In preparing for part 2 of my series on sequels in Nintendo Enthusiast, I decided to get Mega Man X for the Wii’s Virtual Console and finish it for the nth time. Now the last time I updated this blog I professed my love for Mega Man 2 and 3, but you know what? I love Mega Man X even more (and then X2 more still, but that may be because of nostalgic reasons).
Many people consider Mega Man 2 and 3 to be the absolute epitome of the series (and we even saw that reflected in the fact that we got 2 recent sequels: Mega Man 9 and 10), but I consider the X series (at least up to X3) superior in every way. The wall jumping, the dash, the bigger stages, the upgradable health and armor, the layout of the bosses in Sigma’s Fortress, the stage events (like the minecart or the airship), and the awesome music all make Mega Man X stand head and shoulders above the NES games in my humble opinion.
For some strange reason, however, I did not enjoy X4, X5, and X6 quite as much (and the one time I tried playing X7 I just didn’t like it at all). I did like Mega Man Zero on the GBA even better, but I’ll save that for another post.
I also played Limbo for the first time recently. There’s quite a lot of surrounding this game, and I can honestly see why, but I myself don’t really fell in love with it. I did like the puzzles and the platforming a lot, and thought the mood was highly effective, but after an hour of playing it I frankly just wanted the game to end already.
This might just be my own intolerance for games that throw rooms of puzzles galore at you, though, as I also wanted Portal 2 to end long before it actually did. Maybe I just like my games to offer more variety in gameplay, and in that sense I am totally fine with solving rooms and more rooms of puzzles in Half Life 2 since I often get to blast some baddies in between these rooms.
But yeah, Limbo. It’s short, it’s good, the puzzles are imaginative, the platforming is a decent challenge, the atmosphere is pervasive, and the ending is rubbish (which is entirely reasonable for indie games, apparently). I don’t know its price on Xbox Live Arcade, but for the price I got it (don’t remember either, but it was super cheap during a Steam sale) it was totally worth it.
Another game I played these days is the totally addictive Dreamkiller, a rather short and simple shooter that…hold on, you know what? I say short and simple even though this game took me longer to finish than Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3, and and I say simple even though there are a number of wildly different weapons all providing their own strategy for the game’s different types of enemies, so scratch all that; Dreamkillers Single Player is pretty awesome, and onl as repetitive as all these modern shooters are. But let me break it down:
Dreamkillers is an arcade shooter. The basic goal is to kill all the enemies in one room so you can move to the next, eventually killing the boss of the stage, and getting some points depending on how well you performed.
The premise of the narrative is interesting enough: you play as a young girl with the power to enter the dreams of other people and interact with them. The people whose dreams are bad enough to warrant a visit to a dream doctor are generally suffering from one or multiple severe phobias, which manifest extensively in their dreams. The first level, for example, takes place inside the dreams of a dude with arachnophobia, and so the entire stage is filled with many kinds of spiders and anthro-arachno chimeras. Other dreams manifest a fear of asylums, kids, open spaces, and heights, among other things. This is cool, and some of the level designs that result from this are crazy.
The level design was never something I found memorable (most areas were generally just combat arenas to some extent, after all), but somehow there was a tremendous spike in the artistry shown in the final level. The architecture and design of the final dream is absolutely amazing.
The game looks and sounds alright, but there’s nothing interesting I could say about either (except for the level design which I already talked about).
The combat is somewhat interesting, with each weapon being so different from the rest that completely different strategies are developed from time to time. Unfortunately, some weapons are grossly underpowered (including the pyrokinesis and telekinesis abilities that you always start with, and which, in my opinion, had a ton of undeveloped potential), while others were grossly overpowered (like the shotgun).
As a relatively low-budgeted game (I assume), however, the game does have some design issues here and there. A few that come to mind is there being far too many enemies in each room (not a problem because of difficulty but because of repetitiveness) and some goals being a bit unclear (sometimes you have to destroy enemy spawners but there’s no indication of this being the case. One particular boss requires you to destroy a beehive that is hidden in the distance and which can only be seen from one particular spot, yet you are never told a single word about it).
Altogether, it took me almost 8 hours to beat the whole game, and I was surprised at how addictive it had been all throughout, even it wasn’t really a blast to play through. I don’t know what the price of the game is right now, but I think it’s worth a buy at about $10, give or take a couple.