Psychology on A (Shitty) Perfectionist Rhythm Gamer

Missed 1. Don't you hate it when this happens?

Missed 1. Don’t you hate it when this happens?

As rhythm gamers, I think we all aspire to perfect songs. Other than memorizing rhythms and endless repetitive practices, are there any other ways you can do to improve your chances of perfecting a song?

Admittedly, I’m not exactly a good rhythm gamer anyway (the amount of songs I actually perfected over the years can be counted with just my ten fingers), but I’m here to show what I know. The biggest problem in perfecting songs are distractions in my mind, when I was playing rhythm games, I always find myself not being able to perfect songs when I’m actively thinking “I want to perfect this!” and in contrast, I find myself able to perfect songs casually when I’m not thinking of anything. I think the former just makes everything unnecessarily intense and nerve-wracking, and effects your ability to perfect songs, the more relaxed mood in the latter instead puts you in a better position to perfect a song.

So what I’m essentially asking all of you to do here, is what every martial artists aspire to do. “Empty your mind” is a main principle behind a lot of Japanese martial arts, clear your mind and adapt to the essence of Zen. Let your mind be still like water, and let your fingers move in a state where your mind is not preoccupied with any emotions.

…is what I would like to say, but it’s probably impossible. For one, who wouldn’t want to perfect songs when you play rhythm games? With what I described, it literally wants you to have a “don’t care” altitude just to be in a relaxed mood, because aforementioned, hyping yourself up by yelling (internally) you want to perfect songs just makes it more anxious, and really effects your gameplay. Well, never hurt to try though, I guess.


Another thing that helps is to take a break whenever possible, it’s a no brainer but playing rhythm games constantly may also effect your ability to perfect songs. I mean if you’re severely exhausted, how do you even perfect anything? Being exhausted also makes it ten times more frustrating during those moments where you see you’re just one miss away from a perfect. Controllers are thrown, phones are tossed and destroyed just because of this.

Me whenever I'm one note away from perfect.

Me whenever I’m one note away from perfect.

Also, this isn’t an advice but a sort of rant from myself. In some rhythm games, there will usually be accompanying visuals (mostly music videos) for the songs you’re playing, with all the gameplay on the foreground. While you will be able to enjoy the visuals while playing the game, the bad thing about this is that it also heavily effects your gameplay. In LLSIF, I literally have to toggle the images off in my gameplay just to make it as distraction-free as possible. Honestly, these visuals are like a double-edged sword. I could be playing Project Diva and be screaming “MIKU SO MOE” and “I MISSED! SHIIIIIEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTTTT!” at the very same time. While easier modes are fine, but on higher difficulties, you barely even have the luxury to enjoy the visuals.

Project Diva - The background visuals are fun to look at, the notes on the other hand...

Project Diva – The background visuals are fun to look at, the notes on the other hand…

Additionally, there’s also the fact that these rhythm games are… rhythm games, and rhythm is a big part of these games. I’m sounding like I’m spouting some next level Shirou-bullshit but please bear with me.

For every songs in rhythm games, they have notes at rhythmic segments of the song for you to press, and all these notes flow in such a rhythmic structure it’s as if you are literally playing an actual song on a musical instrument. But this is why easy mode can be a bit awkward to play sometimes, because they remove so many notes it ruins the rhythmic flow. Then again, rhythmic flow or not, songs on the highest difficulty can be so hard to play too it’s as if you are playing an epic re-arranged Mozart piece. Rhythm games are serious business.


If you’re good at perfecting songs in rhythm games, what sort of advice would you give?

This entry was posted by Kai.

6 thoughts on “Psychology on A (Shitty) Perfectionist Rhythm Gamer

  1. I have to admit that I suck at rhythm games since I haven’t been playing any lately. When I played Miracle Girls Festival, which is basically has the gameplay of Project Diva, but with Anime music instead, it took awhile to start getting good at it and get some good scores. But yes, I keep restarting several times when I mess up, which can get frustrating. Then again, repetition and practice is the clear cut way to perfecting a song, at least for me.

    • I can get good scores in rhythm games, but can hardly perfect most of them, lol. It makes me think having the option to practice (with the ability to skip to any part of the song to practice) without scores would be an excellent feature to have. In fact, now that when I think about it, I think Theatrhythm have it. But anyway, yeah, in the end, repetition and practice is really the best method when it all comes down to it.

  2. My two cents:

    First thing’s first. If your game allows it, make the notes “fall faster”. On Rayark games (Deemo, VOEZ), you can do this to extend the window of “Perfect hits”. Obviously, your eyes will need to be just as fast in catching these notes, so it’s only good for people who have played the song multiple times.

    If you’re on your phone or a smaller device, make sure your grip isn’t too tight or loose. I personally found it having the phone “rest” on four of my fingers while my thumbs are freely moving one of the best methods to acquire full combos

    Distractions: they’re the biggest thing really. If you’re really aiming for that perfect, make sure nothing distracts you. Yes, this means if you’re at your workplace, you need to ask for a break, go into the toilet, and play there.

    Most players can achieve full combos without these kinds of tweaks if they were able to in the first place; I usually achieve full combos on games like LLSF without even listening to the music (either I forget my headphone or I can’t wear one for whatever reason). Watching videos on Youtube or something does help to a certain extent, but as with any rhythm game, perfection requires practice

    • Not much to add here so I’ll just reply to the latter part.

      Rhythm games are really best played when you are free without distractions, because unlike other games, it’s hard to pause midway in rhythm games without ruining your full combos. Which makes playing rhythm games on mobile pretty awkward at times — because you will mostly be playing them when you are on the go, and that means you will be playing most of the time without headphones, minimal volume with a lot of distractions, noises and the likes – I know I’m played most of LLSIF like that, it’s good that I’m able to clear LP effectively, but at the same time, it’s just hard to enjoy the music like that.

  3. I never play this kind of game but it seems my understanding about these games is not wrong (need to click perfectly). I think any players who got max score need to be robot or something.

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