new tgm player, some questions...

Thread in 'Discussion' started by WannabeSurfer, 20 Jul 2015.

  1. What's up everybody? I am an avid NES Tetris player who is in the process of making the transition to the Tetris Grand Master series. I have a couple questions, and figured I'd finally quit lurking and sign up to ask the pros. Anyway:

    1. I have tgm 1 and tgm 2 both running well in mame. Which should I begin with? Should I just go for tgm2?

    2. I am stuck with a keyboard for now, but I want a joystick ASAP. What do you guys recommend? I've seen most people mention either a hori or a madkatz, and I also read something about getting a joystick with satwa parts. Can someone clarify?

    3. If I plan to eventually be ultra competitive in the tgm series, should I be considering obtaining tgm 3 somehow?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    1) You should play both with a majority of your time focused on TGM2...
    My experience of 10 years and observation on other high skilled players shown me that the most advanded game you use, the most efficient it is for the whole serie.
    Here are my proportion approximately :
    TGM3 : 60%
    TGM2 : 25%
    TGM1 : 15%

    But you will have at some moments to entirely focuse on one game for months and stay on it, excluding the others, if you want to push far your best performances, you need time on one game to get used to his specific timings.

    2) The Sanwa joystick set with 4 direction (no diagonals) is the most adapted configuration for playing TGM. The brand of the stick doesn't really matter. I let someone else reply here with more details..

    3) Depends if you wish to be present everywhere like me but never in the top 3, or if you want to be an expert on one specific game and suck on the other games..
    TGM and TGM2 are really close together, you can master these 2 together, TGM3 is more different. Refering to the question 1,
    I have noticed that players who directly come and focuse on TGM3, develop a higher global ability on the whole series then.
  3. 1. Just go for the game where you have the most fun. It would suggest mixing in TGM1, because getting to Level 999 or GM grade in TGM1 is a realistic short term goal (that is under 1 year).

    2. If you want it the simple way, buy a used Madcatz Tournament Edition Round 2. This one comes with Sanwa parts, you just have to unscrew the top or bottom and turn the restrictor to 4 way mode (10 min work maximum). If the stick or buttons break, you can also fix it quite easy with replacement parts. Hori also has some sticks with all Sanwa parts, some with only Hori parts and some mixed. Another way is to buy a replacement stick and buttons and put it into a cheap case (e.g. Mayflash, Honcan) or a self build case. You might not want to do this, if you do not have fun building things and at least own some of the necessary tools.
  4. 1. I'd say just go for TGM2. It's basically just an improvement on TGM1, with a better scoring (grading) system, a difficulty that continues to grow even after reaching 20G, and most importantly: The sonic drop, which just makes that game a ton more entertaining to play IMO.
    Having more modes also helps. Death mode is a great easy way to practice high gravity, without having to bother with cheat codes every time.
    I think the only reason to play TGM1 once in a while, should be for the easier difficulty that would probably make it easier for you to reach new milestones faster. You'll easily find yourself missing the sonic drop though :D

    TGM3 has multiple piece previews, floor kicks, and a hold button, changing the game a lot. I think whether you should play it or not should just be down to personal taste. Personally I'm not a fan of Hold at all, and you still see a ton of people competing in TGM2. I don't think that game is ever going to die out.
  5. Thanks for the replies! I'll take a look at Amazon for a used madkatz TGGC, good advice. I wouldn't of thought of that.

    I was worried that if I wasn't going for the newest game (tgm3), then I would be kind of left behind considering how old tgm1 and 2 are. But then I guess most people don't have a Taito Type X laying around to play it. :p

    Now comes the long road of practice.

    Edit: all of the sticks I am seeing on Amazon are street fighter 4 themed, would that be the correct one? I don't care if it has sf4 decals.
  6. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    Before buying anything, post what you find here so we can tell you if the price is correct or abused.
  7. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    I got mine in 2010 for 130€, it was in the complete box and almost new, so your price is not bad.

    BUT !
    The PS3 version requiers a modification, I had to buy a Cthulhu card and integrate it inside to make the joystick universal and playable on PC, costed me 35€.... The player K made it for me because I suck with moding stuff.. If I am right, the XBOX 360 version doesn't requier this modification to be used on PC directly but if someone could confirm what I say...
  8. Good thing I didn't buy it yet. I would of naturally assumed that the Xbox 360 joystick would work natively with windows, but from doing a bit of research I've seen people mention the PS3 one more often than Xbox. Strange.

    But yeah, can anyone confirm? PS3 or Xbox 360 joystick for windows 8.1?

    Also: Does texmaster support a joystick?
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2015
  9. Haven't tried a Madkatz stick on PC, but usually you need some sort of homebrew hax driver to make any PS3 controller work on Windows, and as far as I recall, they don't exist for Windows 8 on. X360 controllers should always support Xinput. That said, digital controllers (ie. without triggers or analog sticks) have often given me issues when used on Windows, where it thinks I keep pushing a direction or a trigger. If your application supports decent controller support that shouldn't be an issue though. Also, you can always use Joy2Key in a worst case scenario.
  10. Muf


    Amnesia's issue with a PS3 controller was EHCI/UHCI shenanigans on a VIA chipset, if I recall correctly.
  11. TGM1 is a really frustrating game but since it's possible to reach GM in a very short time (and enjoy your day of infinite happiness), I would recommend to start with this one.
    And since you're a nes tetris player, the TGM1 randomizer will probably not frustrate you that much ^^

    For the arcade stick, I currently have a Hori real arcade pro VX which is five years old and still works perfectly. I also bought myself a Hori Ultimate vs capcom 3 PS3 stick (which works perfectly fine on both my computers) just in case the first one breaks because it was a promo (paid 69 euros new if memory serves me right).
  12. I'd agree with this mostly, unless the player is struggling with TGM mechanics - anyone who can't reliably make it past level 400 on TGM1 or TAP is probably better off with TGM1. Sonic drop is only a big factor when you're at a level of familiarity with the game that makes sub-20G speed feel slow, and I'd imagine NES players in particular not being all that pissed off through lack of a sonic drop. Getting too used to sonic drop too early can make TGM1 incredibly frustrating to play when you go back to it, whilst before you've put serious hours into TAP it's not as big a deal (you can't miss what you've never had, etc). Plus the TGM1 grade curve is just far more rewarding for beginners - it's got a finer resolution, and it's transparent as to how far you are away from the next grade (as opposed to TAP, where the grading is basically just black-box magic if you're not going to read through the wiki page).

    @OP, I'd say on top of stuff said, also make sure you're on the TAP (TGM2+) version of the game, not just TGM2. If your game doesn't have Death TA mode then you're not running the right version - pretty much nobody plays TGM2 and TAP has completely superseded it.
  13. Thanks for all the info and suggestions everyone! I am in fact running TAP plus so I'm all good on that front. As for the joystick, I'm still not sure as to what stick to get however. It must of been the Hori PS3 sticks that I was hearing would basically plug and play with a PC.

    I am also looking at this stick: fight stick pc

    It says that it is plug and play with PC, and I deff want to ensure that. But would I be able to turn the restrictor to 4 way mode on this one? (i'm not even sure what a 4 way restrictor mode is..) I just want to make sure I am making the right decision here regarding stick purchase.

    I have played a bunch of other versions of Tetris that feature sonic/hard drop so I am actually fairly used to it. Dat TGM speed tho'......shits fast. I am really liking the way the TAP plays. I like the speed inclines and declines. It keeps things interesting, thats for sure.
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2015
  14. I don't think you can turn the restrictor easily like you would be able to with a standard sanwa JLF stick. From the comments on that page it looks like the actual joystick in that is the Hori Hayabusa stick. Here's a link to detailed information on it:

    From the section on the restrictor gate:
    So it looks like it is technically feasible but not trivial by any means. To me it looks like you would have to drill holes into a JLF restrictor plate (see and then buy screws to hold it in place.

    For hooking up a PS3-based stick or controller to a PC: it's definitely possible and I have done so via a software-based solution (no converter box needed). If you want to see whether it works you could always borrow someone's PS3 controller and try and get it working with your PC.

    I should note that I have a cthulhu PCB in my current joystick (previously was a PS1 PCB but I wanted compatibility with PS3) and it works great. I had a friend help me solder the connections but the good news is that the cthulhu has an alternate mode of installation where you don't need to solder anything--you just need a screwdriver. Just make sure that your stick is easy to mod. You can look it up sticks in to see their details and how easy they are to mod if you want to go this route but I don't think it's necessary if all you want to do is hook up your controller to a PC.


    Regarding TGM1/2/3: TGM3 is the fanciest, that's for sure, but I'd personally recommend starting on TGM or TAP first just so you have the ability to play without hold and floorkicks. Between those two, TAP is hands down more fun and has more modes, you will want to play it for a long time...master mode, death mode, TGM+ is good training, even big mode and item mode. BUT, since you already have both running well, just start with TGM1 and graduate when you feel ready to move onto different things.

    As an aside I feel like personally TGM1 play helps my abilities most because it forces me to focus on clean, smart stacking and tetrises, which is something I've neglected for years and am only now trying to fix xP
  15. Are there ANY TGM2 boards out there that haven't been patched to the Plus version!?
  16. @WannabeSurfer
    Are you familiar with simple soldering? Cause your best choice might actually to buy any cheap PC compatible arcade stick, and just replace the joystick with a Sanwa JLF stick that you buy on the side. It would give you the best possible hardware to play with, and buying a Sanwa stick alone is way cheaper than a high-end MadKatz stick.
  17. I'm a pretty new player, I've played for about six months, so take my word with a grain of salt as compared to the other commenters in this thread. I just got an arcade stick last week. I got this one:

    It was easy to change the restrictor, about 5 minutes work, I spent more time looking for a screwdriver than actual work. It feels good to play with, sturdy. I've been pretty heavy on it and I haven't felt like it was in danger at all. I've been using it on windows 8.1 and it worked without any issues. Plug and play ftw.
  18. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    Be carefull you all : these switchable restrictors breaks after 4 uses max. I got a ton of it. It never can be used over 4 switching. I have tried last time in letting the part under 50° C water for a minute and it still breaks...
    You must have some 8 directions one and some 4 directions one, when you want to play something else than TGM, you can change the whole restrictor instead of turning the part inside.
    Muf likes this.
  19. Sanwa restrictors are polycarbonate or some other fairly solid plastic - you most likely need to get it above at least 100°C before you'll start significantly softening the plastic.
    Amnesia likes this.

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