September 15th 2017, Friday
Once again my bet for a current video game generation was off.
Back when the Playstation 3 came out I was sold on the perspective of Gradius VI coming out for it, so I bought the console right away during a quick trip to New York. It turns out the game never saw the light of day, and the actual number of retail releases for the platform would amount to a shameful joke. Then I purchased a Japanese Xbox 360 a few months later and bla-bla-bla, everybody knows the rest of the story.
During the next generation, which we are living right now, I didn't want to get two new consoles so for obvious reasons my allegiance was with the Xbox One. Guess what happened to the retail releases? So far we only have that disappointing Raiden V and a recently released Sine Mora EX, both of which are also on the Playstation 4 alongside a meatier library that will only grow in the next years.
End of story: I have already bought a handful of Playstation 4 shmups but I played none of them because I don't own the console. Thankfully the Christmas season is coming so I might get lucky.
July 17th 2017, Monday
So yeah... I've been sucked into Blue Wish Resurrection. I sort of bumped into it, and only then realized Windows finally started to run the game in fullscreen at a regular 60 FPS instead of the awful 30 FPS it was displaying until very recently. Something must have reconnected in Windows 10, so now I can also play all the games that had the same problem on Steam (such as RefleX and the eXceed series).
I was also about to be done with BWR and return to Gradius IV (I know, I know), but then it came to me that having auto guard ON was a very puny way to play the game. Besides, a little reading here and there opened my eyes to the fact that there's more to learn in this outstanding free bullet hell PC shooter.
The only downside is that the game doesn't recognize the D-pad in my controller, only the analog stick. It's not ideal, but I've gotten used to it already, so yeah... Blue Wish Resurrection, here we go again.
April 20th 2017, Friday
And I thought Big Core Mark III "kai" would be my biggest problem during the boss rush of Gradius IV... It turns out the evolution to Tetran, here named "Covered" Tetran, quickly became my nemesis there. My last couple of credits ended on him, and I needed LOTS of continues to get past the prick and finish practice for the rest of the game.
On another note, despite the extremely reduced time for gaming I think I can already see the clear coming. Each gaming session, no matter how disastrous, is good to iron out all those necessary details that help make the run more consistent. I still die a lot in the moai level, but I'm also able to get back up without much trouble.
Rest, stamina and focus.
Die, moai, die.
April 7th 2017, Friday
A few weeks ago I was getting tired of only getting through the moai level in Gradius IV on the basis of luck or of an enlightened gaming session. On Monday I decided I wouldn't allow that anymore, so I hammered the moai stage for a whole evening on the search for a fixed route I could use to defeat those petrified shmucks.
It turns out the strategy I came up with works! I still need to close the gap in the 2nd half of the level in regards to the last checkpoint, but I just played another credit where I died there and got back up on the next life. Now my task is to perfect the final stretch of this route so that I can achieve a 99% success rate on that dreaded stage.
Aside from complete credits to test my stamina, in the next sessions I'll be practicing the fortress level. Wish me luck!
March 6th 2017, Monday
For a learning process that's obviously slower than usual, I think I'm making decent progress in Gradius IV.
On Saturday I had a couple of good runs through the moai level, and I believe I'm starting to get consistent at dealing with them. Then I took the opportunity in my last credit to practice the checkpoints in the following stage (Cell) and a little of the high speed level.
I have also set up my Japanese Mega Drive with Thunder Force IV, but only turned it on to see if it's working. If things get too dire with Gradius IV I already have a diversion to go to.
February 14th 2017, Tuesday
After a few quick learning sessions and a couple of attempts I finally unlocked Stage Select on Gradius IV by playing on the easiest difficulty with maxed out number of lives and completing the game on a single credit.
Now the real process of getting to know the game begins! Stage layouts are already familiar due to the previous practice. What lies ahead of me, I wonder?
On another note, last week I tried to get a
selfie with my daughter in my gaming room, but she wouldn't look at
anything other than the TV running Gradius IV... Is that a sign that she'll want to play with me in the future?
February 2nd 2017, Thursday
Last night I fired up Gradius IV on the Playstation 2 for the first time with a 1CC in mind.
I've been itching to play this game and I've also been warned about how hard it is, so I'll be taking my time to learn it. The little I have of it, anyway.
I'll try to chronicle my evolution here whenever possible.
Let's see how long it takes!
Click here to see journal entries prior to 2017