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Zen
Zen

Hoooo boy. For those of you that are curious as to what issues this game has that Nico refused to comment on in his list, I’ll outline them here.

– Saves are only useful during the first half of the game. You choose between four robot masters at the start, and then it starts with the Wily/Darkman Stages. The latter is one big slog from start to finish with no opportunities to save in between the stage segments and with the stages themselves often lasting hours. Of course, saying the four robot masters represent the first half of the game is generous, because it certainly seemed like the final stages represent a much larger part of the game than the four robot masters. There are no passwords despite there being a password screen.

– On top of stages that are often far too long (every now and then a normal-length/short stage is thrown at you, but these are rare), checkpoints in stages are virtually non-existent. Losing a life can often mean replaying half an hour of gameplay or more. Depending on where you die, a continue could send you even further back. Add that the game often kills you for fun, and you’re looking at playing the same length of gameplay several times.

– Item drops aren’t really a thing. Maybe 20 enemy kills might drop a single item… if you’re lucky. This essentially means that there are no health pick-ups, making it even more likely you’ll lose a life, and thus, several dozens of minutes worth of gameplay progress. The game cheekily has you drop an item on your death more often than not, thus meaning your own dead body drops more items than you typically see during an entire stage run.

– For the majority of the game (read: the Wily/Darkman stages), your weapon energies do not refill, even if you continue. Due to virtually no pickups, after a point, you might as well not even consider boss weapons as part of the game. Not that the boss weapons are usually worth using; They all drain unbelievably quick while doing next to no damage to the bullet-sponge enemies.

– The only way to feasibly finish the game is granted by a bug(?) in which you’re automatically given 9 E-Tanks after loading your game, allowing you to ration them throughout the final stages.

– Like many other poor fan games, the same 5-6 enemies are thrown at you with no rhyme or reason. You’ve seen the full enemy variety after playing the first 1-2 stages of the game. During the final stages, some screens have absolute hordes of enemies. All of them are bullet sponges taking way too long to kill and are often placed where it is impossible to progress without killing them, or placed where they will hit you in a hot second if you didn’t know they were coming. The game makes you invulnerable while sliding seemingly as a sort of apology for this rather than trying to get the enemy placement to something that’s fair.

– The game is unforgivably ugly. The only things that look nice are ripped from other places. One of the (many) final bosses looks like it was made in MS Paint in 5 minutes.

– Unskippable dialogue that goes far too long about exposition you don’t care about. Those who thought the X series was bad about dialogue and exposition will be bored to tears by this game. The dialogue often doesn’t even have music or sound effects to keep you entertained.

– Bosses can occasionally be decent challenges but have no invincibility frames. Many do not even have life-bars so you have no idea how close you are to beating them. The worst of the bosses can be beaten by walking up to them and just spamming your buster until they are dead, eating whatever hits they give you… if they’re able to hit you at all.

TL;DR version – The game is essentially broken on a technical level. Don’t get me wrong, you can finish it. But you can only do so with legendary patience and a bit of exploitation as to how the game was coded. The game is often malicious, hurting and killing you for fun in stages that are too long with no checkpoints to speak of. And of course, finally, the presentation of the game is absolutely horrid in every respect. No sane person would ever want to subject themselves to this game. I’m only giving it 0.1 because it is a complete, finish-able game.

Game Rating
0,1
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