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Rambo: The Video Game (ntscus) (xb360/ps3/pc) [Any %] [Single Segment] [Private] [No upgrades]

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to 'GrassHopper'!
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Run Information

Rambo: The Video Game (ntscus) (xb360/ps3/pc) [Low %] [Single Segment] [Private]

Verification Files
(includes audio commentary on track 2)

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2016-08-16 03:35:06 pm
I started taking a look at this, but I believe the wrong video file has been submitted. So if anyone else planned to take a look, please put this on hold for now. I will contact the runner.

Edit: Correct files have been uploaded.
For info, the category of this run is "No upgrades" and not "Low%" (the latter is not really applicable for this game).

A/V: Good

I can understand why this game seems so poorly liked... Anyways, the gameplay is overall good. I'm not sure how much randomness there is, but it looks like enemies are well anticipated and the environment is taken advantage of, when possible. I think there is still some time to be saved by taking out enemies with less cursor movements. For example, there were cases of "shoot enemy #1 for a while, then move over to enemy #2 and then going back to enemy #1 to finish him off". There were also quite a few cases of "shoot the middle guy, then the guys on either side" instead of "picking them off from left to right" (or vice versa). The latter might be difficult to prevent though because of the auto-aim? I'd also be curious to know if it's possible to defeat the last boss one cycle faster? But as mentioned, overall I'd say it looks efficient for a one and a half hour single segment.

Edit history:
New129: 2016-08-17 09:29:27 am
New129: 2016-08-17 02:26:24 am
New129: 2016-08-17 02:14:45 am
New129: 2016-08-17 01:40:33 am
IMPORTANT NOTE: both video files contain a secondary audio file with Commentary — including basic information about the game and explanation to many gameplay elements.

Quote from ktwo:
„I'm not sure how much randomness there is”:

The behaviour of the enemies is mostly random. This is especially true for the ones that hide behind shelters.

Quote from ktwo:
„shoot enemy #1 for a while, then move over to enemy #2 and then going back to enemy #1 to finish him off”:

The patterns went through a lot of testing. There are several things that I have to keep in mind while targeting: the ammunition, the type of the weapon, the behaviour of the enemies, and most importantly the life (because Rambo can only heal in Wrath mode). As the game progresses some enemies get more powerful weapons. If an enemy with a shotgun appears close to me I need to shoot him down immediately and if it's possible, I use the ‘semi-invincible shelter’ trick to avoid getting any damage from the other enemies.

Quote from ktwo:
„shoot the middle guy, then the guys on either side”:

The most important ‘feature’ of this game is how the enemy bullets work in this game: the soldiers appear on the screen and shoot BUT they rarely damage you for the first time. This way you can easily remember the order of how the enemies appeared and if you kill them in this order you do not get it (except when this ‘feature’ fails and an invisible bullet damages Rambo randomly). It is possible to manipulate the enemies by killing certain soldiers. For example at the beginning of the first Mission Rambo gets to the truck next to his fellow American soldiers. Some enemies walk into the screen from the left, then from the right, and there's a guy at the back behind the rock. That one guy can delay this scene if he gets killed too quickly, because a new enemy appears instead of him! This can be very annoying because they usually don't come out immediately — they rather play around behind the shelter.

Quote from ktwo:

This is the default Aiming setting for this game on the PS3. I use it because it's more challenging (compared to the PC version) and more importantly, the PlayStation Move option is screwed up, unfortunately. The Aiming sensitivity is also really weird in this game so it's almost impossible to speedrun the stages with Manual Aiming. Sad

Quote from ktwo:
„I'd also be curious to know if it's possible to defeat the last boss one cycle faster?”:

It appears to be impossible to defeat that helicopter in less than 2 cycles. In fact, it is really difficult to defeat it in 2 cycles without damaging it before (on that certain part with the machine gun on the jeep). I am curious too because at the beginning of the first cycle I can already shoot with the tank — and if I manage to damage the boss blindly (since I can not really see from the exploding rockets) from that far away, it could deal enough damage to win the fight in 1 cycle. As far as I know after testing, it is not possible deal damage with normal weapons. (I even managed to shoot at the helicopter with the grenade launcher on the primary weapon, and the explosion did not have any effect!)
I'll try to watch this by tomorrow night.
Edit history:
LotBlind: 2016-08-22 12:49:38 pm
LotBlind: 2016-08-22 12:40:27 pm
It's not a bad habit to leave a little bit extra at the start - at least it doesn't leave anyone wondering if a part is missing.

A/V Bottom and right side have green bars.

The commentary mentions using SSD for the third mission. I'll just post these notes so far so we can get confirmation that's okay. (I hardly know how that works myself)

Is there any particular reason why you need to be on high hp at the end of any given mission?

By "shatter" is there any chance you might have meant "shelter"?
Edit history:
New129: 2016-08-23 01:40:16 am
New129: 2016-08-22 01:51:46 pm
Thank you for watching this long game!

Quote from LotBlind:
A/V Bottom and right side have green bars.

Which yua quality shows green bars for you in your media player? I am familiar with this artifact and I checked these files in several players beforehand.

Quote from LotBlind:
The commentary mentions using SSD for the third mission.

I forgot to mention the SSD in the Submission form. Putting an SSD into a PS3 is not a difficult task and I only did this to speed up the loading scenes (the cutscenes) between the Missions. The game is a little bit unstable at certain checkpoints (while Saving on HDD) and the SSD really helps a lot to lower the chance of breaking the game (and freezing the console). You can clearly notice these saving points in my speedrun since they can pause the game for even a second while playing — even though I have the SSD installed.
As far as I know this type of game is timed by counting only the parts when I can move the Crosshair, and using the SSD does not affect the gameplay.

Quote from LotBlind:
Is there any particular reason why you need to be on high hp at the end of any given mission?

I do not need to have high HP at the and of the missions — I would rather say that I need to have as much HP as possible. In this game I can not clearly count the damage caused by the enemy weapons because sometimes the bullets can even hit Rambo's head, causing a LOT of damage randomly (plus I do not use any upgrades to boost the defence). As the game progresses the enemies get stronger weapons (especially in the last 3 Missions), and since Rambo can only heal in Wrath mode (by dealing damage) I need to use that 1 bar at certain stages on each Mission.

Quote from LotBlind:
By "shatter" is there any chance you might have meant "shelter"?

Yes, I said ‘shelter’ many times during the run. Now that you mention it, it really sounds ‘shatter’, depending on the speed.
green bars: Looks like the problem is on my end. Nevermind.

SSD: I think this is acceptable, but might affect categorization. ktwo will know... If it helps with freezing etc. it's very likely anyone else potentially running this on the PS3 (which is its own category anyway) will follow suit.

Timing: Normally in console runs everything is timed in a chunk simply because it's easier and there should be no discrepancies from console unit to console unit, except if it has an in-game timer.

HP management: I still was left with a feeling that the run could be improved a little bit in places by taking more risks towards the end of the level: you have full or nearly full HP quite a few times in the first 2/3 of the run. Minor thing.

"Even though I haven't destroyed anything in the village, it's still FUBAR" - spontaneous combustion. That's what I always say anyway.

Helicopter fight at 55 minutes: why do you try using the wrath even though you can't? It looks like it maybe causes a little slow-down. Also were all the other little slow-downs during this fight something the game is doing?

Bombs: I didn't quite get your explanation - you're saying you could have typed the codes faster [if you were running on the PC]? And it's not necessary to plant them yet you do it because it's faster than the alternative? Does it still have a cutscene at 1:06:05 if you don't plant bombs?

BTW: The word "grenadier" has the stress on the DIER. Not every native speaker knows this...

1:14:00 Wait, are they all just acting? O_O
1:19:20 "have to shoot left" it's the Coriolis effect
1:21:00 maybe the grenade would have been better against this next group?

I agree that this looks like quite a worthwhile game. Good production values throughout. Not even the Russian struck me as particularly clumsy.

So yeah this shows very good game knowledge and has a nice stable quality of execution! I recommend you keep doing runs!
Edit history:
New129: 2016-08-23 04:32:56 pm
New129: 2016-08-23 10:50:35 am
New129: 2016-08-23 10:49:20 am
Thanks for the thoughts!

Quote from LotBlind:
It's still FUBAR

I have never of this but I already like it! Cheesy

Quote from LotBlind:
The helicopter fight at 55 minutes

The Wrath mode gives Rambo unlimited ammunition (while active), infra-like vision and slow-motion. At 55 minutes at the helicopter fight: there are a lot of rockets that I need to shoot before deal damage to my helicopter — and in this game the grenades, the rockets and all of the explosions cause slow-motion.
At the very end of this fight: the Wrath mode can be turned ON and OFF with the ‘×’ button and I always show the viewers that the game Cancels it (for some reason) only in this particular game stage — but there is a slight chance for a bug that allows the Wrath for that difficult helicopter shot, so I shoot with the rocket launcher earlier in slow-motion could.

Quote from LotBlind:

The easy explanation for the faster bomb-typing section on PC is that it is much easier to click on the given numbers with a mouse (instead of using a controller), of course. I usually mention that it is not necessary to plant the bombs because they only give extra points — meaning that the ‘bird-view scene’ after climbing the ladder happens without the explosions! On this difficulty I need to plant the bombs because it is faster to plant the correctly (for the 1st try) instead of typing the wrong numbers 3 times.

Quote from LotBlind:

I have not checked the pronounciation of that word, thank you for pointing that out for me! I am from Central Europe so I am not a native speaker (so English is one of my secondary languages). Could you tell me your thoughts about the commentary in general? Smiley

Quote from LotBlind:
The Coriolis effect

I can see the arrow hitting the helicopter ‘at the right spot’ but since this is a video game they should have put the shrinking circle to the right spot like they did with the other/similar stages. Cheesy

Quote from LotBlind:
1:21:00 maybe the grenade would have been better against this next group?

The ‘Cave Encounter’ is the Mission that I am still testing in terms of grenade usage. The Mission itself is really unfair because the Spetznaz soldiers are very well equipped compared to Rambo. After the first 2 debris shots Rambo encounters some enemies (coming down on ropes at 1:20:40) and when he arrives to the rock/shelter, two of them are already trying to shoot AND Rambo can only hide to the right! That grenade throw was also a test and you can even see the explosion above 2 enemies, but it did not have any effect...
Your idea about throwing the grenade at the next group is already better than the one that can be seen in the run. Since I have played the game several times since I made my Submission here I tested several spots and you made me thinking: at the very beginning of the Mission I have to wait a LOT for the enemy at the back (behind the rock on the left), so I am going the try killing him with the grenade in my next run!

Quote from LotBlind:
This looks like quite a worthwhile game.

I always say that this game is not a bad one but it is true that back then the announcement and the trailers never really stated that the genre would be a ‘Rail shooter’ (an usual one). I think the game includes every important element of the stories with EXTRA (fictional) content like the Prologue stage and after 2 years, the FREE DLC with 3 Baker Team Missions! Even though the Polish developers worked hard on this, the players still hate the idea of the game itself. Fun fact: I happened to run into a fake copy of this in the arcades (even though it was only about the 3rd movie) with really clumsy shooting mechanism and cheap graphics!

On my Twitch.TV channel I am currently working on the Green Beret difficulty speedrun (the hardest excluding the ridiculously John Rambo difficulty with the patch installed), and I am only 1 death away from beating my record that I made on Private difficulty, so I am really excited to surprise you with that run! Smiley
Re SSD. It's acceptable, but it can potentially create kind of a weird case. Since the equipment affects the load times and the load times are counted for consoles, it's almost as if you can "buy" yourself a lower time by getting the most performing hardware. In the (unlikely?) event that someone submits a run in the same category with better gameplay, but a longer total time because of longer load times... Well, then it gets a bit subjective on how to proceed... For SDA, the run with the better gameplay would probably take precedence (I'm not sure if that case has been discussed enough though, so don't quote me on it).
Decision posted.
Your English: mostly very comprehensible apart from "shelter" :D. Thanks for doing the audio track BTW, those are always cool and nicer than reading!

Testing: is there no way to level select for more efficient testing? So you don't have to do it during attempts.

BTW are you already thinking of improving this category? Or maybe doing another one in-between. My philosophy is to cycle through different categories one at a time because you're almost inevitably going to find something new for each run and will be able to implement lots of changes at once for categories you've let "simmer" for a while. EDIT: I read the rest of your post... so it's the hardest setting now? You've almost beat this time on that difficulty? Well that's something then isn't it.

Does the second hardest difficulty have qualitative differences between it and the hardest patch difficulty you've mentioned? Is the patch version otherwise very different? If you're still talking about the same thing, the DLC, then you can run that one separately from this which does indeed seem to leave space for both a hard setting run on this and a Rambo difficulty on the DLC. Still you might wanna bring up other category-related stuff in this thread now. As the rules state, SDA wants to avoid tautology, so to avoid unnecessarily getting runs obsoleting each other you should think about which ones seem the smartest, least overlapping, in the long term.

Good luck soldier! Wink Watch out though, you might become a violent maniac if you play too many violent video games.
Quote from LotBlind:

Yes, there is a Mission select — I always practice the hardest stages 10–15 minutes before each speedrun.

Quote from LotBlind:
Improving this category

This is a very simple game so I do not think that I can improve the run — or I would rather say that maybe it does not worth it (without anyone else to run this game for real).
I only planned to submit the easiest and the hardest difficulties without upgrades, that is all. After many hours of grinding XP for a maximum savegame with all upgrades I can guarantee that the game with upgrades is a piece of cake for anyone. Sad
For this game the only other category I can think of is a 100% collection with the weapon unlocks (the Trautman Challenges). Some of them are really annoying to get for the first try and I think it is nearly impossible to get all of them without using any upgrades — that could be almost twice as long the current run time. Cheesy

Quote from LotBlind:
The second hardest difficulty

On the disc you can access the PRIVATE, SERGEANT and GREEN BERET difficulties. The patch for this game only adds the JOHN RAMBO difficulty, 5 more Skill levels, 6 Skill points, 5 Perks and minor stability fixes — oh, and a LOT more loading times...
The main differences between the original 3 difficulties are these: the Quick Time Event slow-motions get shorter, the enemies deal much more damage, and the bomb planting sections require 4/5/6 numbers each. And here come the funny part: I believe that I will be able to beat the PRIVATE time on GREEN BERET because the bomb planting sections do not give retries — so I can just fail all 3 of them really quickly and this saves a lot of time! Smiley

One more thing: the patch is required for the DLC with the 3 Missions. (The DLC only gives new weapons for these Missions, nothing else.) They are located in a separate menu and they can be played on all difficulty levels. Currently I think that these Mission are packed with way too many enemies and very few manipulation options, so this may not be a good speedrun material.
As soon as I finish a deathless run on Green Beret, I will go for the John Rambo run. If I find it the way I remember it (ridiculously hard without upgrades) I may consider a segmented run/category.