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Sometimes I wonder if hurting yourself to get achievements/trophies counts as self-harm. What is with the human psyche's desire to make itself suffer for meaningless medallions? I'm honestly not that fussed with getting platinum trophies, but I challenged myself playing the Tomb Raider Anniversary Time Trials because you get special weapons for doing so. I have a love/hate relationship with Lara in this game, because while I love all the acrobatic moves she can do and the jumping puzzles are fun, sometimes she gets cranky. It doesn't matter if I'm long-pressing the action button or not, sometimes she just does not want to jump to a far-away ledge. Makes me wonder if I should get her counseling.
The Time Trial times seemed impossible for the most part. 16 minutes to clear Natla's Mines? It took nearly an hour getting Lara to jump up that damn pyramid pike puzzle the first time around. But that's when I learned that it's not your ability as a game player that determines you'll succeed your goals. Don't get me wrong, that's definitely a part of it, but sometimes we have to concede defeat in order to take stock of what exactly is causing you to fail? I have five tips that might you help you in the future, for any games' time trials you're trying to conquer.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
You don't immediately play "Guns n Roses" songs the first lesson on the guitar. You might feel silly or like you're being patronized when you're learning old nursery rhymes, but it's the foundation of the pyramid you're laying. Focus on getting really good at the controls first. Take your time practicing levels over and over again. Test out which weapons are better on certain enemies. Find out where the shortcuts are and see if you can allow time to pick up health items. You need to know the levels front to back, back to front, where quest items are, what areas have monsters to kill. Then you start speeding through the level, trying to beat your time, again and again. Try to aim for at least two minutes below the allotted trial times so that you won't be panicking and making costly mistakes during the actual trial.
2. Player, feed thyself.
Sometimes when we're gaming, can forget to take care of ourselves, such as accidentally skipping meals and not drinking enough water. I'm not talking about a diet subsisting on Mountain Dew and Doritos, I mean square meals. No, that doesn't mean eat a whole pizza by yourself, but hey, I'm not your mother. You're more like to become enraged when you haven't eaten for a while, so dying over and over again in a game can be even more infuriating than normal.
Make sure to intake plenty of potassium, which can help in dexterous pursuits and keep you from cramping. Get in your vitamins and adequate nutrition so that you can maintain focus. I know I'm starting to sound like a school lunch poster, but it really does make a difference. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you alcohol slows down your perception, but again, not your mother.
3. Go to sleep.
As much as we would like, we cannot run on fumes like cars. We do need to sleep and your console/hard drive needs to rest. Sleep deprivation is not only detrimental to your playing ability, it's also dangerous. As much as we wax nostalgia over those times as children and teenagers that we stayed up all night playing a game, we're not as spry as we once were. Gaming can be a hobby and a way to make a living, but it shouldn't replace a full night's rest.
4. Don't forget your responsibilities.
If you're like me, I'm not lucky enough to be able to support myself playing games all day. I'm constantly writing and putting in for jobs in between gaming sessions. Some of you have 9 to 5 jobs or are in school, or both. Having work piling up can be stressing on the mind, which can reflect in your playing. Gaming shouldn't feel like a job, so don't overexert yourself trying to complete objectives that are just a bit out of reach for now. I like to play simulation games to relax like The Sims 3. That way, it's someone else's life I'm screwing up and not mine! Is that mean? Is being horrible to pixelated facsimiles of human beings a sign of my repressed sociopathy? Eh.
5. The Best Weapons
Completing Time Trials in Tomb Raider Anniversary unlocks special weapons that can help in harder time trials. For example, completing all the Time Trials on the Lost Island unlocked the Golden Shotgun, a one hit kill item. Other games require you beat the main story a certain amount of times to unlock special weapons. What am I getting at? Well, to ensure a fast play-through, you should try to unlock all the special weapons. I know speed-run communities allow special weapons, cheats, and game bugs to bypass sections of the games. There are even masochists who like to beat the game with no such items. It's all about condensing play time and killing monsters can take up a considerable chunk of time. It's all about the fastest route and the fastest kills, so see about unlocking items before attempting a speed-run.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this list, perhaps give a tip. Or if you will, just share on your social media pages. More than anything, I just love that you took the time out of your busy schedule to read this article. If you have suggestions for a future gaming list, hit me up on Twitter @LadyChelseaofVA or my email: [email protected].