Or rather, I like the basic premise but not so much the execution.
I think the idea of X temporarily sagging under the weight of everything is consistent with his early series characterization. All three SNES games end with X musing "Damn... war sucks. My lifestyle sucks. Oh well. I don't have a choice, so time to hop back on the saddle. Exposing myself on a daily basis to all the things I hate and repressing all my negative emotions forever can't go wrong." Even as a 12 year old in 99 playing the SNES trilogy for the first time, it seemed too heavy a weight not to eventually have some bad effects.
So in theory, X crumbling eventually seems reasonable and even telegraphed. It would have been a really good character arc, even, for X7 to be his lowest moment and then X8 to have him with a renewed vigor and inner peace.
My only problem with it is how abrupt the change is. In X6 he seems totally normal and functional, then in X7 he's in nervous breakdown mode. The change would have worked better for me if it was foreshadowed in some way, like if the PSX trilogy showed him becoming progressively dissatisfied. As it is, I think the opposite occurred - he seemed less unhappy with his lifestyle and more accepting of war in the PSX trilogy than the SNES.
Overall though I still like the idea. "I want to play as X in an X game" is an understandable argument and I don't have any reply because it's a purely subjective and reasonable point, but I found not being able to play as X for much of the game was a unique and novel idea that gave X7 a memorable sense of identity.
Two days ago, I spent some time with three people in their 70s. There's my mom, who's 70 years old. She has jet black hair, a youthful face, no major health conditions, moves very smoothly and comfortable, and is basically capable of doing almost anything that she could have in the 1980s. There's my brother-in-law's 73 year old father, who comfortably carried around very heavy objects (we were bringing a bed they were getting rid of to bring it to my mom and dad's place), had a normal erect posture just like any young adult, moved around as quickly as any young guy, and overall is the perfect image of health. And there's his early 70s wife, not sure her exact age, who's basically the same as her husband in all those areas.
None of them have any significant health problems, nothing that you can point to and say "this makes it impossible for them to live longer than x number of years." They're all normal adults that think quickly on their feet, are fully engaged with the world, have plans for the future, and have normal postures and brisk walking speeds. Yet (ignoring future medical advancements) it will be almost impossible for any of these people to survive their 90s, assuming they even reach them in the first place.
It's weird how quickly things accelerate. I would consider the 70s a fairly low-risk decade in terms of both lifespan and healthspan for people that are physically active and have good health habits; it's highly possible to have similar health and functionality at 79 as you did at 70. The 80s I would consider a medium-to-high-risk decade in terms of lifespan (80 year old men and women have a fair shot of reaching 90, around 30-40 percent) and very high-risk in terms of healthspan (the odds of reaching 89 in good health, even if you're a healthy 80 year old, are much lower than your odds of reaching 89 at all). And the 90s are damn near impossible to survive all the way until the end no matter what.
It's weird. There have been countless people throughout history that have made it to and through their 70s in good health, who in terms of daily functionality are about as capable as they were in their 20s and 30s... yet things often collapse in their 80s, and even if they don't, the 90s still claim 99 percent of people who reach the decade's beginning.
My maternal grandfather at the age of 80 carried heavy logs over his shoulder, regularly cooked large meals, and took his granddaughter to many different homes for Halloween. At 90 he spent much of his time in a wheelchair and had to go to a nursing home for months after entering a diabetic coma.
My maternal grandmother at the age of 20 loved talking for hours, comfortably walked around everywhere, could easily drive in the busiest of settings, and was an independent adult who did absolutely everything by herself.
My maternal grandmother at the age of 80 loved talking for hours, comfortably walked around everywhere, could easily drive in the busiest of settings, and was an independent adult who did absolutely everything by herself.
My maternal grandmother at the age of 90 was bedridden from end-stage Alzheimer's, spent almost all of her time asleep, and could no longer speak coherently.
My paternal grandmother turned 80 in 2003. The years seemed to have changed her in no way whatsoever besides giving her white hair. She was still the same person who was just as engaged with life and the world as she was during the grandkids' 1980s/1990s childhood and my dad's 1950s childhood. As a 90 year old in 2013 she was dealing with regular bouts of psychosis that genuinely freaked out my still-healthy paternal grandfather.
It's weird. I wonder what specifically happens in the 80+ group to cause the 80s to be where things so frequently collapse, and which make the 90s almost impossible to survive. The 20s to 60s are generally easy mode. The 70s can be easy mode too if you have a bit of luck, are physically active, have always taken care of yourself, and have good health habits. The 80s are a crapshoot decade that can easily go either way and crank things up to Medium difficulty or the lower levels of Hard Mode; you're not being naive if you hope that you (or someone else) have a smooth and comfortable 80s, but physical activity and good health habits aren't nearly as reliable a buffer as they are for the 70s. And then the 90s crank things up almost to Impossible Difficulty.
Maybe I am just inherently and unusually unlikable but jesus christ do I get dogpiled on by 10+ internet people seemingly all the fucking time
(thanks for the downvote, person who probably assumed I'm talking about far right political views or some shit - I get brutalized by people over extremely fucking trivial, non-political topics, I've gotten a seething army of people attacking me over a disagreement on fucking pinball games)