Forums

Topic: User Impressions/Reviews Thread

Posts 181 to 200 of 224

Ralizah

@KratosMD Well, the dex cuts seem to be what triggered most of the anger. Apparently, based on what I've heard from a lot of people online, they were fine with somewhat mediocre games so long as they got their yearly 'fix' of Pokemon. But, to them, a lack of Pokemon is a severe cut in the amount of content in the game. A lot of these people are reportedly also emotionally connected to the Pokemon they've been transferring forward from gen to gen over the years (on one hand, if I put myself in their shoes, I can kind of maybe see that? On the other hand, it seems a bit sad to invest emotional energy and attachment into a bunch of pixels. I have a strong emotional attachment to a couple of stuffed animals I've owned since childhood, though, so who am I to talk?)

Given the "lack of content" compared to previous games, then, they don't think Sword/Shield do nearly enough in the quality department to make up for it, and think that it's actually less polished than most of GF's earlier games. They also point to it having a higher price tag than the handheld entries, and many are bitter that Mega-Evolutions were cut to make room for Dynamaxing, which they consider to be a silly gimmick.

There's also the lack of GTS, which makes it difficult to trade for exactly what you want online, the general instability of the Raid Battle system online, and the weird stamp system that spams you with messages every time you or a friend captures anything in the game. Oh, and the poorly handled weather system in the Wild Areas, and the way the game slows to a crawl when you're online.

There was also a lot of noise made about low quality animations, but, having played the game, I think this is overblown. Some of these animations ARE bad or lazy (Double Kick and Tail Whip are particularly notorious now, thanks to the online drama), but many are excellent.

There's also the perception that the series has been devolving in quality since Gen 5, with obnoxious friendly rivals who pose no challenge, the overall difficulty dropping drastically, regions becoming more and more linear, and obnoxious game design where the characters feel the need to lead the player around by the nose.

Well, I think that covers the bulk of the complaints. There are giant lists of detailed complaints floating around Reddit, if you're interested. It's worth mentioning that there have been complaints about the series for years, but the culling of the Pokedex seems to be what pushed it over the edge for a lot of people.

Personally, I think there's a social element that the angry fans aren't acknowledging. Consciously or not, they seek a sense of belonging within their community, and so they adopt the concerns of the people around them and allow themselves, as I said, to be whipped up into a lather about a set of games that hadn't even launched yet. Some still played, but did so with conceptions that made it almost impossible for them to enjoy the games.

Also personally, I think some of these people are rebelling against the fact that the series never grew up with them. It's fine for adults to play the games, but Pokemon titles are clearly developed with children in mind, and, now that they're not in that demographic, long time fans feel alienated. Watching my young nephew play games like Let's Go! Eevee and Pokemon Shield, I came to realize that probably a lot of children today appreciate the streamlined design and easiness of these new games (actually, my nephew still dies when he plays, so I think the difficulty is just right for him).

I'm surprised by your accuracy about when many older fans probably dropped out of the series. Personally, as a 90s kid, I started with Gen 1, and after Gold and Silver, I skipped all of the mainline releases until Black and White, and even after that, I've only played Pokemon games sporadically (generally, I'll play a set of new gen games when they release, but ignore third releases/sequels like B2/W2 or Ultra SuMo in addition to the remakes).

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

KratosMD

@Ralizah I mean it's the only thing that makes sense. It's very rare to find someone who has played through all the generations and still feels as enthusiastic about this series as the first time around. Even if I've played X/Y and Sun/Moon, I didn't play them on release and I only blasted through the story and that was it. I didn't care much for the games, so maybe I'm biased in that regard since I was still in a negative state of mind for the series at the time. If I were to play these games again today I might like them more. Regardless, the fact that people have skipped generations is the only explanation to why none feel the same way about the recent games as with Sword/Shield.

I can understand the complaints but I don't feel like they're warranted. The games have clearly become way too ambitious for the developers to handle, especially when jumping to new hardware. This is usually the case with most developers who are creating games for new hardware, as can be clearly seen in early generation video games. Forza Motorsport 5 for example came out in 2013 at the same time the Xbox One launched and it severely lacked in content. It was much worse than its previous entry. Killzone Shadow Fall also came out along with PS4 in 2013 and it could easily be seen as the worst game in the series as it focused more on the graphics and stealth gameplay rather than action set-pieces the series is known for. Granted, we're almost three years into Switch's life cycle but keep in mind that Game Freak tries to release Pokémon games yearly and so I don't think they've had three years to make Sword/Shield. It wasn't even shown during its brief announcement back in E3 2018, which makes me think that the game must've been early in development considering they were working on Let's Go as well.

Well anyway, I don't think the yearly releases are going to stop anytime soon. Next up is probably Diamond/Pearl remakes, then perhaps Let's Go Gold/Silver and then in 2022 we might get generation 9. I honestly might become burned out again after Let's Go, but I'm definitely keeping my enthusiasm up for D/P since they were my favourite generation.

Edited on by KratosMD

KratosMD

RR529

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 (Switch) - the long running anime series gets the Musou treatment.

Pros:

  • The core Musou gameplay is here and as strong as ever (if you're into it). While I don't think it shakes things up as much as Hyrule or FE Warriors, many of the story missions do have unique elements such as a giant boss or a battlefield that shrinks as large portions of it become cut off over time. Plus, it looks good both docked & portably with no performance issues that I was able to notice.
  • It has a large array of varied characters & tons of maps. I'm personally not a huge One Piece fan, but it feels like they really wanted to do the series justice, and I'm sure bigger fans would be giddy at the options on offer.
  • Like the two Nintendo varieties, it features both a decently lengthed story mode (I'd say just north of 20 levels) that isn't too much trouble to get through (that can really showcase the excitement of the anime with action packed cutscenes, usually after defeating the enemy commander), as well as a seperate mode with tons of extra levels that later on can really challenge the most hardcore Musou players (that I'm not one of, lol). Oh, then there's also the "Free Mode" that lets you replay the story missions with anyone.

Cons:

  • You can't swap between characters mid battle, nor command CPU characters from the pause menu like you can in certain other entries. I never found this to be a huge detriment, the abscence of the QOL features was missed.
  • Really digging for negatives here, but it doesn't feature your character doing a victory celebration cutscene whenever you clear a battle (like the other Musou games I've played have featured). It's not a "real" issue, but a nice touch I missed.

Overall it's a very solid Musou game. Not the sort of experience that'll win any awards, but if you like it's brand of gameplay there's quite a bit of fun to be had here (especially if you're a One Piece fan). I'll admit I let my inner teenage self take over as I took tons of closeup screenshots of Nami & Robin in their various costumes, lol.

Currently Playing:
Switch - NSMBU Deluxe
PS4 - Moss

RogerRoger

@KratosMD Whilst I can't speak specifically to the evolution (or lack thereof) of the Pokémon franchise and reception, what you're discussing here does sound similar to other long-running things I follow. It's the price of innovation, unfortunately. Give it another couple years of Game Freak genuinely trying to change Pokémon for the better, and then there'll be a retro re-release of the original, or a new game made to look identical to the first GameBoy iterations. Seems to be the pattern nowadays.

Sorry to hear that it's upset you, though. Try not to let it bug you. I've lost countless hours to "Why is everybody saying this about my favourite thing? Is it me, am I seeing this wrong?" kinds of thoughts but the truth is, there's never a one-size-fits-all opinion for anything. You loved Sword/Shield, and that's awesome enough to stand on its own.

@RR529 Sounds like you had fun, especially taking all those screenshots! Gonna share a couple with us in the screenshot topic, perhaps? No pressure!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

James Bond 007 on the PSone
A Three-in-One Retrospective

Scanning my shelves for a quick palette-cleanser upon completing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for a second time, nostalgia saw me reaching for a familiar black case. Back in the glory days of licenced games, after GoldenEye 007 had broken the curse of E.T. on the Nintendo64, the rights to the digital world of Double-Oh Seven fell to Electronic Arts. Their focus switched primarily to the more-popular PlayStation and, over the course of its lifetime, delivered three distinct games which laid the foundations for their wildly-successful PlayStation2 offerings.

Since each game only takes a couple hours to blast through, I ended up playing them all and thought I'd write up a bit of a retrospective. So here is a piece about Bond, James Bond on the One, the PSone.

Tomorrow Never Dies (Black Ops Entertainment / November 1999)
Untitled

Released a woeful two years after the film it ended up adapting, Tomorrow Never Dies started life as something much more original. Supposed to be subtitled The Adventure Continues, the game was planned as a sequel to Bond's defeat of Rupert Murd... er, Elliot Carver. There was even a trailer for it, presented by Desmond Llewellyn (Q) after the credits of the film's 1998 home video release, teasing how it would pick up on plot threads deliberately left hanging for the game to revisit later (specifically, the terrorist identified as Satoshi Isagura during the pre-title sequence, who is then never seen or mentioned again). It boasted driving, skiing and scuba-diving levels alongside its core third-person shooter gameplay and, all in all, looked quite ambitious.

Unfortunately, focus groups came back demanding to be able to "play the movie" and so a couple extra months were added to development, allowing the game to be re-tooled to match its compressed cutscene clips as best it could. Some of the original content had to remain; four of the ten levels supposedly "expand upon" the film's plot but, in reality, they're just where the sequel idea was going to take players anyway. It's within these levels that the varied gameplay survives. During an extended opening sequence, Bond infiltrates a Russian military outpost and laser-designates a satellite dish for destruction, before making good his escape on skis and parachuting off a cliff (yes, Union Flag parachute and everything). Later, he dodges infra-red snipers to pick up his BMW 750iL, using it to chase down a terrorist weapons convoy in the Swiss Alps, before skiing into a snowy mountain hideout in Hokkaido to confront and kill the aforementioned Satoshi Isagura. The scuba-diving levels never resurfaced, alas, which is a shame as there's a rather tense underwater sequence in the film itself.

But at least there was a concerted attempt at variety. The cinematic Bond is a jack-of-all-traits character, and EA were trying hard to reflect this. Such an aspiration forced the game away from simulation and towards more of an arcade-esque feel; driving the BMW doesn't feel like actual driving in the slightest, for example, but at least it makes a change from all the running around. The ski controls fare better, with an effort to have momentum pay off and the ability to pull some classy tricks during each jump, but it's purposefully basic. As is the shooting, which features an ever-present auto-lock on enemies and a fluid dodge-roll mechanic to evade death. Speaking of which, there's even an extra life system, allowing hapless agents to respawn in place a couple times before a proper, final game over screen returns you to the level select menu. Everything feels generalised, with a pick-up-and-play level of accessibility reflecting the mass appeal of the Bond films.

As the direct successor to GoldenEye 007, however, the best intentions in the world couldn't sway those expecting another FPS with splitscreen multiplayer (a mode which Tomorrow Never Dies doesn't even attempt to provide). Thanks to its patchy development, the game also feels a little unfinished in places. Texture quality is pretty high, but interior environments suffer from a near-sighted draw distance threshold, giving you little time to react as heavily-armed goons loom out of the darkness. As mentioned before, a criminally-short completion time adds to the sting of wasted potential, with the longest of the ten levels clocking in at a mere fifteen minutes. There's a Double-Oh Agent difficulty which you unlock after beating the game, but the little bonus movie you get for beating it isn't reward enough.

But brand recognition, as well as a phenomenal soundtrack, helped the game reach Platinum / Greatest Hits status pretty quickly, and ensured EA would immediately ask Black Ops Entertainment to start work on adapting the next Bond film. The World is Not Enough was already hitting theatres that very same month, but it would take another year for its interactive version to arrive; just long enough to tweak the game's code into a much safer, more crowd-pleasing adventure.

The World is Not Enough (Black Ops Entertainment / November 2000)
Untitled

Back to a first-person perspective, this second PSone pass made great pains to address the criticisms levelled at Tomorrow Never Dies. In some areas, these efforts paid off, most notably in the graphical department. With experience and the expanded budget of a sales hit on their side, Black Ops were able to showcase what their engine was truly capable of and, as such, The World is Not Enough ends up being one of the prettiest games from the final days of Sony's inaugural console. It all runs at a very steady pace, too, thanks to its eleven levels being broken up into smaller chunks of environment which can take a couple seconds of black screen to enter and leave. It's a relatively small price to pay, particularly since the switch to first-person demands more close-up detail.

The rush to ape GoldenEye 007 is blatant, though, right down to the addition of Moneypenny's sarcastic innuendo at the bottom of each mission briefing screen. Gone is much of the gameplay variety from before; this is an FPS through and through, with many of the arcade-style features stripped out and replaced with the need to run, gun and occasionally pause to precision aim. This dogmatic approach results in some very linear level design, with seven of the eleven available feeling like extended corridors, no matter the window dressing. Chuck in the occasional time limit and some sequences might as well be on rails. There is only one secret area in the entire game, hidden in the first level, and it's laughable. Never mind reflecting his diverse range of talents; Bond is back to being Rambo, it seems.

Having said that, there are two awkward attempts to mix things up. Since there was an actual ski chase in The World is Not Enough on the big screen, there was no need to shoehorn in some skiing gameplay this time around; a major action sequence was right there, available to copy. I wish they hadn't bothered. Still locked to that first-person perspective (and apparently sporting a tuxedo, because the in-game model for Bond's wrist never changes, no matter what he's supposed to be wearing) you awkwardly slide around a very brief, and again very linear, slope packed with baddies and buzzed by parahawks. It's lethargic and unnecessary and, when you're finally back on-foot for a final small shootout, the feeling of liberation only serves to underline the struggle you've just endured.

The second attempt to convey Bond's range comes from the level immediately following this nightmarish ski trip, and further damages any mounting sense of enjoyment players might be squeezing from the game. Set in Zukovsky's casino, you're tasked with turning a $20,000 credit voucher into $100,000 worth of winnings at the blackjack table. There's a good approximation of the card game on hand here, even allowing you to double down or split, but perhaps it's a little too good, as your progress is therefore entirely based on luck. A salutary lesson about gambling it may be, but it's also a genuine pain in the butt, a needless roadblock in what is supposed to be a breathless action shooter. Because yes, you're gonna go bust a couple times... and it's then that you're likely to realise what else is missing from Tomorrow Never Dies. The forgiving extra life system is gone. If you fail a mission, you're booted all the way back to the start. No matter how short the level, this can be supremely frustrating.

In a game specifically designed to have no variety, trying to have it anyway only hurts the proceedings. Fans can find the fun elsewhere (the stealthy Night Watch level is surely a highlight) but this game always felt like a bit of a backwards step from EA, an unfortunate conceit in the wake of GoldenEye 007 becoming such an iconic milestone in gaming history. With a soundtrack of thirty-second loops and a runtime still barely touching two hours, there's little to keep bringing you back.

But that's okay because, at the time, EA had another Bond game to offer you.

007 Racing (Eutechnyx / December 2000)
Untitled

With driving gameplay AWOL from The World is Not Enough, and after wanting to start their Bond tenure with an original story, EA were able to set aside a somewhat-novel idea for a spin-off and flex their imagination. The resulting plot is hardly Shakespeare, but it offers enough justification for ten levels of vehicular-based mayhem. Whilst en-route to Canada, a shipment of Q-Branch weapons is hijacked in order to cover the theft of a prototype BMW equipped with special exhaust-masking technology; seems a mad professor wants to reverse-engineer this innovation and use it to (somehow) poison the world's population via car emissions.

Greenpeace would be proud, then, although I can't really see them, or anybody else, reading through the large walls of skippable text. It's all well and good bookending the game with a pair of flashy CGI cutscenes, but the rest of its presentation falls squarely into the range of the bargain bin. The graphics are genuinely appalling, particularly for such a late-generation offering. You can frequently see enemy vehicles through walls, in all of their boxy glory, and textures contort and deform at any distance. Even when driving through the Mexican jungle or infiltrating an underwater base, Bond remains in his tuxedo, his only character model awkwardly glued to each interior. When coupled with some schizophrenic handling (sluggish one minute, tetchy the next) some levels can become a challenge to comprehend, let alone clear.

In a vehicular combat game, however, Bond has real potential. His well-stocked garage of gadget-laden options is fully represented throughout the ten levels, with Aston Martins unleashing heat-seeking missiles and BMWs deploying oil slicks with aplomb. Misleading title aside (anybody hoping for a balloon-headed Jaws in a tiny Lotus Esprit will be disappointed; there's only one race in the game, and you win it by driving off a cliff), there are flashes of genius peppered throughout. One truly outstanding level involves an imprisoned Bond steering his BMW 750iL via remote control, watching it on security cameras which keep changing perspective. It's a little mind-bending to complete, but definitely grin-inducing to try. Throw in a soundtrack which is funky with a capital F and you'll find moments memorable for all the right reasons, even if there are others memorable for quite the opposite.

It should also be noted that 007 Racing is the only PSone Bond game with splitscreen multiplayer, offering a standard two-player deathmatch alongside an excellent 'Pass the Bomb' mode. My brother and I used to play this all the time back home; essentially tag with an armed explosive, you must ram (or avoid being rammed) as the timer counts down to detonation, desperate not to be stuck holding it when it reaches zero. It's deliriously frantic, although finding somebody else who's mastered the ageing controls could be a little tricky nowadays. At least there's been some acknowledgement to replicate some actual handling this time around, with hard corners kicking the back wheels out and 180˚ handbrake spins a viable tactic. It still feels arcade-like, though, as do the high score tables at the end of every level.

As this standalone mixed bag, 007 Racing might be more "idling lawnmower" than "throaty V8" but, as a stepping stone on EA's path to delivering interactive Bond greatness, it's pretty vital. By continuing to challenge the notion that Bond should only ever star in first-person shooters, they laid the groundwork for their stellar PlayStation2 trilogy which would culminate in James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, the best Bond game ever made. The sparks which set that fire are evident in Tomorrow Never Dies and 007 Racing. It's a shame that The World is Not Enough had to briefly blow them out, but then everything happens for a reason, I suppose.

Whilst waiting for a games console capable of delivering a true Hollywood blockbuster, EA's primary objective with the Bond licence seems to have been to shove as much glossy, shallow action as possible into a couple hours of your time.

And if that doesn't effectively convey the cinematic Bond franchise, then I don't know what does.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Thrillho

@RogerRoger Ha, 007 Racing sounds gloriously bonkers and the sort of game we will probably never see again.

I do remember playing TWINE and I'm sure I mentioned the blackjack level on here recently. Otherwise a relatively bland and forgettable game.

And I have never actually played the Goldeneye game as I would never betray my Sony overlords.

Thrillho

RogerRoger

@Thrillho If done properly, a vehicle-based Bond game could be something special. I mean, 007 Racing is already something special, but more in an "ugly puppy" kinda way! Alas yes, such risks aren't taken anymore.

Yeah, I thought of your comment when playing that level. What a nightmare!

The original GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo64 is something I've played briefly on other people's consoles, but never owned or completed for myself. I remain determined to someday, but it keeps slipping down my to-do list, mainly because I'm kinda angry at it for inadvertently decreeing that Bond games should always be shooter games.

And yes, quite right, go Sony and whatnot.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Ooh nice a triple pack of game reviews to look over! (With @RogerRoger's being a triple bill too!)


Sounds like you had fun with One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 @RR529!

... Think the closest I've got to a Musuo game is a Dead Rising game. No particular reason why I haven't played any of this specific genre other then wanting other games more but I've always wanted to try one!

Not terribly fond of One Piece myself ... But I'm glad you had fun with it!

Kinda reminds me of my Digimon Playthrough earlier in the year.

Not trying to do anything particularly fancy or groundbreaking... Just being an enjoyable and fun game... Good to hear it does just that!


As for your bond triple bill @RogerRoger

... Good job

I'm not the biggest Bond buff... I think the last bond I watched was Spectre... and turned it off after ten minutes... before that it must've been Thunderball or something back when I was really young.

Never heard of any of those games at all! Only the mention of Goldeneye thanks to the N64... 007 racing sounds particularly daft but good fun as well!

Well written and enjoyable to read too as always mind and nice to hear you had fun with them!


And finally @KratosMD and Pokémon Shield

On the one hand I've not played Sw/Sh so I can't particularly comment on this title.

On the other hand I've played Silver, Blue, Yellow, Crystal, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond (Break from the series) X, White & Omega Ruby (break from the series again) soooooo... I think I know how the series works by this point lol

I think I'm with Ralizah in the more reserved camp side of things personally...well if I was able to play it I would!

Buuuut... It's not like Sword and Shield has turned the series into a dating sim or something lol

You in particular Kratos are very passionate about games... It's a little funny comparing this overwhelmingly positive review to your post a few weeks ago in the switch thread after hearing about the notable dex cut and some of the other stuff like the awful PR gamefreak have had involving the title

I'm glad you enjoyed it! (I know I've said that to the other two reviews as well but sush 😅)

Ya don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all ya need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis Persona 3

PSN:GoddessFoxy-E

》My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel《

KratosMD

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Well I mean, it's because on paper it sounded bad that they removed so many Pokémon. But in practice it honestly didn't matter at all since there are so many Pokémon to catch in the game and I'm just slowly reaching 300 Pokémon and I still have 100 more to go. If there were 1000 I probably wouldn't have bothered with catching them all, that's just too time-consuming.

It's kinda like how everyone was nagging on Death Stranding for being a "walking simulator". If you play the game yourself you'll know that's only in the opening chapters. Then you'll start receiving vehicles, weapons etc. but there are still some out there who think the game is a walking simulator.

Point is that we shouldn't just believe everything on paper and instead play the games ourselves and find out if they're actually good or not. I tend to like most games I play because I'm a positive person. I don't like to get picky and dissect games. If I had a good time overall then that's good enough for me. And it's safe to say that I've had (still have!) a great time with Sword/Shield. Absolutely wonderful games!

KratosMD

Ralizah

@RogerRoger Great write-ups, as always. I'd never even heard of that 007 Racing game. You're a fount of information about obscure licensed games on the PS1/PS2, and I think that's fantastic!

@KratosMD Peoples' issues with the dex cuts were never about the number of Pokemon you'd run into while playing the game. The regional dex is on par with other games in the series, I believe, and it has a great balance of Pokemon from previous generations (no Gen 1 favoritism here, interestingly). Rather, it's primarily the people who maintain a living dex and religiously transfer their digital animals from generation to generation who are so miffed about the change.

I do agree that this is the first gen in a while where I'm actually sort of tempted to try and "catch em all."

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

"Buuuut... It's not like Sword and Shield has turned the series into a dating sim or something lol"

If you ask old-school Fire Emblem fans, this exact thing happened to the series during the 3DS era.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

KratosMD

@Ralizah Foxy and I weren't talking about people's opinions, we were talking about mine after I heard the news a couple of weeks ago.

"It's a little funny comparing this overwhelmingly positive review to your post a few weeks ago in the switch thread after hearing about the notable dex cut and some of the other stuff like the awful PR gamefreak have had involving the title"

KratosMD

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Ralizah wrote:

If you ask old-school Fire Emblem fans, this exact thing happened to the series during the 3DS era.

Oh... I've heard @Ralizah.

There's that one purple haired lady with the huge... tracts of land from that confusing mess (to me) that is the second lot of 3DS games. She seemed to get the brunt of the complaints from what I remember 😅


You have a point @KratosMD in that people should at least try any and all games before judging them... Especially for something like Death Stranding.

But people who weren't so hot about Sword and Shield are already ardent fans as it's been pretty much talked to death about already... I'd genuinely be surprised if there was any new fans whom were put off by the lead up to it's release from stuff like Dexit or reycled animations (which wouldn't really affect them in the slightest)

Maybe it's the cynic in me, the fact I'm more tepid about Sw/Sh anyway and maybe still a little raw about recent events that has me thinking negatively at the moment... But most of 'em would have a very similar number of pokemon games under their belt to me or you and I'd be shocked if SW/Sh really felt or plays any differently to the other games in the series.

I think with that much pokemon played you can quite easily make a rational and informed descision (I know most of the vitrol hasn't been so level headed sadly) that Sw/Sh aren't for you from footage and other people's thoughts post release.

Hell I'll admit that my initial reasoning for not wanting to play gen 5 and went off the series was a far more shallower reason (thougg considering the nature of the games it kinda isn't) of all the new pokemon looked flat out terrible to me in Black/White.

I did end up giving it a chance though years later (the list in my post was the order I played the games in if you didn't realise) and I ended up loathing it for reasons besides the naff pokes that I've already got into a number of times!

So... I guess I disagree to a point about your view that people really need to play Sw/Sh before making an opinion as the only people I've really ragging on it are life-long fans and it's pretty much what they've already experienced at least 3-4 times over...

... Certainly doesn't warrant any of the abuse or incessant wailing that's been happening though beforehand mind!

But that's just my opinion Kratos and I do get and agree with the spirit of yours for the most of it! For pretty much anything else, like your Death Stranding example, I'd flat out agree that it must be played to be believed

I am genuinely happy for you that Sword and Shield have rekindled your love of Pokemon! I wish I felt so estatic about it!

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Ya don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all ya need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis Persona 3

PSN:GoddessFoxy-E

》My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel《

crimsontadpoles

KratosMD wrote:

Point is that we shouldn't just believe everything on paper and instead play the games ourselves and find out if they're actually good or not. I tend to like most games I play because I'm a positive person. I don't like to get picky and dissect games.

@KratosMD I kinda disagree with this logic. Trailers, pre-release information and reviews are useful for determining whether someone will like a game or not. It would be silly for someone to spend money on a game to see whether it's good if they don't think they'll like it.

The "should buy a game before having an opinion about it" logic just feels biased towards the positive opinions, as only the people that want the game will naturally buy it. If people don't want a game because of whatever reason, such as lack of content, or it looks boring, or there are some ridiculous microtransactions, or it was released in a buggy mess, then that's fine.

Switch friend code: SW-5487-8712-2210

My Anime List
You don't even know you are already dead

PSN: crimsontadpoles | Twitter:

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy lol Camilla was one of the few redeeming things about the Fates games. She's essentially the medieval fantasy anime version of Jessica Rabbit, and she's a princess who wields an axe and rides a Wyvern. Ridiculous? Sure. But still awesome.

Birthright was just sort of average, imo. It was Conquest and its inane narrative/character development that really drove the bus off the cliff, so to speak. I was put off enough by it that I never even bothered playing Revelations (the third campaign), which a friend tells me is somehow even worse in the writing department. From what I remember, IS brought in a manga writer to craft the plot of the three storylines, which was apparently a mistake, because, at its best, the writing is merely average, and at its worst, it's AGGRESSIVELY bad.

Thank god Three Houses came along and restored respectability to the franchise!

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Arugula

@RogerRoger I had all three of those games! I used to look forward to the new Bond game every year when EA had the license back then. Good times. Been a big Bond fan for a long time and that was a great read. Thank you for the enjoyable trip down memory lane.👍

Arugula

KratosMD

@crimsontadpoles I'm talking about in the context of jumping on the hate bandwagon without having played the games for ourselves. In cases like Pokémon Sword/Shield and Death Stranding, people started spreading negativity about the games regarding certain aspects and making them seem more bad than they actually are. Having half the amount of Pokémon removed in Sword/Shield sounds bad on paper, but actually isn't because the regional dex is still on par with previous games (400 Pokémon), i.e. you're still going to catch hundreds of Pokémon in the wild. Showing gameplay footage of only walking around in Death Stranding made it seem like that's the only thing you're going to be doing in the game, but in reality that's only for a couple of hours and after that the gameplay is going to be more varied.

So to reiterate my point, if you WANT to get a complete understanding of a video game, then you NEED to play it. Just because some people are saying that it's bad doesn't mean that it's actually bad, especially in the case of games that haven't even been released yet. It's important to play a game if you want to form your own opinion of it. If you don't have any interest in the game, then don't add more fuel to the fire by saying it's bad when you haven't even experienced the game.

KratosMD

RogerRoger

Huge thanks to @Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy and @Ralizah for the Bond piece praise, and a special shout out to fellow fan @Arugula for being able to provide some happy nostalgia!

I miss regular Bond games, too. Word is that Daniel Craig is a gamer, so hated being in them, which stopped anybody else picking up the licence after Activision bungled it. Here's hoping the next actor is a little more open to the idea of interactive adventures.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

Title: Mega Man Legacy Collection

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Available for: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows

What is it? A collection that contains all of the NES Mega Man games (that's Mega Man 1 - 6) along with extra features, modes, and bonus content.

~ ~ * ~ ~

While I've never been what one would consider to be a Mega Man superfan, it has occupied a presence, off and on again, throughout my life. As a child, I was taken with Mega Man 3 on the NES. Mega Man 8 and X4 were among my first games purchased for the PS1. Over the years, I've played games in the series sporadically, often not finishing them, but at least tasting their flavor. I often told myself that the big thing keeping me from completing the games was the fact that most of them were only primarily playable on TV-tethered home consoles. Once ports of the collections were announced for the Switch, then, I knew it was time for me to give the series a proper run-through. Starting with the first game.

Untitled

The original Mega Man is a reasonably rough production all around nowadays, and hasn't aged nearly as well as the game's sequels have. The menus, backgrounds, and whatnot are incredibly basic looking; there's a number tracking the player's "score," which seems to be a vestigial feature explained by Capcom's origins as a developer of arcade games; there are only six Robot Masters as opposed to the traditional eight found in future entries; Wily's Castle isn't really its own fully formed set of themed stages yet; the weapon upgrades you obtain from the Masters aren't useful through most of the rest of the game; and, worst of all, the levels are often plagued with frustrating and unfair design flaws that make the game a chore to complete.

Take Guts Man's level, for example. There's a notoriously difficult mechanic in this level where you have to jump onto moving platforms that travel back and forth along a rail of sorts. But there are gaps in the rail that make the platform dump whatever is on it until the gap is passed. The problem with this is that you have to time the moment of your jump almost perfectly, or you'll fall to your death before the platform rises back up and is able to hold weight again. I've tried to pinpoint the emotion that I feel when I try to perfectly time those jumps on the platforms, only for them to drop the second Mega Man's feet touch them, or for Mega Man to plunge to his death a split-second before the platform raises again, immediately robbing me of a life. Different words capture aspects of the feeling: frustration; anger; disappointment; unfairness. But there's still an aspect of the emotional experience missing. I think I've settled on this: these platforms make me feel like the Peanuts character Charlie Brown when he goes to kick the football, only for Lucy to yank it away at the last moment.

Untitled
I tried jumping on that bottom platform...

I feel the need to point out one particular boss that made my time with the game a bit of a nightmare before I figured out how to deal with him. Near the end of the game, as you're chasing Doctor Wily, you'll encounter a boss called the Yellow Devil. This thing just sucks. He gives you barely any time to attack him before he splits his body and flings the pieces at you from across the other side of the screen. Rinse and repeat. Good luck beating this broken POS without using the thunder beam pause glitch!

With that said, despite the simplistic and sometimes aggravating nature of the original game, it must be granted that, for whatever its flaws may be, it got most of the basics of Mega Man right the first time.

Untitled

Now we come to Mega Man 2, which is often regarded as one of the best games in the series and a classic of the action-platforming genre on the NES. While it's probably worth pointing out that a big part of this reputation comes from the game being such a massive step up from the original (and, in that respect, any subsequent game in the series would have impressed had it been called "Mega Man 2"), I don't think nostalgia from mid-to-late-thirties NES owners is entirely responsible for the game's legendary status in the industry.

One of the best innovations of Mega Man 2 was making the zone between boss gates short and free of enemies. It gave players a space to rest and prepare themselves for the battle ahead (unlike MM1, where the boss gates are longer and feature challenges/enemies before unceremoniously dropping you right in front of the level's boss).

Levels themselves are simply far more fun and well-designed than they were in Mega Man 1 and, just like every other way, Mega Man 2's more accessible platforming and explicitly themed levels were clearly the reference point future entries adopted for their own levels. It's probably worth pointing out that, in a notoriously difficult series, Mega Man 2 is probably the easiest entry in the entire series. Which isn't to say that it doesn't have its own difficulties, or that first time players won't struggle with it. But, going back and playing these games, Mega Man 2 was almost unique in how consistently free of aggravation it was, aside from a few specific levels and bosses (which I'll detail later).

Probably the biggest boon of this game over subsequent entries is that it's perfectly paced. You complete eight stages, one for each Robot Master, then go on to challenge Wily's Castle, which forms its own set of stages, complete with bosses utterly unlike what you fought before. Afterward, you have rematches against each of the eight previously defeated Robot Masters before going on to fight Doctor Wily. In a brilliant touch, there's a short, empty level, inserted purely for atmosphere, before you fight the final boss. It's a satisfying structure that makes you feel like you've gone on a journey of sorts. Importantly, though, it's just the right length for a single playthrough. When you know what you're doing, Mega Man 2 often taken just under an hour to complete. This, combined with the lack of constant frustration in the various levels, makes this a game that almost begs to be replayed over and over.

Untitled
Lots of blur as Metal Man throws his saw-like Metal Blades at me.

I want to mention a particular weapon in this game: the Metal Blade. While I should probably mark it down as a negative, considering how overpowered it is compared to everything else in the game, it has to be said that this weapon, which you unlock by defeating Metal Man (who is the easiest boss in the game), is arguably the funnest weapon in the entire series. It's unbalanced in the same way that the whip in Super Castlevania IV was unbalanced: it's so versatile and fun to use that you don't want to use anything else through the rest of the game.

While the Mega Man series has been known for its catchy stage tunes, MM2 really is on the top of the pile in that regard. While its musical compositions aren't as complex as what you'd hear in most of the later NES games after Capcom figured out how to tap the full potential of the NES hardware, they're arguably some of the most iconic themes in the entire series.

Consider, for example, the theme for Wood Man's stage:

Or the CLASSIC theme that plays in the first stage of Wily's Castle:

Or consider the iconic opening: after a brief text scrawl setting the stage for the game to follow, you pan up a skyscraper, see Mega Man standing on top, hair blowing in the wind, and then the previously slow music kicks off into a fast and exciting composition:

All is not perfect, though. At least one of the stages, the one where you fight Quick Man, is pretty horribly designed. You descend from the top of the stage to the bottom while, in many sections of the stage, giant, instadeath lasers blast out from the sides of the screen to swallow up the player. The problem with this is how little time to the player is given to orient themselves before being assailed by these instadeath stage elements. Actually, in certain segments, if you aren't anticipating the proper direction to run, you'll die even if you are quick once you hit the ground. Granted, you CAN freeze these lasers with Flash Man's time-stopping weapon, but the problem here is twofold: once you activate the weapon, it freezes time until the weapon energy runs out, which makes it incredibly wasteful when you're just using it get past a particularly difficult section of the level, and, if you activate it early, you're forced to fight Quick Man without using his weakness to Flash Man's weapon unless you tediously farm for weapon recharge items in the middle of the level. It's just not a well-thought out level at all.

My big gripe, boss-wise, is with the Boo Beam Trap, one of the end-stage bosses in Wily's Castle. It's a series of wall-mounted orbs that shoot projectiles at you. The only way to damage them at all is to use the Crash Bomber weapon. Unfortunately, the Crash Bomber weapon ammunition is EXTREMELY limited, meaning it only takes one slip-up or wrongly placed bomb to run out before defeating all of the units and automatically failing the fight, wherein the game forces you to return a checkpoint beforehand and desperately scrounge for ammunition so that you can defeat the thing.

Untitled

Mega Man 3 starts off well, I think, with a moodier, more intense title theme that immediately sets its identity apart from that of Mega Man 2:

I won't talk extensively about this game (or the other sequels), really. It feels, in many ways, like Mega Man 2+. It's a longer, more challenging, more visually and musically complex game than its predecessor was. It was my childhood Mega Man game and, in many ways, I do think it is better than Mega Man 2. What this game got wrong, though, and what a lot of future games got wrong was the pacing. For example, in this game, not only do you have rematches against the Robot Masters, but, in Wily's Castle, you fight against boss enemies that have attacks similar to the Robot Masters of Mega Man 2. This wouldn't be an issue if you had a similar set of weapons, but you don't know to expect this going in, and you're forced to experiment with different weapon weaknesses all over again in order to defeat these bosses that quite literally don't belong in the game. It feels like padding to make the game longer, it's frustrating, and it messes with the pacing of the adventure. Mega Man 3 is probably the most innocent offender in this regard, as future games would continue to feel more and more padded, which meant, unlike Mega Man 2, I didn't bother replaying them after finishing the game.

Mega Man 3 also started an interesting trend that would continue into the next game by making Mega Man a more versatile character. In MM1 + 2 all you could do is jump, run, and shoot. Now, I happen to think that this is all Mega Man NEEDED to be able to do in these games, and that the simplicity of his movement was a part of the charm of these games, but MM3 does something interesting by giving the Blue Bomber the ability to slide a short distance. Certain stage sections narrow into tunnels forcing Mega Man to use this ability, of course, but it's more interesting insofar as it allows the player to be more flexible when it comes to dodging enemy attacks.

One thing that should be mentioned is that Mega Man 3, in a stroke of brilliance, introduced the character of Rush to the series. Rush, of course, is Mega Man's robotic dog companion, and is known for transforming into a variety of vehicles to help Mega Man navigate through stages. Giving the generic tools from Mega Man 2 that were use to create new platforms, allow Mega Man to jump higher, etc. (which were given generic names like Item #1, Item #2, etc.) a personality and names that reflected their use was a stroke of pure brilliance. When you hear "Rush Jet," or "Rush Coil," you almost instantly know what those Rush modes do: Rush Jet turns Rush into a flying item that jets across the stage; with Rush Coil, you can bounce off of your friendly robotic companion to reach new areas you couldn't before. These functions aren't NEW, insofar as the items from Mega Man 2 accomplished the same thing, but they're easier to remember (the name Item #2 tells you nothing about what it does) and gives another chunk of the game that much more personality. Rush also gives you a new function in this game: he can turn into a submarine, which allows you to more easily and safely navigate watery environments.

Another touch I really like is that, starting in MM3, on the boss selection screen, Mega Man's face sits in the middle square of the screen, and his eyes will actually move in the direction of the boss you choose to fight. Small thing, but very cool.

Untitled
Snake Man's stage is cool. The entire level is like a giant, coiled mechanical snake, and you fight these giant snake head minibosses throughout.

Other irritations I didn't mention about the previous two games:

  • Sniper Joes in Mega Man 2 and Hammer Joes in Mega Man 3. It sucks having to wait for an enemy to decide to expose itself for a few seconds before it hides itself behind its shield or otherwise become invulnerable again. These encounters can often last up to 20 seconds, depending on how good you are on timing your shots. The waiting game isn't fun or challenging in any engaging sense, and it just destroys the pacing of a level.
  • The Sniper Armors in Mega Man 2. These guys are huge bullet sponges and will mercilessly hop toward you. Mega Man unloads countless little buster shots into their bodies, but it almost always turns out that they'll still ram into you at least once before you're able to take them down, making the encounter infuriating all around. Considering how much damage you take from contact damage with them, it's usually better to have them shoot you and then quickly clip through them during your invulnerability window.

Untitled

Mega Man 4 innovates in two ways. First, in Twilight Princess-esque fashion, it attempts to set up this entirely different character as the Big Bad of the game, Dr. Cossack (before revealing that the true bad guy was Wily at the very end, at least). Unfortunately, Dr. Cossack is very much a worse version of Wily insofar as he doesn't possess Wily's mad scientist charm (a lot of this is through his character design; he looks like a normal dude, and is missing the crazy hair and exaggerated bodily features of Wily). The other way it innovates is, again, by making another permanent change to Mega Man's arsenal of moves. From 4 on (until MM9 went back to basics, at least), Mega Man has had the ability to charge up his buster weapon. It was another smart addition to the series that expanded the range of strategies a player could adopt when beating enemies, and has also become a staple of Buster-only runs in games where's it's supported.

While it's not a bad game, by any means (especially considering the visuals and stage themes and layouts continue to become more complex and interesting), the game's Robot Masters and weapons are forgettable, and the game's pacing continues to grow more bloated.

Untitled
Pharaoh Man's stage is a highlight of MM4: large sections of it are set in an underground tomb with robotic mummy enemies. Very creative and thematically appropriate.

Starting with Mega Man 4 a bit, but becoming more prominent in 5 and 6, was the sense that the formula was becoming stale. This is particularly true in these last two NES games as the series started struggling to figure out how to change things up without messing with the golden formula that made the series so legendary in the first place. The series kept adding content to bulk the games up, adding setpieces to make levels feel more unique, adding collectibles and unlockable paths and secrets and whatnot in an attempt to make these new games feel like an upgrade. But, in some respect, this piling on of complexity betrayed what made Mega Man 2 (and 3, to a lesser extent, so fun in the first place). The games were becoming too complex and bloated with gimmicks and mechanics as the series attempted to stick close to a pre-established design (Capcom would later very successfully innovate on this formula with Mega Man X and blow it up completely with the entirely unique Mega Man Legends).

Untitled

They're, again, not bad games. Mega Man 5 is one of the best-looking games on the NES and features some very cool level ideas. Mega Man 6's rush adapters (which turns Rush into different forms of equippable armor that, for example, allow your attacks to do more damage at the cost of some speed, or allow you to fly) are a very cool mechanical addition to that game. But the games feel like they're striving for something new to do. They're not organically evolving because Capcom was scared to stray from its pre-established formula.

~ ~ * ~ ~

Over time, one of the biggest discoveries I made regarding Mega Man, and which has sort of lessened my interest in the series as a whole since, is that I really find the process of figuring out what order to beat the bosses in to be obnoxious. This is a problem on multiple fronts for me. If I go in blind and just test out bosses, hoping to discover the one that is weak to my default buster shot, it becomes an exercise in wasted time and frustration: bosses are often so challenging and they take so little damage from my default weapon (unless, of course, they're the fabled gateway boss that's weak to the default weapon) that playing the level beforehand is effectively a waste of time, considering how unlikely it is that I'll even be able to beat them. Thus begins this irritating process of fighting boss after boss, hoping to stumble upon someone who'll go down to my default weapon. Eventually, of course, I'll happen upon them, but, after gaining the new weapon, I'll be subjected to the same tedious process of elimination again.

Now, you might say: why not go online and just look up the boss order? And, indeed, I can do that. But considering the design of these games, it feels like cheating, and affects my enjoyment of the games. It's also irritating to have to constantly reference the internet when I just want to play the games themselves. Figuring out the boss order is unquestionably part of the experience, and looking that up robs me of that process of discovery. So, for me, the very design of the series is foundationally flawed.

Untitled

Another issue I have in the series is the way robot master themes are often recycled. For example, in three different games, you have, respectively: Fire Man, Heat Man, and Flame Man. You have Air Man and Wind Man. Ice Man and Blizzard Man. I could go on, but you get the point: at some point, it becomes difficult to start telling all of these robot men apart from one-another. As the series went on, the Robot Master names went from generally being elemental or basic in some capacity (Fire, Metal, Ice, Elec(tricity), Bubble (water), etc.) to more specific or weird (Skull, Dust, Napalm, etc.), which made it harder to carry them in the memory.

~ ~ * ~ ~

Regarding the collection itself, the added challenges in the Legacy Collection are more interesting in theory than in practice. In theory, they drastically increase the playtime of the game by giving you a series of challenges to master after you've completed the main games and know the level design fairly well. In my head, I pictured NES Remix-esque challenges that mixed and matched elements of the different games to create unique experiences. In practice, Capcom just took a bunch of level segments from the various games, bolted them together, and then slapped an arbitrary timer on them.

If this sounds like a good time to you, though, then you should know that using a Mega Man amiibo unlocks an additional series of challenges. It'd be cooler if the challenges themselves didn't feel like a boring, last minute addition to make the collection feel more substantive than it actually is.
There are a few optional border illustrations you can enable in each game, as well as a few different display options to choose from: the game in the original aspect ratio that’s somewhat small in handheld mode, a larger version of the image that basically maintains the ratio, and then a full screen image that stretches out the image and looks terrible (don’t do it!). You can activate “TV” or “Monitor” settings that add a bit of grain to the image (less gaudy than the scanline options in a lot of retro collections). There’s also supplemental “Museum” material such as box art scans, manual scans, concept art, etc. There’s a music player which is… what it sounds like. It’s a nice set of features: not packed to the gills with supplemental stuff, but hardly barebones, either.

Also worth mentioning is the “Turbo” CPU option that presumably removes slowdown from the game. I’ve often found these unforgiving NES games feel like they’re built with some slowdown in mind, though, so I never enabled the option.

Far and away the best feature of this collection, though, is being able to remap the controls pretty much any way you like. This allows the games to be playable across a wide range of controllers, including 8bitdo's Sega Saturn-esque M30 controller.

One other big addition that should be mentioned is the addition of a "Rewind" feature. Basically, the games allow you to rewind time at pretty much any point in the game, meaning, if you abuse the feature, you never have to face any consequences for your actions, as you can undo them immediately. This is similar to a feature in Nintendo's own NSO NES/SNES catalogues, which also allow the player to go back in time whenever they wish to fix mistakes.

On one hand, I suppose this totally alleviates any of the frustration associated with cheap deaths in the game. On the other hand, if death is meaningless, then so is any sense of challenge associated with it, or the sense of achievement that comes from besting a difficult boss or area. I wouldn't mind it being an unlockable thing, but I'm not sure how I feel about this being easily accessible with a button press.

Untitled

~ ~ * ~ ~

Conclusion: The games vary in quality, but, if you’re looking the best way to re-experience these classic games, the Legacy Collection is the way to do it.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

That was a read and a half! Now I know what it's like when I put down one of my reviews!

Rather nice read as usual @Ralizah

... There's some seriously unthreatening villians there though like Pharaoh Man, Bubble man, Plant man, Gyro man...

But Top Man? Ooh err! I wouldn't wanna meet him in a dark alley! 😅

Snake man sounds dumb as a villain too but that level design sounds/looks really fun and unique!

Plus there's good music there. The Dr Wily Stage one and the Mega Man 3 theme are pretty nice!

Confession time though.

I've never played a Mega man game in my life... In fact the only thing I know about it is Mighty No' 9 is a pure junk version of it!

Ok I know the american versions had awful box art and it's got a different name in Japan? That's really it for my knowledge on it though... still ya learn something new everyday!

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Ya don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all ya need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis Persona 3

PSN:GoddessFoxy-E

》My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel《

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy I knew the post would be a bit of an epic once the Google Keep document I was writing it in started warning me of an imminent upcoming character limit. But having the freedom to post giant, rambling memoirs about the video games we've played is why this thread exists in the first place.

Oh yeah, the Mega Man games are really quite goofy, when you get down to it. Top Man looks like a robotic monkey with a top on his head who flies up in the air and shoots top projectiles at you. The level before him is filled with enemies who shoot tops at you and spinning top platforms you have to jump across! He's always my first stop in that game because of how simple the stage is and how easy he is to fell with the default buster weapon.

One thing I'm liking about the Inti Creates-developed Mega Man games in the second collection is how explicitly they lean into this heavily tongue-in-cheek aspect of the series.

The American box art for the first two games is NOTORIOUSLY bad, although it improves by the time Mega Man 3 releases.

Compare:
Untitled

and:
Untitled

Versus:
Untitled

The American illustrators took the "Man" part of the title too literally. He looks like run down middle-aged dude in ridiculous 60's sci-fi cosplay in the covers for the first two games (and, for some reason, he's straight up packing heat in both). His face is still a bit... ech... in the box art for MM3, but it's still a dramatically more accurate illustration.

EDIT: Looking at the second game's cover, Dr. Light is either hiding behind Crash Man or is rubbing his thighs. I'm not sure which.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Top

Please login or sign up to reply to this topic