A friend of mine sent me the game as gift, describing it as Megaman-like. My hopes were dashed after the first stage, and hit rock bottom during the second. The game is garbage and I feel sorry for anyone who paid money for this.
I started mentioning a few of the egregious issues to a friend and he found that quite entertaining. Thus I ended up actually playing through the entire game and noting down as many problems as I could think of.
This is basically a mostly unsorted list and rant. Points are certainly up for discussion if there is some more interest in analyzing this or I am asked to clarify something. Taken as whole, I must say that even I could design better stages than this, without having any experience.
Keep in mind that this was written from the perspective of a first playthrough, I know a few things are different once you have finished the game, such as getting infinite grenades. Also, I mostly wrote these down as I was playing through, so please don't expect exact references to each room.
If you specifically want to see what I'm talking about, you may wish to refer to any number of playthrough videos on youtube.
First, the really basic non-gameplay stuff.Story
: Mediocre, not notable in any way. Relies on basic sci-fi clichés and kept very curt, at least it doesn't embarrass itself more that way.Graphics
: The 3D models are completely fine for the budget and price, but the hand-drawn art is anything but okay.Sound/Music
: Acceptable, but not noteworthy.Controls
are less than stellar, especially if you use a controller. They feel kind of sluggish all around, but are sufficient.
Basic Mechanics IssuesWhy are there three components when basically everything needs everything?
You roughly get all three components in the same proportion, and every upgrade needs everything, with some differences in the amount per component. This largely makes the distinction between components entirely pointless.Why are there components in the first place?
The components are essentially a grinding mechanic. Now, I hate grinding by default, but this is a Mega Man-like game too. I am aware of the bolts of some of the earlier Mega Man games, and crystals, and I am not going to defend them. But why does this game need an upgrade system to begin with? The weapons basically only change in damage, which can be nullified by keeping enemy HP constant. The grenades could be taken out entirely since they are either a strong, limited attack or used for basic propulsion techniques that should not even need grenades. Additionally, a much more interesting option would be just hiding those upgrades and rewarding exploration of the levels. As opposed to the rather weak power chips you can find. Which are usually anything but well-hidden. Frankly, hiding upgrades as secrets might have forced the level design to be slightly more creative.Medkits can be made which largely remove any challenge through damage.
Medkits are cheap, heal a decent bit, and you will likely be able to afford quite many. Thus most damage-based difficulty is no longer applicable past a point.Why are there two types of grenades?
They both deal damage, need to be upgraded separately, and largely fulfill similar functions except that the EMP grenade can stun. Whereas the HE grenade will just kill most enemies instead. They both are used for airdashing, both are used for pointless obstacle objects. In fact, there are points where you are forced to use them to progress, meaning there's a chance you may have to grind materials just to get past a single blocking wall object.Why does the airdash need to charge? And it even costs a grenade.
This is a really basic air mobility upgrade, why does should this ever need charging? It basically limits airdashing to be used for very specific "secrets" or single jumps, whereas the Megaman X games can make use of airdashing to actually create tricky platforming challenges. Not to mention that it costs a grenade, I don't even know why that was considered a good idea. Additionally, some grenade-dash platforms look like they should be reachable through very tight doublejumping... but aren't. Fall down and try again.There does not appear to be any point to the other suits.
You are told early on to switch to another suit for a heat haze zone, but you take no damage there anyway. I have found no discernable difference in function even though the game implies there is. This does not apply to the Berserker DLC, mind you, since that gets a special gun.
So basically, they seem to be a costume function, which should not need a separate button combination and instead just be in the menu.
EDIT: There are some differences in function, see my comment below, they just aren't particularly meaningful ones.Weapons and their utility.
The basic default blaster is fine. The next weapon acts exactly the same, only it shoots faster. While that supposedly helps with your combo (more later), it really just means that you pick one and upgrade it, whichever has the higher DPS is better. The shockwave gun is fine since it actually has a new utility in shooting through walls. Except that at the highest level it has almost the range of the basic gun and the only reason not to use it constantly is its lower damage. Lastly, the photon launcher. The AoE is largely irrelevant since it's too small to hit more than one enemy at a time as they are usually spaced apart. So you are left with a gun that acts like the default gun, just with higher damage and lower RoF instead.Rolling/dashing.
Rolling can still make you get hit. Dashing is strictly superior. In fact, why is rolling even in the game? It hardly helps with evasion since your hitbox is still pretty large. Dashing with the invincibility frames should have easily been the default.
XBox controller is not ideal for aiming.
Hard difficulty supposedly unleashes the true potential of the bosses. Except that this only seems to make them a little faster as far as I can tell. From watching videos, I could not see any other difference whatsoever.
You need to GRIND FOR MATERIALS to get an SS rank in multiple stages.
Fully upgraded weapons outright trivialize enemies and bosses. The highest level weapons basically decimate normal enemies and even the earlier bosses in moments. This once again calls the upgrade system into question.
You cannot skip text. Ever. Even on your 10th replay, you will STILL have to click every single textbox away.
The combo system basically relies on the level layout early on, until you get highly upgraded weapons and just tear through enemies. At that point the combo becomes pointless since you will almost assuredly reach 99 by default. Not to mention that there seems to be no point to it beyond score for the rank. Which is funny if you are bound to get 99.
The camera has a tendency to hide enemies above/below you. There are multiple situations where you will be shot at from outside your viewing frame, or will jump into an enemy you could not possibly see.
The Zephyr cannon is a 5 second cutscene where you get to look at beams being shot at things for 5 seconds (with some decent music though).
Why exactly could this not have been much shorter again? EDIT: When I say shorter, I mean less than a second to not interrupt gameplay flow.
Same for the health regeneration chamber, it's actually pretty slow for no discernable reason. You really just need to wait around for a few seconds for it to fill you up.
A number of achievements are complete jokes. There is an achievement for watching all cutscenes without skipping. One for destroying 1000 enemies or collecting 3000 materials. With other words, grinding achievements. Even a few for destroy x enemies with attack y. The best one? Like us on Facebook. If you want all achievements, you need to advertise this piece of garbage for free.
The game is also impressively glitchy, during my short time of playing this game, I encountered 5 different glitches. Most of them requiring a restart to fix.
And lastly, this was planned as episodic game except the other episodes will never be done. So the cliffhanger and plot stuff is left hanging~
Overall level design issues
- Rolling through doors / screen transitions can easily make you end up in enemies. Or in a death pit.
- The most common object you will see... are crates. Lots of crates. Instead of more natural looking obstacles, which you also see, much of the terrain is made up of crates.
- Basically all normal enemies are weak and ineffectual.
- Some enemies start shooting the INSTANT you enter a screen, before you can even realize what's going on. Turrets are a prime offender here.
Secrets largely amount to finding spots where you can roll through, airdashing over a gap you couldn't jump without or grenading an object. That is, until the designers got flat out lazy in stages 4 and 5 and didn't really bother hiding anything anymore. Additionally, a number of "secrets" amount to picking a path of going left or right, with no clue given which path means some bonus goodies and which progresses the level and locks you off from them.
The level design does split paths sometimes, which is a good thing for replayability. Unfortunately, these sections are usually tiny (see level 1) and thus largely miss the point.
There are numerous bonus rooms that amount to shooting galleries where you stand in one spot and slowly pick off every enemy until you are FINALLY done. These never get any less boring on replays. The secret rooms are similarly unchallenging.
As a whole, the stages are boring and unimaginative and FAR too long for that. The obstacles are for the most part trivial with some patience and the enemies are not utilized well at all. Enemies seem more haphazardedly stuck in places instead of being placed with actual thought. Don't even expect enemy synergy. Contrast that to the original Megaman games which tried to create new challenges by combining terrain and enemies you have seen before in ways that make them trickier to overcome.
Additionally, the bosses are also largely boring as they possess few different attacks. Their main difficulty is from their lack of telegraphing what an attack is going to do. You are likely going to get hit once or twice by certain attacks from nearly every boss since you have no way of knowing in advance what a certain telegraph even means. Attempting to rely on reflexes is sometimes futile.
Here's where I hit my first glitch, the crates didn't load once.
The starting rooms are trivial which is how it should be, then you get to enjoy your first stupid shooting gallery.
You are told to switch your suit for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
Later, a bonus room on the left contains another shooting gallery.
You get to see split paths... except they end in the same path just a room later.
More hallways, followed by an item you simply cannot reach yet, but is not at all hidden.
The secrets mostly amount to looking really closely for spaces where you can roll or bomb.
The midboss is a joke, but the actual boss is flawed.
The boss has a good tell for the claw attack, less so for the others. When he flies up you are basically left guessing what's going to happen first time around
since you can't really dodge that on reflex. Additionally, I'm not convinced you can dodge the laser without the ground dash.
You MUST do what the tutorial tells you, even when you don't really want to.
Overall not offensively bad, just boring and unchallenging.