Oh, No! Where Did We Go Wrong? (In Regards To Mega Man Fan Games)
#1
I've been playing these things since the days of CNC and KNP, even having made one of the worst (and forgotten games) in the community. I'd chalk it up to inexperience with the software and game design mechanics at the time.

In any case, what are some of the worst games that you've ever played in the Mega Man Fan-gaming community and why do you feel that they failed? They don't have to be recent, just anything from memory that you felt a bit lacking. Where did we go wrong, folks? How do you think we can improve?

Note: This is meant as a thread for constructive criticism and not a place to bash developer creations. Be kind.
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#2
While it's not necessarily bad, I admit that I hold bias against Mega Man Rock Force. I just feel that the game wastes too much time with stage gimmicks that interfere with raw game play, and some gimmicks you'll only see once and never again. I wasn't fond of the story either. In a Capcom-made Mega Man game, there'd be a reason given why the robot masters we're fighting went crazy in the first place, but that's never directly addressed in this game, nor is there any appearance of Dr. Wily aside from a mention in the intro sequence. I simply don't see how you can have a Classic Mega Man game plot line without Wily involved.
"You have to understand that people aren't just people -- they're a collection of the choices they have made."
- Peckinpah, House of Gold & Bones Part 3: The Answers
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#3
So to start off, these are all my opinions. And I'm going to be blunt.

Mega Man Unlimited
I don't think this game needs an introduction. It's spike-galore, and a disappointing mess with TONS of potential that utterly fails in the most important aspect: level design. Admittedly, the most common place fangames will have trouble is level design, but this game is offensive in that respect. It seems that it was designed with a mindset that's around making challenges against the player, but without consideration for the fun-factor of the challenges themselves, or how they would effect the player in ways further beyond just "will they have the proper skill at this point?" And then it went about making the challenges (in the words of the creator) "more interesting" by making the challenges simply more dangerous or hectic. I mean he put a spike on the tellies to "make them more interesting" where the sole purpose of the spike is to occasionally block your shot. The timing of hitting the tellies has no real skill or actual point to it due to how fast they spin, how fast your buster shots go, and how the challenge of hitting them around their spike is never seemingly focused on in the level design! Needless to say, the game ends up being filled to the brim with challenges that make you go "yeah, I COULD do that, but I don't really want to...."

Also, it has definite problems with some of its bosses. There are some definitely fine bosses, but a lot of them have seemingly superfluous challenges, and also alterations in the pattern that make the patterns have sub-patterns that you also have to keep track of! Like tank man alternating between ramming across the screen and stopping right at you, Nail man firing his shield one part at a time or all at once, nail man's one spike that falls upward and stays on the field just to inconvenience you, friggin... rainbow man *shudders*... just... it's not fun. It's not fun at all, it's just VERY annoying and a bother to keep track of. However, in complete opposite of this, you have bosses that are pretty fun to get a hang of and fight. Glue man has a simple pattern that's rather fun, with an occasional variation he does randomly to mix things up that also has enough foresight for you to react to. Comet woman's pattern is a little more involved, but it's rather straightforward and I rather like the reaction challenge of whether the orbs will attack in a way that requires you to jump or run out of the way. You have Jet Man who can randomly pick what attack he does when he goes into the air, but you can see what attack he's doing and react accordingly. He attacks most of the time in the air where you can't hit him, and when he comes back down he just fires a missile and goes right back up, however he comes down frequently to where you have plenty of openings to hit him (as in he's FAR better of a boss than Slash Man). And his suction effect when you're behind him... well I think it's a tad superfluous, but it's not much of an issue and it's a neat touch, so I have no real problems with it. Over all, the bosses are quite a mixed bag in this game.

Oh wait, I didn't mention Yoku Man or the Wily 1 crab boss. Yoku Man would be an excellent boss if he had enough foresight into what block he's going onto. Because he doesn't he can cheaply hit you into the bottom where you can easily die from the spikes. The spikes being really dumb to avoid wouldn't be an issue if you had a good way to circumvent going down there, but because he can cheap shot you, it makes it much worse. However, when he's cooperating and not spawning on top of you, I find him really fun.

Now the crab boss is EEEEEVIIIIIILLL. Pretty much all of his attacks knock you into the pit and instant-kill you, and avoiding the electrifying ladders is really hard as there's hardly enough foresight to when you should awkwardly jump from one ladder to the next.

Okay I'm done with this game (for now).



Mega Man SFR
The level design is basically a claustrophobic onslaught of enemies. The game isn't quite offensive like Unlimited, and can definitely be enjoyable at times, however most of the time it's just enemy challenges that seem to have the goal of making it inconvenient to get through rather than presenting a fun challenge. Pretty much all of the stages are close-quarter combat situations with at least 2 different types of enemies at once, and there are very few sections that are more about the platforming and less about the enemies themselves or the enemies' roles in the platforming section. The game ends up being a test of patience and more of a frustrating dull-slog-but-not-quite-to-where-you-get-completely-bored. Except if you get to the wily castle and you don't use upgrades, then it's the definition of a frustrating slog. And seriously, the design is so claustrophobic, name 4 places that Rush Jet is useful in SFR. Now name 4 places where Rush Jet is useful in Mega Man 4. It's probably easier to come up with ones in Mega Man 4, huh? Now name 4 places where Rush Coil is useful in SFR/Mega Man 4. I don't think I've ever used Rush Coil in SFR!

And another thing, the bosses seem to suffer from what I guess to be the same mindset as the level design. Most of the bosses seem to suffer from having long convoluted patters that come of as being full of superfluous challenges, while having these patterns be extremely set-in-stone and predictable. This, and the fact that almost all of the bosses seem to have exactly one attack pattern ends up making the whole challenge of the bosses be just getting the hang of the convoluted pattern that you'll probably die at the first time due to there being so much going on and not enough foresight to the attacks or to what's happening. And then once you learn the pattern, it's just all about performing the pattern perfectly in this long arduous rhythm, which is just more dull and annoying than anything. Just look at bass; he's by far the worst offender of this. All of his patterns come out with little to no warning, have a lot to them, and are completely repeated step for step. He has no variation in his patterns other than maybe his position in his first and fourth phases, he has FRIGGIN FOUR PHASES which doesn't help with this (it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it exacerbates the problem), and all of the phases are pathetic after you learn the pattern! It's horrible!!!

Just all in all, SFR is not for me.



Also
I was actually planning on making a thread named "Let's Talk Level Design" where I went in depth into the failures of level design in fangames and in parts of the official games, and what makes good or bad game design. This thread seems like it could do the same thing, however I want to present a more clear reference/guide and a more open level-design discussion instead of a game-focused one, which I think is different enough from this to warrent it. So, I didn't want to go too in-depth here, but I hope I did enough bashing on the rather well liked SFR to spark a discussion.



By the way, I think it would be good to change the title of the thread to something like "What have some Mega Man Fangames done wrong?" to open up the discussion to also include fangames that are relatively good but also have failings worth talking about.
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#4
I agree. MMU was a mess, it tried so very hard to be difficult for difficulty's sake. I played it with CE to be honest, and that's the only way I ever enjoyed the game. Instead of realizing the faults in level design, he simply tiled over it with baby mode. It was an insult to any longtime Mega Man player.

I have not finished SFU and am stuck battling the clones of robot masters from the developer's previous games. I felt it had hits and misses.

Edit: Finished SFU, was referring to SMM3.

Eternal is a game that saw me not even completing the robot masters. It just became too much of a chore due to the high level of difficulty. If I remember one thing about the old games, they were at least balanced.

Still can't beat the claw boss in Revolution.

Metagal, even though it's not a Mega Man title, took from this and made a game that is literally on the same level as MMU in terms of difficulty, possibly worse. In no circumstance should gravity wells, falling platforms, pits and spikes all marry together to form what soon becomes a grueling test of patience. One gets to the point where they wonder if it's going to be "fun" and ends up only finding more needless frustration.

Can someone please answer a rather simple question: Why are we making these games so difficult? A little challenge is nice, but not everyone wants the experience of a Japanese ROM hack. Mega Man 2 came with two modes in the west, "Normal" and "Difficult."
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#5
I don't really agree with a lot of your points about SFR, so I'm going to explain what I do/don't agree with, and my counter-points.

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: The level design is basically a claustrophobic onslaught of enemies.

Claustrophobic? At times, I see your point. But calling it an "onslaught of enemies" really undermines the design choices it uses. It does use a fair few sections of enemy challenges, but these are all well designed, and some pretty clever - like the introduction of the Battonton in Coal Man's stage. The first Battonton is positioned so you will walk past it, but still see it opening - thus, you've learned how it works. The second Battonton is positioned so you must attack it after it has begun flying - thus, you've been tested on the knowledge you just gained. Finally, the last Battonton is positioned so you can shoot it before it opens up - allowing you to see that shots reflect from it before it flies (while still knowing it's vulnerable while flying.). And with that, the game has perfectly set your up for any future Battonton-related challenges - even if you've never played Mega Man before.

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: it's just enemy challenges that seem to have the goal of making it inconvenient to get through rather than presenting a fun challenge.

I disagree - most enemy challenges use the stage gimmicks, with one of my favourite examples being the crosshair sections in W2, to make the enemy challenges more variable and interesting.

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: Pretty much all of the stages are close-quarter combat situations with at least 2 different types of enemies at once, and there are very few sections that are more about the platforming and less about the enemies themselves or the enemies' roles in the platforming section.

That's a slight oxymoron - enemies being in platforming sections doesn't make that section less about the platforming - if anything, in most cases, it further emphasises a focus on platforming, as you usually cannot return fire, making these less like enemies and more like stage hazards. Examples that come to mind are Coal Man, Axe Man, and Wily 2.

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: Except if you get to the wily castle and you don't use upgrades, then it's the definition of a frustrating slog.

Checkpoints are fairly distributed within the Wily stages, however, to each their own.

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: And seriously, the design is so claustrophobic, name 4 places that Rush Jet is useful in SFR. Now name 4 places where Rush Jet is useful in Mega Man 4. It's probably easier to come up with ones in Mega Man 4, huh? Now name 4 places where Rush Coil is useful in SFR/Mega Man 4. I don't think I've ever used Rush Coil in SFR!

Valid complaints. Rush Coil is basically only useful in Wizard Man's stage and Wily 1, and Rush Jet would be useful in Wizard Man's stage... if Rush Jet wasn't the reward you got for beating Wizard Man's stage.

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: Most of the bosses seem to suffer from having long convoluted patters that come of as being full of superfluous challenges

Leaf Man shoots 2/3 boomerangs, jumps towards you, walks a bit, then fires two 3-way shots, one in mid air, Zap Man is mostly RNG or distance-based attacks IIRC, Soak Man shoots a bouncing bubble (unless 2 already exist), jumps, shoots 3 shots, jumps twice, shoots a cloud, rinse and repeat. Coal Man does three randomly-chosen attacks, then does his Coal Barrage, then repeats. Trash Man slides once, throws bouncing trash, then slides once/twice, then does a random special attack. Wizard Man uses RNG, with telegraphs to show his attack choice. Dagger Man is also RNG, with telegraphs to show his attack choice. Axe Man follows a set pattern - jump twice (or three times, if his HP is either a prime number or 25), then use either two axes and one projectile attack, or two projectile attacks or one axe, which alternates every time he uses it.

Sparing Axe Man, I don't consider many of these convoluted.

EDIT: Blackmore has corrected me on two of these: Zap Man (who is pattern based, but has a pattern switch at half HP), and Coal Man (who's attacks are actually based on your actions and positions, which has given me a nowfound respect for Coal Man).

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: while having these patterns be extremely set-in-stone and predictable.

Many, many official RMs use a form of pattern - for a surprising example, Quick Man is at least pseudo-pattern based. Quick Man always jumps 3 times, on the second jump throwing boomerangs at the peak of his jump, then runs forwards three times (a glitch, however, makes Quick Man often jump inside walls too quickly for the player to see, giving the illusion of Quick Man jumping twice/one).

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: This, and the fact that almost all of the bosses seem to have exactly one attack pattern ends up making the whole challenge of the bosses be just getting the hang of the convoluted pattern that you'll probably die at the first time due to there being so much going on and not enough foresight to the attacks or to what's happening. And then once you learn the pattern, it's just all about performing the pattern perfectly in this long arduous rhythm, which is just more dull and annoying than anything.

Games full of purely RNG bosses get old a lot faster than pattern-based bosses do, as you can only pull so many tricks with RNG bosses due to the lack of guarantees as to what the boss will do next (thus, meaning that your attacks must all be individually threatening rather than being able to just create pressure, or assist other attacks.). This is one of the few flaws I feel Rock Force has - all of its bosses are RNG (with limitations).

(09-06-2016, 02:57 AM)Entity1037 Wrote: Just look at bass; he's by far the worst offender of this. All of his patterns come out with little to no warning, have a lot to them, and are completely repeated step for step. He has no variation in his patterns other than maybe his position in his first and fourth phases, he has FRIGGIN FOUR PHASES which doesn't help with this (it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it exacerbates the problem), and all of the phases are pathetic after you learn the pattern! It's horrible!!!

Bass is a bad boss, but you should not be judging the whole game for one of its optional superbosses (although we all know the only real superboss is Insane Light Capsule).
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#6
Most of the games listed above are one of the "better" fangames. Lemme add some of the lower tier ones.

Mega Man Origins
Okay, this is an old one but in terms of story, level design, concept, or basically just about anything that represents a mega man game, I think Origins is the worst offender of any fan game I've played. First off, the physics of this game is... off though I shouldn't be too hard since this was old but a good chunk of my deaths in this game were caused by running off ledges when timing my jumps. When Mega man is underwater, it gets worse, this is especially apparent later in the fortress stages. Speaking off which, the game doesn't give you passwords for the last third of the game. I'm not too iffy on lack of saveslots in a fangame but if I have to restart my whole progress of the hardest parts of the game when I take a break, I'm calling it quits. Never finished it, never plan to after seeing the ending for myself. Not sure if this game has a worse plotline than Project Zero, but introducing OtC's then killing them off shortly is not what I consider good storytelling, even if it's in a game genre where the story isn't a driving force.

Mega Man 42
While my stance with this game has improved over time, this is a overall mediocre game at best with frustrating bits of poor design choices sprinkled throughout. Let's forget the music and the graphics (which I did for Origins), the levels in this game are on the simple side with things to shoot at. There are rooms that feel like filler, and for a fangame with relatively short stage lengths, that doesn't bode well. There are some exceptions, some decent, like Sky man, while some are outright awful, like Mad man. Speaking off which, some of the bosses are outright evil (Doppelganger).

I still like to go back to this game from time to time, and that's because of the game's one saving grace, the weapons. They are fun to use and are versatile in their own right save for one. Other than that, the game is really unremarkable save for some joke-type bosses.

Mega Man Rocks
If you don't have a controller, Rocks is unplayable because of the WASD setup. That's Mega Man Rocks' biggest sin tbh. Once you get past that, the game isn't too bad in that it's self aware like Dongs or SRON1. Not great, far from it, but there are some admittedly creative signs of level design sprinkled in this game. That said, the physics are very wonky, had some troubles dealing with tight jumps in Repair man's stage because of that though I should give it some kind of pass since it is one of the older games. Also, Hit man's stage is a mess with random enemies flying around over death pits. Lastly the ducking in this game is overall useless as it hinders the slide ability and the payoff isn't that great.
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#7
I never finished Origins either. I even posted videos of it until I had gotten to a certain point with an ice cannon as a boss. I got very close to completing it, until the game crashed completely. That was it for that.

Haven't finished 42, I always felt like it was sort of just, well... there. Reached the Wily stages.

Reached Wily stages in MMR. Door Man had an interesting concept. Definitely agree with you on Hit Man.
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#8
(09-06-2016, 06:14 AM)Karakato Wrote: Most of the games listed above are one of the "better" fangames. Lemme add some of the lower tier ones.

Mega Man Origins
Okay, this is an old one but in terms of story, level design, concept, or basically just about anything that represents a mega man game, I think Origins is the worst offender of any fan game I've played. First off, the physics of this game is... off though I shouldn't be too hard since this was old but a good chunk of my deaths in this game were caused by running off ledges when timing my jumps. When Mega man is underwater, it gets worse, this is especially apparent later in the fortress stages. Speaking off which, the game doesn't give you passwords for the last third of the game. I'm not too iffy on lack of saveslots in a fangame but if I have to restart my whole progress of the hardest parts of the game when I take a break, I'm calling it quits. Never finished it, never plan to after seeing the ending for myself. Not sure if this game has a worse plotline than Project Zero, but introducing OtC's then killing them off shortly is not what I consider good storytelling, even if it's in a game genre where the story isn't a driving force.

Mega Man 42
While my stance with this game has improved over time, this is a overall mediocre game at best with frustrating bits of poor design choices sprinkled throughout. Let's forget the music and the graphics (which I did for Origins), the levels in this game are on the simple side with things to shoot at. There are rooms that feel like filler, and for a fangame with relatively short stage lengths, that doesn't bode well. There are some exceptions, some decent, like Sky man, while some are outright awful, like Mad man. Speaking off which, some of the bosses are outright evil (Doppelganger).

I still like to go back to this game from time to time, and that's because of the game's one saving grace, the weapons. They are fun to use and are versatile in their own right save for one. Other than that, the game is really unremarkable save for some joke-type bosses.

Mega Man Rocks
If you don't have a controller, Rocks is unplayable because of the WASD setup. That's Mega Man Rocks' biggest sin tbh. Once you get past that, the game isn't too bad in that it's self aware like Dongs or SRON1. Not great, far from it, but there are some admittedly creative signs of level design sprinkled in this game. That said, the physics are very wonky, had some troubles dealing with tight jumps in Repair man's stage because of that though I should give it some kind of pass since it is one of the older games. Also, Hit man's stage is a mess with random enemies flying around over death pits. Lastly the ducking in this game is overall useless as it hinders the slide ability and the payoff isn't that great.


Who the hay plays a Mega Man game with WASD? That's like playing COD BO3 with tank controls


Master progammer my ***
Licensed Game=Cash In

Well, most of the time anywho

-Linzo
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#9
(09-06-2016, 11:31 AM)Linzodakatz Wrote: Who the hay plays a Mega Man game with WASD?

[silently and slowly raises hand]

I use WASD for movement, , for jump, . for shoot, and / for slide, along with L and ; for fast weapon switching.
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#10
As much as I like Megaman Unlimited, I can agree with how there are too many insta-death challenges, while also having pretty long stages with just one check point in the middle without counting the one you get right until fighting a boss. Some parts are really confusing and most of the time you are just going to use Rush to get through.

For Megaman SFR, I hardly see anything wrong with it really. The only complaint I could possibly have is the fact that a lot of the bosses have a set pattern, like the robot master does Attack1 once, then jumps and after that he does Attack2 twice etc., and also the fact that the same sprite for the spikes is used way too often and sometimes it does not even look right.
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#11
(09-06-2016, 01:00 PM)DoomManFTW Wrote: As much as I like Megaman Unlimited, I can agree with how there are too many insta-death challenges, while also having pretty long stages with just one check point in the middle without counting the one you get right until fighting a boss. Some parts are really confusing and most of the time you are just going to use Rush to get through.

]

Yup

Especially Rainbow Man's stage

**** him and his stupid insta death QuickMan lazers

(09-06-2016, 12:18 PM)MrKyurem Wrote: [quote='Linzodakatz' pid='24331' dateline='1465471903']Who the hay plays a Mega Man game with WASD?

[silently and slowly raises hand]

I use WASD for movement, , for jump, . for shoot, and / for slide, along with L and ; for fast weapon switching.

Well I guess some people can get use to that....

Me, not so much
Licensed Game=Cash In

Well, most of the time anywho

-Linzo
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#12
I used the WASD keys too, although I use Spacebar to jump, J to shoot and Q and E to quickswitch.

As for the fan-games, I really don't like Unlimited but I think all the problems are already said by everyone else. The checkpoints are really far apart from where they should be in the game.
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#13
I use wasd to move, up ARROW to jump, left ARROW to shoot, right arrow to quick slide if applicable, down arrow for any fourth button like a weapon button, q and e to switch weapons, space for pause, and left shift for select if applicable. This control scheme just feels really natural to me.
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#14
Say,how about Perfect Harmony?
Licensed Game=Cash In

Well, most of the time anywho

-Linzo
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#15
I'm seeing conversation above about Mega Man: Super Fighting Robot, so I suppose I'll chip in: Mega Man: SFR really wasn't a fan game that stood out to me as memorable. It was trying to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon, which is plain to see, but it just ended up feeling like a reinterpretation of Mega Man 5, with different robot masters, weapons, and stages. Beyond that, it doesn't do enough to stand out on its own; the graphics were nice but the stages themselves were pretty forgettable, and some of the robot master designs didn't look that great either. Coal Man, for instance, was a good idea in concept, but he looks like a glorified washing machine. I won't go so far as to call it bad, I just don't tend to think too much of it.
"You have to understand that people aren't just people -- they're a collection of the choices they have made."
- Peckinpah, House of Gold & Bones Part 3: The Answers
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#16
(09-06-2016, 07:26 PM)gone-sovereign Wrote: It was trying to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon, which is plain to see

It didn't try to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon even remotely (apart from the name), as far as I know. The name was chosen as they could not think of a better name, and it worked well enough.
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#17
(09-06-2016, 07:48 PM)MrKyurem Wrote:
(09-06-2016, 07:26 PM)gone-sovereign Wrote: It was trying to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon, which is plain to see

It didn't try to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon even remotely (apart from the name), as far as I know. The name was chosen as they could not think of a better name, and it worked well enough.

I mean in the sense of the plot, Proto Man siding with Wily. I'm sorry, I should have elaborated better.
"You have to understand that people aren't just people -- they're a collection of the choices they have made."
- Peckinpah, House of Gold & Bones Part 3: The Answers
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#18
(09-06-2016, 08:04 PM)gone-sovereign Wrote:
(09-06-2016, 07:48 PM)MrKyurem Wrote:
(09-06-2016, 07:26 PM)gone-sovereign Wrote: It was trying to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon, which is plain to see

It didn't try to take after the Ruby-Spears cartoon even remotely (apart from the name), as far as I know. The name was chosen as they could not think of a better name, and it worked well enough.

I mean in the sense of the plot, Proto Man siding with Wily. I'm sorry, I should have elaborated better.

Eh, not particularly. Proto Man is being mind-washed by Wily in SFR, while in the cartoon, Proto Man chooses to out of free will.
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#19
(09-06-2016, 03:56 PM)Linzodakatz Wrote: Say,how about Perfect Harmony?

As far as Perfect Harmony is concerned, it suffers from a lot of the same faults that TDK did:

- Weak boss patterns
- Lack of weapons
- Lack of overall polish
- Overpowered superbosses

Everyone said that it wanted to be it's own IP and it did become that. It's hard for me to say that TDK was completely terrible, because I don't think it was. It just needed some major work and polish in order to have been a really interesting title.

I guess I have quite a bit to talk about. First of all, I loved Perfect Harmony and have streamed a lot of videos from it on my channel. I became good friends with the dev and my friends and I provided him pointers. With his next game, I think we started to see a bit of psychosis and there's no real need to go there. A friend and programmer posted the notorious "Drak" review on Steam, which of course I was blamed for as the gentleman was looking for every possible scapegoat to cover up the fact that he literally rushed through the development process, which you'll notice if you open the files for the new game and look at the graphics images. I really do wish him the best of luck on a future title in this series, but all the hassle, threats and downright insanity was uncalled for.
I liked the fusion elements in Perfect Harmony quite a bit, but the game was not completely finished and I don't feel it can be judged in a simple demo state. However, I do like the fact that many of the robot masters are playable and performed as they would if you'd fought them. Before the debacle, we had actually been discussing more of these games, since this one was mostly air-themed. He was planning on a fire, water and earth based game for each of the sequels, as well as a game like Mega Man Last Battle, where all the robot masters were playable Smash style. this later got incorporated into TDK.

PH to me still had a lot of potential. It was a Mega Man title that didn't quite play like a normal Mega Man title. It's just unfortunate that the game (literally) molded from it was a nightmare of sorts. I almost kind of wish that TDK never happened and that these Mega Man style games (he'd been working on an IP robot with a similar design to Mega Man) would have continued. If there's anything Metagal has shown us, it is that you can make a literal Mega Man style game with an IP character and make money from it. The developer took an alternative path, which resulted in the destruction of a very unique IP. PH was just a prototype for that.

I could get into the personal reasons behind many of these things, but here is just not the place. My only qualm is that the developer overcharged for the unpolished piece on steam after originally asking for a $15,000 price point. I believe I had to talk him down to the established $1800. Also, there were innumerable delays for about four years. He absolutely refused to get help with the project and felt that he could do everything by himself. Additionally, DRM-Free copies of the title were promised to backers, but were never delivered.


I will not respond to anything discussed in the spoiler tags on this topic, in order to keep on topic. Please take any inquiries to me via PM.
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#20
Yes, I'm aware that constructive criticism is the name of the game here, but allow me to say this.

Mega Man Z is the worst thing in the history of anything ever. Now, I'm going to go in-depth as to why because I have nothing better to do with my time.

[spoiler=WARNING: This is really long. It's pretty much a Let's Play of this monstrosity.]

The moment this game is booted, we're greeted with this animation of an NES cartridge fading out, apparently trying to represent this "game" being inserted into an NES. It looks like total arse and the graphics are squashed and ugly. Let this set the tone for what's to come.

[Image: 5c9a93c29799770cba429abe274e5d9c.png]

Almost immediately after, we're told to press start to begin the game for literally no reason whatsoever. I especially like the giant, flashing System font used in this image. It really just perfectly exemplifies why this game is such a load of old rubbish masterpiece of human achievement.

[Image: d12128a8d7a12db3a76cd91024a3b13d.png]

Once we press start, the proper intro begins, and OH LORD is it a doozy. The first frame does so many things wrong in such a short amount of time that it makes me want to jump into a pit of scalding water to cleanse myself after witnessing it. The background, despite being lifted from Mega Man 9 (a game that runs at the native NES resolution), has been stretched for reasons mankind has yet to comprehend. Not to mention the text is badly plastered on. Dear Author: If you want us to believe this is supposed to be like an NES game, then you're doing as great of a job as making an experience on the same level of authenticity as this.

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While I'm no stranger to writing stupid plots myself, the story presented in Mega Man Z is... oh dear. The text explains that Wily is blaming Protoman for his failures, and it pretty much makes out Protoman to be one of Wily's creations. So we're following the Ruby-Spears canon then? I'll let this slide as long as Pharaohman appears and decks Megaman square in the teeth.

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Protoman decides to screw off, prompting Wily to build a new robot as a replacement. It's worth mentioning that the writer wields the English language as well as one of my reviews on Newgrounds from when I was six. Thankfully, unlike those, it's at least somewhat comprehensible. Sort of.

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So, I bet you're probably wondering what Wily's newest creation looks like. Is it gonna be a big, scary, armored robo-demon? Is it gonna be a Mega Man Killer rip-off? Well, if you guessed either of those, then you're setting your expectations inhumanly high. Instead, we get... THIS.

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Yeah, "Original the Character" doesn't even begin to describe 80's ski fashion Geminiman here. From the """design""" to the weird name, Veteran Z reminds me of something I would have came up with when I was six drawing in a sketchbook, except somehow less original. After introducing this fearsome foe, the text instantly jumps to "and then the world fell into chaos once again!". It's a jarring jump in the writing, but considering if the entire world saw what Veteran Z looked like, I imagine mass rioting would probably break out out of offense to their eyes.

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And with that, we are greeted by a lovely title screen. The amount of artistic passion that went into making it must've been absolutely staggering. It's worth mentioning that this game's entire OST is just Kevin Phetsomphou music. It makes this experience a little more tolerable, even if it's his earlier works that just sound like rip-offs of tunes from the classic series.

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After pressing start, we're greeted by this rogues' gallery of freakazoids. Following in Veteran Z's footsteps, all of the mugshots seen here are blatant edits of existing Robot Masters. While I do think some of the concepts presented could be actually kind of cool in the hands of someone who actually knows what the hell they're doing (Yeti Man and Billiard Man especially, for me at least), here, they're about as poorly executed as you could imagine. Probably even worse than you could imagine, to be brutally honest. Since I could give -500,000 rat's asses about playing the game with the intended weakness cycle, we'll just start with Billiard Man.

(also yes I do see what's wrong with Nuclear Man's text you don't need to point it out)

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The stage intro screen's starfield runs at a suspiciously low framerate. I suspect it's probably just an animation instead of there being individual star objects. That's kind of sad, because even stupid 12 year old me using Game Maker knew how to do that.

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Let's not beat around the bush. Billiard Man's stage looks fucking UGLY. The enemies aren't much better either. Instead of shoving in clever references to pool or use generic robots, they're just a bunch of multi-colored
"pool balls" that do slightly different things depending on what color/number they are. Also, the game runs on Blyka's Skullman engine. So that's lovely. I like rigid jumping and bad animation offsets. But, that all pales in comparison to the best part of this entire game. So, what's this true, momentous accomplishment of programming ever to grace the Mega Man fangame community ever?

YOU CAN'T PAUSE THE GAME.

So if you wonder why there aren't many screenshots, well, there you go. It's not really worth it anyways considering a good chunk of the levels use the same 4 tiles in them and just look the same on multiple screenshots. I'll only be showing off the more """"noteworthy"""" moments in this anyways. But, just for this special occasion, I took another screencap. Merry Christmas.

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Halfway through the level, we encounter a bizarre MSPaint pool stick... thing. It's a really broken and unfair fight because when it goes to respawn the pool balls it attacks you with, they appear in totally random locations. So that's nice. Oh, and the minibosses in this game can still be damaged even when they're going through their death animations, which annoys me on both a mental and spiritual level.

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After murdering Cheapy McPoolstick (as he will now be officially referred to as), we encounter this clunky, broken and annoying gimmick segment.

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In a nutshell, the ball teleports through the """holes""" seen above. Imagine Portal, but really shit. It's kind of a clever-ish-kind-of-not-really thing, but it's executed so badly it's an absolute ballache to get through. The jump placed on the right is also neigh-impossible to do since you fall through the hole, making you have to do a pixel-perfect leap with the controls of the Skullman engine, where it doesn't work half of the bloody time, so that's lovely. Just to rub salt into this gaping, festering wound, the ball does a really horrifingly high amount of contact damage.

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And as if this game wasn't enough of a fun-sponge already, here's some Yoku Blocks! Hooray! It's not even much of a challenge. It exists solely just to waste your precious time.

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As you can see above, you can actually stand in the boss gate while the boss is still going and keep it raised. This isn't very important, but I thought it was stupid.

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Billiard Man is like a mix between Crystal Man (obviously) and Star Man. He makes a shield of balls (hehehehehehe) around him when he jumps, and he spreads them out when he attacks. It's annoying and really hard to dodge, since Billiard Man's hitboxes are really off and he likes to stand right next to you.

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I'm not going to be using weapons that much, but here's the Weapon Get screen for those who really care.

Next on our journey of mass retardation destruction, we have Yeti Man, who

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JESUS H. MORTIMER CHRIST THE 3RD ESQUIRE.

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Anyways, FrosToad Man's stage has an omnipresent gimmick involving snowfall that pushes you back. This would be all fine and dandy if it didn't stop every now and then and look stupid.

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Every now and then, you encounter Turboman Snowball throwing robots. They're nothing special, they're just Sniper Joes without shields or creativity.

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After walking along a straight line and shooting at more Turbo SnowJoes™, we come across one of the most hilarious/appauling parts of this game (which is saying a lot). You see, the Skullman engine was never programmed with ladders in mind. So what did our brave developer do to fix this?

Absolutely. Nothing.

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Yes, really. Instead of climbing the ladders, you just jump up onto where they are and the screen moves just up (through the magic of Game Maker transitions, might I add).

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I just took a picture of this room because it looks like crap.

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Suddenly, Mega encounters those stupid timed bomb things... except instead of damaging him when they explode, he passes through them unharmed. To be fair, if that came into play here it'd be immensely unfair, but it's still stupid.

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Mega Man 4 Wily Boss 1 here just shoots 2 ice cubes forwards and in an arc from its different holes (hehehehe). It's nothing special, but it does this at random intervals, making it unfair.

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If you hadn't noticed it in the previous screenshots, the snowfall actually disappears for some reason mid-way through the stage. Thankfully, it returns here to grace us with its inexcusably bad programming. It's around here that I begin to notice how badly programmed Mega Man's hitboxes are here as well, as I find myself getting stuck in platforms by simply jumping into them.

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Yeti Man's fight is so easy that an actual Yeti would feel intellectually insulted by it. He runs to one side, shoots a small shot, and then does the same thing on the other side. He makes a snow storm pop up every now and then, but dealing with it is absolutely trivial.

However, the single best part about Yeti Man, aside from the hilarious spritework, is his equally hilarious opening animation. I didn't directly record it from the game, but it looks pretty much exactly like you see below.
[Image: 1cc04805d107de06a4b6a0c46fb32be6.gif][Image: 1cc04805d107de06a4b6a0c46fb32be6.gif][Image: 1cc04805d107de06a4b6a0c46fb32be6.gif][Image: 1cc04805d107de06a4b6a0c46fb32be6.gif][Image: 1cc04805d107de06a4b6a0c46fb32be6.gif]

Next on the chopping block is Steel Man. I won't bother commenting on his sprite because it pretty much speaks volumes by itself.

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What I WILL comment on is his stage's tileset.

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Word of advice for budding fangame developers: Color contrast is always a good idea. That way, you can tell the difference between backgrounds and platforms. It also helps it not look entirely shit like this. Another word of advice: NEVER USE QUICKMAN LASERS EVER.

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Throughout the levels, you encounter these turret enemies that I don't really recognize. Not that I really care, though, since they're immensely easy to dispatch of. Also pictured: more tile bullfuckery.

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But, worst of all, through a feat only obtainable through bad programming mixed with bad level design, I managed to get stuck where the 1UP is. Great.

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Later, after some more buggy and obnoxious Quick Beam dodging, I came across a Flamethrower Joe.

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I told him that his weapon was kind of cool and he accepted the compliment. We got along nicely, until I remembered I had to murder him to progress. It's a shame really, because he's the only one in this entire game of his kind, and now he's dead. Such is life.

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For some abstract reason that is still in research by the FBI, there are breakable walls here that lead to absolutely nothing. Joy.

After some fumbling around and getting game over'd a lot because of some particuarly cruel Quick Beam placements...
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... I decided to muck around with the weapons to cure my boredom. You see, pressing the number keys swaps weapons, since there's no pause button. This was a bad idea because I hit the R key and undid all of the progress I had made.

Yes, in this game, pressing R restarts the ENTIRE game. All of your progress is lost, and there are no saves/passwords.

That's when I gave up forever. Good night.
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