Last game you finished
Phbz last edited by Phbz
Last of Us 2.
I feel like this game could have a few hours less. There's a whole chunk that could be better developed and made DLC but instead is squeezed in.
There's a certain dullness to this game, starts to feel too familiar, until it isn't. Meaning that while at times it's way too predictable to the point of starting to feel boring it also throws you curve balls often enough. And then even at that becomes predictable too. "Oh no another setback, that like what the 50th?"
But at the same time the moment to moment in this game is mostly superb. Combat is violent af but it is great fun to experiment with. Level design helps too. Locations feel real, offering good variety. Then when you're not fighting you'll be exploring the most detailed environments I've ever seen. Fantastic world building and environmental storytelling, well... except for the super lazy usage of letters and notes. And when you're not fighting or exploring you'll be watching quality passive storytelling. Which sucks, because me personally would like to see Naugty Dog pushing for more agency to the player's narrative.
It is a really great game. Fantastic artistic direction and sound design. Very well written. Great combat from stealth to melee, all weapons feel great. Animation work miles away from the competition. Also stellar performances from the whole cast.
Btw, impossible to play this game on my Pro without headphones. A literal jet engine.
Btw, impossible to play this game on my Pro without headphones. A literal jet engine.
Heard about this from a lot of people on the internet. It makes me so happy that I bought the Slim, lol. It's so silent.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Finished the main levels (collected 25 crystals), didn't do most of the extra stuff. The first few levels were pretty jolly and easy going, but my god, those last few levels are hard. Plus, the game still has some bullshit/annoying moments like in the first game, albeit way less often, which is a great thing. It amazes me that I still had quite a lot of fun, despite all of it.
Compared to the first game, I really don't like the structure of this game. I prefer going through a linear world map like in the first game, it makes it way less videogamey and more like an adventure, despite being linear. I also think that the structure of this game makes the levels less memorable.
Also, why is the subtitle Cortex Strikes Back? He hasn't struck anyone, he just kinda tricked Crash to doing his bidding. If anything, it should be Cortex's Deception. Bad subtitle!
Overall, this feels like a step forward and also a step back from the first game. 6/10.
Mega Man X5
I'm conflicted about Mega Man X5. It does some things that are definitely a step forward, but at the same time, it does take a step back in other areas as well. All in all, I don't think it holds up as well as X4, but I still had a great time with it.
Starting from the very first level, it controls a lot better. X5 adds a crouch button that helps you get those pesky guys that are too short to hit with a normal shot, and generally feels a lot more polished in how it moves than the previous game. Depending on the character you choose to start the game with, you'll also either get a powered up X or Zero. At the beginning of each stage after the intro, you get the option to be either character now, so you're not stuck with either for the entirety of the experience. X now also accumulates armors, so if you power up X at the beginning by having him be your primary, you'll unlock his "Fourth Armor" from X4, alongside the standard Mega Man armor. Zero unfortunately never gets any new armor sets per tradition, but this means that when you unlock the other two armor sets for X, you can choose to use them in any level after that, or a different one of your choosing if it plays more to your style. The stages and bosses are all more balanced in a way that makes Zero more fun to play as well, which is a great step up from X4.
The game leans a lot more heavily on narrative this time around. X4 dabbled in it a little bit, but sometimes X5 can feel like its forcing a lot down on you. Because of a Sigma virus you have 15 hours to get materials from bosses. This basically means that you get 15 chances to go through four stages, where if you don't, the game will just unlock the final boss stage for the bad ending. I feel like this was more of a way they were trying to funnel players to play certain stages first, but it really doesn't feel as effective in practice. I played the stages they wanted because I wanted the good ending, and never had any moment where I was short on time (you get even more time after beating the first four bosses, and you only 'lose' an hour if you leave a stage after running out of lives). I feel like beyond assisting the plot, it was better implemented in something like X2 where you have the extra bosses that roam around randomly.
The stages themselves though are all pretty varied and fun to go through, though I wasn't a huge fan of all of them. The water level has a pet peeve of mine where you can only move as fast as the screen chasing you. Besides this one though, they're generally better paced than some in X4 that all had 2 parts to them. I felt like I went through stages much more quickly in this game. That is, I would, if it wasn't for Alia.
Alia is the computer operator. Her role is supposed to give you intel from home base, but she constantly is stopping you to tell you very obvious things. Like "There are spikes up ahead. Be sure to avoid those", or "This area has bombs! We need to make sure to blow those up before they reach zero". Previous X games have all relied on you recognizing the situation and adapting and learning as you play, and Alia makes every stage feel so sluggish because she can't go two or three screens without stopping you to open a text box and open her mouth. She's useful a handful of times when she will hint at where an armor piece could be, or what a boss weakness may be, but generally the things she tells you are things you would already know just by walking two steps ahead. She even continues this in the post level screen where she tells you that you got a new power and you should try it on new bosses because every boss has a weakness. Even if this is your first X game, you need that information once, not after every single level. Besides this character though, I really enjoyed the other interactions, especially the banter between you and the boss before every fight (even though all the characters are pretty much new and we've never heard of them before).
Music has taken a big step up. There's definitely a lot more energy coming out of each area, and each level is pretty easily identified by the theme. The water theme is actually a direct pull from the water level in X2 (which incidentally shares a lot of level design quirks as well), but the theme is remixed with more modern sound recordings. I really don't have a lot to complain about with this section. The tracks generally aren't as catchy or memorable as Mega Man at its best, but also definitely not where it is at its worst. They're awesome tracks and are really effective for pumping you up in that way you want.
Some new game quirks, just like the time limit, aren't as successfully implemented. There's a new system where you accumulate buffs to attach to characters, like a super jump, or one that makes health pickups more effective. Each armor has a set number of slots you can set to these. The main problem with these is that they're never communicated in how they're given out. They'll randomly show up after each level like you got it from a boss. It's still unclear to me how you receive them. There are stray Maverick Hunters in each stage to help out who will give you an extra life if you save them, and its possible you get this from saving them. Alia also occasionally asks if you want to upgrade your health or energy, and its possible they come from this process. I'm not sure. With all the explaining Alia does, you'd think she'd tell you, but she doesn't. Besides it being a confusing mechanic, it definitely is cool to experiment with these new parts to help tailor the armors to your liking. If not though, it doesn't harm your experience if you never touch it at all.
The mechanic of changing armors also has its downsides. It's super cool to go through a different stage with a new set of abilities, and to be able to do it when you choose to, but the armors have very specific purposes that you use maybe one time. It would have been super fun to discover alternate level routes designed around these specific armors if you've acquired them. There is usually just a small branch in some areas that utilize the armor's abilities a single time that hold an upgrade before sending you on your way back to the normal path.
All of these things are minor annoyances, like Alia's talking, but they do add up to make the game a little less fun than it could be. With a little more polish, I would say this could have been even better than X4. As It stands though, it’s just a small rung below.
Final Score: 8.7/10
Axel last edited by
@happygaming The Maverick Hunters you can rescue in each level are definitely the ones that give you those buffs, but you don't know who gives what until after the fact. If I remember correctly, they also disappear forever if you miss them the first time around, which is a baffling design decision.
I found the post I wrote about X5 when I finished it, and I quote:
And even weirder than that, with each hour that passes, the level of the bosses increases (giving them more HP). When you defeat a boss at level 8 or higher, it gives you a "Part", an equippable item which grants bonuses (jump higher, charge faster...). So if you defeat a boss on your first try, it'll be level 1 and you won't get a Part. So the optimal way to play the game if you want all Parts is to purposely lose and waste around 8 hours so that the bosses level up, and then beat them all. It's completely absurd and impossible to figure out without reading a guide, none of this is explained in-game.
It's clearly a mechanic you're only supposed to try on subsequent playthroughs, for a perfect run, if you're into that sort of thing. It just left me with a sour taste, I hate when there's good and bad ways to play a game, especially a Mega Man game.
@axel I had absolutely no idea! I thought their level was honestly a thing for if you play on the Xtreme difficulty, so I just sort of brushed it off.
Hanabi last edited by
Just finished Okami and I don't think I could possibly have more respect for a game I don't enjoy. It's beautiful, it has a pretty good story with some excellent characters, the whole gimmick of how you play it is really neat, but man the combat is such an absolute drag and really brings the entire game down with how easy and braindead it feels. the most intense I ever recall it feeling was just whacking at a dude until he revealed his weakpoint.
Really doesn't help that as cool as the concept of gaining new brush techniques is, like half of them amount to "draw a line from X to Y" and the other half don't really add much besides exploring the overworld bit more. And maybe it's just because I wasn't really feeling the gameplay but it felt like the story went on too long which only made things worse. Felt like it wanted to be this grand adventure across all of Japan, and it was, but after a certain point it felt like it overstayed its welcome. That said the final boss was really well done, despite not being all that hard either.
Honestly I wonder if my gripes with the game come from the fact that I love The Wonderful 101 a lot too and it feels like it uses a similar gimmick to much greater effect.
@hanabi I've picked up Okami on the PS2, PS3 and the PS4 now, and I always try to like it. But for some reason it just never clicks with me. I share a lot of the same sentiments, but I think something else for me is the grating Animal Crossing voices that I didn't know you could turn down or off until my last play attempt. I agree about the combat from what I played as well; if it 's such a large part of the game, I wish it could be one of the funner parts of the experience.
All that being said though, I appreciate how much work went into making the world and the visuals represented as they are. As much as I've heard the game gets better after the first five or six hours though, I just don't get excited to play that long. I would definitely recommend that Tim Rogers' Kotaku video about how many times he's tried to like Okami and failed, but keeps buying it anyways.
Ringedwithtile last edited by
What a cool game. I'm not sure if it's a very good game, but it does some really interesting things. So it's a space combat sim with a branching storyline dependent upon mission success or failure. You complete your mission, your army does better in their fight against the insurmountable; you die or fail your mission, the game continues with your faction in more dire circumstances. This means no 'try again', it's do it or don't until the story ends. When the thing's over, you can jump to any major turning point and replay the game from there. I was able to get four endings: 2 good and 2 bad, though none were the result of beating every mission.
The production value is really strong too. I like the UI, the cutscenes, and the scale of it---it creates an expansive atmosphere for big ships and vastness of space and the many objects in it, even if each mission is restricted to a battlefield. The gameplay is serviceable, with different weapons and pretty decent handling. The ships all decelerate and feel like they're underwater a bit, but it's not hard to get the hang of.
The problem with it is the mission structure. They're often single objective missions that range from incredibly easy to 'oh, I guess I just lost'. Friendly units are useless (especially anything big), which makes any kind of protection mission a real pain in the ass. And most of the game is protection missions. Miss a fighter a couple times strafing your battleship and the mission can go down the tubes. Mechanics unrelated to dogfighting, like using the janky tow line, or taking down bigger ships, can feel janky and underdeveloped. That the story is told rather impersonally, with no characters to speak of, can make it feel more like a series of unconnected, inconsistent but nicely rendered space battles, rather than the epic war that the architecture or grander design is working towards.
Luckily the game has two sequels, so I look forward to seeing what their approach is.
Ringedwithtile last edited by
Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders
A phone game. I don't play many of these, but I like the classic games that inspired this one and heard it was good. It's fine. It's definitely more Arkanoid than it is Space Invaders, with the goal being bouncing shots around to break blocks or hit the invaders. The primary gameplay conceits of Space Invaders aren't really here; you try to get hit by their attacks, there's no cover, and they don't march to the bottom of the screen inducing a failstate. The invaders basically just serve as moving blocks that provide attacks to deflect. As the game progresses, there are boss fights, and special blocks that to be switched in order to be destructible, and other complications. There are a host of characters with different powerups and everything, but the loop stays pretty similar throughout. Often times success feels more like luck or choosing the right character for the level rather than making choice shots or deflections. I'd like to say it's more than a phone game, but it isn't. It's a new coat of paint slapped on an uneven combination of a pair of thirty year old games.
Mega Man X6
Mega Man X6 is a frustrating game. On its surface, there are a lot of cool pieces here; an RPG upgrading system taken from X5 that’s better explained, rotating optional boss fights taken from X2 that encourage you to replay stages or try new ones, among other things. A lot of these however are surrounded by, and forced through ideas that cause nothing but irritation, and as much as I adore the series, I haven’t ever been as upset at an entry in the series like I have with X6. I want to love the game, and there are parts that shine that I adore. But there’s so much that one has to wade through to get to those bits and appreciate the highs, it makes the lows all the more apparent.
I should mention that X6 was done in less than a year. It was made to be done for a Holiday release after the success of X4 that had close to two years, and X5 which had a little more than three. X6 was done with X5’s engine in 364 days without the help of series creator Keiji Inafune. The crunch and personal absence are definitely felt.
Starting with the things that the game carries over from X5, there are different armor sets to collect and change around as you see fit. You’ll begin the game with the Falcon armor, but over the course of the game you can collect two more (and Zero) to run through levels with. The game also carries over rescuing fellow Hunters in the levels, and depending on who you save, you’ll unlock upgrades to attach to yourself. These could be anything from a faster charge for your weapon, to an increase in your dash or movement speed. These are cool ideas to put together. However, they are both flawed in their execution.
The armor pieces are now, more or less, in extremely conniving places. So if you plan on getting them, and you should because certain levels are next to impossible without one or the other, you’re going to go through a lot of trial, error, and cheap deaths. The upgrades aren’t handled like they were in X5 as well, where each suit can hold a certain number of upgrade slots. Now it’s tied to your Hunter Rank, which brings me to another downer for the game; the enemies.
There are like ten enemy types in this game, and each level is largely populated 95% with one: the Nightmare Virus. These are special octopus looking enemies that when killed, drop an orb that you need to pick up to increase your Hunter rank so that you can equip upgrades onto your character of choice. Killing other enemies has no effect on improving your rank. This also means that because the majority of the enemies are now the Nightmare Virus, health and weapon pickups are extremely slim because these enemies only drop the orb needed to upgrade your rank. It feels lazy and tiresome. Some pickups like armor capsules, heart containers and sub tanks are all largely and frustratingly out of reach unless you’re able to equip one or two of the Hunter upgrades. But those upgrades can also just become permanently inaccessible if Nightmare Viruses kill the Hunters you’re trying to rescue, making the game more difficult as a result. So if you want to upgrade your character, you’re probably going to be replaying certain levels. A lot. You can’t even equip upgrades until you’ve improved your rank a little.
Upgrades aside, I feel like the levels in X6 are okay. On paper they have interesting quirks that make each of them unique. One has you avoiding a giant robot’s lasers, while another has you defeating a giant circle enemy six times throughout the stage. These feel less like interesting ideas though and more the biproduct of not having as many enemies to defeat. They cause more frustration than excitement. One level in particular has a ceiling lowering on you while you’re trying to move through a backwards conveyer belt while also trying to avoid spikes. This was just not fun, and like fighting that circle enemy six times, was infuriating for me. If you’re able to get around those, the stages also have optional second parts where there will be a hidden boss at the end. This is the key to getting Zero as a playable character, and defeating the boss High Max will also let you start the final boss stages early. I generally really like the bosses floating to new areas, but felt like sometimes I was forced to fight an impossible boss with my current ability set, and had to die a full set of lives to try a new stage.
So what’s good about X6? I feel like I’ve been very harsh on it up to this point, and I don’t entirely hate the game. If you’re able to upgrade enough and get the necessary armor pieces, blasting through levels is still fun in that Mega Man way. The Blade armor in particular made me feel like a Dragon Ball character with the way the air dash works, and that was very fun to use. The music in the game also has some of the most metal standout tracks in the series, however not all of them are as memorable. Blaze Heatnix though and Infinity Majinion are incredible tracks that are just what I want from Mega Man, and that level select song showcasing the bosses with its searing guitar gets me pumped every time. Beyond those things though and a few clever and fun level ideas, the game is overshadowed by bad ideas that take the whole experience down. The last set of levels is just an exercise in cruelty with large pits and spikes everywhere, and the final boss specifically feels more like a Castlevania boss than something I’d do in Mega Man, where you're more fighting the pit than the boss itself. X6 loves instant kill hazards. The stages sometimes feel like they fight you for trying to have a good time playing Mega Man like you have in the past, and maybe it should have looked more towards the past to see why a lot of the previous games play so well. But having just started X7, I don’t think that message came across.
E_Zed_Eh_Intern last edited by
@happygaming 7 is the one I hear the most hate about so good luck!
Capnbobamous last edited by
I just beat Ace Combat 7, and damn I did not expect to like it as much as I did. I thought I was just getting into a fun pilot game, and for a while I was, but somewhere along the way I unwillingly became super invested in the story.
Frankly, I don't think the story is very good per se, but I think it's sort of like Kingdom Hearts in that it makes you willing to overlook it's glaring flaws because it has so much infectious sincerity. It believes whole-heartedly in what it is saying, to the point where it's hard not to believe along with it.
It's also really great about making you feel like a character in this world. Like, Trigger doesn't say a word, and for all intents and purposes is completely personality-less, but because the game builds him up so much -- and the player vicariously -- I am super invested in him as a character and think his journey is super rad.
I'm frankly in awe of how this game's mediocre writing drew me in so deeply. I guess it helps that it's backed-up by really great arcade plane combat.
I'm frankly in awe of how this game's mediocre writing drew me in so deeply. I guess it helps that it's backed-up by really great arcade plane combat.
That's the magic of Ace Combat. I feel like the main reason is that the game really makes you feel like a badass with how your enemies and friends react to your actions, and the things you do are just as over the top and cheesy as their dialogues. Plus, giving you a nick name (Three Strikes) is a great way to enhance that badassery.
I hope you get to try out the DLC missions as well, they're pretty great. The first two DLC missions are some of the best missions in the entire game IMO, main missions included. Two of my favorite tracks are in those missions. Also, the story is so weird and chessy in the DLC missions, I personally dig it though.
Capnbobamous last edited by
@bam541 Maybe I will get them, thanks for the recommendation! I played it on Gamepass and it feels weird buying DLC for a game I don't own, but I don't know.
Mega Man X7
This one was rough. I won't spend too much time on it, but it really was a slog to go through. Mega Man X didn't really transfer well to the third dimension.
X7 is a hybrid of sorts. You have 3D levels that are more like an action game, and 2D levels that try to be a platformer. Neither work well. The way every character moves feels like its coated in tar, and never moves in a convincing way. It always feels like you're fighting for a better speed, and the game wants you to go very slowly. Even things like the dash feel broken, where if you try to do something like dash off a wall, you lose all your momentum midway through the jump. It makes platforming an extremely frustrating endeavor to try to take on.
Fighting enemies is also just a slow, monotonous hurdle you need to get through in every level. For some reason, the title character Mega Man is not accessible at the beginning. You can be Zero or newcomer Axl. Axl's weapons are so weak that it sometimes takes around 50-60 shots just to take a small enemy down. Zero isn't as bad, and I primarily played with him, but getting close to guys can constantly make you fall on your back, slowing the pace even more. If you want to unlock X, you'll need to go through levels to help the Hunters. They work pretty much the same as previous games, where you'll unlock upgrades depending on who you save. They can also die, so it makes your character's sluggishness all the more noticeable. Get 65 of them, and you'll finally be able to use X, but by that time, your Zero will be so overpowered by comparison because he's been through half the game rescuing guys, it's just a small victory in not having to use Axl anymore.
Axl and X are necessary though. Through a poor bit of design stemming from the 3d-2d hybrid, some enemies are in the foreground or background, and even in 3D, they're impossible to hit as Zero. They alleviated this by giving the characters with guns a lock-on mechanic, but often there are so many enemies on the screen, it's impossible to aim at the correct guy. In a way, this actually makes the truly 3D parts a better experience to go through because it feels more like an action game. It's almost like the game was designed with the 3D parts of stages designed first, and then forced to put them into side-scrolling segments. Either way, when Zero keeps falling on his back, it still doesn't make it an easy run.
In the end, it's an appalling decision to lock X away for most of the game. Even when he's not there, upgrades are an absolute chore to find, and the armor upgrade (for X only, and only unlockable when you have him in your party), is a joke. It lets you do a Peter Pan glide that is honestly just a worse movement option than sliding and jumping. Bosses aren't fun to fight because they're constantly in inaccessible parts of the area, the camera can't figure out how to work in 3D or 2D, meaning jumps often end in a spiky death, and the story is just... well, I skipped it.
There are probably fans of X7, and maybe had I played it when it came out I would have enjoyed it more and been one of them. But as it stands, X7 is like a bad tattoo. It's that mistake we just have to live with, with the story that it felt like the right thing at a different time. A growing pain we can look at, and know that we've grown up past the point of that mistake, and try our very best to laugh it off as a different time in our lives. I love Mega Man. I hate X7.
Final Score 3/10
Axel last edited by
@happygaming I feel your pain! I had very similar impressions: https://forums.easyallies.com/topic/562/last-game-you-finished/1279
This shit is straight out of Glinny's Cauldron! I was more often than not laughing in disbelief at how bad it is.
This is honestly, in short, the most accurate bulletpoint I could think of for this game.
TokyoSlim last edited by
Mega Man X8
“Somewhere along the lines, Mega Man fans had to lean on his legacy more than his trajectory; his past more than his future” – Satchell Drakes
When I put the controller down after finishing Mega Man X8, I was exhausted. At the start, I was bright eyed with being back on a 2D plane, and excited by how much it felt improved from the previous X7. But by the end, the rug had been pulled out from under me. It came with the sad realization that just because the game had fixed one thing from the past, that didn’t mean it was the Mega Man I was looking for.
X8 brings back the 2D platforming, although the 3D models are left in. I don’t mind this personally. While I’m arguably not a fan of 2.5D platformers, I do think the models are nice to look at. The environments also flow nicely with enemies jumping out of the backgrounds, and elements dynamically moving to make each place feel more alive. The problem comes when you’re moving. While definitely not as egregious as X7, there’s a lack of weight to the way moving and jumping feels in X8 that I never quite got used to. Jumping feels very floaty. Sliding feels like it lacks a continuous momentum. Moving feels the same, and jumping lacks any sort of hang time to make it feel like there’s a sense of control. This could be the reason that I died on the introduction stage of the game, which was not a good premonition of things to come.
Mega Man X8 uses a ‘retry’ system. Basically, if like me, you were playing on normal, you get two retries. When those retries are up, you’re required to go back to the stage selection or new R&D lab before picking another stage. In the intro level, this isn’t unlocked yet, and so I was required to start the entire game over from the title screen. Later on, this system sort of makes sense, or at least I can gleam what they were going for. Enemies drop a currency when defeated, and the R&D lab is a place where you can spend that to improve your characters, get extra lives, etc. However, I think it’s an enormous mistake to not allow you to just jump back into the stage you’re trying to beat and continue from the start. Instead, you need to go through several extra menus just to start over. And you’ll be starting over a lot.
Generally, X8 has fine shooting, it feels fine to slash things with Zero. Axl is there if you want to play as him, and he’ll be required for an armor piece or a secret. The biggest problem with X8 doesn’t come from its trying to mimic the blasting from the past, it comes from the level design. Levels are filled with cheap death traps everywhere. Spikes and pits make for a constant need to trial and error through levels, rather than get by through skill alone. Even then, you’ll need some luck. Enemies are extremely unbalanced. Some take away a third or more of your health with a single hit; and bringing back the same issue from X6, enemies drop more currency than anything else, so if you plan on healing, you’re out of luck. Unless you get to the halfway stage portions where you’re locked in a small room and have to kill a barrage of enemies who drop a large sum of cash and give you a single health pickup at the end.
There’s a snow speeder level where there are several pits that are designed just to kill you deceitfully the first time you jump over it. It’s not a problem of the cueing of the jump, the ledge where you would normally land is just artificially shortened so you’ll fall into a pit the one time. This sort of design is all over the place. In a fire level, you’ll have to stay on rising platforms. If you go too high or fall too low, the screen kills you. Afterwards, there are a series of sections involving spikes. You fall faster than the screen, so you’ll need to die a couple of times to know exactly what falls end in a spiky retry. A lot of this would be alleviated if the game just controlled a little bit better, or if it zoomed the camera out a little bit, but it’s so intent on being up close to you, that you can never really plan to be a master of the jump that’s coming. I eventually turned the game to the ‘Rookie Hunter” mode because I was tearing my hair out, and even then, it didn’t stop me falling on spikes or into pits.
What do I like about X8? For the first time since Alia came on the scene, you’re allowed to pick between one of three intel professionals. One is a master of boss weakness, one will hint at where armor pieces will be, and Alia is a mix of the other two. If you don’t want to use one, go in without one. I love that. Those armor pieces also bring something I like, that is admittedly flawed in its execution. There are two armors to find in the game, but rather than have to find all the pieces for each to make them individually accessible, X can use the pieces as you see fit and use their benefits as well. So if you want to mix and match armor from both sets, you’re allowed to do that. The problem is that the armor upgrades lack any real sort of benefit beyond a couple pieces that reduce damage or increase the speed of charging. A higher jump makes it even harder to platform, especially with ceiling spikes for instance, and a super laser beam charged gun does less damage than normal and mid charged shots. It is a neat idea, but also robs that sense of accomplishment you get when you’ve completed a new armor set to see what it looks like and what it does.
The bosses this time around are pretty disappointing and forgettable as well. I do really like the design of Dark Mantis and the Panda dude, but they really aren’t fun to fight. They tend to be invincible for a good portion of each fight, not allowing you to hit at all. It’s probably because you do so much more damage than you would in previous games and it’s used as a tactic to balance it out. In practice it just means you wait a lot, or get your butt kicked when you didn’t deserve it because you weren’t allowed to get a hit in. Still, if you get to the bosses, you’ll generally not have a problem beating them, if you can get through their insufferably difficult, and poorly designed stages.
One of the coolest additions to the game is the ability to get Zero new weapons. Early on, I got him a spear, and when combined with a spinning air attack, it basically takes up a good third of the screen with an attack you can use as much as you want. I used it constantly until the final boss. It didn’t feel satisfying to use because it was less of a tactic and felt more like I was weaponizing the game’s inequitable design back at it. Mega Man X7 made me very disappointed, and while X8 is an improvement, it made me angry. With all it could have improved from X7, it only did the bare minimum, and takes so many steps back for everything it attempts to change and fix. Deaths feel unfair and unearned, especially in the on rails levels. The R&D lab constantly slows down the pace of the game as you die constantly, and feels like a cheap tactic to force you to buy retries and character improvements rather than upgrade the classic Mega Man way. Bosses feel sluggish and don’t ever let you hit them. And worst of all, moving just feels like you’re never in full control, forcing you to trial and error your way through bad level design. It’s simply not a fun game to play.