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2 Gamers Review one Game

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X - Review

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X - Review - PSP - PickyPants

I am the biggest pussy ever.

As a modern gamer, I often lament the ease at which video games can be completed. Resident Evil 4, Metal Gear Acid, Metroid Prime... all these excellent games in their own right, but all geared a little too strongly towards the "lowest common denominator" of gamers. For example, in Resident Evil 4, once you get the hang of the controls, you (as a gamer) start to discover new ways to take down zombies, or circumvent them entirely. You've spent your money wisely on certain upgrades, and saved the "treasure" pieces to turn in only when complete. In short, you've played the game "well."

Unfortunately, there are complete moron gamers out there who do not play the game "well." They waste grenades, sell everything, buy useless weapons and upgrades, and don't break every single barrel and pot to see what hides inside. In short, they are "retarded."

Modern games have to take these "retarded" gamers into account, and make the game finish-able to them as well. What you get, unfortunately, is a game that does not scale in difficulty while you are playing it, making the good player "unlock easy mode" so to speak. Which is silly, since they are the gamer who is most likely to survive on a higher difficulty rating.

Most serious gamers tackle this problem by exclusively playing multiplayer games. This is one of the reasons, in my opinion, that the online multiplayer genre has expanded so much over the last decade. The person versus person conflict need not rely on AI programming or intelligent legwork, the person who is most skilled finishes first. May the best gamer win.

This does not discount the playability of single-player games, however. There are many excellent games on the market that rely on a single player only experience. Mega Man Maverick Hunter X is one of those games.

Back to me being a huge pussy.

I am a confident gamer. I have an incredible number of game titles under my belt. I also, as I said, pine for the days of the 8-bit game, where challenge was the name of the game. Over the last few months I have played through the "classics" again via my DS (Kid Icarus, Castlevania, Mertroid et. al.) and with my slick USB NES pad and emulators (Wizards and Warriors, The Legend of Kage etc.) The challenge of those old titles is exciting, nostalgiation the nogstalgia.

Now when I picked up Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, I did so with reluctance. I have the emulators to play the original and the SNES to load it up. As I had neither rom nor cartrgidge, though, my lethargy won out in the end, and I picked up the PSP title.

The game looks good. I wasn't blown away by any stretch or means, but it looked pretty decent. Quite frankly I expect more visual punch on the PSP, as proccessing power seems to be the only advantage it has over the Nintendo DS.

Within ten minutes of actually playing, I was getting slapped around like a night elf druid in The Barrens. I couldn't believe the difficulty in this game. It was initially exciting, then immediately frustrating. I was falling off ledges, and dying all over the place. I wanted to blame someone else, the shoddy control of the PSP, the glare from the sun on the screen, my lack of experience with Mega Man past Mega Man 3.

Was Mega Man X really this hard initally? Did I accidently unlock "Turbo Fuck You and Kill your Ego" Mode? I felt like I had launched myself into The Legend of Zelda's second quest without ever having played through the first.

By the time I got to every boss, I had a mere sliver of life to fight them with. I think I even heard the Armadillo boss snicker at me a few times.

Within two hours of playing, I went from gamer extraordinaire, destroyer of titles, to complete wet blanket n00b. It was a humbling experience.

I turned it off to check harshly's review. I wanted to see how far he had progressed through this "bear trap to the balls hard" title. I won't spoil anything, but his review made me feel even worse.

Since that time, I have not picked up the title again. I would recommend Mega Man Maverick Hunter X to anyone who needs to be knocked down a peg or two. I think it's a good therapy tool to get one to start thinking really hard about why we are here. It really unlocks some deep, psychological stuff.

As for playing it for fun, you might have more fun breaking your own neck.

-Pickypants 3/23/06

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X - Review - PSP - harshly_von_smokenstien

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X is of course a remake of the classic Mega Man X title. A pretty classic platformer with a small element of "Find The Goddamn Items" tossed in. Unlike Metal Gear Acid this is the perfect "play at work" title.

The game is broken down into various stages controlled by a theme boss whose defeat unlocks a special weapon that can be used in other stages for more ease or, in Boomerang Kawanger's cutter's respect, gather unreachable items.

Control is fairly tight. I've always had an issue with the directional pad on Sony's consoles. They have never seemed as tight or fluid as say, the SNES's controller, and do take some getting use to. The PSP is no different in this respect and I did go through a frustrating period getting use to the sensitivity.

Like trying out a new condom, or so I've heard.

Once all the bosses have been defeated you now have a tribulation of 3 stages devoted to irritating the crap out of the playerthat samestages will conjure that same delightful irritation as before because the bosses become sub-bosses. Then you kill Sigma, blah blah blah.

One of the things I enjoyed about the Mega Man series was figuring out the bosses patterns. More than any other title from my childhood, the Mega Man games stand out for their boss encounters. Much like the first time I played them, this time around on the PSP was no different and I found to my delight that I had no clue as to when to jump, dash, or shoot when it came to each boss's defeat.

Read: I had to learn them over again.

Armored Armadillo was probably the one that irritated me the most simply because of how long the fight took. His pattern was that rough, but his damage soaking/deflecting ability was probably the hardest of the regular bosses for me due to my innate impatience.

The graphics overhaul was great. I do wish there was more background/foreground trickery like the very first trial stage and you go in front of and behind moving traffic. Alas, this is the only time you really get treated to such effects. Its almost like the level designers fit for they were overhauling itfor the PSP platform. In fact, now that I think about it, the longer I played the more it felt like I had stepped back in time.

But this game doesn't truly get interesting until you beat it the first time and then get to go through as Vile.

Holy shit, its like a brand new, even better, game. I was impressed most with how different Vile and Megaman were treated as far as control goes. At first, Vile seemed to be less mobile or reactive to some of the more difficult areas...but with a lil' determination I soon found myself finding his ability for multi-directional weapon fire and "pausing" in mid-air to be very useful and intuitive.

I enjoyed the game much more as our blue man's arch-rival. I enjoyed his customized weapon combinations after a few bosses were killed even more. I did not enjoy the end cut scene for Vile though. I won't give it away, and I don't want that to make folks hesitant to try this game. Its like a Stephen King book. Its fantastic in the beginning, the middle build up is great, and the bubbling ending in sight is fantastic...but that final period will just piss the shit out of you. Fortunately it isn't a deal breaker like some games.

Overall, this title is worth the effort because there is some challenge but not enough to make you want to choke a bitch...thethan you'dalue is a bit more thanyou'd expect...and the satisfaction of getting all the heart tanks, energy packs, weapons, and finally the Hadoken Fireball is like a good masturbation driven orgasm. Something you keep to yourself with a big shit eating grin.
(Picky's note - gross!)

harshly_von_smokenstien 3/8/2006

1 Comments:

  • Just wanted to drop you two a line and let you know that I enjoy reading your reviews. Although I find myself reading it mostly for the humor as opposed to the actual game reviews. Well except for the WoW review, which btw offically got me started and hooked on the damn thing.

    By Anonymous Brandon, at 12:37 PM  

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