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Hope You’re Not Sick of SGDQ 2015 Posts!

SGDQ 2015 officially ends Saturday, but the bonus stream will likely continue for a few days. As of right now the donation tracker is past 700K, which is amazing. I always watch these events for the fun, but it’s nice to know the effort does help a good cause (Doctors Without Borders). I don’t buy into all the “faith in humanity restored” hyperbole that people say when they are overreacting to things, but the Games Done Quick Marathons are altruistic and virtuous. Everyone needs to do their part to help, and the speedrunning community does it at least twice a year in huge marathons, and many more times a year in small ones. Tomorrow is going to be full of popular heavy-hitters, I highly recommend you tune in, and #killtheanimals.

Here are some excellent runs you may have missed in the past few days, though by all means I haven’t seen everything.

The Wheel of Time – I haven’t read the books, and I didn’t know they had a video game, but this run is fantastic. It has fun tricks and is very well explained by the runner, Shaddex. It’s a fairly calm and enjoyable run; one that I didn’t see coming.

Shovel Knight Low% Shovel Only – A run that shows off lots of tight tricks and a high amount of skill. They get at least one developer on Skype, which is always insightful and allows for good conversation on design choices, though processes, and what was intended. Runs where the devs weigh in are always my favorite choice for high quality commentary.

Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2 – PJ is a veteran of GDQ marathons; he maintains an entertaining and witty commentary while also showing off lesser-known games. In this case, the run had a lot of fun tricks and jokes to go along with it. There’s a lot of screaming, too.

I Wanna Be the Boshy – Witwix is another master of entertaining the audience with this strange game. Boshy is a precision platformer in the vein of I Wanna Be the Guy, but even more difficult and unfair. I personally quit Boshy in the second world, but I’ve beaten I Wanna Be the Guy, and that’s good enough for me. Watch this, or Witwix’s 100% run from AGDQ 2015.

Races – Mario Sunshine and Luigi’s Mansion are both fun races in games that demand a strong knowledge of game mechanics. As I’ve said before, races are some of my personal favorites, and are usually done to spice up runs of games that are common fixtures at GCD events. Be sure to catch the Super Metroid race Saturday, because if any game can be said to embody the speedrunning community, it would have to be Super Metroid.

Save/Kill the animals are two common donation incentives that raise a lot of money at GDQ events, and these phrases refer to the end of Super Metroid, where one can go out of the way to rescue animals from the exploding planet and allow them onto your ship. Obviously, this wastes time and speedrunners don’t do that, which is why I always donate to kill them, heartless monster that I am.

Next week I’ll be back to my regular setup of talking about specific games, but hopefully you’ve been enjoying SGDQ 2015 as much as I have! Thanks for reading.

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SGDQ 2015 Continues!

As I mentioned on Monday, Summer Games Done Quick 2015 is happening this week. There’s always at least a few runs every marathon that are a cut above the rest, and since the marathon is now half over, there’s a few that I thought were especially good. In no particular order:

  • Yoshi’s Island – Trihex has been running the game for years and has it down to a fine art. He’s always putting on an interesting show, and the game itself is an incredible speed game with tight controls. There’s a reason the marathon opened with this game.
  • Sonic Boom – If you’ve never heard of Sonic Boom, it’s a really lazy and disappointing 3D Sonic game. The interesting thing about this run though, is how glitched and funny it is to watch. Knuckles can fly, you guys!
  • Resident Evil 4 – The run is done on Professional mode, the commentary is spirited and fun, and the experience is pretty impressive. I am bias though; I love RE4 no matter how cheesy it is.
  • Octodad Co-op run – Always entertaining to watch people play this game (it’s the QWOP of 3-d games), and with 2 people speedrunning it’s very impressive.
  • The entire Tetris block – Tetris Grandmaster is insane, and I believe only seven people have achieved that rank on Tetris Grandmaster Edition 3 (the subtitle of this game is TERROR INSTINCT, because Tetris is serious business). The runs feature the only Western GM vs. KAN, the best player in the world. If you watch anything, watch this.
  • Any race should be interesting, but the Mega Man X races are always cool. Lots of people run these games, so they can easily get 4 runners to race at once.
  • Earthbound – If you like Earthbound, watch this to see it get glitched and beaten in about 90 minutes. I personally love everything about the game and was sort of sad we didn’t get to see more of it, but it’s a really long game.

I’m sure I’ve missed some and will have more favorites later in the week, but for now, these are what I liked. I haven’t seen even half of the runs due to daily life and sleep.

Overall the marathon seems to be going great. Donations are high and so is the general energy of the audience and the runners. The couch commentary has been good, and the only run I’ve seen so far that I didn’t like was the run of Crash Bandicoot 2, due to the runner acting weird and saying off-putting things. As always, Twitch chat is spammy and awful, so I can’t recommend ever entering it.

When I think back to the fairly small, close-knit atmosphere of the first Classic Games Done Quick a few years ago, it’s amazing how far the marathons have come. The runners and organizers really work so hard to put on a good show, and it gets better every year. Tune in and see it, if you haven’t! Thanks for reading.