The following is a detailed analysis of a Sudden TexMaster run that I had a few days ago. I’m by no means a very skilled player and you’ll see so fairly quickly. This is one of my better runs though, so I thought I’d go through and analyze it so I can detect any bad habits/etc that I need to watch out for in my playstyle. Maybe this will help someone else too (it’s almost too much to hope!).
Here’s the actual video, for reference:
Level 3 – Z
A terrible move. Openings aren’t usually my strong suit, and it shows–I’ve already messed up on the 4th piece! What I should be doing is placing this left of where it is, so I don’t create a slot that needs to be filled with an I in the middle there.
Level 17 – O
Putting this all the way to the left would have been a better choice. This placement isn’t too bad in itself, but there aren’t any other good choices to fill that left side up with. If I fill it with a J (like I end up doing right after this) I’m forced to use either another J or an I to fill it. The TGM randomizer makes it so you have a lower chance of getting pieces that you’ve just received, so putting Js on the left like that is usually bad. The only other solution would be to fill it with an L, which would be alright except it leads to a pretty jagged structure.
Level 22 – L
This is the right placement to make, but my finesse in getting the piece there is wrong. This is one of my bad habits that comes up a lot–I tend to always IRS L pieces CCW and J pieces CW. Instead of doing a triple-rotate here, I could have just IRSed CW and done a straightforward placement.
Level 25 – T
It might seem like I should be putting the T one left of where it is, and orienting it so it looks like a T, but that placement would require an I in column 1–which can be tricky to setup. I feel a lot more comfortable with this placement–it makes column 4 high, which enables either a J or an I to fill the spot in column 1.
Level 26 – S
This is just excessive though. I should have put this one flat on the right. I think I was too focused on my goal with the previous T placement to realize that there was a better spot for this piece and that I didn’t need it here.
Level 27 – J
Notice the triple-rotate finesse you need to put the J into column 1. I’m not sure exactly how viable this placement is at very high speeds, but at this slow speed it’s second nature to me.
Level 31 – I
I think this is the right placement. The other option is to drop it in column 3 but I feel like this is more stable. The column 3 gap can easily be filled by an L anyways, as long as I DON’T IRS it CCW like I usually do. On another note, I could actually have reset lock delay on this placement by not using IRS and instead letting it drop flat, then rotating it. I think that’s too specialized a case to really consider learning it as a habit though.
Level 42 – J
This placement isn’t terrible, but I could have easily just placed it with the same orientation, but 2 to the right. Perhaps I felt like that would make the structure in the middle too tall and that I needed to clear out a bit. The hole that this placement makes isn’t that bad, but you have to be careful about making dirt on the left side since it’s a little bit harder to fix.
Level 46 – L
Regret! I wanted to triple-rotate this one to get it into the hole on the right, but I somehow failed. Again my bad habit shows, because the triple-rotate is actually unnecessary here–I could have just IRSed CW and done the straightforward placement instead. Note that the placement I’m going for creates a hole, but it would be immediately fixed by a double line clear. =) Useful move to know.
Level 66 – J
Another option for this piece would be to place it in its initial orientation and go for the line clear. But that would leave you with a very jagged structure in the middle, which could be dangerous. Granted, there happens to be a T coming up, but I think this placement is much stronger. I’m proud of this move!
Level 68 – L
I could have gone for the lines with this one, but instead I chose to concentrate on building up the left side. The lines can always be taken later with a J or an I, and since my stack is pretty clean now, I’ve gone back into my default strategy of “stack high on the left, clear lines on the right”. Kudos to colour_thief’s Death GM commentary for teaching me how to think like this =].
Level 72 – S
Would you have placed this flat and to the left? That would have been a perfectly legitimate placement as well, and maybe even a more intuitive one. But I defaulted to this placement because this is my “default” placement option for S pieces when it’s available–IRS and move one to the right. It’s a strong move because it leaves column 5 high, which gives you lots of mobility. In addition, even when it doesn’t fit cleanly onto the stack, it often leaves an easy-to-fix overhang, which is nice. When I think about it, I think placing this S flat on the left is actually the better option here, but I don’t regret this move.
Level 76 – L
Notice the IRS and then unrotate finesse here. Another placement option would be to IRS it CCW and then place it on the left. Either one is probably a valid move here, although I feel more comfortable with filling in column 7 here.
Level 81 – J
This is a bad placement! I should have laid this flat on the right. Doing this makes it so I need either another J or an I in column 1. The J would need some really fancy movement finesse (not possible at high speeds), and the I would require me to stack column 4 a lot higher than it is right now. To top it off, my next piece is an S, which would have filled in the left perfectly–but now has nowhere to go!
Level 82 – S
Now I’m forced to deal with my mistake. I could have placed this flat on the right and minimized the damage done, and that probably would have been a better option at this point. But I think I was too concentrated on fixing up the left, which motivated this placement. In hindsight, it doesn’t really help things much at all xD.
Level 89 – I
I tried to go for the synchro on this one instead of doing tap-tap. You don’t have the time for tap-tap’s at higher speed, so it’s nice to learn how to do syncros at some point. I had a 2-frame window and I missed it this time, but it’s not that bad of a mistake. If the risk were higher I probably would have just IRSed the I and placed it in column 7 or 4.
Level 91 – T
Bad placement! I instead want to place this flat on the left. Doing this requires an I piece in column 10, which isn’t that bad except for the fact that I just got an I piece two pieces ago! Now we’re beginning to see a recurring trend–I tend to concentrate on problem areas too much and miss out other valid placement options.
Level 96 – I
This placement doesn’t actually need a syncro; you can just tap-tap it and even at slightly higher speeds it’ll still work because lock delay gets reset at every point. It’s tricky to know when you need to syncro your I pieces at a glance. I’m not sure if this kind of placement would be valid with a joystick…
Level 106 – T
This placement works, but another option would have been to place it facing the other way, making column 4 high. Either way lets you drop the I in column 1. I’m not really sure which one is better. This one focuses on the left side, while the other option provides more movement on the right side.
Level 116 – T
This was a tough call. Placing the T like this covers up column 1, but it isn’t that bad of a move (one you should know, actually) because it only leaves one row to clear before you uncover it again. You don’t want to place it on the right, and you definitely don’t want to put it facing to the right and make column 2 high, blocking off column 1 completely. You could IRS it CW and move it one right, but that almost completely cuts off the right side entirely. The next piece is an S, which would be alright on the left, but that’s basically achieving the same thing as I achieve right here. Having made this decision I just need to make sure to stack high on the right until I uncover column 1 again.
Level 118 – L
I think filling in column 10 might have been a better choice here, but I probably wasn’t expecting another L so soon. Or maybe I just felt that that spot in columns 7-8 needed to be filled in and was sitting empty for too long. I’m due for an O piece pretty soon though.
Level 119 – Z
There’s no real good spot for this piece. The placement I chose is the lesser of two evils, I think–I end up overstacking and making column 1 covered up an additional 2 rows, but I keep column 10 open, as opposed to the other obvious placement which completely cuts it off.
Level 121 – J
I IRS CW here and unrotate on purpose. It’s a habit I’ve gotten into that I think is actually useful. It helps you establish rhythm and resets lock delay. Without it, you get a piece dropped with no button input, and no lock delay reset, which can throw off your timing sense.
Level 123 – L
Here’s another unnecessary triple-rotate. The placement is ok though. A common newbie mistake is to fill in these kinds of situations (column 10) with Ls and Js when you really just want to wait for an I piece instead and avoid overstacking and making additional holes. In this case my placement makes sense though, because getting an I piece over there would require a synchro.
Level 128 – S
I didn’t realize that my column 1 hole would be uncovered, so I foolishly covered it up again. I instead want to throw this over on the right, or at least do my “default” move of IRS, move one to the right. Although I’ve covered up my hard-earned tetris hole in column 1, it’s not that bad of a situation at all because it’s still an easy fix.
Level 132 – J
Placing Js on the left is undesirable, but at least I avoid overstacking here. If I were clever I would see that I could actually uncover column 1 by executing a line clear over on the right. I would end up leaving a hole there, though, so I’m not sure if it’s worth it. I’m not perceptive enough to see those clever kinds of line clears yet, and besides, I’m all set up for my I piece to go into column 10 anyways.
I’d like to take a second to comment that, like colour_thief (and probably most other skilled players), I often make up “plans” for certain pieces as I’m waiting for them. This happens most frequently with L, J, and I pieces, though I occasionally do it with Ts and even Os. Here I probably have an “I plan” in mind so now that the I is here I immediately know where I want to put it.
Level 138 – J
This was a judgment call. Ordinarily you want to be careful about clogging your tetris holes with Js or Ls but in this case I think it was the right choice because I would need a risky synchro in order to get an I into column 1. Notice the triple-rotation necessary to get the J to the left here.
Level 140 – I
Regret! This is a terrible placement because I’m forcing myself to use another I piece, which I know won’t come up for awhile. The better option is to put it in column 4, although doing that would require me to NOT IRS it and instead tap-tap left and then rotate (not possible at high speeds). Still, even IRSing it and leaving it in column 6 would be a better move than this was. At the very least I had the sense to leave it in column 10 instead of column 9. This means I’m dedicating myself to waiting for another I piece. I pieces are a lot easier to get into column 9 than column 10, so I should have no trouble placing it there, but I’m going to have to hold off until I get another one. =( The sad part is that I have an O piece coming up next that would perfectly fill in the hole on the right if I hadn’t blocked it up.
Level 142 – T
This placement seems pretty obvious and intuitive but I’m not so sure it’s actually the best one. I think IRSing it CW and placing it left might have been better. I can’t really explain why but the stack as it looks here doesn’t really seem very good to me. It’s a difficult to describe intuition sense that you develop after a while. More obviously, I’ve got a Z coming up that now has nowhere to go!
Level 151 – L
The IRS that I do here does reset lock delay but I’m not sure whether it’s strictly necessary for rhythm purposes because you have to move it to the right anyways. Hmm…I guess it’s alright.
Level 154 – S
I have no idea what I was thinking here. Maybe I felt that placing it in the obvious place (column 3-4) would have maybe cut off column 1? That’s totally incorrect though, as I can still put a J piece there, or even an I with a synchro. This was just a brain fart.
Level 155 – J
Again, I don’t need the triple-rotate here. I don’t ALWAYS make this mistake, but I do make it fairly often. I’m just not that adept at recognizing when I don’t need the IRS and when I do.
Level 162 – Z
Oof! I should have just laid this flat in the obvious placement instead. This placement isn’t TOO bad but it creates a pretty sticky situation in the left. I recognize that the left hand side can easily be solved with an L and then a J though.
Level 174 – L
This placement seems rather straightforward, but it’s not the best one. First, it overstacks on top of the hole in column 3. Second, I could easily IRS it CCW and go for the single line clear, opening up the hole in column 10.
Level 206 – J
Another unnecessary IRS. Granted, not all of these are that bad, and I’ve certainly seen higher-level players do unnecessary rotations, but if possible I’d like my finesse to be as efficient and “good” as possible.
Level 208 – I
Notice the unnecessary rotation here. It’s not really the best finesse at all, but if you accidentally IRS an I piece, this is a neat little trick you can use to “un-IRS” it and “hop it over” a bump.
Level 211 – Z
This is an unorthodox move, but I’m very proud of it. Normally I would think to just jam it smack dab in the middle of the hole, but this placement actually sets up for the hole to be uncovered quite easily by an L or an I (the latter of which is coming right up).
Level 215 – L
Unnecessary triple-rotate again. This placement probably wouldn’t have been fast enough at higher speeds. But I was dealing with a line clear, and it’s tricky to know in advance how the stack is going to look after a line clear (much less an unorthodox one like this).
Level 222 – S
Regret! I should have just IRSed this and left it instead of moving it one left. I’m risking a hole in column 5 if a T piece comes, which unfortunately, it is. Holes in column 5 are BADDDDD. I’d much rather have a hole over in column 4 or 3.
Level 229 – T
I come across this situation a lot and I’m not quite sure how to recognize it yet. The problem is that I’m using a T piece but creating a situation on the left side that is best fixed using a T piece. The better placement is to lay the T flat here.
Level 231 – I
I ideally should have jammed this into the hole in column 9, but there’s no way I could have known that the misdrop of the S was going to happen, so I was totally unprepared for it. So what I really should have done was place this over in column 1 where it needs to go. This placpement in column 6 doesn’t really fix anything, though at the very least it avoids overstacking column 5 too much.
Level 233 – L
A desperate attempt to do -something- about the mess over on the right. It probably would have been better to either put this unrotated on the left, making another hole in column 3, or to IRS CCW and leave it in columns 7-8. I’m getting a little desperate here.
Level 234 – O
Another piece that doesn’t really fit anywhere. I’ve now committed myself to waiting for an I piece to fill in column 3. This is better than waiting for an I piece in column 1, at least, so this placement is actually pretty good, given the circumstances.
Level 239 – O
My stack still isn’t stable yet at all. I could have dropped this in columns 7-8 but that would have made another hole. Instead I put it here, but in the process I block off column 1. My next pressing need is to pave a path for an I piece to go there.
Level 240 – I
I could have instead put this in column 4, which would ensure that I could get a future I into column 1, but I felt that the column 7-8 hole was a more pressing need, and that stacking high in column 4 could wait.
Level 243 – J
Or, maybe I didn’t know what I was doing and wasn’t planning to fill column 1 with an I after all =P. This is a bad placement because filling it column 8 on the right would have been much much better.
Level 255 – Z
I’m happy with this placement. It creates an overhang, but a rather tame one that can be filled with either a T (which I use in this case) or a J. The other option would be to place it one to the right, but that would depend on me getting an O piece to fill in columns 6-7. I happened to get an O piece here, but you can’t always rely on things like that.
Level 257 – J
I could have actually fixed the overhang with this J here, but instead I chose to stabilize my stack a little bit more. Luckily enough I got a T right afterward which I used to fill in the overhang anyways.
Level 260 – Z
This would be much better flat on the right. The placement I opt for here creates a jagged structure on the left which is going to be difficult to fix, especially since I just got a T piece.
Level 265 – J
This placement isn’t bad, but I think it would have been better to IRS CW and put it in columns 6-7. That would block off columns 8-10, but that’s my “messy” side anyways at the moment (since the holes there are higher up), and it would prevent the sticky situation I have in columns 1-3 right now (which is a fairly common situation, but an undesirable one).
Level 266 – L
Would you have made this placement or would you have placed this flat on the middle? I like this better because of the stability it offers. Yes, it makes another hole, but the right side is my messy side anyways so I don’t care too much about the crap that goes there.
Level 270 – O
Placing O one to the left of its initial spawn location is a very, very, very good move. I haven’t really called that much attention to it, but it’s a move that you should be using a LOT. It maintains mobility by keeping column 5 high, and lets you drop I pieces into the left hand side easily.
Level 276 – Z
I’m not sure this is the right placement at all. It might have been smarter to not IRS and place it on the right. I would have cut off column 10, which would have been pretty messy, but the situation I’m getting into right here is also very bad. The overhang I’m making is nothing to be concerned about, but the gap in column 5 is very deadly since I’m screwed if I get a T piece (as a side note, I wouldn’t be so screwed if this were TGM3: Terror Instinct because T pieces can double-rotate in this situation in TGM3. No such luck in TAP). As such, I need to immediately put an L, J, or I into column 5.
Level 278 – L
This placement doesn’t come up that often (and it SHOULDN’T) but I could actually not IRS and instead manually rotate, in order to reset lock delay. The L piece came just in time here, as the T piece was next. Instead of the T leading to my doom I was able to use it to fix my overhang. So everything worked out really nicely =).
Level 290 – I
I also could have put this in column 10 if I wanted to. In these kinds of situations I’m often unsure of which option is better. I think in general I like filling the middle one in more, because it leads to a more balanced stack. However, if you have a situation where you’re using two I pieces to fill in a 2-wide gap, you want to fill in the farther one first.
Level 291 – S
I can’t put this on the right, so I’m forced to cover my column 1 hole. Notice that if I had rotated this and slammed it on the left it would have overstacked and made the hole even harder to uncover. These kinds of things are really useful to know–how to orient pieces so they make the least destructive holes.
Level 292 – T
Again we see my tendency toward building high towers in the middle. If I could put this on the right there would be a really clever line clear option available, but I can’t, unfortunately, so I think the best move here is to lay it flat on the left instead.
Level 293 – L
Another unnecessary triple rotate. This placement is good though. I’m not sure whether I realized it would uncover column 1, but it did =P. Another option is to put it in columns 7-8, which would leat to a more stable stack.
Level 295 – O
This would have been better two to the left, or even in columns 3-4 instead. I think right now my mind hadn’t realized that column 1 had already been unearthed, so I’m still in “stack high on the right, clear on the left” mode.
Level 299 – T
This placement is bad because it forces me to get another I piece to clear out column 10. But it’s good because it leaves the option of putting an I piece in column 1, which would require a synchro otherwise. Although, since the 300 level mark is coming up, I’m not sure the tap-tap method would even still work anyways. But right now I’m really banking on getting an I piece to fill column 1.
Level 299 – I
Hooray! Finally~ This placement takes practice–you need to double tap to the left, then rotate while DASing left. It doesn’t always work at high speeds unforunately, especially if there isn’t a lock delay reset.
Level 302 – L
Not sure if this is good. The stack is more stable than it would be if I put this in columns 3-4 and I didn’t make a hole like I would if I put it in 1-2, but I’m worried about the right side being difficult to reach. Although I guess an I piece can still go to the right easily enough so I guess there’s nothing to worry about.
Level 307 – I
Rats…I need another I piece now because of the O piece in level 306. Putting this I piece on the right was the right decision to make because putting it on the left would have required a tricky synchro. Now that we’re past the 300 mark the speed is a lot faster, so we can’t take chances like that. You’ll also see me making more misdrops here because I can’t quite handle the speed yet.
Level 309 – S
Ick! It might have been better to leave this unrotated and create a 2-wide overhang to be solved with a J. This placement is mainly bad because it cuts off column 1 and I need to stack some more before I can get an I piece in there.
Level 327 – L
This needs to either go all the way to the left, or be placed flat in the middle. This placement was probably made out of surprise to my I mishap. The Z piece that’s coming up is waiting to just utterly kill me. =(
The last few moves are more out of desperation than anything else so I won’t really comment on them.