Workout Week 35.5: Difficulty in Beat Saber

Given my self-imposed challenge of progressively going up in difficulty levels (in any of my games) as I earned the highest score tiers, I figured that in Beat Saber in particular I would eventually run into a point of diminishing returns.

 

I’ve mentioned this elsewhere in these posts, but to reiterate:

When playing Beat Saber as a fitness game, the “point of diminishing returns” is the point at which everything goes so fast that there’s too much wrist flapping and not enough sweeping arm motions to really count as “exercise.” Obviously this point is going to be different for everyone (perhaps you’re good enough at the game that you can get those sweeping motions at higher difficulties than I can, or perhaps you define exercise for your purposes differently than I define it for mine).

The original plan was to keep track of calorie burn and see how it changes with difficulty levels, but finding that point turned out to be far easier… just see where everything’s so fast that I can’t even play it! And that point for me is Hard Mode; not only are the blocks moving too fast for my preferred full arm movement, they’re moving too fast for me to even hit them correctly. I have to turn No Fail on just to last more than five seconds… which will cut my score in half and make it way harder (if not impossible) to continue moving up in difficulty for the purpose of that self-imposed challenge.

 

So, while I would like to continue trying higher difficulties just to see if I can (eventually) get good enough to beat them, I’ll assume Normal is the mode to stick with for exercising purposes.

Kinda makes me wonder just how bad I’ll do later on in the campaign; I have no doubt some of those levels require higher difficulty than I’m prepared for….

 

Also related to difficulty levels, I recently found out something about my DLC, and also cheated a bit on my self-imposed challenge.

What I found out is that Counting Stars, even on Easy mode, seems to involve way more moving around than High Hopes and Greatest Show (all the songs I’ve bought and paid for thus far) on Normal mode. Despite this discovery, I still worked to get all three of them to the highest score tier on Normal, taking half an hour one night (and burning well over 300 calories according to both my FitBit and the VR Health app) to accomplish it… and wearing a full raccoon mask of red marks as a result. 😉

(I have to wonder, as I lose weight–inches, rather–would losing fat in my face result in the headset not being as tight and making the red marks less noticeable, or would it result in not having the cushioning I need to prevent those red marks from being worse? The memes I’ve seen keep focusing on lines on the forehead, but I’ve already had a few times where I noticed one cheek or the other looked like someone had hit me after only wearing the thing for five minutes….)

And the cheating part was when I went through each of the songs the other day and discovered that for one of them (High Hopes, if I remember right), my highest score on Easy mode did not include a Full Combo (where you manage to hit every block). So naturally I had to go back to playing it on Easy just so I could get a better score with an FC attached. 😉 Honestly, this sort of thing is why I’d prefer a scoreboard that works the way it does in the demo mode–I’m not competitive enough to care what people in my region, my friend group, or around the world have ranked, but I want to see an arcade-game-style list that shows all of the scores earned on that specific machine so I can see where I rank in my own history, instead of being limited to seeing how my own single highest score ranks against people who are clearly better at the game than me. I’d gladly change my self-imposed challenge to filling up such a scoreboard with all SS FC scores before moving on to the next difficulty if such a scoreboard existed. But I’ve started looking through the mods, and either my Google fu is lacking or nobody is claiming to have implemented a scoreboard like that… not even Scoresaber.

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