Tuesday 21 February 2017

DDR, the 3rd year

3 years since I start played Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). A short summary on my progress over the last year. Well to be honest I only played 3 months out of 12 last year, since they replaced the ITG machine by the stupid PIU machine.

ITG: Here I started to train those 'crazy foots' - I got 86% with 2 misses on MAX300 ("the gate towards the inner DDR world") that has not been replicated in DDR. Below is my best record:

But those custom maps opened a whole new world to me. There aren't lots of BPM 120~140 1/4 equivalent streams in DDR (BPM 240~280 is too fast and 120~140 is quite slow in general) except for some old maps (you don't expect highly electric songs with pace falling in that range) like Paranoia Survivor, but you can find loads of them in ITG. One of my favourite is Hatsura Yuki's ~Confession~, but sadly I failed to find the corresponding difficulty (SP challenge) in Stepmania :( These songs provide excellent training and eventually allow me to play MAX300 fluently. ITG also include diffs with high number of notes while retaining a relatively low density, and that is a nice training for stamina. (Maps like kokoro contains up to 750 notes which is around 17~18 while the real difficulty is around 14+ or 15-).

In 2 months I managed to go through consecutive Lv. 11 (old extended scale) maps - difficulty of these maps varies greatly but they gave me a good foundation on getting through those real DDR songs.

DDR: I spent 1.5 weeks out of 4 weeks to familiarize DDR again, wasting time on easier maps like 12-13-14 or 11-13-15 on a single credit. These are not my limit so I does not gain a lot except limited accuracy due to repeated gaming. But then I decided to start training myself to adapt higher speed - both real speed and apparent speed ("SV"). Plan 8, NEPHILIM DELTA and 放課後ストライド are three excellent songs (14)  for BPM 220+ range -- with consecutive long streams and huge number of notes you eventually pick up the stamina you need for higher difficulty. Another focus before you can confidently step into Lv.15 is the ability to switch between footing 1/2 and 1/4. Here ちくわパフェだよ☆CKP and POSSESSION are two great trainers in 14.

(Well, I had a lucky 1 miss play last year, but that couldn't be consistent...)

Last year I was able to play a few 15 but I will get exhausted after any single attempt, but now I can step into 15 and confidently play most of the songs - except for weird SV changes that requires extra reciting. Pluto series is always hard to do in that sense -- Pluto relinquish (14) and Pluto the First (14) are still hard for me (my record is still B).

14 to 15 is hard because 15 marks the beginning of the inner DDR world, but 15 to 16 is not as hard as that. Before I started to attempt some easier 16s, one of first two 16 passes was from one that I thought to be quite hard among the 16 songs - VANESSA:

The 1/3 stream is extremely nasty, but once you get used with long stream at that speed it becomes more like a routine. Though I haven't tried it for the second time I am quite confident that I can easily get better result.

I got some other high 15s and mid 16s as well...but passing those technical maps are more satisfying --- Spanish Snow Dance (15) that is supposed to be mid 16, and 灼熱Beach Side Bunny (15) with lots of exhausting jumps.

Talking about jumps that is still my weakest link and hardest bit to improve. I passed 隅田川夏恋歌 (16) (another one out of two first 16s that I passed) but I got the "kiai" part by hammering double arrow every note instead the supposedly every other note. The fact that I can't switch between single and double foot fluently hinder my performance on maps heavily seasoned with such features: 轟け!恋のビーンボール!! (a B+ pass) and 嘆きの樹:

Improving accuracy on double jumps takes a damn lot of practices, so I turned into those harder maps that I can achieve relatively easier -- 恋する☆宇宙戦争っ!! (17) and ドーパミン (17) -- in Taiwan I have fresh machine that allows an almost 10% accuracy boost on songs in the 12-14 range, so I made use of the chance to try those hardcore maps, and turned out with some successes:

In order to get through this diff I played two BPM200 songs before trying this in the final stage...and the plan worked out properly. I passed on the first time without the 4 miss extra stage limitation. Same goes for Dopamine :3

So that's my third year on DDR. Perhaps I can get a light taste of 18 next year?

Statistics, 2016:
18 days in DDR, 129 credits
Ability to pass maps: 14 ~ 15- → 15+ ~ 17-
Ability to AA maps: 11 ~ 13- → 14 ~ 15- (under the new grading scale)
Lv. 15: 23Pass / 2AA
LV. 16: 11Pass
Lv. 17: 2 Pass

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