Thursday 27 May 2021

27/5/2021: Thoughts on nos techniques

My second S on real lv.3. Stamina maps are my favourite.

Today I realized that my e-amusement album on facebook was gone. I knew that the e-amusement app removed its linkage with facebook but the album should still be there, but that isn't the case anymore. It took me sometime to retrieve all my DDR/beatsream captures, but they are worth the time. I guess it's also a good time to take record of my MUG progress.

Since the lockdown I have been playing ring fit or doing exercises at home a lot more, so I simply play DDR less and less frequent. Playing 18 is no longer a regular thing to me again, although Konami didn't produce enough sensible 18s in the past year...び is pure shit in my view.

So I basically play Nos all the time, and the progress is clear. By the end of Op.2 my recital grade was 5300, it was then 5500 by the end of 2019, and now my grade is 5760. In other words, I can obtain S rank consistently across level 11 by the end of 2019, but I can S consistently across level 12.5 and a few 13.0 right now.

What's hard to me right now are basically nonsense streams (like True Blue) or hardcore trills (like Appassionata 3rd movement, Etude Op. 25-11 "Winter Wind" or the Ballade No.1 in G minor). It takes time for me to recall my piano muscle memory...but what's interesting to me is how me or other nos player play maps at 12.5-13.0, start to differ from other MUGs. We need to deal with streams that are practically impossible to hit in a discrete way, so we need some other approaches, and the choice would be to sweep or to play like a pianist?

There are other MUGs in the arcade where you can sweep the keys instead of hitting independent to be count as a hit. Chunithm is the prime example but people also do that sometimes in jubeat, but the technique is widely adopted in Chunithm while restricted to a small group of players for jubeat. Why?

Chunithm encourages sweeping in nature: a flat input device and sliding notes exist for sweeping already, so sweeping ordinary notes is just something natural to them. The notes are usually 4 keys wide and the timing is loose -- that makes sweeping much easier. 

On the other hand, jubeat consists of a 4x4 pad, so sweeping for longer streams implies a change in direction during the sweep, and to keep a consistent pace during the sweep is definitely hard. The streams are not for sweeping most of the time where notes appear alternately on the left and right half: sweeping anything more broken than 2-7-10-15 would be extremely hard. At top level (the only instance where sweeping could be relevant) people always go for the hard mode, so positioning plus timing would be too demanding for this technique.

Nos interestingly situates between the two. Its panel is linear (although not flat) and sweeping is easy. There are also maps where sweeping is clearly desired (e.g. 
ピアノ体操第一). The timing is not as loose as Chunithm but a lot easier than jubeat on hard mode. On the other hand, sweeping is quite hard when the notes are not spaced apart enough (like Etude 10-4), and bad sweeping causes a bunch of good or misses. As a result, both sweeping or piano style are equally popular among high end players. We can even see both styles at KAC final level. 

I have been on piano style since the beginning, but sweeping really helps me to master many level 12.5 maps especially on the left hand. Typical examples include 蒼氷のフラグメント and Moonstone. For バルベリア・タンゴ I have been trying to trill in the pianistic way but it's simply too hard on the left hand. I gave up and swept with one finger instead...and that's an instant S. I felt like I have fallen somehow...

I still think for more complicated streams the pianistic style would trump against sweeping, but to do that smoothly would require much more practice to me or anyone else. Maybe if I play like now (every Thursday for the new songs basically) for another year I will be able to S half of the real level 3...?

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