Game Review – Mega Block Man 2 (slayer 64)

“Overrated”. A word that frequents around the Game Maker universe. Many games seem to get fantastic ratings despite generally not being that good. On YoYo Games, overrating runs rampant, as some (most?) of the members seem to be on the mindset that “obvious design flaws, bland gameplay and a badly made interface don’t matter because Jesus Christ, it’s in 3D and everything!” If you’ve not seen this weird delusion in action, go and look up Crimelife II and III. I would’ve reviewed one of those, but neither are complete (which is why the gameplay faceplants so hard). So, I’ve found the next best thing. Mega Block Man 2. A game that begins by opening you up a default GM helpscreen.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Mega Block Man 2 does at least manage a level of challenging gameplay. However, it’s really rather banal. It kinda feels like Super Mario 64 with all the loveliness removed. Levels don’t seem like single lands, they feel like a bunch of the same blocks stuck together. There are plenty of obstacles (floating blocks that slam you, Tron-esque spiders, flamethrowers, rolling balls of spikiness, the list goes on) but they all amount to either jumping on or over them to kill/avoid them. Most are repeated from the first Mega Block Man with no change whatsoever. Boss fights are bland, to be generous (they stick to the age-old boss formula of “when you work out what you have to do, it becomes easy). The game contains a level editor, though, to be frank, I’m just not going to bother.

The bland streak continues into the graphics of the game. The main character is simple but his animation works fine. Everything else looks very generic though. The unlighted, near-monotonal graphics don’t help, nor does the use of sprites for certain things (the fire doesn’t work particularly well). The background sky, for one, is from the Game Maker resource pack (not necessarily bad, just “seen it before in about 9001 games”) The graphics of the interface aren’t bland, they’re just amateur – use of Arial, grey/black colour scheme, and a complete misfit of a health bar.

The sound effects in the game are simple, but they are at least stronger than some of the other aspects. Generally they suit the purpose and the game’s style. Music, though? This is where any shred of remaining professionalism in the game shoots itself in the foot repeatedly – the game rotates between a large number of MIDIs, many of which are straight from the resource packs. So, yep, you’ll get naff covers of Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong Country music that you’ve heard in about twenty 1945 ripoffs and those games where you’re a bear fighting off burgers and footballs.

In all, this game is distinctly average. The game itself is based on a solid engine, and has the potential to be fantastic, but its design flaws, lack of variety and, well, its blandless, knock it down a notch. The third instalment is currently in development – it doesn’t look to be any better, though I’m sure it make a rabble of kiddies scream.

Play Mega Block Man 2 on YoYo Games

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  1. “…and pushes games that are actually good out of the spotlight”
    Then surely a review of an underhyped game would be a more fruitful piece? I’ve felt NAL’s reviews have been spot on the mark as far as this goes, case in point his Little review. I think anyone would agree that the collective Yoyo community often enjoy games that aren’t deserving of critical merit, but I don’t understand why that needs journalistic examination. Debasing a game which is “overrated” isn’t going to slow the flood of players to the title (in fact if anything it will attract more viewers), but praising an underrated game is ALWAYS beneficial. I accept that people enjoy reading negative reviews, and I accept that NAL might enjoy writing them more (though I hope not). However, I don’t see it as a “useful” article. Surely the best way to protest the over-hyping of a game is to not give it anymore press?

  2. @scoz

    I don’t think he was trying to be really mean or anything, I think he was just trying to very clearly point out what’s flawed about overrating this game, and it’s really true. This makes YoYogames look bad, makes the community look bad, and pushes games that are actually good out of the spotlight. Think about it, this ruins the credibility of people publishing their games on because even if they get a good review, it makes it unclear whether the game is actually any good or just overhyped.

  3. I don’t agree that the game is flawless, nor that it is deserving of any extravagant praise, but I personally felt that it was a decent bit of fun gameplay wise. What I don’t like is why people seem to enjoy writing scathing reviews of such games. In a community where most people are hobbyists, I don’t see why derisive negativity is necessary. I’d much rather read a review praising an underrated game than slamming an overrated one.

  4. @Wade McGillis

    Does it really matter? It doesn’t make the graphics any better. No matter what, this game is incredibly mediocre. Not to mention the fact that low hardware specs doesn’t force things like resource pack clouds and plain and simply artless graphics. You don’t have to have a graphical powerhouse to make good graphics. Look at Twilight Princess on the Wii. And if Game Maker can’t be used by a great artist to make great 3D graphics, even if they aren’t realistic, then it shouldn’t be used to make 3D games.

  5. Appreciation for 3D games is put by beginners. For them it is difficult to make 3D game and it gives the raised reputation to the author of game.

    Though if to speak about this game it is maded in original style: the world “block”. But nevertheless it is not enough quality.

    original text(RUS):
    Высокие оценки за 3D игры ставят новички. Для них трудно сделать 3D игру и это дает повышенную репутацию автору игры.

    Хотя если говорить именно об этой игре, то она выполнена в оригинальном стиле: мир “блок”. Но все же качества недостаточно.

  6. I have a distinctly average computer – it was £600 (about $900 at the time) back in the middle of 2006. It slows down running Call of Duty 1 on medium settings.

    On a diverted point, there’s a game called Sapphire Tears. It manages the same simple aesthetic, but looks great. It’s proof you don’t need complicated models to be professional. That’s one of many examples I could provide of 3D games that look fine but retain a low poly count.

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