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conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
I'm curious - what are those reasons? The most common complaints to me appear to be the level design and the translation.
Some of the most common criticisms I see are about the level design (especially Duff McWhalen's stage), the time limit, the dialogue (especially Alia's commentary), how the parts/upgrades are zero-sum choices, the randomness in whether the cannon and/or shuttle succeeds. I like all of these things.
 

Ludendorkk

(he/him)
What gets me is how much X4 is praised when X5 does so many of the same things and is maligned. Having played X5 first, I was underwhelmed by X4.

The perks of being a looker. I agree that X4's eye-popping production values hide a lot of mediocre game design.
 

fanboymaster

(He/Him)
X6 and X7 down.

X6 is about 8-12 months from being really good, lot of good ideas, feels just nakedly unfinished.

X7 is a game where every unkind description of it isn't unkind enough.
 

fanboymaster

(He/Him)
X8 and Command Mission down.

X8's good, series ends on a fairly high note. Plays very well, decent level design, transplanted a bunch of Bass's gimmicks onto Axl giving him a more logical place in the gameplay dynamic. Generally surprisingly strong after how bad X7 was.

Command Mission is... technically accomplished but feels like playing the cliff notes version of a game. Every plot beat is reliant on you already knowing what cliche it's gesturing at to justify why something just happened and if it would just fill out... any details it might have been a pretty fun romp. But it doesn't. The villainous faction is called the Rebellion, it is defined only against what it's rebelling against and has no goals that are given at any point in the plot other than that it needs power to achieve some undefined dream. It's kind of incredible how much the writing is reliant on the player filling in the blanks without feeling like it's meant to be challenging in any fashion.

Moved on to Battle Network. The simplistic writing works better here. About halfway through far as I can tell, havin' fun.
 

Super Megaman X

dead eyes
(He/Him)
I really love Command Mission, but one thing that really bugged me was the name of the two factions: The Rebellion and The Resistance. So, two synonyms. Great.
 

Lokii

Administrator
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Whatever nits Command Mission has to pick, I can't help but look fondly on a game that has such wonderful sights to show us.

WXqHmcX.png
 
I'll weigh in on my two cents. I'm not a Mega Man pro; I consider myself to be an average skill player.

X4 is a favorite of mine. I like the fact that there is only 1 energy tank and the bosses seemed to be designed around this fact. They feel easier and fairer for an average skill player than a lot of other MMX games.

X5. I got to Sigma and hit a wall and quit; I was playing as Gray Amor Zero. In contrast to X4, this game is ludicrously difficult. The bosses get harder in Sigma's castle? The Whale fight seems incredibly random in his second form.

X5 feels like a similar vein to X3. In my opinion Capcom started developing MMX games for the hardcore MMX fans to the detriment of the general audience (maybe MMX games are not for the general audience). I find it hard to believe that the average video game player would pick up X3 or X5 and enjoy it. Unless they are content to not see the end.

Good to know that X6 and X8 are recommended. I put down the MMX collection after X5 frustrated me.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Command Mission is... technically accomplished but feels like playing the cliff notes version of a game. Every plot beat is reliant on you already knowing what cliche it's gesturing at to justify why something just happened and if it would just fill out... any details it might have been a pretty fun romp. But it doesn't. The villainous faction is called the Rebellion, it is defined only against what it's rebelling against and has no goals that are given at any point in the plot other than that it needs power to achieve some undefined dream. It's kind of incredible how much the writing is reliant on the player filling in the blanks without feeling like it's meant to be challenging in any fashion.

How long did Command Mission end up taking you? It was something I was considering revisiting, but I was scared of my nebulous recall of "JRPG length".
 

Super Megaman X

dead eyes
(He/Him)
X4 is a favorite of mine. I like the fact that there is only 1 energy tank and the bosses seemed to be designed around this fact. They feel easier and fairer for an average skill player than a lot of other MMX games.

X5. I got to Sigma and hit a wall and quit; I was playing as Gray Amor Zero. In contrast to X4, this game is ludicrously difficult. The bosses get harder in Sigma's castle? The Whale fight seems incredibly random in his second form.
This is fascinating to me. I consider myself only a slightly above-average MM player, and I feel exactly the opposite. X5 I was able to dance through, while X4, to this day, I still have never beaten, with either X or Zero. I've gotten all the way to Sigma with both, multiple times, but I have never ever been able to beat him. I've seen both endings, but I've never actually earned them myself.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him + RT/artee)
Final bosses in the MMX games tend to be Pretty Bad tbqh, with MMX4's being exceptionally so. Even in X1, the Canonical Action-Platformer Game as Art, both forms of Sigma are just miserable (not necessarily hard) slogs to fight.
 

fanboymaster

(He/Him)
How long did Command Mission end up taking you? It was something I was considering revisiting, but I was scared of my nebulous recall of "JRPG length".

Think it ran me like 15-20 hours? It's an RPG but it's not a terribly long one. I don't think it's a bad game it's just a frustrating one because it's just a little bit away from being a much better one. To expand that estimate a bit, it's split into chapters that are at most 2ish hours in length and there's only about 10 of them.
 

fanboymaster

(He/Him)
For my recent playthroughs, re the X in general discussion, X4's final boss I'd definitely say is harder though I'd also say it felt better to actually beat. X can get away with just infini-nova striking X5 Sigma it if you got his Ultimate Armor (something getting Black Armor Zero doesn't even preclude you from, although it does take some tricky platforming) and there really isn't an equivalent cheese for X4. X4's final fight like most of the Sigma fights relies on you being able to consistently dodge about 3-4 attacks so a lot comes down to how well you can intuit how to effectively dodge them.

X1 I've gotten down to a pretty smooth science and with 4 full subtanks (which don't take long to get in his stage) even someone who has terrible luck with the final form can mostly get by without actually having to learn the way to deal with all his attacks, exploration can bridge the gap of limited execution skill in this case. Bonus points to second form Sigma in X1 who seemed impossible my first time through until I realized you could just hop against the wall and drop down as he tried to slowly follow you up to the corner.
 
I was not able to find the Ultimate Armor in X5. I found the flying armor and the heavy armor on my own. I choose not to look up secrets on the internet. So maybe the Sigma fight in X5 is more manageable with the Ultimate Armor.

That is interesting that you both find X5 Sigma easier than X4 Sigma. That is definitely not my experience; but everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to games. My brother is generally terrible at video games, but he is an FZero GX savant compared to me and my friend.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I've played through all of the games without upgrades (to the extent that is possible), and in that context, at least, X5 Sigma is an order of magnitude more difficult than X4. I would actually place X4 among the easiest in the series. The first two phases are really easy to manipulate and have very generous hitboxes and the way the final phase works means you have plenty of time to return to a neutral position between attacks, removing most of the variability that can screw you up.

In contrast, X5 Sigma is less consistent and the attack timing isn't nearly as generous. In particular, his second form has some really nasty attacks -- the one where the gamma-hand hovers above you and slowly sweeps the field with electricity is a huge pain when you can't afford to take hits. You can only dodge it by staying between the two streams, but it moves slower than X's walkspeed, meaning you have to try to regulate your speed but not accidentally perform a command dash (double tap). It's... not a good setup. And then there's the "Giant Purple Death Box" attack, which is not only difficult to dodge, but is particularly lethal if you do get hit.


I'm kind of with RT-55J in that I don't really think most of the X series final bosses are that great. The Zero series did a much better job with its final bosses.
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
I really love Command Mission, but one thing that really bugged me was the name of the two factions: The Rebellion and The Resistance. So, two synonyms. Great.

Even after writing a whole book on it, I'm still like "do I have this right?" between the two.

Main way I keep it straight is that "Rebellion" sounds sorta similar to the name of its leader, Epsilon (the "lion"/"lon" part). It doesn't excuse it, but just a way of managing what's there.

Much as I love Command Mission for what it is, I do remain disappointed that what may be our one and only shot at a Mega Man X RPG didn't do anything to explore X's world. Instead, it just dumped a rock in the ocean and had you explore that instead (once the humans were no longer there, of course).
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I mean, it is kind of getting into the weeds of Mega Man lore (which I'm sure someone who has written a robot master field guide or two would never consider), but I always got the impression that including "humans" in any Mega Man X game would be like... horrifying? Like, most people would not react well to knowing that their species is basically little more than ants in this conflict between shiny robot men and mechanical mammoths that spew fire. And I feel like this was all but confirmed in Maverick Hunter X, where it was like, "Here's Dr. Cain! Watch him get exploded! .... Okay, let us never revisit this again!"

Like, if they want to maintain the "what am I fighting for!" tone of the Mega Man X series, they kind of have to ignore the "world", as it quickly becomes a situation similar to (I think) Don Rosa's opinion on never discussing the parents of Huey, Dewey, and Louie: there is no explanation for what happened there after years of stories without it being an incredible downer tale of children being orphaned or abandoned (or both). Is there a possible explanation that isn't tonally inconsistent with tales of daring-do ducks? Contemporary Ducktales went there, so yes, but I can understand how an author wouldn't want to take a turn in that direction in an already "experimental" side story.

Basically, what I'm saying is that the Mega Man franchise is just centuries of war that resulted from two old dudes arguing over the purpose of cleaning robots, so I don't fault them for not exploring what that (horrible) world would actually look like.

.........

For more information on the state of the world after a Reploid War or two, please play Nier: Automata.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Or Mega Man Zero 4, which was pretty upfront about what human people thought about endless robot war (not fans; they don’t like getting exploded)
 

fanboymaster

(He/Him)
I mean, it is kind of getting into the weeds of Mega Man lore (which I'm sure someone who has written a robot master field guide or two would never consider), but I always got the impression that including "humans" in any Mega Man X game would be like... horrifying? Like, most people would not react well to knowing that their species is basically little more than ants in this conflict between shiny robot men and mechanical mammoths that spew fire. And I feel like this was all but confirmed in Maverick Hunter X, where it was like, "Here's Dr. Cain! Watch him get exploded! .... Okay, let us never revisit this again!"

Like, if they want to maintain the "what am I fighting for!" tone of the Mega Man X series, they kind of have to ignore the "world", as it quickly becomes a situation similar to (I think) Don Rosa's opinion on never discussing the parents of Huey, Dewey, and Louie: there is no explanation for what happened there after years of stories without it being an incredible downer tale of children being orphaned or abandoned (or both). Is there a possible explanation that isn't tonally inconsistent with tales of daring-do ducks? Contemporary Ducktales went there, so yes, but I can understand how an author wouldn't want to take a turn in that direction in an already "experimental" side story.

Basically, what I'm saying is that the Mega Man franchise is just centuries of war that resulted from two old dudes arguing over the purpose of cleaning robots, so I don't fault them for not exploring what that (horrible) world would actually look like.

.........

For more information on the state of the world after a Reploid War or two, please play Nier: Automata.

I see what you're getting at but this hits one of the fundamental weaknesses of whatever ongoing plot MMX has and that could have beenr ectified in an RPG where the plot isn't just "nonstop barely contextualized jumping and violence." Every time MMX discusses its conflicts it frames them as HUMAN VS REPLOID where here humans are nebulously represented by the Maverick Hunters and Mavericks occasionally make reference to how humans should just not be a thing anymore. Fundamentally though there's one human character and in the core continuity he appears with little in-game fanfare in the beginning of MMX2 and unceremoniously disappears after X3. So reploids fight each other over humans that don't seem to exist. Command Mission is the chance to explore that by showing a world where humans do exist and instead we get... more reploids, child robots sometimes? Command Mission is content to essential sequester itself into an alternate continuity and create its own generic conflict from whole cloth.
 

Lance Noble Aster

did their best!
The key to understanding Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero, to me, is to understand that the Maverick Hunters are the secret police enforcing the rule of a fascist ruling state - we don't get to see which state in X, but by Zero it's Neo Arcadia. X's character arc as written is The One Good Cop, and Zero is The Punisher. If you went with Mega Man Zero's supposed original plot in which committing Reploid genocide in service of humanity is the logical endpoint of X's ideology or lack thereof, X is a cop and Zero is... The Punisher.

... I'm writing a tabletop game that explores the alternate universe where we got genocidal X and the Maverick Virus was never real, but with the numbers filed off, so I have Opinions on the X through Zero timeline.

Incidentally, the ZX timeline solved the problem of "what if you actually had humans in these games?" with "at this point humans and reploids are so wholly integrated that they're effectively one species of biorobots." X and Zero's endless war did eventually create an era where humans and reploids could live in harmony. And then another war started, but there's always another war.
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
I see what you're getting at but this hits one of the fundamental weaknesses of whatever ongoing plot MMX has and that could have beenr ectified in an RPG where the plot isn't just "nonstop barely contextualized jumping and violence." Every time MMX discusses its conflicts it frames them as HUMAN VS REPLOID where here humans are nebulously represented by the Maverick Hunters and Mavericks occasionally make reference to how humans should just not be a thing anymore. Fundamentally though there's one human character and in the core continuity he appears with little in-game fanfare in the beginning of MMX2 and unceremoniously disappears after X3. So reploids fight each other over humans that don't seem to exist. Command Mission is the chance to explore that by showing a world where humans do exist and instead we get... more reploids, child robots sometimes? Command Mission is content to essential sequester itself into an alternate continuity and create its own generic conflict from whole cloth.

Precisely this. I don't know if I could have put it any better.

Back in the '90s, imagining what an MMX RPG would be like, I didn't expect them to shunt it 100 years into the future in what may or may not be a parallel reality and all of that.

I wanted to see more of the world we got glimpses of in the SNES games. I wanted to lead an actual Maverick Hunter unit, and explore the Hunter Base (we only got to see the Dopple Town version as an action stage), get a better idea of how things worked.

hqdefault.jpg


I want to know what those things in the background are, maybe ride in one.

Again, I love Command Mission for what it is, but it didn't give me what I wanted so badly as a fan growing up in the '90s, reading fanfiction and studying every sparse scrap of manga that found its way online: a more involved, official exploration of a world I loved, yet only got to see from a fixed side scrolling perspective with little dialogue.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
I learned recently that in the Sonic/Mega Man crossover comic by Archie, Robotnik and Wily successfully reprogrammed the blue bomber, transforming him into (sigh) M'egga Man. You ever have a grudging appreciation for a pun that just makes you hate it even more? It's bad, really bad, but it does effectively tie the two worlds together...
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
This is fascinating to me. I consider myself only a slightly above-average MM player, and I feel exactly the opposite. X5 I was able to dance through, while X4, to this day, I still have never beaten, with either X or Zero. I've gotten all the way to Sigma with both, multiple times, but I have never ever been able to beat him. I've seen both endings, but I've never actually earned them myself.

I've never beaten this fight either, there is just too much going on in the third phase. I always die within about 10-15 seconds, before I can adequately read the room, and then I don't have the patience to fight the first two forms again.

Alia is a complete dealbreaker for me in X5, I just can't play a game with that much pointless chit-chat interrupting the action so often.
 
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ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Sigma is a dick. I feel that way about Sigma in EVERY Mega Man X game, but especially X4, where he pushes you into instant kill spikes. Boo! BOOOO!

I have a (perhaps not entirely rational) hate boner for X8. They say it's better than X7, but that's not exactly a bar you need a pole to clear. The level designs are aggravating (Gunstar Heroes' silly dice maze, except not fun at all! A stealth focused stage in a side scrolling action game! The always annoying forced scrolling vehicle segment, but this time it's in 3D!) and the tag team gameplay just feels like they're cribbing from Marvel vs. Capcom, without considering if this is the kind of game that benefits from a tag team mechanic. Also, Axl is a weenie, but that was the case in X7 as well. Also also, "Bamboo Pandamonium" elicits groans with both his name and design.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
While I agree about Gigavolt Man-o-war's stage, that vehicle segment almost drove me away from the game completely, I will fight you on Bambo Pandamonium, the best named Maverick in the franchise.

The overall game would've been better if it focused less on gimmicks though. But that final battle music! And the final boss actually isn't Sigma!
 

fanboymaster

(He/Him)
I feel like they had way more than one job

Mega Man Battle Network 1 down, good start to the spin-off. Nice spritework, good music, utterly bonkers dumb storyline in a fun way.

Mega Man Network Transmission feels... ill-considered as hybrids go. The art direction didn't translate well and there's definitely a bit too much loyalty to how useless to start off the mega buster as.
 
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