Friday, August 11, 2017

Comprehensive Game Design Analysis Part 1

I avidly study game development when I have the time to do so. I often search through YouTube and various other places on the internet (Shout out to Gamasutra!) to find other opinions on game design, what gamers like and what they don't like about certain games. As you can tell from the embedded video above, I'm going to be commenting again on a game that I own for the PS4, and it's obviously nowhere near my favorite video game to play. I already made a review on Mighty No. 9 a couple months back and gave it a mediocre overall score, and that was mainly because I have never been a huge Mega Man fan and I never backed the Kickstarter campaign for this game.

What this video goes into is how ridiculous the game design was for Mighty No. 9, and for the most part I definitely agree with the author of this video. I find it inexcusable as to how certain parts of game design were implemented in Mighty No. 9, and after watching this video you'll come to realize just how much better this game should have been, but Comcept basically refused to make it better.

Enemy Placement
The placement of enemies in Mighty No. 9 was jarring in many areas. You didn't feel like you were necessarily rewarded after you reached a seemingly special part of a level where you could collect extra health items and power-ups. If anything, you felt somewhat punished for doing so. What made this case was how "in your face" the placed enemies were. The moment you felt you had some room to work with, that space would be taken away by an ill-placed enemy, making your gaming experience unnecessarily more difficult.

Color Discernment
If you hate having to discern the difference between an object that's in the background of a level and an object you actually have to take down in the foreground, then you might want to stay away from Mighty No. 9. Especially during boss fights do you have to deal with colors that blend in with each other, which means that you sometimes will be guessing which object to attack, and which object to ignore. Pick the wrong object and you will pay for it. Not good.

No Set Pattern of Level Choices
I find this to be an interesting argument, and one I agree with. For those of you who play Mega Man games you would know that there's a pattern in choosing levels, preferably from the easiest to the hardest. If you guess the pattern of level choices right then the gaming experience overall will feel more rewarding. If you tackle the harder levels first and then go to the easier levels, then it may not feel as rewarding. Mighty No. 9 suffers from not giving you any initial hints as to what set pattern to rely on. Should you take on Mighty No. 2 first? Or should it be Mighty No. 5? You don't know, and that's the problem. You won't get any help in improving the quality of a level until after you beat a boss and pick the level that matches that defeated boss's help sequence.

Learning Moves
Another frustrating part of Mighty No. 9 is the learning curve, especially considering the types of moves that Beck can perform. In the options menu of the game you can try to learn how to perform certain moves that you feel will help Beck progress through a level. However, many of these moves seem to be counterproductive in how they are executed and how they complement a level. There's this one move called the "Drop Shot" where you jump backwards and shoot down at a 45 degree angle. On many occasions this move is simply worthless and doesn't help you.

Mighty No. 9 simply suffered from this feeling that two game dev teams worked on the game instead of just one. There was no cohesive vision as to what Mighty No. 9 wanted to be as a game, and when conflicting features of the game tried to merge with each other, it became a mess. Having said this I still have no problem owning this game because I don't have a big emotional attachment to Mega Man style games, but I feel that this information is worth sharing with my blog readers.

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