With the exception of straight-up Kaizo Hacks that aren't meant to be played toolless, I almost never use save states or rewinds. That being said, fast forward I use a lot.
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On one hand, if that difficulty curve is just right I'll take the blame for the death, but if it's overall an unfun level I'm definitely going to use them. Game overs, death cutscenes, spamming buttons in the overworld screen to go back to the level, and torturing myself overall to get to a point I know I'm already capable of reaching is pointless. Unless there's some secret worth my while I'm not going to revisit something I already had an undesirable experience with. But like I said, if it's a fun level I'll go through it fairly. Even if it's a difficult level I'd only really use them when I know my effort is useless.
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If I have to play the hack normally, I try to avoid using them.
For testing and moderation instead, I tend to use them frequently. They really make the process faster, less annoying and with a greater quality feedback, since you check out more things in less time.
As Skewer said, it's more a development tool than something you use to beat hacks easily.
i always try not using savestates, but if a level is really hard and for bad reasons then i don't even think twice about using them. also i suck at kaizo hacks, so i use savestates there too.
im pretty much addicted to fast forward, but im trying to stop, as ive noticed it can make me worse at playing.
only if the author isnt a sadistic cunt (screw playing fair with borderline kaizo lite shit lol)
if i turned off the fps limiter on pcsx2 for the slow ass hollow bastion lift sequence at the grand crest in kh1 final mix, ill turn on fast forward for boring-ass parts in smw hacks
literally the only thing i dont fast forward is master system, gg, megadrive, 32x and sega cd games and that's because kega's default ff hotkey is in the most awkward space (backspace) and i keep forgetting to put it on tab (which kega uses for hard reset of all things), and also pretty much any emulator i use where i dont know where the fuck the fast forward key is (ootake, ssf, project64 1.6, dolphin, mednafen's ngpc and wonderswan emus etc)
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If I have got savestates then I have a tendency to play games or levels first with savestates and later (especially if they're fun) without. Naturally, there are cases where I simply savestate through everything, replays including, or simply don't use them at all. Also, I soemtimes rewind if I missed a text. Of course, I also use it to sometimes resume from the last point I quit the game.
Other then that, I use fast forward, especially since it only runs the game faster and doesn't allow going back in time.
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No savestates and fast/slow forward unless it's a kaizo or pit hack or whenever I'm testing things.
Although I've been finding myself to use savestates in normal hacks as well as of lately, but I try not to abuse that.
I've grown so accustomed to the convenience of having save states that I use them regardless of difficulty. I hardly ever use them while playing a level, just when returning to the Overworld. They're more of a convenience of instantly loading up where I left off rather than a crutch for difficulty.
I have used a lot of save states a while back, but now I'm trying my best to not let my head get too far out with save-stating and only using them when a section is a bit too bullshit for the first level or world, or just in general. When I'm playing a game that doesnt have that function (like console games or any other PC game that isnt emulated), I actually do surprisingly well without them most of the time, so they're not that necessary, but I still like the option of restarting through a section of a level when it's getting too bullshitty for the sake of my sanity tbh LOL
Strictly speaking of Mario Hacks, I play with savestates most of the time. Reason is, most of the hacks I play are legitimately bad in many aspects, making me uncomfortable playing despite it's difficult level. What I do is speedrun it, rewinding any mistakes that will cost me time by Save/Load-stating, in the hopes that if I continue to play such awful hack, something actually good might pop up. Which rarely happens lul
But as for other emulator games (or just GOOD hacks) in general, I play without ANY save-states at all. I just feel better playing this way, even if it will take more time to beat the game. After all, I grow up playing on consoles
Rare occasions where I'll save-state in regular games or good hacks is when I have to leave immediately and ain't near any checkpoints, so I just use it for the sake of continuing where I left off when I eventually come back to play.