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MegaMan is a proto soulslike No.343

I was trying to define souls like today and came up with "an action game that heavily rewards gear configuration and strategy over reflexes". This is why some people pretend this genre is an RPG, which is ridiculous because RPGs are really games where you execute combat actions primarily through a menu or hotbar.

Compare Dark Souls to a game Devil May Cry 3. They both are 3D action games and you can configure your equipment in both. In both, a viable strategy is playing the same bosses over and over to memorize the attack patterns or grinding for an absurd length of time. They even have a similar aesthetic. But in Devil May Cry 3 changing your weapon type won't help you nearly as much on any given boss as it will in Dark Souls. Usually even changing up your strategy won't matter all that much. You just gotta get better or lower the difficulty or be satisfied with a really low rating. DMC3 is more about stylish combat as opposed to smart combat.

Now compare Dark Souls to God Hand. They are also both 3D action games where you can grind and configure equipment loadouts like in an RPG. In God Hand, reflexes alone won't save you just like in Dark Souls. You have to know what you're up against, configure your equipment, and tailor your strategy appropriately. This is also true of the game Armored Core which is unsurprisingly another classic From Soft game. They're the thinking man's action games.

While playing MegaMan games you unlock abilities by completing levels and you can complete levels in any order. The difference between the most optimal and least optimal sequence is an order of magnitude. Knowing how the bosses behave and which strategy is appropriate for them is necessary. When most people play Megaman, they think it's merely about memorization or muscle memory and give up because that generally isn't satisfying. They're right, but that's only true for the platforming segments. Figuring out which weapon is best for which boss does actually require critical thinking and is actually fun when you don't just read the best strategies in gamefaqs.

I hate when people think souls like means "a difficult game" or worse, "a game with graphics similar to Dark Souls". Aren't you glad you will never be one of those people thanks to my coherent definition of soulslike?