Second update for my 60 year challenge catch up, and this really is the long haul for the Mega Man series that I beat so far. Ill admit that I have been doing a lot of Mega Man Dtoid, but that will be coming to a close shortly. A lot of my gaming after this point focused more on handheld stuff as it fit into my schedule better for school, so expected a lot of that. But for now....
Mega Man X-2 Date beat Feb. 28
Like its predecessor before it, X2 does a good job of imitating Mega Man X, but I donít find it as a good thing. The game is still harder starting out then it is finishing, and it still has all the collectible goodies around. Notably enough, the games actual difficult does not spike nearly as much as the original, while the beginning is still very hard for no real reason, it can at least be said that the game goes more like slope in terms of difficulty. Sigma Stage 1 however is still the hardest stage, for whatever reasonÖI donít know, I think Iíll start calling it the Stage 1 curse or something. The bosses in this game are an oddity in the Mega Man franchise, itís not just that they look weird, but they also react very differently depending on how you fight them. For insistence, the Centipede maverick actually gets harder if you use his weakness, while if you use the mega buster he is a lot more tame and easier to handle. However other bosses like the Snail Maverick are just so long and tedious that it gets to the point that his weakness is crucial unless you are able to stand fighting him for an hour. Really a lot of the bosses are just a dodge till they expose a chance to shoot them and then dodge till you get a chance again. This makes a lot of fights tedious and annoying as you will often be spending a large amount of time doing this, if you're using the buster only, which for some bosses it just seems better to use. Perhaps thatís my biggest complaint about the series so far, the reliance of the buster over other weapons, the buster simply beats them all in that regard, which kinda makes the whole purpose of this game being called Mega Man doesn't it? Perhaps it be better off being called a different name, I know its a different "Mega Man" series, but that still doesn't feel right, it simple doesn't feel like it has the same kind of heart.
As for what I did like in this game? Well the items were hidden really well, or you felt really accomplished when you found one, there is just something that makes getting collectibles so much better in X2 then X. The story is still nice and the fact you can change it a bit depending on your actions is a nice touch, certainly one of the more ďin depth storiesĒ for Mega Man I have ever played. But in comparison to the first Mega Man X game, I still have to hand it to the original. While the original is nowhere near perfect, things are just overall better in X. The bosses were easier to deal with, the weaknesses effectively worked well; it also had a better story, and overall just felt like the better designed game, despite my previous ranting on the difficulty itself. I can't really think of anything else to say either, just seems like they were trying mimic Mega Man X's success, but didn't quite do it.
While X2 copies the original Mega Man X well, it certainly doesnít hold up when comparing the two. The bosses are more so tedious then they are hard, starting out is still difficult to do, and all the while the game gets far easier the more you get through it. Really X2 just feels like more of the same, and itís a shame it canít be anything better.
Mega Man X3 Ė date beat March 5
Why is Mega Man X3 so hard! While it certainly wasnít the most challenging Mega Man game I have played, but it was one of the most difficult! Just a lot of what makes this game hard is because youíre striped of armor and items. The Buster is rather useless while dealing with the mavericks but itís not that they are difficult, but the amount of damage they do to you is! So when you do get their weakness they are ridiculously easy! Put this along with the Z saber and the mid air dash and you can handle the whole game without a problem, and yes even the final boss battle. Speaking of which, is ludicrously hard unless you have the Z saber. Just a lot of this game felt sloppy if you didnít have the right equipment, and this is very apparent when you donít have the mid air dash. While I havenít tested my theory, I am very positive that itís not possible to beat this game without it. Itís so bad that you canít get past both Toxic Seahorse level and Gravity Beatles level without it because one jump position within each level. Put this on top of an already hard boss loop to get into and some very hard stages you get an unfair game!
But I really did want to like this one, I so did. The fact there were some really cool anime openings, for both the bosses and game itself was awesome! The fact you can finally play as Zero, abide one life, was also a great feature and I was really excited to start playing this game. The music was also on par with the original X. The story was also a bit more interesting with a seemingly new villain, and the return of Vile. Sadly it just didnít meet me when it came to gameplay, and really itís a shame, it was just different enough from either X or X2 that it had potential, but itís just far too unfair to say itís better than either. And that is hands down why I donít like this game, I have played many other Mega Man games out there, heck you can see if you just look at my history, but this felt like a rather cheap way to give me a run for my money.
X3 is an example of missed potential due to how unfair it is and can be. It really does impress you in the beginning with the anime openings and playing as Zero. But this doesnít mean anything when you have a game that puts you off with its intense difficult caused by not lack of skill, but lack of equipment.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Ė date beat March 11
Aw Yeah! THE game that started Metroidvania. I certainly have to say this is a great game, although itís rather tedious from time to time. While it certainly doesnít have the amazing game design of the original Castlevania, it certainly brings its own method to good use. The fact there are so many places to explore, items to power you up, and secrets to be found it just makes going through this game feel so fun. Every time you find a new place or a new item to help you along the way it just makes you want to keep playing. The bosses are well design too, while you can grind and level up you can still use items or certain strategies to go through the game faster than you can level. As well there was a lot of thought with nearly the whole game, from simple creature names referencing horror elements, to the inverted castle pretty much being exactly like the original, but upside down. I donít know what it is about the inverted castle alone that makes it so awesome, but maybe the fact there is like a second game to be found within a game is just amazing in my book. The music is pretty great too, while it isnít always heard due to the loud sound effects, its present and sets a great tone for the game.
Aside from the tedious start, bad voice acting, and horrible game over lag, itís still an amazing game. Hell you even get to play as Richter which is just badass. I just plain love this game, and frankly Iím glad more Castlevania games came from this formula. There really is just something about exploring a castle of evil that could make anyone just chill with excitement. Just such a lovely game. I'll admit that I pretty much just fangasm'd
Conclusion: Castlevania Symphony of the Night really set a new and wonderful tone that was well worth doing over and over again for the series. Exploration, leveling up, and cool power ups just make SotN a bundle of joy. With plenty of secrets and being able to play as Richter, everything, save for a few small things, feels great in this game.
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