By Video_Game_King 14 Comments
(That has nothing to do with You Know What.) I'm tired of hearing about it, so I won't even refer to it by name. Or at all. So what game have I changed my opinion of? Well, I won't mention it yet, since I often save the more important reviews for the second position. So right now, you're gonna have to deal with a review of a game I liked from the moment I played it: Mickey's Dangerous Chase. As is the perpetual goal of Mickey's gaming life, he has to manage to take Minnie on a date and beat the piss out ofPete for completely random motives. This time, however, he only has Goofy to help him, and I think Goofy is catching onto Mickey's twisted cruelty, since I usually got either totally obvious or clearly shit hints from the average 50s dog man.
However, Mickey is intent on ripping out Pete's spine, so he continues on his quest, blatantly ignoring Goofy's horrible advice. Unlike last time, he throws blocks at everything that dares stand between him and Pete. Although I have this odd feeling that I've seen it somewhere else (probably Mega Man), I still really love this feature. It's fun, simple, easy to pick up, and is part of what makes you feel like a 6 year old kid when playing this game. What's more, you can aim where you throw the damn thing. You can throw it straight, up, or down, and doing so is easy due to smooth controls.
Yet that doesn't mean the game is without flaws. Often times, the game places blocks on the exact edge of a platform, and the only way to get at the damn thing is to jump into uncertain death. And don't think that they're the inconsequential attack blocks I hinted at earlier; a significant number of them hide power ups, bonuses, or stars, so the game encourages you to jump off to your inevitable death in a misguided/ironic attempt to collect invincibility.
As long as I'm calling the game out for its flaws, let me get out the list. *gets out list* There we are. Remember what I said about Goofy's shitty advice earlier? Well, a lot of that has to do with automatically scrolling levels. Some of them have you jumping in mid-air, some driving something horizontally, both of them frustrating for their own reasons. In the mid-air sections, you'll often find that you jumped on the wrong platform. Go the wrong way, and the game unforgivably leaves Mickey to die. You don't even get the courtesy of a hard to reach platform to save yourself! The side scrolling levels don't get any better. This is the only part of the game that doesn't control so well. If you want to go backward, you don't go backward; you just stop, and watch the screen scroll by you. Combine it with hairpin jumps, and you have a recipe for mediocrity.
Speaking of not being able to go backward, this concept applies to the regular levels, too. Instead of being able to explore the level at your whim with no limits, à la Super Mario World or Sonic 3, you can only explore limited sections at a time. If you move a bit too far, you can't go back to any previous sections. I know that the Game Boy had its limitations, but don't tell me the memory was crap enough that a goldfish could beat it in a memory test! Speaking of Game Boy limitations, the graphics are somewhat simplistic. They're still good, they just haven't aged as well as they could've. Alright, despite my paragraphs on the game's flaws, I still suggest you play the game. Every single flaw I listed so far is outweighed by tight controls, fun gameplay, and decent music, especially given what the standards were. So I give it the Most Accurately Named Video Game Award.
I even gave it the position of 9th worst game ever (which, although hasn't held true and is horribly written, I defend, since I hadn't played enough crap games to form a good list) and pretty much gave up hope for Mega Man. However, years later (and after playing an oddly high amount of Capcom games during my time on this site), I played the PS1 version of the game, and although it's just a straight port of the SNES game with a few frills, I liked it much more than I once thought.
One of my primary complaints against the game was the confusing story, and I can see why I said it. Apparently, Sigma came back from the dead AGAIN (the game is oddly honest about this), and X has to kill him. But there are other villains, like Boba Fett and Doppler (don't say anything). Yet unlike other games (X4, Mega Man 7), the game barely sets up the plot. A lot of it comes at the beginning and end, very little in the middle. What's there is adequate, and nothing more.
However, story is beside the point when it comes to Capcom games; their primary focus is the gameplay, which X3 does...again, adequately. You still pick one of eight bosses to take on, gathering weapons to beat their tenuous weaknesses. However, unlike the other Mega Man games, what order you pick them here is REALLY, REALLY important. If you pick the wrong boss, prepare to have all your lives siphoned away by John McCain and his fellow mavericks. I made the incredibly stupid mistake of tackling Blizzard Buffalo first. Not only is the proper weapon required, but for some of these bosses (like Blizzard Buffalo), you need a hidden upgrade (not counting the hidden hearts to increase your paltry health) to beat them! How are regular gamers supposed to know this without clairvoyance or an FAQ!?
Speaking of bosses, they come in two varieties in this game: stupidly frustrating and easily predictable. If you have the right weapon, you can sometimes beat the bosses without taking a single point of damage. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have enemies like Blizzard Buffalo, as I've already mentioned, but also Sigma. Yes, he's the final boss, but there's a limit to how hard you can make a final boss. The first form of him spams
Complaints aside, the game continues the decent tradition of sliding through levels, wall jumping and shooting the hell out of anything that moves. It's pretty successful in that and other traditions (like exploring previous levels à la Metroid), and there are a few gameplay additions that I like. For example, you can now summon ride armors in any level, allowing you to beat the piss out of enemies more efficiently. There are also special chips you can get to upgrade your upgrades, but I just held out for the Engrish Cheeto Chip.
The other big feature is that Zero is finally playable. Yet there are several problems with this, the first being you can't directly choose him from the start. Instead, X has to call Zero on his cell phone and ask him to come over and tell the other robots to stop being mean to him. The problem is that Zero isn't that much better than X; yea, he gets three storable charges and a sword, but the charges aren't more powerful than those X has, and you can't use the sword directly. The sword takes up one of the charges! And to top it off, Zero is too lazy to open a damn door or face a boss, so he summons X to do the dirty work. What the hell? I can see how maybe Zero would be handy in the beginning of the game, but the enemies aren't the problem, the bosses are, and he runs away when you need him most. So Zero is pretty much useless, and he was slightly better in X4.
Speaking of X4, this remake borrows the anime cutscenes for its own use. Before you face each boss, you see them hanging out, doing whatever, the cutscene wrapping up with their name and the classic boss fanfare. The cutscenes I can accept, even if the don't add much to the actual game. They're a bit grainy, but I can easily blame that on the Sega Saturn, since it came out for that, too. What I find odd is that certain cutscenes that were once animated in-game are now handled in FMVs. Not anime, just much dirtier versions of the originals. Why? Why the hell did they do this? Was the PlayStation incapable of handling in game animations? It actually ends up making the game look worse!
Another improvement I can't get is the save system. You have the option of saving either to your memory card or through a password system. Why the hell is there even the password system at this point? That's like being given the choice between going to work by car or motorized unicycle.........actually, that last one would be fucking awesome. Gotta remember to force the royal engineers on that.
Back to the game, a lot of what I said undermines how I actually feel about the game. It isn't an absolutely frustrating piece of crap, as I previously thought. Instead, it's more or less an average continuation of what Capcom was doing for years. Yea, it borders between hard and frustrating, but the basic foundation is solid. Overall, a much better game than I once gave it credit for, which leads me to the Don't Expect this with Anything Else Award. (Oh, and don't expect another X3 review. I like to keep all my reviews, so I can see how I've evolved as a reviewer.)