“Outland” is punishing, and not in the way you think.
I beat Outland, and overall I really liked it (I’m a huge fan of Ikaruga). I almost gave up a few times, however, because some of the boss fights are frustrating. The main reason? No halfway checkpoints! Actually, that’s not even accurate, it’s that the checkpoints come before a long stretch of nothing for some inexplicable reason. It’s like putting a checkpoint before a cutscene. Let me show you.
There’s a spider boss, but when you start the section you have to run down a hallway, then complete a quick “hit two switches” section. It might be a little tricky the first time, but it’s no big deal. After that the spider drops down, and you have to run through a bunch more stuff to get to the real fight. It takes a minute and a half to get there in this video, and he’s fast:
1:30 may not sound like a lot of time, but chances are it’s going to take you multiple tries to beat this boss. You’re going to spend 1:30 just to get to the part where you die trying to figure out the patterns. It took me four or five tries, I don’t remember. It’s frustrating, more than it is actual wasted time, and it’s needless. Just add a checkpoint there!
Example two is the final boss in the game, so don’t watch the whole video if you don’t want to spoil it (watch the first 45 seconds).
Thirty seconds of climbing up a ladder, every time you restart! Then another 15 seconds for the fight to begin. Again, not a ton of actual time, but imagine climbing that ladder ten times. If they wanted that for dramatic effect, fine, show that the first time you load the game, but if you die or restart, have a temporary checkpoint at the top of the ladder!
I don’t mind if the game is hard. Hell, you can even make the game harder, just stop punishing me by making me replay these boring sections!