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About ExistentialSolid

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  1. I've only completed a single minimalist run back in December, but I wasn't able to get the trophy to pop either. Though it may not be important, something I've noticed about the players in this thread (myself included) is that we all made an effort to go above and beyond the trophy's requirements. Specifically, none of us bothered crafting a stick bow and stick arrows (we all exclusively used the stick spear to handle enemies). But @Trapswitch did craft these extra items, according to their post, and managed to unlock the trophy. The trophy requirement states: "Finish the game only using the knife, grass sling, rocks, stick spear, stick bow and stick arrows." Is it possible that you must craft (and possibly use) all of the items in the trophy's description to get the trophy to pop?
  2. Tier 1 - Complete! Ziggurat (2.55%): Me and roguelikes go together about as well as water and oil, but Ziggurat proves that the right gimmick can occasionally bridge the gap between my fickle preferences. This wizarding doom-inspired-FPS-roguelike shoves you into room after room of orcs, flying skulls, and really mean carrots as you try to escape the "Ziggurat." The difficulty is well-balanced and the trophies extend the life of the game without drowning you in tedium. You can play on easy throughout most of the game, save at any time, and even upload that save to the cloud if you're having a great run and don't want to risk losing your progress (considering runs often last 45+ minutes, you might want to do so at least once per run!). Consider checking it out! Brawlout (1.15%): Remember back when the trophy guide for this game had a several hundred hour completion estimate (no? ...just me)? Well, lucky for us, a new exp grinding trick cuts down on the previous estimate considerably provided your game doesn't crash and your trophies don't glitch out. There's a little bit of challenge in climbing the three Arcade Towers (Chief Feathers all the way), but save-scumming saves the day if you're experienced in Smash (or other smash clones) and just looking for a quick and easy UR plat. I can't in good conscience recommend the game to anyone other than die-hard Smash enthusiasts or players trying to bump up their UR count, but, hey, at least the game wasn't miserable! Assault Suit Leynos (3.45%): I had low expectations going into Assault Suit Leynos given its subpar aesthetic, middling reviews, and its ties to a relatively obscure Sega Genesis game, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed myself! The run-and-gun action sent me back to the days of Metal Slug and Contra except there's a little less resistance this time around. Stages never overstayed their welcome and bosses were simple, but exciting. Most of the game's trophies involve you completing miscellaneous tasks on each level and aren't especially difficult, so you can just chill out, enjoy the ride, and relive some old-school game design. There's one trophy that proved to be a nightmare, however... "Old Tricks." I spent around two hours replaying stage 1 over and over trying to avoid killing any enemies (you're only allowed to kill the level's boss), but if you so much as breathe in the wrong direction you'll find yourself mashing through the title screen theatrics in an attempt to restart. JumpJet Rex (1.24%): Why is no one talking about this game? Sure, the cover might give you the impression that you're about to play a children's learning game or some trophy-spilling shovelware, but there's a legitimately great game buried in here! JumpJet Rex takes those one-off "jet pack levels" from days of old in its tiny little arms and makes an entire experience out of it. Levels consist of bite-sized labyrinths littered with lasers, robots, spike-covered walls, and old-school secrets. If you're looking for a challenge, you'll be pleased to know every level features rewards for deathless clears and lightning-quick times (complete with leaderboards). If you happen to be browsing the trophy list and get hung up over the words "RageQuit Rex", it's a mode that tasks you with clearing the entire game with 3 lives. Don't let that scare you away though because you can save your game, play on easy mode (extra hit point), and, if all else fails, upload your save to the cloud. If you've been tempted to test the waters with difficult platformers, JumpJet Rex is a great place to start! Torment: Tides of Numenera (1.84%): So, uh... there's an incredible guide on TrueAchievements that meticulously outlines every single decision you'll make in this game from the moment you hit the title screen until the credits roll. Everything from dialogue options and looting locations to step-by-step battle instructions and equipment loadouts, it's all there and it's incredibly accurate. All that was asked of me was to set aside my sense of agency and let the guide's author escort me to an effortless completion. If you want, you can mash through all the dialogue and finish in about 15 hours, but I chose to read it all and ended up at around 40. I'll likely write an extended review somewhere else because the writing was phenomenal and I really want to talk about it (think games like Divinity: Original Sin or Disco Elysium). Seriously, every paragraph left me feeling jealous. 😭 Time to kick things up a notch! Here's my 2nd tier!
  3. Once the trophy bug's bitten you, there's no going back. 😭 As bigger releases started to shy away from Nintendo's consoles post-Wii, I felt like I needed to branch out to other platforms to avoid missing out. Cost was a serious issue too considering that Nintendo continues to charge a premium for their heavy-hitters while competitors like Sony regularly offer up their best games for a fraction of the cost in weekly or monthly sales. I'm not made of money and, back when there used to be monthly "Flash Sales" on PS3, my collection of games started to swing heavily in favor of Sony. Even so, I still think Nintendo's exclusives are the best in the industry, but I have to be much more selective since they're so expensive (I've been thinking of renting instead of buying since I rarely replay games nowadays anyway). In cases where I'm grinding or playing simpler games, I don't usually play music, but I'll almost always mute the game and put on something from YouTube or Twitch to watch while I play. Something about the game + video combo feels so therapeutic, as though complete mental occupation has been achieved. I'm either trying to keep up with whatever's going on in the game or following along with a video, so I don't have much time for the negativity stewing in my mind to weigh me down. I've even been using this combo on regular games since it's such a great way to destress. Most recently, I played all of Ziggurat, Brawlout, JumpJet Rex, and my first playthrough of Windbound while binge-watching episodes of Good Mythical Morning (it can feel like old people TV sometimes, but hey, it's really addicting). Feeling blue? Why treat your problems the old-fashioned way? Overload your senses and forget your troubles! If you're playing by the rules as siblings, you're doing something wrong. πŸ˜‚ Your story sent me straight back in time to when I got Battletanx on N64 from the tooth fairy. It's probably not the same game as the one you played on PC, but it involved tank vs tank combat much like you described with base defending and several unit classes to choose from. I don't remember any devious tricks I pulled back in the day, but me and my brother must sunk entire weeks into that game growing up. We used to build up massive teams alongside AI units, go for flashy long-range kills through fog-covered maps, and spent forever trying to find ways to outrun the game's nukes (spoilers, we never found a way to survive).
  4. What are some of your proudest achievements from back when you played on Xbox 360? Do you have any favorite Xbox exclusives?
  5. For sure! PlatinumGames did play it pretty safe, but, story aside, I enjoyed Star Fox Zero for what it aspired to be: a reimagining of Star Fox 64 with a dash of Wii U magic. The gameplay was addicting enough to get me chasing all of the game's hidden/score-based medals, but it never really offered a compelling reason for me to stick around for more. The whole experience felt a little more like a well-intentioned tech showcase than a legitimate extension of the series. Compared to everything else out there in 2005, Star Fox Assault's multiplayer was probably pretty run-of-the-mill, but I just couldn't get enough it. I still remember the day when me and my brother found out we could stand on the wing of an Arwing before takeoff and get carried along for the ride. We spent the next several days flying each other around the arenas, practicing mid-air hijacking stunts, and just goofing around. I'm glad to see someone understands just how good this game is! The reason I'd be alright with a remake/remaster not being 1:1 is because the speedrunning community has had a field day with the game's physics engine and online might get messy without some key fixes. If online features were to be added to the game, untouched, the best players would be the ones that have mastered exploits like snaking and shift boosting (among others). Pair these exploits with a small handful of OP machines like "Fat Shark" or "Black Bull" and the state of the online could get bleak pretty fast. I had no idea there were active AX machines still out in the wild! If you get the chance to check one out, don't forget to tag me! πŸ‘€ You're too kind, man. There's some harsh wording and negativity sprinkled in throughout the interview that I probably should have edited out, but I'm glad you were able to see the good I tried to cram in there. Thinking back, I really was an evil big brother. πŸ˜‚ The same younger brother in that story had a very strong sense of empathy when he was little and, whenever I felt like messing with him, I'd point out something he's doing in a game that could be described as "mean" and make him feel extremely guilty for doing it. If he accidentally hit a friendly NPC for example, I'd make him feel so bad that he'd feel pressured into turning off the game entirely (and passing me the controller, haha) just so that the NPC wouldn't "remember" it. Happy New Year to you as well and thank you for taking the time to read this! πŸ˜„ Absolutely! My take on PSNP's guide writing community may have come across as overly negative or pessimistic in the interview, but I know there's plenty of incredible guide writers out there that take pride in their work and regularly keep their guides up to date. A lot of my frustration probably stems from some weaker AAA guides I've used in the past and the alarming frequency of certain names I've seen cluttering the guides section of the site. While there's probably nothing that can be done about the current system, I wish there were some way to transition towards crowdsourced guide production to help fill in the gaps that one or two authors would otherwise miss. Well, besides something like XCOM 2, if you're looking for something difficult, another good turn-based strategy game is Wargroove! It's very similar to Advance Wars if you've seen or played that on GBA/DS. I've almost picked it up a few times, but I can be impatient with strategy games. 😭 That's really kind of you! Thank you for the offer! I'll be sure to check out the Item asylum OST sometime!
  6. Back for more ultra rare hunting! Here's my first tier: I'm starting the year off with a few easier picks to get back into the swing of things, but I'll plan to pick up some tougher stuff in the months to come!
  7. Tier 2 Update - Last Minute Post My last update was way back in April, but I figured I'd get one last post in before we close out 2022! Let's get to it. **I'm swapping out Wuppo for Plutobi using the 24-hour rule (previous tier declaration can be found here). Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (4.29%): Growing up with Super Monkey Ball 1, 2, and whatever "Adventure" was, I went into Banana Blitz HD expecting to shake hands with an old friend. But friends change and sometimes you'll see a skeleton or two poking out of their closet when you least expect it. BBHD is much like SMB 1 and 2 except you can jump now (if this isn't peak "innovation", I don't know what is). Oh, and there's boss battles now. Surprisingly, it all worked together pretty well and I enjoyed catching up with my old friend's adventures. The mini-games though, they were the skeletons hiding in the closet. Ick. Verlet Swing (0.88%): This psychodelic-first-person-Spider-man-sim has you swinging like a madman from pizza, meatballs, and ice cream cones to earn higher teacup rankings. It never tries to make sense, it just dares to exist. Though it might present itself like free asset shovelware on the outside, I promise you it has a beating heart of gold on the inside. If you want to test yourself with one of the hardest deathless platforming challenges on PS4, consider tackling the game's "Hardcore Marathon Challenge." Slime-San (3.99%) - Imagine waking up, taking a shower, ironing your clothes, eating breakfast, driving two hours to your 9 to 5 office job, grabbing lunch alone (again), getting back to work, driving two more hours home, watching 30 minutes of TV, and passing out. Now imagine if a platformer could make you *feel* as though this all happened to you. That's Slime-San: mundane, formulaic, soulless, and depressing. Skip it. Catherine (1.95%) - Platinum #250. This game will always remind me of my freshman year in college. I was confused, stressed, struggling to hold on to the few friends I had left, and terrible at puzzle games like Catherine. None of that's changed... now I just have a platinum to look at when I'm feeling nostalgic. Yakuza 0 (4.47%): No one needs me to tell you that Yakuza 0 is worth your time. It's one of the best experiences you can find on PS4. Incredible story, addicting gameplay, lovable cast, and some top-tier side content (karaoke, Cabaret Club management, Real Estate, disco dancing, need I go on?). Star Wars Squadrons (0.65%): Pew-pew, more URs. A little grindy for my taste and the state of the multiplayer is rough nowadays, but it has a pretty good campaign if nothing else. I missed the Rogue Squadron games and had to see if this could live up to their legacy. It certainly tries. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 (3.51%): I thought I was pretty good at Pro Skater until I played this remake... turns out I just have a pretty good imagination. I'm a little better now though! Some of the hard "get-theres" were maddening (School II made me want to cry in a corner just like actual School), but at least I feel more capable having pushed through to the end. Awesome remake overall and fingers crossed for a 3 + 4 someday or a remake of the Underground games! Fantasy Strike (0.65%): UR fodder that's actually fun to play. I wish more fighting games had such simple and intuitive combat. My attention span is too short to cope with complex combos. Pox Nora (0.69%) - Nearly all of us here are guilty of playing trash for UR trophies, but this might be the worst I've played this year. If you want to go through all the effort of matching against yourself on PC to experience one of the most mediocre card games on the planet, be my guest. Plutobi: The Dwarf Planet Tales (3.23%) - You ever miss the days when Pluto was still a planet? Sure. What about the days when Pluto used to eat every planet in the solar system and fight the sun for dessert? I guess. What I don't miss is gameplay that feels like blowing peas through a straw. Also, if one more person plays and earns the platinum for this game, I'll lose like 26 UR trophies and that person will gain 2. Nobody touch it pretty plz. _________ That's it for my tier 2! There were a few other games like Sine Mora EX and Futuridium EP Deluxe that I finished while I was away, but nothing worth writing home about. I'll post my first tier for 2023's event soon!
  8. Other than the save scum exploit, I don't know of any specific ways to cheese the towers, but I followed the trophy guide's recommendation of using Chief Feathers rather than Drifter. Drifter has one of the worst off-stage recoveries (+) in the game so he tends to die much earlier than a character like Chief Feathers with his extra jumps and more versatile recovery. What worked for me was scooping opponents off-stage with + or + or and aggressively spiking them down with + while they're still off-stage to kill them. With practice, you should be getting a lot of early kills between 20-60% while your own stocks last up to 120-140%. It can be a little bit difficult to recover after you spike an opponent (you'll often get very low near the death zone), but you should have enough jumps plus your + to get back to the stage in most cases. From long range, you can also throw spike balls by pressing and holding , which can be great for off-stage pressure, early kills, or as a defensive option. Above all though, be aggressive! I hope this can help if Drifter isn't working out for you. Good luck!
  9. For me, this whole endeavor is about closure. I've spent 1300+ hours over the past 5 years (not counting any of the time I've spent with F, F 2nd, X, or Dreamy Theater Extend) really trying to push myself in Project DIVA: Future Tone. This one chart is all that stands between me and a clean sweep of everything the game has to offer in terms of difficulty. Everything I've accomplished in the years since I gave up on this chart have kinda just... felt hollow. I'd earn some difficult platinum or perform some challenging feat and think "this feels nice, but I bet getting the perfect on Intense Voice EXEX would have felt even better..." It's as though, in my mind, everything else lives in the shadow of this chart. I've had enough and I want to destroy it once and for all so I can move on. As for the section itself, I'm not trying to decipher what's happening on screen. I'm trying to figure out how to play it with a DS4. Many potential performance methods are either physically improbable or far beyond the scope of what my fingers are capable of doing without dozens/hundreds of hours of additional practice. Since this game was designed to be played on an arcade cabinet, players like me sometimes have to come up with clever ways to work around the DS4's limitations if we want to stand any chance of playing along. That said, I know I haven't done the best job explaining what's going on and that I've insisted on stretching 3 minutes of gameplay into a 7+ part update series, but I'm determined to finish this even if I lose everyone else along the way. πŸ˜‚ This is ultimately between me and my white whale. Don't worry, as tempting as osu! sounds, I'm not planning to sink into the clutches of another highly competitive rhythm game anytime soon (especially one with risk of wrist issues). The bite-sized commitments of smaller console-based rhythm games are more my speed until I find something that clicks with me as much as DIVA managed to. That day may not come for a long time though considering I've tried most of the remaining big players on console and didn't really enjoy them. πŸ˜… Speaking of DIVA though, I did try to give Project Sekai a fair shake on mobile awhile back, but it doesn't feel great on a small iPhone and I think my "thumbs only" preference is only going to carry me so far before I start to crumble (I dropped off around lvl 24 on Expert). I'd probably need a tablet if I were to venture much further into mobile rhythm games without putting myself at a serious disadvantage. Thanks for letting me know! I'll take note in case I try using ezgif or clideo in the future. Up to this point, I've been using the linked reference video by tsubasata1109 as the source for all my gifs, but imgur and other video-to-gif sites aren't allowing me to use the video anymore (unsure whether it's related to music copyright or if someone requested that one of the gifs be taken down on imgur since they're all public). I'm using my proficiency videos instead for future gifs, but I might be able to work around my issue by downloading the reference YouTube video directly and uploading the video as an mp4 to a site like ezgif. Complex triplets like or might be bread'n'butter patterns at high level FT play, but they're still tough to perform, especially at high speeds! When I hit the point where I'm too tired to play optimally, shortcuts like or really cut me some slack since neither thumb has to commute very far. Classic triplets like or are more fun to play in the meantime, but I'm sure you'll be able to adapt quickly once you're up against the more complex stuff. That said, I've always been curious why triplets rarely deviate from a handful of preset arcade-friendly patterns. I don't think there are triplets in any Project DIVA game that look like or for example. Arifureta Sekai Seifuku on Extreme is actually one of my favorite charts! It's great warmup material and the complex triplets feel slow enough for me to play normally without resorting to shortcuts. πŸ˜‚ It's no pushover though, so I wouldn't feel discouraged considering you haven't had much experience with complex triplets yet. 2D Dream Fever (F 2nd) and Intense Voice (F 2nd) look like they go toe-to-toe with Arifureta when it comes down to raw speed, so all you really need is the technical experience to start shredding this chart to pieces. Even on DS4, that same sort of one-handed dominance comes naturally for most players. My right hand used to always do the heavy lifting until my left hand slowly started catching up in dexterity. Nowadays, I two-hand as much as possible, but I have a lot of trouble alternating inputs when I see conjoined sets of three. For example, if I see a string of notes that looks like this: My automatic response is to play it improperly by pressing instead of evenly distributing the work between both hands. Starting triplets with my left hand can also feel really dicey if I haven't practiced extensively beforehand. One benefit of having learned PDDTE's Intense Voice chart in prep for when you play the Dreamy Theater games is that you've probably already built up a lot of speed for your non-dominant hand. There aren't many spams faster than that even in FT's catalogue. In fact, only a couple come to mind right away: 2D Dream Fever (#606-621) and Betty the Liar (mess at 2:31). I think this chart may be a case of "oops, all obstacles" but it wouldn't have stuck with me for so long if it were anything less. Fingers crossed update #6 is out in the next week alongside proficiency test #5 (I'd be happy enough if it's out before the end of the year though)! I still have a long way to go. ✊
  10. The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku (EXEX) - Update #5 In this update, we'll be revisiting notes 373-465 of The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku's Extra Extreme chart and testing once more for proficiency! I'll be playing on PS4's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone, but the chart we'll be analyzing can also be found in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix (Switch) and Mega Mix+ (PC). While I reassess my proficiency over the section we covered in the previous update, I'm going to be focusing in specifically on #435-456 today as we reexamine a few core sections of the chart. After failing Proficiency Test #4 last week, I've gone back to the drawing board determined to find a solution to my consistency troubles. Let's see how it all shook out! RE: Analysis: #435-456 If you'd like to follow along with my analysis, I've linked a helpful reference video here! Each set of numbers below corresponds to a grouping of notes contained in the chart (chronologically ordered). A combo count will be displayed in the reference video that you can use to identify any particular grouping of notes should you wish to skip around. Button Configuration Recap: = (+) = (+) = (+++) = (+++) #435-447 (equivalent to #63-75 in the practice mode gif below): We're still up against last week's monster. I failed to make a breakthrough in the last update, but let's find out if another week of practice can turn things around... I believed, at the end of the last update, that I would need to start practicing this section without the use of (mapped to +) because I couldn't find a way to incorporate this tempting shortcut into the mix without seriously compromising my rate of consistency. Let me explain what I mean as I cover a bit of recap. Suppose at #435 (#63 in the gif) I were to tap with my left hand with the intention of alternating between both hands for the pattern's duration. I would need to tap with my right hand, which isn't especially difficult, but then I'd have to then tap with my left before again tapping with my right (performed in sets of three between #435-446 followed by an extended slider note at #447). At such high speeds, I don't know how to switch my left hand from to quickly enough to perform this pattern while also sandwiching an with my right hand between every input. I haven't built up the dexterity to perform this sort of input and there's little else in the game that could have prepared me to play like this on a DS4. Okay, so if we can't cleanly alternate between both hands while also using , what options would we have that still includes this button? Well, if we accept that things are going to get messy, we can try performing two consecutive inputs with the left hand before performing two more consecutive inputs with the right hand. I described in the last update method #2 which involved tapping and with my left hand before rolling over and with my right thumb (performed in sets of three between #435-446 followed by an extended slider note at #447). While these inputs aren't terribly difficult to perform, it's difficult to match the required speed since I can't tell how fast or slow I'm going. Going just quickly enough without any misinput seemed to happen about 5% of the time even after hours of practice which is nowhere near where it needs to be if I want to Perfect this chart. If we abandon and try to perform the pattern like the player in the video with a gamepad viewer, then we would need to perform the double-notes by pressing + with, I assume, two fingers on my right hand. We would then tap with my left hand, tap with my right, and again tap with my left (method #1 performed in sets of three between #435-446 followed by an extended slider note at #447). Remember how I didn't know how to switch my left hand from to earlier? Well, my right hand isn't exactly any better. I couldn't figure out to alternate my right hand between + and quickly enough while also alternating input from my left hand. Feeling frustrated and confused... I had an epiphany. Method #4: While practicing method #1, I was trying to alternate between + and with two fingers (thumb and index), but then I realized, "Wait... do I really need to use two fingers to play these inputs?" I lifted up my left thumb and hovered it over the face buttons before I discovered: if I were to use my left thumb held facing towards the right, I might be unable to press without also pressing . Hear me out. If you try to tap with the tip of your left thumb, the middle of your thumb will likely rest on the button even if you don't intend for it to do so. So what if we took advantage of that? Instead of all the mental gymnastics involved in alternating between two fingers for the double-notes and one finger for the single notes, what if I used one thumb and simply alternated between and ? Except, every time I tap , I "accidentally" tap alongside it. Alternating these fairly basic inputs with an from my right hand is surely a lot easier, right? I mean, I get an added consistency boost that comes with alternating between both hands and everything. It's perfect! Before I knew it, the entire pattern was being performed using only the face buttons. No dpad or shoulder buttons. I played the section flawlessly about three or four times consecutively in practice mode before I set the game aside and turned in for the night (it was getting last and I was exhausted). I felt as though I'd found the perfect solution to my troubles and slept like a log with plans to film my fourth Proficiency Test the next day. When the following evening rolled around, I sat in my chairβ€”confidence through the roof and... the madness of the previous evening didn't click anymore. No matter what I did, my left thumb couldn't perform the inputs it had done effortlessly the night before. It was like it had never happened at all. I never performed those inputs successfully again and dragged myself back to the drawing board. __________ Method #5: Discouraged, I decided to practice method #2 again (tapping and with my left hand and rolling over and with my right thumb). I figured that a 5% success rate was better than nothing, so why not sink a little more time into it and see where I end up? Eventually, I had an epiphany that freakishly mirrored the one I had days prior: "Wait... do I really need to use one finger (thumb) to perform the face button inputs?" I tried instead using my right index finger to tap while my right thumb was responsible for . By doing this, I was now using the same fingers on both hands to perform the pattern. An index () and a thumb () from my left hand followed by an index () and thumb () on my right hand (performed in sets of three between #435-446 followed by an extended slider note at #447). Within an hour of practice, my consistency shot up from 5% to around 30%. Most of my mistakes resulted from misinput, but these misinputs were both perceptible and correctable with more practice (it's easy for me to accidentally sync taps from my left hand and press both inputs simultaneously at high speed). To give you an idea of what playing this pattern is like with this new method, I'd like to run through a short demonstration that almost anyone could do with nothing more than a nearby flat surface (a desk, chair, etc). 1. Close both hands and gently rest them on a nearby flat surface. 2. Extend only your thumb and index finger on both hands. 3. Tap your left index against the flat surface followed by your left thumb. 4. Tap your right index against the flat surface followed by your right thumb. 5. Perform steps #3 and #4 again, but try to make to make the sound of a galloping horse. 6. If you hear the gallop, gallop three times and you're playing the pattern exactly as I've learned to play it! #448-456 (covered in previous update, but modified): Because my right index finger is hanging out with the face buttons during #435-447, it isn't available to tap four times for the upcoming double-notes. I instead use my middle finger to perform these inputs followed by the quick , , , spam I mentioned in update #4. Proficiency Test #4 - Passed! At the end of each chunk of analysis, I include a video of me clearing the section we've just analyzed three times consecutively in practice mode. In the last update, I failed to pass this test due to my inability to consistently perform #435-447, but I'm back for a rematch! Because this section is being performed in practice mode, note that the combo count has been reset and will not match the numbers included in the section above. This may make identifying each section slightly more difficult. It's kinda surreal. I mentioned in my "Plan of Attack" update that #435-447 might be the "hardest" section to play (at least insofar as knowing "how" to play it), but here I am today performing it. My consistency could still use some work, but I'm relieved to have finally passed my proficiency test and shift my focus onto the sections beyond. Closing Thoughts We only have two sections left to cover before I begin actual full combo attempts! The next update may take some time considering it features a lot of brutal patterns (I'm expecting 1-2 weeks), but I'll be back as soon as I've pulled it off! The final section will likely require a minimum of 2-3 weeks of practice at my current pace, so I've decided that, to make use of this window of inactivity, I'm going to go ahead and begin the next poll using our new nomination list as soon as the next update is posted. If you have a game you'd like to nominate before the poll begins, this is your last chance to speak up! Over on the "Community Events" side of the forums, I'm also taking part in a member interview! I originally signed up waaaay back in 2020 before I started up my checklist, so it's exciting to finally get selected (I couldn't imagine a more fitting time). If you have any questions you'd like to ask me, questions can be submitted from now until December 21st! Thank you for reading! I'll be back soon for some extra late replies!
  11. I think you've really captured that suffocating sense of uncertainty that can often creep into the mind when you're struggling with a difficult song. When none of the pieces are quite lining up after dozens of hours of practice, feelings of hopelessness can set in quick. The mental game is always the hardest to cope with, but you never dropped a beat. You persisted, you continued to practice, and you annihilated Intense Voice with sheer skill, patience, and determination. Speaking of practice... Finding a practice mode workaround through the use of Edit Mode was brilliant! I didn't even realize you could practice through edit mode, and, even if I had, I wouldn't have thought to look for an edit version of an official chart. I wonder if Edit Mode will return for a surprise cameo during your adventures through X considering players have likely created edits based off of X's charts as well. Reading through your posts and seeing someone with that same burning drive to improve at DIVA has been such an inspiration, you have no idea. Your skill level has skyrocketed over these past three months and I doubt I'd have reopened my own checklist had I not been moved by your infectious passion for the series and by the leaps and bounds with which you've improved. I wonder what sorts of trophy-related achievements you'll pursue next having accomplished something so difficult. Regardless of what you do next, you've done amazing work! I hope you relish those waves of relief and enjoy your well-earned break! You deserve it!
  12. I wish more rhythm games riffed off each other in the same way that other genre leaders do. Actionable feedback, practice mode, calibration settings, button remappingβ€”features like this should be the bare minimum from any competitive rhythm game. Having a bar at the bottom of the screen that reacts to my input's timing would make it so much easier to get a feel for how fast or slow I'm going when I can't otherwise tell. One of the most unfortunate things about DIVA charting is that the visual arrangement of notes in a flashy or otherwise unusual way can artificially inflate the difficulty. The ending, where the notes are twisting into the shape of wings is a prime example. It's brutal to tell how fast or slow you're going with the notes scattered across the screen. You kind of just have to poke around in the dark until you happen to get the timing right. Had the notes been arranged in clean horizontal sequences (where you can more easily gauge your sense of speed), I suspect the difficulty would drop dramatically. Not to get too sidetracked, but I've thought about getting into osu! for years. High level players reporting wrist pain is what ultimately scared me away. It looks like a blast though (I played a lot of Elite Beat Agents on DS when I was younger which seems to share a lot of osu!'s DNA). Also, what is this mini-GIF sorcery?! Look like I've still got a lot to learn on the presentation front. Dang. πŸ˜“ I'm sure you'll manage to get F2's Intense Voice perfect with time, but it sucks to hear you won't have an easy way to practice the chart (other than looping sections of YouTube videos or using slow-mo). I wonder if PPD has any of X's charts. It may not be a total wash if it you're able to practice some of the harder charts through there since X doesn't have a practice mode either. Even with years to think about it, I'm still shutting down trying to process sections of this chart. πŸ˜‚ I've been running into some unexpected hurdles with some of the next section's patterns in particular. They looked perfectly playable from afar, but when I'm trying to execute, my fingers go "no thanks." Mental tricks are so few and far between for me that I always get really excited when that burst of inspiration hits! I can't even really remember the last time a mental trick carried me through a section, but I bet I'd still be trying out different methods had it not clicked then and there. The execution definitely isn't playing around. I sort of skipped over the amount of time I'd spent practicing this section when I covered it in update #3, but it felt like ages. In fact, much of the time I spent practicing both this section and #281-305 took place while I was still writing updates #1 and #2. I played it totally differently at first with a much heavier emphasis on my right hand. Timing felt funky though so I checked to see if I could play it by alternating between each hand and, sure enough, that little change made it feel much more doable. I don't know about you, but whenever I hit that tipping point in a chart I've been really pushing on, I enter a feverish state where the only thing in the world that matters to me is that full combo. My hour count starts to sky rocket and my eyes may as well be made of glass. Right now, I'm still wading through practice mode muck, spending a couple hours a day learning to play each section, but when the day comes that I play that ending perfectly, I'll be in another world until I earn that perfect.
  13. The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku (EXEX) - Update #4 In this update, we'll be breaking down notes 373-465 of The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku's Extra Extreme chart and testing for proficiency! I'll be playing on PS4's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone, but the chart we'll be analyzing can also be found in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix (Switch) and Mega Mix+ (PC). As the next monstrous section looms over the horizon, the seas are growing dark, the chart is getting faster, and the rusty edges I've kept concealed beneath a thin veneer of confidence are starting to break out in unsightly patches across the hull of my ship. Section #427-447 threatens to cut my voyage short with a pattern that, at the time of writing, I've been unable to consistently play. Like the previous update, I'll be outlining several possible methods I've tried in my attempts to perform this section below. Analysis: #373-465If you'd like to follow along with my analysis, I've linked a helpful reference video here! Each set of numbers below corresponds to a grouping of notes contained in the chart (chronologically ordered). A combo count will be displayed in the reference video that you can use to identify any particular grouping of notes should you wish to skip around. Button Configuration Recap: = (+) = (+) = (+++) = (+++) #373-380: Today's section opens with a high-speed warmup that carries its momentum throughout the rest of this update. It can be easy to get overwhelmed or exhausted when practicing high speed sections like this, but it's important not to get discouraged. Pacing yourself is key! At #373-375, we've got a basic triplet that I play by alternating between both hands. I tap , then , and . We then have single notes from #376-379 consisting of two notes and two notes. I use my right hand to quickly tap all four, but it may be less exhausting to alternate between both hands. With an extended slider note at #380, I slide the right analog stick to the left and briefly hold for the max slide bonus. #381-388: Much like the previous section, we encounter a basic triplet at #381-383 that I play by tapping , then , and . For the single notes that follow, I tap twice and twice (alternating between both hands is optional). At #388, I again slide the right analog stick to the left and briefly hold for the max slide bonus. #389-397: We're picking up the pace with two basic triplets this time. At #389-391, I tap , then , and . At #392-394, I similarly tap , then , and . I then tap twice for the single notes that follow. At #397, I slide the left analog stick to the right and briefly hold for the max slide bonus. #398-406: Like the previous section, we've got two more basic triplets that I play by tapping , then , and followed by , then , and . I tap twice for the single notes that follow and slide the right analog stick to the left and briefly hold for the max slide bonus. #407-426: Blending speed with complexity, this section is a rare instance of slider note integration into triplet patterns. Method #1 (what you probably "should" do): If you can, it's best to play the complex triplets in this section the same way you would play any of the other triplets we've seen up to this point. By that, I mean you should use one hand to perform the 1st and 3rd inputs of each triplet while leaving the 2nd input for your other hand. As such, at #407, you would press , then , and . At #410, you would press , then , then slide the left analog stick to the right. At #412, you would then repeat the inputs you performed at #407-409 before sliding the left analog stick to the right and briefly holding for the max slide bonus. Likewise, at #417, you would press , then , and . At #410, you would press , then , then slide the right analog stick to the left. At #422, you would then repeat the inputs you performed at #417-419 before sliding the left analog stick to the right and briefly holding for the max slide bonus. Method #2 (what I actually do): At some point in my DIVA career, I started to get lazy when performing complex triplets and came up with a variety of alternate performance methods to prevent me from getting exhausted. Some of these are risky and often produce sloppy results (low cools), so I can't really recommend them. Either way, I'll briefly describe some of them below using this section as a template. At #407 and #412, I press , then slide my right thumb across and . Likewise, at #417 I slide my right thumb across and before pressing . Finally, at #422, I use my left thumb to perform a 180 by sliding across , , and . #427–447: We're here at last... the main event of today's update and the bane of my existence this past week. Before we look at a few ways to play this pattern, I'd like to cover the first few notes, which I always perform the same way. At #427, I press L1 to perform the double note, tap for the single note that follows, and slide the left analog stick to the right. At #430, I tap , L1, and before sliding the left analog stick to the right for the slider note. I tap one last time at #434 before we reach the monster at #435-447. What makes #435-447 so difficult is the integration of double-notes into such a high speed pattern. Ordinarily, you'd need two-hands to perform these double-notes on a DS4 unless you were to take advantage of the button configuration options or use an extra finger. Having to juggle the rest of the single notes alongside these double-notes at such high speeds requires some out-of-the-box thinking. Let's dive in! Method #1: I took a cue from my recent success in the last update by returning to one of the videos that included a button viewer to see how other players played this section on a DS4. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to replicate what I found... In the video I linked above, the player, starting at #435, plays each (+) double note by pressing both of the corresponding face buttons, presumably with two fingers. The player then presses , then , then again before repeating this set of inputs from #439-446 and sliding the right analog stick to the right. By using this method, you're alternating between both hands throughout the entire pattern's duration which, I'd imagine, promotes consistency and helps you get a good sense of speed to avoid desyncs between your fingers. The problem, for me anyway, is being able to alternate my right hand's input between (+) and while also alternating input from my left hand. As much as I've tried, I couldn't figure out how to perform these inputs even once successfully (never mind consistently), so I decided to experiment a little to see if I could find something easier to perform. Method #2: As I began experimenting, I started trying to play #435, along with every subsequent double-note, with a quick tap of L1 to take advantage of my current button configuration. From there, I tap , then slide my thumb across and . I then repeat these inputs twice from #439-446 before sliding the left analog stick to the right. To my surprise, it didn't take long before I was able to successfully play the section, but consistency never really seemed to develop no matter how long I practiced. I often go too fast or too slow (it's difficult to get a sense of how fast I'm going with method #2's inputs), overlap inputs, or perform inputs out of order altogether. If my experience with last update's section #281-305 taught me anything, it's that I might be better off practicing methods that are more reliable, like method #1, even if they prove to be more difficult to physically perform. The 75 emoticon limit strikes again! For the rest of this post, we'll be using these symbols instead: ↓,β†’,↑,← (to represent dpad input) and 〇, ❑, β–², X. Method #3: Still determined to find an "easy" shortcut to success. I persisted with a modified version of method #2 where I'd tap L1 at #435 before rolling my thumb along X and ❑ and, with my left hand, tapping ↓ on the dpad. I'd repeat these inputs from #439-446 before sliding the left analog stick to the right. After several hours of practice, I couldn't develop consistency with either methods #2 or #3. I suspect I need to stop using L1 for this pattern and focus my efforts on either trying method #1 some more or on finding a way to perform this section using only the face buttons and dpad. When I've finally developed consistency, I'll revisit this section in the next update. In the meantime, I'll be wracking my brain for new ideas and giving method #1 more attention. #448-456: Hot on the heels of the previous section, I quickly tap R1 (to perform each double note) four times starting at #448. I then tap X, ←, X, and ← before sliding the right analog stick to the left and briefly holding to earn the max slide bonus (note that the spam at #452-455 is deceptively fast). #457-465: As this section comes to a close, I tap L1 (to perform each double note) four times starting at #448. I then quickly tap ❑, ↓, ❑, and ↓ before sliding the left analog stick to the right and briefly holding to earn the max slide bonus (note that the spam at #461-464, like #452-455 before it, is deceptively fast). Proficiency Test #4 - Not Cleared (Yet!) At the end of each chunk of analysis, I normally include a video of me clearing the section we've just analyzed three times consecutively in practice mode. However, because I haven't managed to consistently perform #427-447, I've decided to instead include a 5 minute video* of me practicing parts of this section so you can see where I stand. In the video, I do a quick pass over all of the notes in this section along with the notes in the upcoming update before spending time focusing specifically on this update's section. I wrap up with some worn out #427-447 practice using method #2. Because this section is being performed in practice mode, note that the combo count has been reset and will not match the numbers included in the section above. This may make identifying each section slightly more difficult. *Note: Video is linked here instead of being posted outright due to some unusual PSNP editing obstacles! Closing Thoughts Any worthwhile voyage is accompanied by obstacles and setbacks. I've been expecting resistance for as long as I've planned to Perfect this chart, so I'm not too bothered by my failure to learn #373-465 in the time I allotted myself at the end of the last update (6-7 days). I underestimated the amount of practice I'd need to put in to consistently clear this section and possibly spent a little too much time procrastinating in other games. I'll spend another 6-7 days practicing this section along with the section I had originally planned for my 5th update, #466-586, and see where my progress stands after that. If I'm not able to perform #373-465 or the next update's section within that time frame, then I'll postpone the next update until I have something new to report! This means that the next update, provided I make progress, will be posted in the next 6-7 days. If not, then I'll be disappearing for a little bit while I spend some extra time practicing. Giving up isn't an option, so you'll hear from me sooner or later–don't worry! Thank you for reading and I'll be back for some extra late replies very soon!
  14. Moments like #249-258 in I'll Miku-Miku You (For Reals) are exactly why I felt discouraged in F/F 2nd and had to move on. When you don't get a chance to practice the difficult parts of a song right away through something like practice mode, it's all too easy to set the song aside and think "eh, I'll get back to this one later." But, when you get in the habit of setting difficult songs aside, your skill level can quickly stagnate since you're rarely pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Something that's always fascinated (and terrified) me is that the actual arcade cabinet has no practice mode. Maybe the note patterns that give me the most trouble feel more intuitive on the arcade's button layout, but I can't imagine having to spend 2 minutes just to get one shot at this chart's ending. Even with practice mode, I'm going to be spending dozens of hours coming to terms with everything I have left. I'd absolutely lose my mind without it. I hope PPD ends up being worthwhile! I've thought about downloading it myself, but I'm not really sure if my cheap laptop can handle it. If I had a beefier setup, I'd also be tempted to grab the Eden Project mod for Mega Mix+ (for the fun custom charts) and maybe Project Heartbeat. I dreaded holds at first too, though I can only imagine how much tougher they would be on an arcade controller. Since most holds on a DS4 are quickly transferred to the shoulder buttons and forgotten at higher level play, they sort of just blend into the background. On arcade, you have to deal with "hold greed" and knowing when to let go whereas, on DS4, holds get to drag on as long as possible with minimal effort. Rare sections like this may involve the occasional hand gymnastics, but they remind me that I have it easy all things considered. Perfects below 100% bug me too, haha! To this day, my only Extreme perfect below 100% is Paradichlorobenzene and I can't help but scowl a little bit every time I scroll by. The max possible % is a fairly generous 102.83%, but the chart is such a nightmare to play on controller that I haven't had the stomach to do it all again. For a 9 star, it's harder than most 10s. I couldn't find the picture to include in the original post, but there's also a visual indicator of "early", "perfect", and "late" cools that correspond nicely with the timing window. Each cool has a shaded area on the bottom that is slanted upwards (early), slanted downwards (late), or has no slant at all (perfect). Even though it's been right in front of me for as long as I've played the game, I never noticed until I ran into a forum post explaining it a couple months back. Since the "cool" icon is constantly on the move and the slant isn't immediately obvious, it's really hard to gather any useful feedback from it though unless you were to film and play back your runs. Putting off the accuracy grind until you've hit some of the game's highest peaks is probably for the best. Since there were so many moments in Future Tone where I felt "stuck", I started chasing scores in easier songs fairly early on, but, because my skills were still improving, I found myself going back to those same easy songs 2-3 times (often months or years apart) to chase high scores again since my standards had gradually risen alongside my skill. Had I just waited until I could handle most of the game's 10 star charts, I could have saved several hundred hours easily (though a case could also be made that practice like this was what helped me rise to that level in the first place, so it's tough to say for sure). Your luck pulled through! πŸ™Œ I appreciate it! Now I've gotta buckle down for the faster parts of the chart. I'm finding it much easier to get exhausted, so I'm worried my progress may start to slow to a crawl over these next few days/weeks. I'll keep at it though!
  15. The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku (EXEX) - Update #3 In this update, we'll be breaking down notes 265-372 of The Intense Voice of Hatsune Miku's Extra Extreme chart and testing for proficiency! I'll be playing on PS4's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone, but the chart we'll be analyzing can also be found in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix (Switch) and Mega Mix+ (PC). We're up against one of the most difficult sections of the chart today with section #281-305! As such, a large portion of this update will be spent outlining several possible performance methods in my attempts to clear it. While some of these methods appear ineffective, my goal in describing them all to you is to lay out my entire thought process and, hopefully, to encourage experimentation in the face of failure. Analysis: #265-372If you'd like to follow along with my analysis, I've linked a helpful reference video here! Each set of numbers below corresponds to a grouping of notes contained in the chart (chronologically ordered). A combo count will be displayed in the reference video that you can use to identify any particular grouping of notes should you wish to skip around. Button Configuration Recap: = (+) = (+) = (+++) = (+++) #265-272: Today's section opens with two repetitions of a simple four note pattern. In cases like this, I usually make an effort to alternate between both hands for comfort and ease of performance. I begin by tapping at #265, then , then , then . I repeat these inputs for #269-272. #273-280: Like the previous section, we're dealing with two repetitions of a four note pattern. Unfortunately, the presence of double-notes at both ends of each pattern complicate the two-handed alternating approach we would usually take with patterns like this. I instead like to play these by pressing at #273, tapping twice with my right hand, and pressing again. I repeat these inputs for #277-280. #281-305: This one's a monster (you can tell because I made the font size a little bit bigger)! Up to this point in our analysis, I've spent more time with this section of notes than I have with any other. I've been trapped in practice mode purgatory going back and forth between several different methods of attack for this section. Method #1 (problematic, but has potential): Between #280 and #281, I quickly arrange my right hand's fingers into a claw hold with both my thumb and index hovering over the face buttons. I press both and with my right thumb to cover the double note at #281 followed by a tap of with my index and a tap of with my left hand. I then repeat this sequence of inputs from #284-293. From #294-305, I continue pressing and with my right thumb, but I begin tapping with my index and tap with my left hand. Originally, I believed this method would be the best possible distribution of work between my hands. I couldn't take advantage of any sly button configuration setups because I needed my current setup to handle the chart's ending later on (alongside several other sections), but I also didn't want to force one of my thumbs to handle all of the single notes. Lightening the load with my index finger seemed like the obvious route forward. Sadly, my optimism for this method was short lived. I've spent at least five hours attempting method #1 with little success. In theory, these inputs should work, but, in practice, something always falls apart whether I fail to correctly gauge the speed of the pattern or desync my left hand's dpad input with my right hand's face button inputs. Muscle memory, I assumed, would stitch everything together after awhile, but it just hasn't happened yet. Out of desperation, I tried another approach... Method #2 (very problematic; low potential): Between #280 and #281, I place my right hand over the center of the controller with my thumb hovering over the dpad and my pinkie hovering over the face buttons. I press + with my left thumb to perform the double note at #281 and use my right hand to alternate between tapping with my pinkie and with my thumb. I repeat these inputs from #284-293. From #294-305, I continue pressing + with my left thumb, but I begin tapping with my pinkie and with my thumb. The reason this method is tempting is because it's much easier, for me anyway, to gauge my sense of speed with my right hand fully extended and bouncing between two sequential inputs. My left hand handles the double-notes while my right hand handles the singles. Sure, this method may be incredibly uncomfortable, but all it took was one or two successful performances for me to start seriously considering its potential. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with this method has to do with a conflict of input. While your left thumb is pressed against the bottom-left of the dpad, you're unable to press or and vice versa. This means each dpad input must be performed with no overlap (quick taps can help) otherwise one of your fingers will be met with a rigid dpad and a missed note. At the high speed that this pattern demands, this requires abnormally precise input and an obscene amount of practice. Some players might be able to make it work, but, after sinking over two hours into it, I'm not convinced it's for me. Method #3 (hard to perform, but seemingly optimal): Before attempting any of these methods, I found a couple videos of other players playing this chart alongside a gamepad viewer. Both players performed this section the same way by pressing all of the double-notes with their left thumb ( + ) and handling all of the single notes with taps from their right thumb ( or ). Because I believed my right thumb was not quick enough to handle all of the single notes by itself, I quickly disregarded this approach in favor of the two methods you've seen above. While still scrambling for a solution, I figured I should at least try this method to rule it out definitively. As expected, double-tapping the single notes with one thumb proved to be exhausting at such high speeds. My timing was all over the place and my rate of success was almost nonexistent. But, after spending some serious time persisting with this method, I started looking at the notes differently... Instead of perceiving the sequence as a steady stream of notes, I mentally divided the section into multiple adjacent triplets with double notes at their centers (, (+), ). The reason I'm imagining them as "triplets" is because triplets, rapid three notes patterns, are usually played with two right-handed inputs and one left-handed input on DS4. As ridiculous as it sounds, something clicked because my muscle memory felt those imaginary triplets and thought, "Oh triplets! Yeah, I can play triplets no problem!" Each set of two single notes transformed into the two ends of adjacent triplets which, for some inexplicable reason, felt totally natural to perform. I don't know if there's a name for this phenomenon or if I've even described it in a way that anyone can understand, but I was thrilled to have found a method that might actually work! Method #3.1 (minor adjustment): After practicing method #3 for awhile, I noticed that the start of the sequence was consistently the hardest part to perform because I was performing two stray parts of a triplet ((+) followed by ) before transitioning into the series of imaginary "full" triplets I conjured up for my psychological comfort. In an effort to make this section easier, I changed up the beginning by pressing (+) with my right thumb, tapping , then immediately moving both thumbs towards their usual position for spamming triplets, as I normally would in method #3. This quick adjustment almost feels like a way to "rev up" my fingers and makes the transition between the partial triplet at the beginning and full triplets afterwards much smoother. #306-322: Now that we've seen our first monster, it's time for a cooldown. I tap three times for #306-308 and handle the upcoming 360 by pressing , , , and . I slide my left hand's analog stick to the right as soon as the 360 ends to play the slider note. At #314, I tap , , , and followed by a reverse 360 that I play by pressing , , , and . As soon as the reverse 360 ends, I slide my right hand's analog stick to the left and hold for a brief moment to perform the extended slider note. #323-330: Here we have two repetitions of a four note pattern. I play these two somewhat improperly by tapping L1 at #323 to handle the double note and sliding my right thumb along and before tapping L1 again. I repeat these inputs for #327-330. You may wish to substitute one or more of the face button inputs with a dpad input to avoid sliding your thumb. #331-339: We have another two repetitions of a four note pattern followed by an extended slider note. I begin by tapping R1 at #331 to handle the double note before tapping , , and R1 again. I repeat these inputs for #335-338. I then slide the right analog stick to the left and briefly hold to perform the extended slider note at #339. The 75 emoticon limit strikes again! For the rest of this post, we'll be using these symbols instead: ↓,β†’,↑,← (to represent dpad input) and 〇, ❑, β–², X. #340-358: Without the assistance of the button configuration options, this upcoming section would be extremely difficult to perform. Thankfully, we're able to make full use of our L1 and R1 button assignments to carry us through this without much headache. In fact, we'll even be able to alternate between both hands for the entirety of the pattern (which is helpful in improving consistency)! To begin, I tap L1 at #340 followed immediately by an X. From this point, I mentally divide the rest of this section into triplets. To handle the first triplet (#342-344), I tap ←, then R1, then ← again. To handle the second triplet (#345-347), I tap X, then L1, then X again. From #348-358, I repeat these two triplets until we reach the hold note at #358. Once we reach #358, I press and hold R1 followed by pressing and holding L2 to transfer the hold to free up our index finger. #359-372: Now for one last cooldown as we fade out to the end of today's analysis. You should still be holding L2 from the end of the previous section. At #359, press 〇, X, X, and 〇. At #363, tap X, slide right with either analog stick, slide left, and tap 〇. At #367, tap X, slide left with either analog stick, slide right, and press and hold X. With X held, press and hold R2 to transfer the hold and free up your thumb. Now let go of X and L2. Holds at #358 and #370 should now be stacked onto your R2. From here, slide either analog stick to the right and briefly hold to perform the extended slider note. Press and hold L2 to perform the quad note at #372 which will end the previous hold and initiate a new one as our section comes to an end. Let go of all other buttons. Proficiency Test #3 - Passed!!At the end of each chunk of analysis, I include a video of me clearing the section we've just analyzed three times consecutively in practice mode. Consistency is important if I ever hope to chain this monstrous thing together! Because this section is being performed in practice mode, note that the combo count has been reset and will not match the numbers included in the section above. This may make identifying each section slightly more difficult. I actually finished this Proficiency Test just a few hours before posting this update! My hands were getting shaky during the 3rd consecutive clear (I filmed 6-7 clips of me getting two-in-a-row), so my accuracy started tanking towards the end. Either way, I'm really excited to have achieved some level of consistency over this section! Closing Thoughts I feel as though I've just discovered my white whale is mortal... We still have a long way to go, but seeing myself deconstruct one of the hardest sections of the chart and actually play it perfectly feels incredible. There's another monstrous section in the next update (I'm looking at you #435-447), so I'm gearing up for the worst. I have no idea how to play it, but I'm going to give myself a little extra time to practice (and maybe a day to relax) before posting the next update, so you'll see me back here with #4 in 6-7 days! Thank you for reading and I'll see you all soon with some extra late replies!