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Mega Man Zero (2002) review
by markbass69

Played in the recent Z/ZX Legacy Collection. Though I can't honestly imagine playing it any other way at this point, it does reveal a lot of the problems that you wouldn't otherwise notice playing this in short bursts on a GBA. This game is both short and hard. But, with the collection, they added a casual mode (didn't play) and a save assist mode - basically built-in save states/checkpoints - which are frankly a godsend. It's a hard game with limited lives and that kinda really sucks. They did build in an action RPG system with the cyber-elves and while I don't mind getting a lower "rank" for using them, they're SO fucking grindy. Not only does grinding upgrades take away the sense of discovery from finding a secret health upgrade, knockback reduction, or subtank, but with such a short game and limited areas to explore, the grind is just bad. The levels are cool, the weapons have some good variety, and other than the elephant that requires pixel-perfect jumping in the very early game, the bosses are great all the way through. Unfortunately, it's let down by the necessity for grinding that is at least somewhat alleviated by playing it in a modern collection.