So, just this past Sunday at work, or rather, RIGHT before I had to start, I finally beat Mega Man X8, with Axl. On Normal, mind(I’d beaten it on Easy beforehand). Still have to see X and Zero’s endings, but with the way I’m blowing through Hard, I don’t expect it to be too difficult.

But, frankly, I think Capcom ought to give it up.

No, not making X games… but… let me explain.

Overall, as it’s been said and done before, it’s quite a fun game. And, as it’s been said before, the one thing that really ruins it would be the vehicle stages. For whatever reason, last night was hell for me to get through Gigavolt Man-o-War’s stage, usually the one vehicle stage I can do. Frankly, I feel it wasn’t particularly well put together.

And then there’s Yetinger’s stage… I can do it, I just don’t like to. It’s not fun for me. At all. I asked Red to do it for me earlier so I wouldn’t risk blowing a fuse. That, and she’s just better with the bikes.

What’s weird is, I’ve also been playing the Neo Contra demo lately, and I realized that this battle is fundamentally the same, more or less, as what you fight for mini-bosses in that stage of X8, yet it’s infinitely more fun.

Not sure why that is, exactly. Both bosses feature similar attacks, in a way: NC’s has a guy throw explosive barrels at you from the back like a post-appocalyptic Donkey Kong, and X8’s drops bikers and I think the occassional mine. NC’s rains machine-gun fire down on you, and X8’s drops a hail of those purple energy orbs.

Overall, different, but not terribly so. So I’m trying to figure out, what did Konami do right?

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt Konami to have done a superior job. X’s vehicle stages have always been sort of lackluster to me, with the height being X4 to me. Everything else has been a wannabe.

And don’t mention X2’s, that thing was made of tinfoil and chewing gum. On the other hand, at least it was OPTIONAL tinfoil and chewing gum.

Konami, on the other hand, earned my loyalty with Contra 3’s motorcycle stage. That one was just a ton of fun. Funny how even now, the two series haven’t changed too much in that regard, especially in parallel to one-another.

Not that Capcom hasn’t been able to make a fun vehicle-oriented mission… thing is, the most fun I had with it was the Intermission, rather than the regular one. I’ve actually gone back to that one a few times, willingly.

Which makes me think that Capcom either should take a clue, and hang it up altogether, as the vehicles are seen as the blemish on every X game since 4(and to some, even then and in MM8 before it). That, or keep to the Intermission idea and save the vehicles exclusively for that.

Because, as far as I know, Capcom’s never been too good at taking an idea that doesn’t work and making it work… just look at X7. 3-D Mega Man didn’t work, and while I think the second try would’ve been better, they certainly didn’t seem to. So why keep reviving this mess time and again? I just see no sense in it.

Or, here’s an idea. If they MUST do it, then maybe they should just rip-off Konami’s bit with it. I’ll forgive them.

LBD “Nytetrayn”