I've tried so hard to like this game. I understand that it's well regarded. I like the idea of driving some kind of space tank that can jump - those are the best parts of Blaster Master on the NES.
But something about the jumping mechanics just infuriates me. I can't get it right, and I've tried using the save state function in stella to really master it. But nope.
It's hard for me to even describe. The jumping is an integral part of this game, and it doesn't feel right. My estimations of when to jump are almost always wrong. Jumping over consecutive boulders is a recipe for frustration.
It's like if the trajectory of your jump was just a little different, I'd love this game, but as it is, it's just a little shallow and it keeps throwing me off.
And the hit detection! I feel like if I get close to a boulder my moon tank explodes.
Take the double jump above. This is only the second leg of the game. You're just starting out. And the game throws this at you. Blast the poop then jump? You'll run into the second poop. Accelerate and jump the first poop, then the second? Doable, but requires exacting precision. Slow down, shoot the first poop, jump, shoot the second poop, jump? This works too, but again, it requires exacting precision. There's no farting around with this jump. You can't half ass it. You can't be a little off. You have to nail it or the moon poops will laugh at you. And so many of the jumps are like this. It's almost like the Slow Jump doesn't go far enough, and the Medium & Fast jumps go too far. It never feels right.
I went and downloaded the rom for Moon Patrol Arcade, and I don't find these issues in the arcade game. Jumping is intuitive and I never had a single problem jumping over anything in the first game area (zones A to Z), including the mine area. I did go through a dollar or three in imaginary quarters. Now, the next game area (the second A to Z course), the champion course or whatever, is absolutely impossible. I've been trying to jump a canyon defended by tanks for 10 minutes and I can't figure out how.
But, the first game area is really fun and I enjoyed it a lot.
How come jumping feels intuitive in Moon Patrol Arcade but infuriating and mysterious in Moon Patrol 2600?