Archive for the High Scores/Accomplishments Category

New 4×4 Record: 1:43.62!!!

Posted in Blog, Cubing, High Scores/Accomplishments on April 2, 2021 by slateman

When I broke my four-year-old 4×4 record last month, I was rather thrilled, securing my first sub-2-minute solve in the process. I was quite content with the accomplishment and immediately felt satisfaction and zero motivation to improve upon the time. However, as I’m on spring break right now, I’ve been tinkering around with the puzzle and it’s so spectacular! The magnets are just wonderful and as I was running through things, I noticed two things. First, my centers are done in about 20 seconds. Second, I’ve been getting better at edge matching. First, I match white edges and then move on to yellow. These high-contrast pieces are much easier to keep track of and instead of lining up several edges at once (like the pros do), I just wing one at a time and keep track of other edges which is actually more productive.

Anyhow, as I have noticed an improvement, I figured I go for time. My best average-of-five now resides around 2:07 with a new record a full 10 seconds faster than my prior record! Pretty damn cool, I have to be honest. I can’t see any huge change coming in the future, but I may keep trying. \m/

Following Day Update: I haven’t come close to my 103-second solve, but it was not for a lack of effort. In the process, I managed a 2:05.28 average-of-five. it’s hardly disappointing: 2:05 would’ve been my personal best before last month!

New 5×5 Record! Sub-5 Minutes!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, High Scores/Accomplishments on March 25, 2021 by slateman

I haven’t really tried for a 5×5 record in ages. I purchased my ShengShou way back in 2012 and promptly broke my record. However, while the puzzle itself is pretty good, I only rarely returned to try to break my just-over-five-minutes standard.

For Christmas, I made a massive order of puzzles. I got like a dozen or something and among them were three magnetic puzzles: a 3×3, 4×4 and 5×5. Now, I’ve already proclaimed my love for these last month when I broke my four-year-old 4×4 record getting my very-first sub-two-minute solve. Today, with some extra time on my hands, I figured I’d take a stab at the 5×5, a puzzle I haven’t improved time on in eight-and-a-half years.

The stickerless, magnetic ShengShou is a great puzzle. It never locks up, those magnets help tidy up those quick turns and it cuts like a dream, so I’m rarely ever stuck between layers. My first solve was almost 5:30 – not too bad with no practice and my second was 5:07, a mere five seconds off my record. Solve #3 was it: my first sub-five-minute 5×5! Clocking in at 4:51, I beat my old record by 11 seconds!

After a mess up and another 5:something time, the stars aligned and…OMFG??!! 4:12.93! That is fifty seconds better than the record which stood since October of 2012. FIFTY SECONDS! I don’t even know what to say! Beating this would require some serious dedication but, like the 4×4 before it, I’ve accomplished what I’ve always wanted to: a sub-five. The four-minute finish line feels way too far off. I think next up will be a new 6×6. Still rocking the V-Cube 6 I bought in August of 2011. Urgh.

New 4×4 Record! Sub-2 Minutes!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, High Scores/Accomplishments on March 1, 2021 by slateman

I haven’t done any speed solving in quite some time, but after ordering a treasure trove of puzzles for Christmas, I was enjoying my 4×4 MoYu Meilong and its magnets. I realized just how quickly it turned and I thought a new record could be in sight. After an impressive 2:04 – an eight-second improvement on my existing personal best, I busted out my very first sub-2-minute run! Clocking in at 1:54.10, this was my first new record in over a year. I am certain I could improve upon it – but I don’t feel any burning need to do so. The 2-minute threshold is satisfying enough! Pretty psyched and this year marks my 10-year cubing anniversary.

Spelunky 2: Made It To World 5!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments with tags on October 17, 2020 by slateman

Around 500 deaths into this game, I finally unlocked the second shortcut, allowing me to skip straight to the Tide Pool, world 4. The alternate fourth world is the Temple of Anubis which wrecks me almost instantaneously. However, after just a little while of working through the Tide Pool, I managed to beat it, making it to the Ice Caves for the first time! It’s been a while since I played the original Spelunky and though I enjoyed the flashback, I haven’t made it far into this new locale. Additionally, building a shortcut to it, without having to traipse through the Tide Pool, will be a rigorous and almost-impossible task.

My first impressions of the game were not quite at the level of other review outlets, who have dished out 10s. But the more I play, the more I realize how brilliant the game is – particularly when playing with my 9-year-old son. This game is great and one of the year’s best!

Demon’s Tilt: 916 Million!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments on March 23, 2020 by slateman

I’ve been a bit stuck in Demon’s Tilt. After that legendary 400-million point run, I’ve found myself not progressing much at all. All of that changed today, however. The first ball was going rather well and now that I know how to aim for rituals (each of the three tiers has a six-letter word – complete all 18 for Wizard Mode), I focus mainly on those. Things were going really quite well and other than a shitty second ball (200 million on ball #1, a mere 24 on #2) after having a 99 multiplier, my third and final attempt was nearing my first Wizard Mode. Upon initiating this souped-up mode, the entire board is enshrouded in flames and I’m pretty sure I had five balls going at once. I started at 450 million or so and those numbers just got insane fast. 500, 600, 700, 800 million!!! The boost in numbers was just absurd. Looking at those crazy high scores in the past, it made me wonder how it was all possible. Wizard Mode is how it’s possible.

It was intense and thrilling and cements the game as one of the best ever. Wow, that was exciting.

Demon’s Tilt: High-Score Progress

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments with tags on February 27, 2020 by slateman

This game is spectacular and is the best new title I’ve played in quite some time. I’ve been playing for score and managed my first 300-million run yesterday. This was usurped by a 400-million game a few hours later. Dissecting this and figuring it all out is fun and rewarding and may be the start of a new addiction! Until then, proof of said 400m game!

Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night – 200.6% Again!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Castlevania, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments on November 15, 2018 by slateman

Just four months later, I’ve 200.6%ed Symphony Of The Night again! In the process, I managed to platinum Castlevania: Requiem as well. Two of the best Castlevania games in one package? I shelved Red Dead Redemption 2 to play 20-year old games. What a world.

To address the port itself – it’s lazy as hell. The options and modes are pretty pathetic and it’s missing some truly basic items. You can’t turn off the overly-used rumble feature? Simply no option at all? But while it’s a real bare-bones title, the games are rock solid. Playing through Rondo Of Blood again reminded me just how awesome it is – handily defeating the other games of the era (see my recent retro-game backlog!) The game’s hype is spot-on and it’s a must-play from the series.

There’s little to say about Symphony that hasn’t been said yet. There was really no way I wasn’t going to 200.6% this beast. I was reminded of its few bullshit moments which come from a different time. However, the whole experience was just remarkable, just as good as ever. In addition, the trophies really gave me reason to try things I never would have and even after so many playthroughs, I learned new things. This game is a legend and yet another run solidifies it as a top-10 ever game. (Or so…that list is tough to quantify!)

So, after not playing the game fully to completion in the prior 21 years, I’ve now managed to do it twice in four months. Not bad.


Guacamelee! 2 – Platinum Get!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments on October 27, 2018 by slateman

I realize I said that I gave up. Those damn chicken illuminati challenges just annoyed me. Well, the first one most of all. But it kept tugging at me to return – I knew I could do it!!!

And so after a few weeks, knowing that Red Dead Redemption 2 would consume me at the end of October, I went back. And I beat those damn challenges. And I’ll never do them again!!!

So it was just hard mode that sat between me and the platinum. The first Guacamelee! was more difficult than the second and I platinumed that. So this one should be easy, right? Not at all. Some of those small battles were insanely difficult with a narrow margin of error. Get hit twice in a frenzied room of a dozen foes flailing about chaotically? Restart. Miss one button press? Restart. But facing the final boss for the third time (twice to get both of the endings + hard mode) was still incredibly easy. Each of the three times I defeated him on the first try, refreshing after getting brutalized over the 10-hour replay session.

Platinum achieved, but I don’t think I’ll ever return to Guacamelee! 2. It looked great, played great and the music was fantastic. However I think the first game is superior. For now, I’m done, at least until Guac! 3. Below is one of the harder challenges, just to open up the chicken illuminati ones. *sigh*.

Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night – 200.6% Finally!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Castlevania, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments with tags on July 28, 2018 by slateman

20 Years Later – Finally 200.6%!

At 42 years old, my personal Castlevania history dates back three decades to the original on the NES. Like so many others, I’ve played just about everything. The classic trilogy, Bloodlines, IV, SOTN and its subsequent GBA/NDS titles, the PS2 3D ones, LoS, side stories, etc, etc, etc.

And at the top of that heap, to me, remains Symphony Of The Night. It’s just so [insert 20 superlatives we’ve all heard]. Anyhow, while I was a day-one adopter in early 1997, I never made it past 197% or so. This continued when I replayed it in the early ’00s, and again when I got the PS1 Classics version on the PS3. Oh, and when I replayed it **again** on the PSP with Dracula X Chronicles.

My itch for more Castlevania meant another replay of Rondo Of Blood, now on my Vita, and…why the hell not, let’s do it again! And now my goal was to *finally* get the elusive 200.6%. Methodically going through the game room-by-room, I made it to the end of the second castle, started doing my clean-up and realized…I missed Mudman. No! No!!! So bummed, I took a day or two off before heading back in and finishing it all off.

Little did I know that getting 200.6% was still achievable despite my oversight!!! And so finally, for a game I started playing just after my 21st birthday, is now (sorta) 100% complete at my tender age of 42!

New 3×3 Record! 29.03!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records, High Scores/Accomplishments on July 28, 2018 by slateman

This one is a few months old, but that’s OK. This isn’t unusual, but every so often I’ll grab my best 3×3 and see if I still have it. A sub-40 average is usually my goal, but my ninth solve on this day was just remarkable. I slammed together that first layer in like 8 seconds. The second layer was average, but I think I had two last-layer skips. It was one of those moments where you just know this is something special. As only my third sub-30, I was utterly thrilled. Anyhow, new record! Oh, and a quick check of my cubing records reveals that this new time came precisely one year after I got my last sub-30 record! I suppose I’ll have to make another go on the 18th of May, 2019!