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VGS NES Weekly Contest - Gradius 2


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4 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

If the game is so easy that you have to come up with special rules to have the game in the competition, why have that game in the competition?  I'd rather play something new and obscure than have to play some convoluted special ruleset just to have the game in the competition. 

Depending on what the "convoluted special ruleset" entails, I'd agree with you completely, but that's really the case with most NES games, isn't it?
I haven't participated in many of these weeks, since the combination of me having the free time and the game being one I like or want to play is kinda rare, but my impression is that most of the weekly NES competitions here do have special rulesets like that. And it makes sense to do that, because more often than not, the scoring system in those games is downright broken, since most people didn't care about the score in a home console game even back then.

Obviously, if you wanted to do a solid scoring competition in Gradius 2, most people wuold go for the original version of the game, but since this is a NES event, we're going with the NES port. So yeah, that unfortunately comes with some handicap.

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I wasn't referring to this week in particular.  A one-life run is alright, although with this game being as hard as it is, I don't think a minimum score for participation should've been necessary.  I might've put in for my three points if I could actually achieve a score 😛  No, the specific ruleset that came to mind was Battletoads.  But there's others.  I would've participated if it was a simple one-life run, but all the extra shit...I took one look and was like "next week..." 😛

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On 9/2/2021 at 1:02 AM, the_wizard_666 said:

I wasn't referring to this week in particular.  A one-life run is alright, although with this game being as hard as it is, I don't think a minimum score for participation should've been necessary.  I might've put in for my three points if I could actually achieve a score 😛  No, the specific ruleset that came to mind was Battletoads.  But there's others.  I would've participated if it was a simple one-life run, but all the extra shit...I took one look and was like "next week..." 😛

Indeed Battletoads was an odd case since it's been played many times before.  Other games the rulesets are what they are especially for games played for the first time in contest history (like these famicom ports, World Games was another - sometimes it's gonna fall flat but that's the only way to play the obscure games.  Those are some of my favorites too.) it either works or it dont.  The rulesets are mindfucks sometimes.  Personally I dig that, but either way matched with the context of playing the game it becomes easier and that's when you can go deep on a game.  (Sometimes it surprises me.  I never thought I'd call Rollergames one of my favorite NES games but I was simply introduced with a well-edited ruleset.  Or Conan: one of my dream contest games precisely because I don't understand it!!!).

Anyway with the Battletoads it honestly was a major improvement and a necessary intervention on the ruleset, I thought it quite genius actually and it wasn't something that ever occured to me in earlier contests, I thought the Battletoads' ruleset would always stay bland.  Without tinkering the rules usually are farthest progress at 999,999.  Its seems like it's not bad but on the higher levels it's kinda weird cause then the metric for tiebreaking becomes scoring low, which would be kinda ok since some of the low score methods are more classically fun - but the prob is it kinda takes the focus back off the progress for the elite people who want to play the long game, whereas a guy like me who can't get to 999,999 is just playing for farthest screen on lower levels.

Basically even though the NES has its roots in arcade it doesn't necessarily hold up to that style of competition, it's not the primary thing driving the game design.  Sometimes its really hard to design around, but nevertheless the important determinant for a great ruleset seems to be that the limits and the incentives in the ruleset by which we are measuring the player's relative skill in competition should weigh the Metric that we believe makes a player great at a particular game.

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10 hours ago, Krunch said:

Indeed Battletoads was an odd case since it's been played many times before.  Other games the rulesets are what they are especially for games played for the first time in contest history (like these famicom ports, World Games was another - sometimes it's gonna fall flat but that's the only way to play the obscure games.  Those are some of my favorites too.) it either works or it dont.  The rulesets are mindfucks sometimes.  Personally I dig that, but either way matched with the context of playing the game it becomes easier and that's when you can go deep on a game.  (Sometimes it surprises me.  I never thought I'd call Rollergames one of my favorite NES games but I was simply introduced with a well-edited ruleset.  Or Conan: one of my dream contest games precisely because I don't understand it!!!).

Anyway with the Battletoads it honestly was a major improvement and a necessary intervention on the ruleset, I thought it quite genius actually and it wasn't something that ever occured to me in earlier contests, I thought the Battletoads' ruleset would always stay bland.  Without tinkering the rules usually are farthest progress at 999,999.  Its seems like it's not bad but on the higher levels it's kinda weird cause then the metric for tiebreaking becomes scoring low, which would be kinda ok since some of the low score methods are more classically fun - but the prob is it kinda takes the focus back off the progress for the elite people who want to play the long game, whereas a guy like me who can't get to 999,999 is just playing for farthest screen on lower levels.

Basically even though the NES has its roots in arcade it doesn't necessarily hold up to that style of competition, it's not the primary thing driving the game design.  Sometimes its really hard to design around, but nevertheless the important determinant for a great ruleset seems to be that the limits and the incentives in the ruleset by which we are measuring the player's relative skill in competition should weigh the Metric that we believe makes a player great at a particular game.

With Battletoads, my point is that if the ruleset needs to be that complicated, it's better just to play a different game, period.  With regard to World Games, some minor tweaking after certain things came to light is alright, but the scoring turned out to be entirely broken on most events.  That's a tough one to justify ever using again, although it was fun while it lasted for sure.

Conan 100% would not work for this competition, unless you went for distance and score, as one can max out the score easily by taking advantage of the infinitely respawning enemies at the start of the game...which I actually did when I was playing it because I wanted to know if there were free lives to be had (there are not - you get three, that's it).  I like the game, but it's not really a good pick for a competition.  The tournament perhaps, but not the wider competition.

Also, I wouldn't rate Rollergames that high, but it's definitely a fun game.  One of the few true hidden gems left, since damn near nobody talks about it.

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@Sumez @Krunch @the_wizard_666  for games like gradius 2 that have broken scoring. why not just make a rule that limits the amount of points that can be gained in those broken parts of the game?

for example at the maui head boss if you score more than 30k points before your able to proceed your run is over. 

if you enter the maui head boss with 100k and arent able to progress passed before you reach 130k your run is over.

Edited by docile tapeworm
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18 hours ago, Krunch said:

 

Basically even though the NES has its roots in arcade it doesn't necessarily hold up to that style of competition, it's not the primary thing driving the game design.  Sometimes its really hard to design around, but nevertheless the important determinant for a great ruleset seems to be that the limits and the incentives in the ruleset by which we are measuring the player's relative skill in competition should weigh the Metric that we believe makes a player great at a particular game.

Since starting the contests last year, ive actually been amazed how well most of these games work in high score competitions. That may be a credit to the mods and good rulesets, but the people that made these clearly put a lot of thought into how most of them are scored.

Smb3 points competition totally changed a game Ive played for years. Same with double dragon. Lots of games that wouldn't be much fun playing for progress become a blast playing for score. This week's game, M.U.S.C.L.E., fits that bill really well. Then you have a gem like cobra triangle that just fits perfectly into competition. Great game and trying to score high is so much fun. Unlike smb3, you still get to experience progressing thru it while also trying to max out points. Im still doing runs occasionally and I still pay close attention to my score. 

Edit: and for games like world games that dont fit perfectly, who really cares? Still fun to experience it and compete. Theres always next week if the off scoring becomes frustrating. As for battletoads, I loved playing it under the ruleset we had. Way more fun of a challenge than just trying to beat it 

Edited by NESfiend
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Events Team · Posted

I personally consider the Battletoads ruleset a huge success. A lot of people seemed to enjoy it and it helped break the boredom and blandness of the usual Battletoads rules on the contest.
With the usual rules, we always knew who would be in the top 3 before that shit even started.
Sometimes you have to think outside the box and bring in some crazy rules to allow a worn out game to shine.

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@NESfiend i think cobra triangle has a broken spot late in the game. 

there is a set of ramp that launch you nearly into outer space i think chairy found a loop where he could launch off a ramp and fly back in front of it and reapeat. i dont know for sure but i toyed with that theory and nearly pulled it off.

Edited by docile tapeworm
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1 hour ago, BeaIank said:

I personally consider the Battletoads ruleset a huge success. A lot of people seemed to enjoy it and it helped break the boredom and blandness of the usual Battletoads rules on the contest.
With the usual rules, we always knew who would be in the top 3 before that shit even started.
Sometimes you have to think outside the box and bring in some crazy rules to allow a worn out game to shine.

I dunno, I think a worn out game like that with predictable results should simply not be played in favour of something else entirely, but that's my take.  And like I said, that put me off playing the game entirely.  But what do I know.

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2 hours ago, NESfiend said:

Edit: and for games like world games that dont fit perfectly, who really cares? Still fun to experience it and compete. Theres always next week if the off scoring becomes frustrating. As for battletoads, I loved playing it under the ruleset we had. Way more fun of a challenge than just trying to beat it 

I'm really glad we did World Games because now we've gone through the learning curve of how that game works in a competitive environment.  If that game shows up again in a couple of years with the rule set: Best time on Slalom, it will be a blast trying to perfect my run without knowing what my own theoretical personal best might be.

Same with Spartan X-2: fun game, and now we know what should and shouldn't be in a rule set if/when that game ever shows up again in the contest.

So yeah, there are going to be growing pains when they come along, but I say: Bring on the new and more obscure NES games out there!!!

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3 hours ago, docile tapeworm said:

@Sumez @Krunch @the_wizard_666  for games like gradius 2 that have broken scoring. why not just make a rule that limits the amount of points that can be gained in those broken parts of the game?

for example at the maui head boss if you score more than 30k points before your able to proceed your run is over. 

if you enter the maui head boss with 100k and arent able to progress passed before you reach 130k your run is over.

This is a good idea in theory, but way too hard to keep track of in practice.  I mean, unless you start forcing people to submit their scores in the form of an entire video of their run, something like this just wouldn't work.  It's not like you show up with a big fat 100,000 at the boss; it's more like a random score of 132,850, at which point you'd have to pause the game, write down your score on a piece of paper, add 30k and write down the new score you need to be under by the time you beat the boss, then unpause, and play the game with one eye on your score, since you can't just play till you beat the boss because then the bonus points for beating the boss are already added into your score so you won't know if you did it in under 30k or not.  See what I mean?  I don't want to deal with all that kind of shit - I just want to play the game.  Plus, didn't your score disappear on most/all bosses in Gradius II?  I can't remember for sure but I don't know if you can even see your score during boss fights in that game...

A great rule set should be easy to learn and keep track of but hard to master, it's as simple as that.  Just like the Gradius II rule set last week: best score on one life, anyone can keep track of that!  Just play till you die and then snap a pic...

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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2 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

A great rule set should be easy to learn and keep track of but hard to master, it's as simple as that.  Just like the Gradius II rule set last week: best score on one life, anyone can keep track of that!  Just play till you die and then snap a pic...

The only problem I have with the ruleset from Gradius II was literally that you had to be good enough to get through the first level in order to contribute.  My best run was only a third of the participation score, which is incredibly prohibitive for a lot of people.  I don't like minimum scores to contribute, but understand the need...but in such a difficult game, make it something that's achievable with a reasonable amount of trial.

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@Dr. Morbis we already work on an honor system so you wouldnt have to submit a video. and even if the points do dissapear at a boss, like you said write it down first. if you defeat the boss and your score reappears higher than allowed, then you know you have to be better. why is that so hard?

the rule set for gradius 2 doesnt work. i could have racked points at the maui head boss forever if i wanted too.

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6 hours ago, docile tapeworm said:

@Dr. Morbis we already work on an honor system so you wouldnt have to submit a video. and even if the points do dissapear at a boss, like you said write it down first. if you defeat the boss and your score reappears higher than allowed, then you know you have to be better. why is that so hard?

the rule set for gradius 2 doesnt work. i could have racked points at the maui head boss forever if i wanted too.

It's not impossible, it's just extra work because A - your score disappears, and B - when your score reappears it has the points for beating the boss already added to it, so it's do-able, just awkward.

And as for the point-racking, didn't @BeaIank say in an earlier week that if you come across an issue like that in a game, to notify her immediately so that she can make a determination on that?  I was actually thinking about that when I was at the Moai boss, but since I knew I wouldn't be playing again after that Monday game, I didn't bother saying anything.  But if it had been a final tournament game where I was going to be grinding the game all week, then I would have definitely alerted the organizers about the problem...

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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@Dr. Morbis i would have pointed it out but i didnt realize how broken it was until i watched sumez run where he racked up 90k points there. i was getting through there relativley easily and just figured honor system and i figured bea being the famicom quenn she is would know the game. but it should have been pointed out.

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