Endless repetition

Games I beat in 2015 - #17: Rockman X4

“Dedicated” would better describe my status as a player of Rockman games than “good”. I have beaten every single one, however it usually took many, many tries to get through the stages with enough health or extra lives to take out the bosses. Repeating stages was never uncommon, but I did feel myself getting a better hang of it with each play.

Rockman X4 makes this easier with the addition of checkpoints which can be continued from after a complete loss of extra lives. In fact, I’m a bit unsure what the point of lives were other than to give a chance to give up every three deaths. In exchange for this “perk”, the folk behind X4 seemed to think an increase in difficulty was warranted.

This meant I was banging my head at the same sections, ten, twenty times before clearing them without having to redo the earlier sections. And while I did complete X4 it felt more of a slog since I never had those brief reprises of “I can do this” sections.

Then there was the final Sigma fight. There is a weird sensation about how the designers gave the player some health items which could slightly refill the energy tanks, but only a slight amount. An interesting, but mostly annoying, question was raised. Do I attempt to take out the bosses without using the tanks, or just quickly die in order to get full tanks and then try with them. Savoring them, of course, knowing how difficult it would be to get them refilled.

And so I labored away for a week, spending a half hour to an hour each night trying to figure out Sigma’s patterns and how I could best complete the game. And I did. And I thought X4 was my least favorite of the X games. How quickly that changed.