Take on the NES Library

An 8-bit Extravaganza!



Happy 5th Anniversary!

Today is the five-year anniversary for Take On The NES Library!

It feels like this should have been a year of great progress.  We are living in COVID-19 times, with many people like myself not going out much.  I am still working but I get to work from home full time now.  Without having a commute to worry about, plus staying at home in general a lot more often, it should lead right into having a huge year and beating a lot of games.  The thing is, I have played a lot of games, maybe more than in years past, but it did not translate to more NES completions.

The new yearly tradition in these reflections is to look at project progress stats as a whole.  Let’s look at the table:

Year Beaten Total Beaten Yearly Average Days/Game End Date Average Difficulty
1 38 38 38 9.6 7/14/2033 5.5000
2 24 62 31 11.8 6/27/2037 5.4355
3 43 105 35 10.4 1/5/2035 5.3238
4 35 140 35 10.4 1/3/2035 5.3286 *
5 30 170 34 10.7 7/30/2035 5.2059

* I must have updated some difficulty rankings or miscalculated because this average came out higher than it did last year.

There are two things that jump out at me.  First of all, I completed 30 games this year, my second to lowest output over these 5 years.  The other thing I noticed is that my average difficulty took a nose dive, still above 5 but creeping closer to that mark.  How could both of these things happen when I am likely spending more time playing games now?  I have some reasons why.

1.  I played longer games this year.  This was something I stated in last year’s post, but it was also true in Year 5.  I had quite a few games cover two weeks, including some in the 4-6 week range.  I had a 2-month span where I only finished 3 games total.  That certainly will limit how many games I can clear.

2.  The longer games I played this year were easy, but very lengthy.  During last year’s anniversary reflection I was in the middle of Bases Loaded II, which required 79 wins.  I could win games in 10-15 minutes by the time I learned how, but it is quite a slog.  Same goes for Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? which lasted almost exactly the same number of cases with similar time to solve each one.  Those 2 games in particular took close to 2 months between them.

3.  I started recording complete playthroughs of every game.  To keep things simpler before, I would only record a full game if it was short enough to complete in one sitting.  I decided to change that this year, only to have a few games go over 10 hours long start to finish.  I still do not have a dedicated recording setup, so I have to put everything together in the family room and tear it back down at the end.  That time cuts into the actual playing.

4.  I started streaming on Twitch this year.  This has been the best part of this year’s progress.  I played offline because I wanted specific recording settings that I could not get while also streaming.  It turns out all I needed was a tool change and some setup to get it to work for both simultaneously.  Streaming is really fun, I am beginning to form a community, and I have made a bunch of friends this year on Twitch.  These are all good things, but the interaction with viewers takes a bit of focus away as well.  Not a bad thing!

5.  I started speedrunning.  I have long admired speedrunners and what they can accomplish, and so I have replaced a little NES completion time with some speedrunning.  I picked up TMNT as my main speed game, and additionally I spent a month preparing for and participating in the Big 20 race that happened in September.  (Which, by the way, I took 22nd place out of about 100 players.)  I see now first-hand why people commit their gaming time to speedrunning.  It is a lot of fun, and the community of runners are some of the nicest people I’ve met online.

My goal for Year 6 is to cross the 200 completions mark.  I get the feeling that it might be a difficult goal to achieve.  I’m still dealing with limited time for playing due to family commitments.  I still want to do speedrunning stuff periodically, including some community events with other streamers.  I also know that my next NES game is a long RPG that will probably take me a couple of months to clear.  I will have to push hard and stay focused, but I know I am up to the challenge.  It helps that I am having more fun than ever with all this!