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SummaryA new series, a new game and a new legacy
The GoodThis platformer feels very open world with plenty of secret passages, shafts and places to explore, all rich in colour and scenery. The missions involve more than just rampaging through levels and destroying bosses as there are Reploids to rescue and sometimes defending the Resistance Base to keep the action interesting. Throughout the game, the music really pumps you up when you're doing a mission. It's a bonus that the game also has some voice clips.
Difficulty in this game is more or less what you would expect in a Ghosts n' Goblins game, with enemies respawning and come from above or below. Bosses are relatively easy by comparison, especially if you've equipped the element chip that is their weakness. Even without Reploid weapons you got from the Mega Man X series, the selection is good and the three elemental chips you gain more than compensate. It's thrilling to destroy waves of enemies and your weapons get upgraded the more you use them, even though the Z-Saber takes forever to gain MAX power.
The BadThere are so many quirks and faults to nitpick about that make the game harder than it should and spoil an otherwise perfect run of the game. A mild irritation is trying to use so many tight controls at once (i.e. jump, dash, secondary fire and fire simultaneously). One major annoyance is the inability to replay missions in order to collect cyber-elves that you missed. When trying to go for a hundred points, you have no idea how many enemies you need to destroy, then respawn and destroy before you eliminate the final boss. And try destroying the Golem without hitting Ciel once if you want to see how hard it is to get 100% in a mission.
The most common problem lies in the jumping mechanics, including the ledges that require you to make specific jumps, angles and leaps to actually land on them and you could really use Axyl's hover feet (Mega Man X7) to make this a whole lot easier. Some of the hardest jumps require you to use the Triple Rod which is too tough to pull off, seeing as Zero's weapon is not Commander Keen's pogo stick. Finally the screen size still poses an issue, because you can't see spikes below you on high platforms, so you'll unintentionally get killed instantly. If the button used for secondary fire was instead used as a camera control, then it would be okay.