Summer Games Done Quick 2017 primer

Summer Games Done Quick 2017 is quickly approaching. The same group that raised $2.2 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation back in January returns with its summer event based out of Minneapolis. The charity event is once again poised to raise millions of dollars with one of its strongest run lists yet. The week-long marathon starts at 9:30AM on Sunday.

Here I will give my beautiful readers a look at the runs most people would say they are most excited for, a run that no one is excited for, and a game I’m personally excited for, for every day of the marathon. It will be a good primer headed into a busy week of speedruns.

Sunday

Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/gamesdonequick

Crowd Favorite: NieR: Automata, Ending A Normal (1-handed). Yes, your eyes did not deceive you. Halfcoordinated will be running NieR with one handed rather than the usual two. A person is going to beat an entire game handicapped. Now this has been done before. I mean, Mike Tyson was beaten blindfolded, but in a game like NieR that’s so fast paced and hectic it seems like a difficult task. It’s also the first run of the entire event, so don’t miss it!

Underrated Run: Castlevania; Symphony of the Night, any% glitchless. I’m not sure this run should fit in the underrated category anymore because of its known presence at past GDQ’s, but I wanted to give it some proper attention. The best speed game in the Castlevania series goes against the norm by being more movement based. It always surprises people who have a different outlook on the Castlevania series.

Personal Favorite: Diddy Kong Racing, any%. One of my favorite runs of all time. A run that could fall under the underrated category as most people don’t give it enough of a chance as a speedgame. The racing genre isn’t necessarily popular in the speedrun community, but without game breaking glitches DKR is able to push runners with extra drift options and have it catered more towards speedrunners.

Monday

Crowd Favorites: Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (Ultimate) ran by Jcool114. There’s a reason Monkey Ball keeps making it back to GDQ’s. People enjoy a tiny monkey rolling around in what looks like a plastic ball, flying across levels to reach the goal. It’s maybe not as noteworthy as the Sonic block or Donkey Kong 64, but it still will have a rather large crowd.

Underrated Run: Ape Escape All Monkeys. The theme of Monday at SGDQ: insane monkeys on the loose. Ape Escape is another game that doesn’t get any love, but has an interesting speedrun. Fast paced and full of skill packed into an hour and a half.

Personal Favorite: Mirrors Edge, any% glitchless. The Mirrors Edge series was basically made for speedrunning. An entire game focused on movement? Yes please. Even without any glitches, the optimization through the game engine allows for incredible things to happen during a given run.

Tuesday

Crowd Favorites: Banjo-Kazooie by StivityBobo. Stiv has become almost a folk hero. The world’s best Banjo runner always seems to put on a great show at GDQ.

Underrated Run:  I Am Bread. Games with more skill are great, but how about being a piece of bread? Like Octodad, I Am Bread is a physics game that puts you in a world where you survive and move as a piece of bread. It will be a short ten-minute run, but get ready for the thrill ride of your life.

Personal Favorite: Half-Life. It’s hard for me not to pick being a piece of bread as the best run of the day, but there’s no way I can skip over one of my favorite runs of all time. Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are classic games with even better speedruns. The skill involved in precise bunny hopping and accelerated back hopping makes for an entertaining speedrun.

Wednesday

Crowd Favorite: Undoubtedly the Mega Man block will warrant the most attention.  Every year the Mega Man X races bring the most eyes, and usually is close enough to keep viewers engaged to the end. There’s three individual Mega Man runs, but they will all be from the X series. Fortunately, the X series is the toughest in the entire Mega Man collection and has the highest skill ceiling in terms of the speedruns.

Underrated Runs: Bucky O’ Hare ran by Garrison. First off, Garrison is a great speedrunner that has been featured at Games Done Quick for a long time. Secondly, Bucky O’ Hare is a great platform speedrun with interesting gameplay elements. It’s only been two years since Garrison ran this game at an SGDQ, but the run is so entertaining it’s no surprise to see it make a return.

Personal Favorite: Kirby Dreamland 2 ran by Zorlaxseven. Kirby games, despite Kirby being a giant, pink, puff ball that moves like molasses vertically, has a great library of entertaining speedruns. The NES game has plenty of glitches involved, but more importantly has a number of movement options based off the power-ups Kirby sucks up. The run is all about combining different elements to make Kirby move faster.

Thursday

Crowd Favorite: Tetris: The Grand Master 3. Tetris appeared at a GDQ and blew everyone away with their ability to think in milliseconds to make decisions. The game itself might not be more popular than the Zelda block also taking place on Thursday, but most people walk away from GDQ with Tetris on their minds. Check it out if you’ve never seen these Tetris robots in action.

Underrated Runs: Mario Kart 64 all cups with skips. Now, you might be thinking ‘how can Mario Kart be underrated?’ Well, the Mario Kart games are very much appreciated and popular but the speedrunning community is somewhat neglected. It’s also a good time to see a favorite childhood game get absolutely dismantled. Abney317 is running the game and rarely misses the execution on certain skips.

Personal Favorite: Portal Inbounds. In the blink of an eye, the level you spent hours on in Portal is being torn apart. The precision involved in landing perfect portal shots to get the right momentum to make it to the next step of the puzzle is fantastic. This run will leave the viewers’ jaws on the floor.

Notable mentions: Ghosts’n Demons ran by Aquas, Chrono Trigger by Puwexil and Bionic Commando by PJ.

Friday

Crowd Favorites: The Super Mario Series Warpless Relay Race. Without a doubt, this could be the most excited I’ve ever been for a GDQ run. A mix of all the classic Mario games coupled with the excitement of a relay race, and you have the most anticipated run of Summer Games Quick 2017.

Underrated Runs: Splasher by Gyoo. Picture a platformer that’s basically a mad sprint all the way till the end. Splasher is that game and though most people haven’t heard of this game, it’s definitely worth your attention. Some call it a Meat Boy clone and while it has certain gameplay elements that take from Meat Boy, it has enough uniqueness to differentiate it.

Personal Favorite: Thursday isn’t my favorite day on the schedule this year, but the day ends with Super Metroid low% and we all know what that means.

Saturday

Crowd Favorites: Super Mario 64 120 stars ran by Cheese. Cheese recently beat his 120-star world record and somewhat reinvigorated the speedrunning community over the last few months. Mario 64 has always been the poster child of the growing scene, as Siglemic moved the speedrunning world into the spotlight with his Twitch streams. Cheese is the best 64 runner in history and should bring lots of eyes and donations on the last day.

Underrated Run: Titanfall 2 any%. First time I watched an any% run of Titanfall 2, I got an experience I wasn’t expecting. The movement was crisp and there’s a strafing and bunny hop mechanic that makes it such an entertaining run. Most people will likely find something else to do during this time slot. Here’s some advice: DON’T.

Personal Favorite: Super Panga World. In case you haven’t noticed, I love old side-scrolling Mario platformers, and I especially love the insane mods created by the speedrunning community’s evilest, pain loving level creators. Panga is known for not showing any mercy to the people playing his hack and it’s even driven other speedrunners to make “revenge hacks” to get him back. Super Dram World, a hack created by Panga, pushed popular SMW speedrunner Link Dead to create his own hack in spite of Panga. Thus, we now have Super Panga World at a Games Done Quick.

Honorable Mentions: Earthbound by Ultimolce, Majora’s Mask all masks by TrevPerson and Rise of the Triad by Psychoripper.

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Featured image courtesy of YouTube.com/gamesdonequick

Plup’s Luigi Pleases the Crowd at CEO: Dreamland; Mew2King Takes Home Top Prizes

The CEO: Dreamland win for Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman was impressive. He beat top seeded Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, overcoming a 2-4 2017 record against Hbox. The bounce back win was a great story, but it took a back seat to the rise of Luigi.

The last month for Justin “Plup” McGrath was not spent playing Melee. Plup, being a top-10 player, spent the last couple weeks traveling across South Korea and focusing on anything but Melee. In his first tournament back, the readiness and performance was in question. Then, late Saturday night, Plup sent out this tweet:

In light of this tweet, Plup took to the CEO ballroom floor and proceeded to turn heads with a character most people would say couldn’t win a major. Plup’s Luigi was assumed a gimmick when the day started, but no one was thinking that at the end of the day.

Furthermore, Plup took out Michael “Nintendude” Brancato and Sami “DruggedFox” Muhanna, proving early on his Luigi was for real. He made it into a winners semifinal at a major by going all Luigi. It’s a rare sight seeing Luigi anywhere near Top 8. Stephen “Abate” Abate was the first Luigi to make a deep run at The Big House 5 where he almost brought the venue down with his win over Johnny “S2J” Kim (the invisible celing set). The play of Ben “Luigikid” Tolan making deep runs at SSS, and Eduardo “Eddy Mexico” Lucatero Rincon help legitimize Luigi with strong wins in Southern California.

The best part is Plup has no recorded tournament sets with Luigi, so in his first try he finished fifth. He gave the eventual champion, M2K, a ride before the inevitable readjustments coming from M2K’s counter pick of Marth from Sheik.

SFAT Loses the Runback

SFAT and M2K. Photo courtesy of YouTube.com/vgbootcamp

It’s rarer than rare to see a performance similar to Zac “SFAT” Cordoni’s at CEO: Dreamland. The only other player with similar results that come to mind is William “Leffen” Hjelte who has beaten multiple gods before he was considered one himself. SFAT is slowly developing those next level mind games to be able to compete with the likes of M2K and Hungrybox.

Despite a 2-16 lifetime record against M2K for SFAT, he entered grand finals up 3-2 in sets against a player who’s absolutely had his number. All signs pointed to SFAT winning his first major with Gods in attendance. But, as history has shown us before, never count out any of the Gods to get the reset win in grand finals.

M2K, who lost in game 5 against SFAT in winners finals, made key adjustments and played better on Final Destination. Two of the best players statistically on Final Destination played four games on the flat stage. The count was 2-2, but M2K took back stage control and forced his will on SFAT’s Fox.

Unfortunately, SFAT ran into M2K who has historically had his number. The southern California Fox main is creeping into the title conversation. He’s real close to breaking the ceiling, but M2K wasn’t going to let that happen at CEO: Dreamland.

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My Top 10 Video Games of All Time

Courtesy of, www.reddit.com

Courtesy of, www.reddit.com

I have been an avid gamer for many years. Video games have brought me much joy over those years and many of them for very different reasons. They are what I do to relax. They have allowed for me to expand my mind and become much more creative. They have also driven my love for history and strategy. Overall I feel like video games have had a very positive impact on my life.

Making this list was not an easy task. Because I have played so many games in my life it is hard to just narrow them down to 10. This will not be a list of similar games mind you. This is a list of games spanning different genres and many different gaming systems.

These are games that I have spent countless hours on and I love them all for very different reasons. Here is my top 10 games of all time: