Thursday, 14 July 2011

Megaman Battle Network 5: Double Team, and other long titles

Finally, finally, I've finished one of the most hateful games I've ever played. Why did I play it to the end if I hated it so much? Because I'm a fool like that. So why's it such a terrible game? First up, random battles. Now I'm actually one of the few people in the world who doesn't mind random battles in most RPGs - they're a way of gaining XP and levels, and I don't mind a bit of grinding if there's a purpose. The random battles in MBN5:DT are completely and utterly pointless, though. Sure, you might get a battlechip, but you'll already have hundreds of them, and you won't need any of the extra rubbish that they give you. To make things worse, the random battles happen every...few...steps. No matter where you are, even in supposedly 'safe' areas you'll encounter the damn things.

As if that hateful piece of game design wasn't bad enough, the programmers thought you'd want to spend more time in random encounters by making you backtrack endlessly around the levels. And when I say backtracking, this is the most evil, EVIL backtracking you've ever come across. You'll spend hours wandering through levels to get to a door, then when you get there a scene will occur and the door will be opened. So far, so normal, but following that scene you'll then be teleported right back out to the hub level for some inane reason (e.g., you're tired and need to sleep before carrying on), and then you'll have to make your way back through all of the stupid levels to reach the door again so you can go through it. AARRGGHH. To make things worse, you won't know where you are on the level because the maps are hidden from you (and by the end of the game I still hadn't found half of them) and all of the levels look the same, so even though you might have been through it fifty times before, you'll still forget where you're going and end up down another dead end with another twenty random encounters to get you back onto the right path. Okay, so there are a few shortcut teleports you can use for getting from the hub world to somewhere deeper in the levels, but again, these are hidden from you, and again I hadn't activated half of them by the time I finished the game. Why? Why did the designers think that was a good idea? Why not just give you an automap and activate the short cuts as soon as a level was complete? They wouldn't have made the game any easier, just much, much less frustrating.

So anyway, I'm very glad it's finished, and I hope I never, ever play another Megaman Battle Network game as long as I live!

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