Sunday, May 29, 2011

Did I mention that I have a pet peacock?

No, seriously, I do.

Well, technically it’s my sister’s, but it’s essentially a family pet. Kind of a weird pet, but I didn’t pick it.

Anyway, Today I played Mega Man X2 with a friend. It was pretty fun, but I think I had more fun with Mega Man X, at least when playing with a friend. I seem to remember fonder memories of the game back in the day, but when I played it today it was a touch less magical than before. I think it has to do with all the collectibles.

The collectibles in the Mega Man X games are really cool. each body upgrade significantly expands your capabilities, and the life upgrades make you a little bit tougher with each one. Here’s the problem, though: the upgrades in X2 are very difficult to find.

See, there’s a special super-upgrade you can get if you have all the other upgrades. This final one allows you to perform the Dragon Punch from Street Fighter, and the move is super-powerful and can decimate almost any enemy in the game. In order to get it, you have to do a difficult moving platform puzzle, and then navigate some tricky spike rooms filled with enemies, and at the end of it you must have full life or the upgrade capsule won’t appear. This is frustratingly difficult.

And it’s not alone in frustration. A lot of the upgrades require backtracking, and are difficult to get to, even if you know where they are. There is one in particular where you have to use a certain special weapon from a boss on an unmarked spot of floor in an inconspicuous area of a level. I wouldn’t have found that one if I hadn’t looked up the location when I first played this game years ago.

I feel like the designers were deliberately trying to make it as difficult as possible while remaining reasonable, and I’m not sure that’s the appropriate way to have gone about it. Sure, it makes the game a challenge, but it’s not as fun as it would be if you didn’t have to use a half-dozen lives to successfully navigate the spike warren on the way to the bonus area, right before the end of the game where you won’t be able to really use it anyway.

Anyway, I think I’ll write up a review for X2 and throw it in the queue (I love that word) of Retro-Review Fridays.

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