IS THIS- oh wait...its just Sparx. -_-" - benjamin3740
#3Rocky2418(Topic Creator)Posted 2/2/2014 6:51:01 PM
Sparx555 posted...
If you can get through 2-1, you could probably get them all with enough practice


Okay, cool, that's basically what I wanted to know. Thanks.

I just can't force myself to continue after having died already, I'm probably just too impatient.


Yeah, that's how I am, too.

I never thought it was that big a flaw, but the little things like that can get extremely frustrating in combination with the shiny golds. Despite that I wouldn't let it discourage you from trying to get them.


If it was just the frustrating tediousness of having to die, load, re-spawn, then select retry and load once more - every single time - then no, I wouldn't let that dissuade me away from this challenge. But that, together with the extreme frustration of the challenge itself... that might just do it. Plus, I started getting a blister on my left thumb (from keeping the joystick pinned to the right non-stop) after getting shiny golds on just those two levels. (I also cut a finger on one hand with a fingernail on the other while doing the almost-constant drumming motion, and my hands got too close.) So I'm just contemplating the wear on my thumb and other digits after doing 69 more.

Like I said, maybe I'll go for it over time. But, maybe not. I've cleared a lot of unreasonable challenges in games, and I'm starting to grow tired of persisting in such challenges to the point of sapping all the fun out of games (at least to me) that are otherwise quite fun.
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#4Rocky2418(Topic Creator)Posted 2/2/2014 7:42:13 PM
By the way, while looking through some of the old threads here, pertaining to getting shiny gold medals, I came across a thread that was basically an ongoing conversation between you and R_O_B_Sentry, chronicling your quest to get all the shiny medals as you were doing it. I only bring it up because near the end of it, you and he each made comments that left me dumbfounded:

R_O_B_Sentry posted...
I'm not actually a pro at this game...even though I have an all shiny, 200% file.

I consider myself an average player at best.


Sparx555 posted...
Same. I'm good enough to get all Shinies at least... I think 200% all shinies...is at least above average... maybe?


: - |

I had to re-read the statements of self-assessment to make sure they weren't said in a joking manner. I have to say, I think the two of you and probably countless others have been away from the subset of "average" players long enough that you don't remember what average players actually are. Average players would simply not ever get all shiny medals, either because of choosing not to invest such a whopping amount of time, being flat out unable to do so (skill-wise), or both. Here's the truth: You are masters of this game, among the elite - both in determination and skill. (I would consider myself at least close to that status in this game, if I tried to assess myself honestly.) If someone else has slightly faster times than you, that simply means that person is a slightly more elite player. It doesn't mean you're a 'maybe above average' player.

Anyway, just had to comment on that, as I found it truly funny. Don't sell yourself short. And try to remember what being an average player really means. An average player might just beat a game, after much effort. He wouldn't be able to beat the hardest of hard challenges. By definition, that's not an average feat. :-P
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#5Sparx555Posted 2/2/2014 11:29:59 PM
I had to re-read the statements of self-assessment to make sure they weren't said in a joking manner. I have to say, I think the two of you and probably countless others have been away from the subset of "average" players long enough that you don't remember what average players actually are. Average players would simply not ever get all shiny medals, either because of choosing not to invest such a whopping amount of time, being flat out unable to do so (skill-wise), or both. Here's the truth: You are masters of this game, among the elite - both in determination and skill. (I would consider myself at least close to that status in this game, if I tried to assess myself honestly.) If someone else has slightly faster times than you, that simply means that person is a slightly more elite player. It doesn't mean you're a 'maybe above average' player.


...wow. Thanks. I don't even know what to say, other than that's probably true; I often think of myself as less skilled than I really am, after hearing this I guess I am pretty good... determination moreso than skill I think but still. >_> I would never call myself a "master" or "elite" at this game or really anything... I'm not that good. I suppose I am very good at it though, thanks for that. And you're probably just as good as me but haven't put as much time into it yet, hearing you got the shiny gold on 2-1 (and 1-Boss as well, that's another one of the hardest actually). ^_^

An average player might just beat a game, after much effort.


And I would say an "average" player wouldn't need to put too much effort into beating most games, but this game is harder than average just to beat normally, so it would be an exception to that...

Like I said, maybe I'll go for it over time. But, maybe not. I've cleared a lot of unreasonable challenges in games, and I'm starting to grow tired of persisting in such challenges to the point of sapping all the fun out of games (at least to me) that are otherwise quite fun.


I think part of why I did it is because I enjoy extreme challenges of some sort after having beaten the game normally, so if there isn't something absurd like the time trials of this game I'll make something up and do it... I don't have many games or get them very often so I often play the same games a lot, so that happens often. :p If you find it too difficult that it's unenjoyable then yeah I would stop... most of them aren't quite as hard as the two you did. you could stop and you'd probably be just as good as someone who did them all, just without having demoted nearly as much time to have a shiny gold medal on a file.
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Ice Cream Topics Gotten to 500: 4
"WHAT KIND OF MADDNESS IS THIS- oh wait...its just Sparx. -_-" - benjamin3740
#6Rocky2418(Topic Creator)Posted 2/3/2014 12:34:04 AM
I suppose I just see, all too often on this site, people downplaying the actual difficulty of games, due to their over-familiarity with them. A good example is my favorite game, Chrono Trigger. On that game's forum, I constantly see the complaint that it's "way too easy". Well, sure, once you've played it 5 or 10 times (or even just once), the next time it will feel really easy because you know exactly what to do against every enemy. However, when games are being designed, they don't set the level of difficulty according to the player who's already beaten it and knows everything; they set it according to the first-time player, who's going into it with no knowledge. But, truthfully, the majority of people on this site seem to forget or not realize that fact. Hence, no matter what game's board I go to, I see an amazing percentage of people insisting that the game is just too easy. Regardless of what the game is - too easy. It just seems like a skewed perspective, once you know a game inside and out and can't remember what it's like for a first-timer.

For that reason, I restate my belief that if you've 200%-ed this game and gotten every shiny gold medal, you have utterly mastered the game. Let me put it this way: If that's not mastering the game, then what is? What additional significant thing could you and would you have to do to master it? :-)

Sparx555 posted...
I think part of why I did it is because I enjoy extreme challenges of some sort after having beaten the game normally, so if there isn't something absurd like the time trials of this game I'll make something up and do it...


Well there ya go. I absolutely don't enjoy extreme challenges. I can do them, and have (such as the Mr. Perfect challenge in Mega Man 9 and the 100-Super-Jump challenge in Mario RPG), but only because I'm a completionist by nature. For me, it's a chore I feel compelled to finish and put behind me - not fun. I get a great level of satisfaction when (and if) I succeed, of course. But the challenge itself generally just stresses me out - something that games probably shouldn't do. :-) Man, I miss the old days, when being a completionist was much easier - just beat all the levels and get all the upgrades and secrets, etc.

I don't have many games or get them very often so I often play the same games a lot


Actually, me too. But I guess I just usually really enjoy the main quest in the games I have (mostly Zelda and Mario games, with some random others), and don't get tired of playing through them multiple times. I'm fine with - and even prefer - games that don't make me expend vast amounts of time, effort, and energy in order to clear the bonus stuff.

But I guess that's the point - it's just bonus stuff. My compulsion to clear everything is my own problem. You and many like you really enjoy such things, so it's nice of them to include them. I just need to learn to relinquish my completionist nature at times, if it's advantageous for my sanity. :-)
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#7Sparx555Posted 2/3/2014 11:06:43 AM
For that reason, I restate my belief that if you've 200%-ed this game and gotten every shiny gold medal, you have utterly mastered the game. Let me put it this way: If that's not mastering the game, then what is? What additional significant thing could you and would you have to do to master it? :-)


I suppose this is true in a way. I still feel like someone who's mastered it would be better then I am, though... maybe I consider the word to mean something even better than you do. Or more likely my thoughts on the matter are still skewed from being too good at the game for too long, you're probably right. :p
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Ice Cream Topics Gotten to 500: 4
"WHAT KIND OF MADDNESS IS THIS- oh wait...its just Sparx. -_-" - benjamin3740
#8Rocky2418(Topic Creator)Posted 2/3/2014 6:37:25 PM
And I understand that people may be hesitant to call themselves an expert or master at a game, for fear of giving the impression that they're bragging, which of course is no good. But I say, if you put forth that much time and effort into such challenges and have the skill to complete them (eventually), then it's okay to be proud of your accomplishment and acknowledge that you are superb at that game. A person doesn't have to feel like they're bragging by acknowledging such a thing. Rather, it's just a matter of getting exceptionally good at something over time, and sharing your joy over your accomplishment with others.

And for what it's worth, if a person could only be labeled a master if there wasn't anyone else better than them, then only one person could be a master at a game. If that's the case, then I at least think it's fair and accurate to acknowledge yourself as one of the elite players of the game. I'm pretty sure stats (total percentage of people who've accomplished this feat, out of all the people who have played the game at all) would back that statement up.

Anywho, thanks for the info regarding the difficulty curve of different levels.
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#9Rocky2418(Topic Creator)Posted 2/9/2014 12:51:41 AM
So I've been continuing on just with the normal quest, getting puzzle pieces and KONG letters and whatnot - just ignoring time attack for now. But when I got to 5-4 (Tippin' Totems), I remembered people saying that it and 2-1 were the hardest to get shiny gold in. So I figured, eh, I may as well try and tackle the other nightmare - see what all the fuss is about. Oh man! I'm pretty sure that one was noticeably harder for me. Mainly because it felt like I needed to pull off a buttload of specific and precarious jumps almost perfectly in order to finish in under 55 seconds. Whereas in Poppin' Planks, it more or less came down to pulling off one of two extremely difficult jumps (for me, anyway). So they were harder, but you really just needed to do one of them. (I even had a shiny gold run in which I failed both jumps - but was basically flawless for everything else.) Whereas 5-4 just had so many things that could go wrong.

I was probably doing this run for 2 to 2 1/2 hours before succeeding. I had gotten two 59.xx runs, then a 57.xx one. And then a while later, one attempt came down to the wire, and I truly didn't know if I got it when I hit the end barrel. Then it told me - 55.15. :-( That was a crushing moment. It was probably 20 to 30 minutes later that I succeeded, with a time of 54.34. Funny thing is, I was regularly working an intentional death into many of my attempts - anytime I lost a heart before the first check point. I'd roll through the check point and do a little hop into the narrow hole right there. I needed two hearts for that one covered area with all those pod enemies on the ground and ceiling that shoot out 5 stars in different directions. I just couldn't figure out a way to reliably speed through there without getting hit, what with all the tiny platforms of various heights. (During my last 15 minutes or so, I actually was finally getting a pattern down, mostly.)

I must say, though, the game not just resetting the clock every time I die was unbelievably annoying in this level, considering the number of times you'll end up falling. Yeah, check points can serve a purpose, helping you learn each part of a level. But after like 20 to 30 minutes, you know each section well enough, and then you might spend an hour or two after that trying to do the whole run. Oh how nice it would've been to have an option to turn check points off (and restart the timer after each death) any time you want. Always trying to be ready to hit the + button every time I start to fall is distracting to me.

Anyway, just wanted to share that accomplishment. It definitely lived up to its reputation.
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"Why is it so hard? ... Why can't you just take me? ... I don't have much to go... before... I fade completely..." - Kelly Clarkson
#10Sparx555Posted 2/9/2014 6:36:09 PM
Wow... good job. The way you described it (lots of hard jumps compared to 2-1's one or two extremely difficult ones) is accurate, I think. As you said it's a very annoying level, so congratulations on completing it. I think you probably did it in less time than me, actually. :p
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Ice Cream Topics Gotten to 500: 4
"WHAT KIND OF MADDNESS IS THIS- oh wait...its just Sparx. -_-" - benjamin3740