(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: I'll offer a counter-argument here. Yes, 2.5D has flaws. Yes, it's understandable to be disappointed if you've been hyped for this game for 8 years. But judging the game on what it SHOULD be instead of what it IS discredits all the positive aspects that make it worth playing.
Even if you completely forget how long it took to make this game, it is still not a very well crafted game overall. Even Sunrise, which was made in merely 2 months, feels like it has more polish and attention to detail than this.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: The unique 2.5D perspective is, first and foremost, a visual element. It gives the game aesthetic character.
Said aesthetic character can look/act somewhat unappealing at times, such as when background tiles are used for the foreground, making it hard to differentiate the two, and when you can get hit by enemies that, due to being around a corner, are seemingly invisible.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Could it have been more integrated into the gameplay? Yes. But every stage utilizes the gimmick to some degree, whether it's subtle (eg, blocking your view with a pillar in the foreground) or overt (eg, the Mecha Dragon fight).
The pillars in the foreground aren't actually ever used as a gimmick though - the only time they're ever used is when it flat out doesn't matter, because gameplay doesn't change even slightly due to it. Also, I'd pick the Blue Devil as a usage of the gimmick over the Mecha Dragon fight - the Mecha Dragon fight could probably be replicated on a 2D plane fairly easily, while the Blue Devil can't be done as easily.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: New gimmicks are seldom used to their fullest extent the first time they appear in a game; I lament that the gravity-flipping gimmick in MM5 is underutilized, but the fact that it exists at all is a selling point, not a reason you shouldn't bother playing the game.
Mega Man 5's isn't called "Mega Man Gravity" and gravity isn't its main selling point, so that gets a pass. When your entire game's novelty revolves around a single concept, you're supposed to actually use said concept well.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Few Mega Man fangames have perfect controls, and even the official Mega Man games have varying levels of polish and responsiveness in their controls.
This does not excuse the poor controls in this game. We could all emulate MM1 and force an optional weapon to be used in the first fortress level, and point to that when people complain, but that doesn't make the design any worse. The same applies here.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Fangames also tend to be buggy, but a public release is the best playtesting audience you could ask for; if the game is unplayable on release, that's one thing, but all the glitches I've seen and heard about are the kind that only become obvious through dedicated playtesting.
They've had at least 4 public demos. That is beyond
enough playtesting material to test things.
Also, dying on a penultimate boss and merely staying on the title screen for too long
is not something that's only obvious through "dedicated playtesting" - that's something almost every user is going to find.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: If the developers don't bother patching the game to address these issues, THEN we can fault them for the bugs.
We can still fault them for leaving the bugs in in the first place after 4 "patches" in the form of demos and a full release.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: The weapon selection leaves something to be desired, but so does the weapon selection of several official Mega Man games.
Refer to what I said earlier about Mega Man 1. Rock Force has an amazing weapon selection, SFR and DWFA's weapon selections are all entertaining to use, MM2Atari managed to turn MM2's weapon set into a balanced weapon set where every weapon will have a use in a casual gameplay - having a good weapon set isn't some idealistic miracle of the future, it's what we expect as a standard.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Setting aside the underpowered Quick Boomerang, the unreliable Star Crash, and the unnecessary overlap between Shadow Blade and Pharaoh Shot, you've got weapons that can attack in most directions, wipe the entire screen, reach floors below and walls above, bring fast-paced challenges to a more manageable speed, and cut through shields. That's diverse enough to be useful in almost any circumstance.
You just cut out literally half of the entire weapon set there. I think that speaks enough for itself there. It also says a lot when the most unreliable weapon in the weapon set is also considered the best.
Time Slow and Tornado Hold are probably the least offending weapons in my book - which isn't exactly great, considering both are essentially utility weapons.
Quick Boomerang suffers a lot of overlap with Search Snake and Laser Trident as the "hit low enemies/bypass shields" weapon. It's fair from underpowered, though - if anything, Quick Boomerang is better at both of those jobs than their dedicated weapons, and on top of the high ammo count I found very little reason not to use Quick Boomerang over the buster.
Search Snake is significantly slower and more niche than the rest of the weapon set, and I do not feel its power output makes up for it. I only ever used it in Wily 2 to dispatch specific mines and against Ballade, and looking back I should probably have just used Star Crash in Wily 2.
Shadow Blade is a worse Pharaoh Shot, let's not beat around the bush. I've yet to find a single situation where Shadow Blade is more viable than Pharaoh Shot outside of weakness orders.
Laser Trident is occasionally useful for Sniper Joes when the Quick Boomerang can't deal with them and for clearing out breakable blocks the game likes to force in your way. That's pretty much it, really, which is odd considering how it's the most buster-y buster replacement there is.
Star Crash is definitely one of the most viable weapons in the game, however, I find it entertaining that it seems to actually fail at the intended use the developers seemed to want it to have (namely, getting rid of Pipis, which can easily bypass the inconsistency of the shield and hit you anyway.). If you're not using Quick Boomerang, chances are you're using this.
Pharaoh Shot is probably a pretty good weapon, but with the concerns of ammo, I never actually found a reason to use it over the previous weapons.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: The level design is arguably the weakest point of the game, and there are a few challenges that are patently unfair and inconsiderate.
That's an understatement if I've ever seen one. I should note that level design is one of the most important aspects of most games, and Mega Man is no exception. If your level design is the weakest point of the game, that's a serious issue that needs fixing.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Better and more frequent checkpoint placement would make a huge difference, as would a better learning curve in some stages; and more interesting enemy-based challenges (without the use of instant death) would be welcome.
While I do agree, I think that this won't be enough to redeem the game fully. Often the game doesn't do enough interesting things with the gimmicks as well - this is most notable in Wily 3, where every hammer segment is the same as the last.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: However, there's no shortage of creativity where gimmicks and tricky spike jumps are involved, and most of the challenges can be conquered reliably with practice.
They have a place and a purpose, yes, but that doesn't mean that they should be used everywhere. Most of the challenges being conquered with practice, and not skill, is probably one of the more alarming things of the design - Mega Man is a game of skill, and while the design would be very barren without challenges that require practice, I feel that a lot of it should be feasibly accomplishable on your first attempt if you have enough skill - and I know a lot of sections in 2.5D where this isn't the case.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: The bike chases in Star Man's stage and in one of the Wily stages inject some variety into the gameplay and indeed the series; the fake floors in Pharaoh Man's stage are arguably better executed than the ones in MM2;
Credit where it's due, the bike chases are fairly interesting, and I wouldn't say the Pharaoh floors are arguably better, I'd say they flat out are
. They're introduced fairly and they're well telegraphed, and there's even an extra life that fakes you out and encourages you to play close attention to how the floors appear - they're definitely one of, if not the best, gimmick in terms of introduction and teaching in the game.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: the snake trains in Snake Man's stage (particularly in multiplayer) are an interesting twist on a familiar gimmick and a thoughtful use of the stage's theme; and exploring a maze to track down a series of locking mechanisms in one of the Wily stages is not something you do every day in a Mega Man game.
Both of these are true, but they both suffer from the same problem - they don't do anything with them. I've yet to play multiplayer, so I cannot comment on that usage yet, but in single player, the snake train appears once in the entire game and does nothing of interest or even remote challenge. The Wily 3 maze stage also is a very interesting concept and idea, and has a lot of novelty - but a key feature of a maze stage is that it's not monotonous, which this stage fails by using the same gimmicks and challenge layouts in all 3 paths.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: The fact that there's a co-op multiplayer mode is enough to give the game a try, and the fact that the levels are different and emphasize the use of teamwork is even more of a recommendation.
From what I know, I definitely agree with this. Even if the game is poorly designed, it's the first significant fangame to properly delve into the co-op concept in Mega Man, and a lot of notes can definitely be taken from this game in that aspect.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: If you're willing to put up with some lackluster or aggravating challenges here and there, you'll find that this game brings PLENTY of new ideas to the table, many of them legitimately well designed (regardless of where they fit in the scheme of learning curve or checkpoint placement).
Ideas are just ideas, though. We didn't give City War a bad score in MaGMML1 because its ideas were old and bland, we gave it a bad score because they were executed poorly. Ideas mean nothing if you cannot properly use them.
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Bonus material is just that—a bonus. The base game was designed around a character who can slide but can't charge. If being able to upgrade the character or play as a different character is a benefit, then great! If not, then it's just an extra feature you don't care about, same as a sound test or concept art gallery or all those joke characters in the LEGO games that nobody ever picks. And the fact that Achievements actually serve a purpose beyond bragging rights makes them more worthwhile than ever.
This argument deconstructs itself - you argue that it doesn't matter if bonus content isn't very good, as it's just bonus content, but you then follow up by pointing out that it takes significant effort to get said bonus content. If I just completed the game without using a single E tank, or just perfect ran an entire stage, I expect to get something good as a reward. I don't want a "black and white mode and sepia mode" bonus or a "bonus level which is actually just instant death spammed everywhere" bonus. I want an actual reward. If your bonus content is not good, it is not worth being in the game. Sound tests and galleries have use when getting to see said scenes/hear said sounds ingame can be hard - but here, half of the gallery is dedicated to trailer images you can find online incredibly easily. Even joke characters have a level of quality to them - they're entertaining to play as, entertaining to even watch, and it provides an extra level of challenge. Here, even Dr. Light, the designated joke character, isn't very entertaining. Their novelty wears off incredibly quickly as they have no "joke-y" qualities apart from their slide, which quickly becomes frustrating due to its slow nature, and even the easiest way to get actual entertainment or laughter out of the character - when they rescue Dr. (actual) Light - is completely anti-climatic, as all potential entertainment is thrown away with a lazy copy+paste of Mega Man's dialogue, but with "Mega Man" being replaced with "Robot Dr. Light."
(06-02-2017 08:32 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: Was it worth waiting 8 years for 2.5D? Maybe not. Is 2.5D a terrible game with no redeeming values to justify trying it out? Hardly. Let's be clear about the line between our expectations for the game and the inherent value of the game.
I think you misunderstand why a lot of people comment on the whole "8 years" thing - they're not commenting on it because this game is bad for a game that took 8 years to make, they're commenting on it because this game is flat out bad regardless of how long it took, and the fact that it took 8 years when other, significantly better fangames were made in much shorter time spans is merely the icing on the cake.