Ok, first and foremost I’ll say that the way they handled the “Now you are using THIS hero” is very similar to the transition from MMclassic to MMX. That being, there IS no description as to why X is dead and Zero got his shit busted up.
((this is, of course, going off the assumption that it is not explained in Zero3, which I havent played yet))
Gameplay: I’m lovin it, it reminds me of a mixture between Megaman X and Castlevania’s later installments (SotN, Aria of Sorrow, Circle of the Moon, etc…)
Now that, THAT is out of the way, timeline stuff:
I think they did a better job here hooking us into the story as a “mission” for the reploids then they did with the original X. Mostly because the game is alot more story heavy than the earlier X games. Also pointing out the fact that the Zero game does not have Axl in it is also a big bonus IMO. I stopped following MMX after Axl’s appearance and will probably stay to that. I can’t stand him.
In comparison to classic megaman? Well, it certainly has a darker theme, theres blood, the music isnt as catchy but the gameplay is eons beyond… MMClassic is just that, CLASSIC… But megaman Zero is what I desire out of a platformer game and thus will say it is better “now”.
Sound: They have Zero’s theme, it rocks. The music was good in the first one, I liked the opening stage’s music in Zero 2 better than anything else in the series thus-far.
I don’t like it as much, it is more difficult in a bad way (I don’t like how you don’t keep stuff you find if you don’t pass the level). I like how they mixed it up a bit though. The story is interesting, but the gameplay isn’t a good (partly for reasons explained earlier). The classic and X series are much better.
Out of all the MM Series in existence, X and Zero are in my opinion the only ones that are worthy of the name Megaman. Battle Network and Legends are excellent games, but the only ties between them and the Classic is the Blue Boy. They both mix action with RPGish subjects pretty well, but that’s not what Megaman is about.
Megaman is about traveling trough levels infested (And I mean OVERLOADED) with enemies while blowing shit up, getting to and destroying one of the Four/Eight bosses and collecting their weapons. That is Megaman. The games are usually heavily lacking on plot and character development (Which are present almost only on the manuals) and while this is not a good thing at all (Especially for people such as myself that put the plot elements over anything else) it can be overlooked based on the fact that the story is really not what the game is about.
With that said, I will proceed to excessively glorify this new saga. Get a pillow, this is gonna be long.
I consider MMZero to be the pinnacle of the Megaman saga. It contains all the previous elements that made the series great and adds more of what they lacked. It still has all the flashy stuff and sets the difficulty levels to HARD, REALLY HARD or WHAT THE FUCKING HELL WERE YOU THINKING? The only disappointing thing were the final bosses, which were too easy IMO. I did not appreciate the rating system (It makes me nervous) but it adds to the challenge and doesn’t bother that much (It’s not like I use the EX Skills anyway)
Is the story new and original? Holy fuck no, as it is clearly stated here, the bases for the story are really just a remade version of the ones in X. Even the characters are mostly replacements of the previous, like Cerveau being the mecha-wizard (Douglas), Rocinolle being the unimportant medic (Lifesavor) and Ciel multitasking to fill the roles of the commander (Signas), the wise doc (Cain) and the unnecessary Comm Officer/Romantic Interest (Alia).
The story isn’t really different, but it’s laid out in a better way. For starters you do get the feeling that you are working for someone by being able to walk around the base and talking to your useless allies. This is way better than the piece of paper that told you Dude, you work for the Maverick Hunters, okay?.
Your enemies have personalities. Are they great personalities? No. Fefnir is the big brute, Leviathan is the flirty bitch and Harpuia is the badass serious chief; but at least they flesh them out a little bit before it’s time to slash off their asses. Harpuia even gets a glimpse of what the people of yore might have considered character development. Zero I and a bit of III spoiler: The way Copy X goes progressively nuts, making you doubt if he even had a soul to begin with is very well done
There are plot twists, as in, stuff that you couldn’t see coming from a mile ago. In Zero I the “Freaky X is actually a copy” was pretty good (Although it was let out too early IMO) but in Zero III the scenes before the last boss were awesome. That was the first time in all my years playing these games that I went “What the heck?!?” about something.. The whole plot gets more interesting as you proceed, introducing new elements in a reasonable pace (No “Hey! There’s a whole army called Repliforce now! Even though there were no other organizations of armed troops besides us in the last game!”), using revolutionary plot elements never before seen in Capcom games (Like a little friend I like to call CONSISTENCY) and what just may be references to previous games. Zero III Spolier: I’m not sure about the Iris/Mother Elf thingie, but I bet anything that Weil is a reploid with Willy’s brain attached to it.
And the new art? At first it took me some time to get used to it (And honestly speaking, the art in Zero II and III is much better than in I) but now it’s my favorite one in the series. It fits exactly with the apocalyptic environment and everyone looks more organic and in accord to what the are supposed to do. The new Zero looks slender and swift, much better than the old bulky robot that didn’t look nearly as fast as he really was. The designs fit each character perfectly, except maybe for Harpuia who looks a little too fragile, and Ciel who looks a little too young (She’s supposed to be a graduated doctor but she could pass for Alouette’s big sister). The final enemies in Zero I Seraphic X and Zero III Omega and Great Omega really manage to pull of almighty and frightening looks, although they are not at all in accord with their power. If you don’t believe me, take a look:
My only problem with the Zero series is the same problem I have with a number of the games in the Mega Man series; the boss fights.
In the earlier Mega Man days, boss weakness weapons were a handy asset during a boss fight, but an unnecessary one for a skilled player. But as the series went on and games like Mega Man 7 and X3 were released, things changed. The boss fights were simplified to only allow two courses of action: either use the Mega Buster and prepare for a long uphill battle, or stand in front of the boss and shoot it with its weakness, which not only deals a significant amount of damage, but it also knocks it out of its attack and leaves it helpless, stunned, and easy to hit again… and again, until you achieve a far too easy victory.
Mega Man Zero wasn’t much different to me, in this sense. The beginning of the game was very difficult, as I was underequipped and had nothing to seriously damage my enemies with. I spent a lot of time running back and forth, causing enemies to spawn so that I could get weapon experience. But then, once elemental chips and charging your saber came into play, bosses became a simple charge and jump slash, rinse, repeat cycle.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that side-scrolling videogames aren’t about learning attack patterns, predicting enemy behaviour, and then acting accordingly. What I am saying is that I feel restricted by games that insist on having you use a very specific set of weapons and equipment as the only means of defeating a boss, the alternative being a ludicrously difficult and excruciatingly long struggle with one of the “non weakness” weapons.
Forgot something about what Izlude said: What happened to Zero is part of the main plot and you get more information in each game (And yes, Zero III is pretty important). Regarding X, it is explained what happened to him at the end of Zero I and Zero II, although he’s not technically dead.
EDIT: Heh, some whackos (Read: Gamefaqs) think that Axl will show up in Zero IV because there is a guy who they think looks like him in the promo art.
I really don’t see the resemblance, but it’s supposed to be the green guy in the back.
EDIT 2: Dalton: I agree with you, but they kind of fixed that in Zero III. Either that or I was using the wrong weapon all the time.
Are you sure you’re not confusing Megaman Classic with Megaman Legends? Cos, Megaman Classic…is, well, Megaman. It’s the OG MMX. It is perfectly desribed by the type of game you mention in the very next paragraph. I’m just checking.
My opinions on Megaman Zero:
Ugh, I’m not even gonna say all that much about the story. The story on its own is pretty cool, but fuck Megaman canon. I refuse to believe it exists. Everything after X5 wasn’t even supposed to happen, and if that’s accepted as canon now, it doesn’t look like any effort is being made to tie it into MMZ, so either X6-8 aren’t canon, or MMZ is a ‘what if’ series. That’s all.
The story is pretty good. Some of the translation is a bit shakey though, and that’s saying something; I think that people who complain about translations are often full of crap, but I’ve seen some samples of MMZ3 translated into english, particularly the climax and ending sequence, and the whole thing could have way more clarity. I’ll leave it at that.
Hmm. While I’d say the majority of the MMX games were solid, MMZ really has yet to find a good system. MMZ1 had a HORRIBLE weapon system, and the cyber elves were lame. MMZ2 fixed them both a bit, but coulda been better in the weapons. MMZ3 did the weapons perfeclty (Though the recoil rod was more of a novelty weapon :P), but I didn’t even bother using Cyber Elves.
The diffuculty is seriously lacking. I heard from a ton of people that MMZ was really hard, but MMX to me is a LOT harder. And, trust me…anyone who has seen me play MMX knows that I’m DAMN good at it. MMZ just wasn’t all that tough. Just use the saber on everything. There are like, 2 fights in the entire series where there was a weapon that was easier to beat a boss with than the Saber. This is unfortunate, since you’re given four weapons, not just one. The only fight I can remember being tough was the second form of the last boss in MMZ3. I’m sure that if I used Cyber Elves or Subtanks, it would be pretty easy; however, I think that MMX/MMZ games are best played with nothing more than what you begin with.
Some of the physics are kind of stupid. You have absolutely no hang time during a jump, which is frickin’ unheard of in a game. This also impairs your dash jumps, because more of your jumping time is spent getting to the peak of your jump, or going down from it. This makes it a bit harder to dash jump over projectiles. Instead of like MMX, where it was safer to move foward, you sort of have to curve backwards a little to ensure safety most of the time. I dunno, it’s annoying.
That being said, lemme clarify: I don’t actually HATE the gameplay, but it feels like a crappy version of MMX to me. It’s a good effort, and a lot of the ideas are really cool, but it could use a LOT of work.
I really dig the art. I like the graphics too. I wish it looked more SNES-ish, but that’s fine. That doesn’t detract from the art at all, that’s just a matter of preference.
Music: Could be better…MMZ1 had pretty lame music overall, and only a few songs were really al lthat interesting…The same composer, Ippo Yamada, returned for MMZ2, but with his band of performers to co-compose. This added some much needed diversity to the soundtrack of mostly bland, melodically lacking techno-sounding music. MMZ2 had easily the best music in the series. MMZ3 had the same composers, but it was just wasn’t as good as MMZ2. Better than MMZ1, though, still. The arrangements could be a lot better, but i imagine that is due to the hardware limitations. Of course, that might make other songs worse; for example, if you’ve ever heard the arrange soundtracks (Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero), a weird phenomenon occurs, where a lot of the songs that were excellent in the game were kinda weird on the arrange, and a lot of songs that were overlooked in the game were amazing on the soundtrack. So, I mean, it COULD help, but I don’t think it would make it better, necesarily.
My final verdict: Not so bad. I still like MMX better. Even though X5 was kinda boring, and X6 and X7 were just god awful, there’s still much more enjoyment to be hard in the good X games that do exist than there are in MMZ. Also, X8 turned out to be a surprisingly good game, so while the story is stupid, I think hope still exists for the series. That isn’t to say that there isn’t any hope for MMZ, but no game has really hit it on the money yet. We’ll see what happens with MMZ4.
Not only do I see the resemblance, I’m pissed off that they would bring that little shit-brick into the series. It was doing so well too…
I mean, look at the picture, it has the stupid hairstyle AND the X across the face… Perhaps he’ll be one of the reploids that didnt have somthing fucked up happen to him and thus aged… Which would explain him looking a little more gruff.
I’m not sure what you mean here. What I meant is that while Legends and Network are very good games, they are too different from the original Megaman to be put in the same genre. And yes, I know Megaman Classic is the original with the boy in blue undies, Rush, Willy and all that jazz.
I agree with Skankin’ about difficulty, on ZI, at least. It was WAY too easy for me, and once I got the Z-saber, I never used another weapon. Seriously. Never.
I’ll also agree that one has some seriously messed-up gameplay issues, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I never used cyber-elves (I think it’s the name, maybe) and basically only used the z-saber, so I can’t really say if there were horrible weapon problems.
Then check Zero III already, as far as I know there are no longer “you are damn sure to win if you use this thing” chips.
As for the weapons, there are only four:
The Z-Saber should always stay as your main weapon for reasons I want to believe everyone knows.
The Z-Buster blows ass. It’s better than in X5 or X6 but it’s not even close to being anything like the old trusty X-Buster. Not to mention that thing isn’t a buster, it’s a pistol.
The Shield is usually my auxiliary weapon. The Captain America-ish throwing motion isn’t good at all but the shielding function is VERY useful to get your ass out of tight spots without taking damage.
Last is what I call the Movement Weapon. It changes in each game (Triple Rod, Whip, and Recoil Rod) and is rarely useful for combat but it’s real function is to help you reach high places or cross chasms. Although when I did the pogo-jump with the Recoil Rod I felt a little dumb.
I believe that most of the comments about MMZ’s challenge come from the Ranking system of the game. If you’re playing the game just to get through and win, it’s not too hard, but when you’re going for a perfect S-Rank for each and every stage, well… then things get very difficult.
I actually find Zero games harder than X games. In X games I can get through them fine (although I stuggle with Sigma, fuck you X4 who Sigma is impossible). I can hardly beat any of the normal levels in Zero games though. I’ve only beaten the first level in Zero 2 and can’t beat any of the four initial stages after that.
I have a very strange and pathological liking for nearly every Megaman game despite them being the exact opposite of anything I purport to enjoy in a video game. 8p Having said that, I have yet to beat a single Megaman game in any of the series at all without cheating. ;_;