All in all, with the rushed dev time X6 had, it came out reasonably better than most rushed games fare. And IMO, it's still slightly better than X5, if only because X5 railroads you whenever it can. With boss order, with heart tanks, stopping you every five seconds so Alia can blab about the obvious. X6 fixed that [parasitic bomb]. I SHOULD be able to give all my heart tanks to X, or Zero if I want. And the chips were much better this time around. Some were brought over from X5, but the new ones were neat. Especially the 1 use per stage ones like Overdrive or the one that refills your health or something. (Overdrive+Ultimate Buster+Rapid Fire and maybe the speed shot= OH GOD MY PANTS, XTREME 2, IS THAT YOU?)
Also, I want to address the idea of X Air Dashing by default.
I never liked it. Maybe it's just because X1-6 he couldn't do it, but it just feels like it trivializes his Boot Upgrades. he already has the air dash, so it means that's one less feature the Boots are useful for. All they become useful for is the bonus mobility feature, like an upwards air dash, or a hover, or the glide. And i don't feel like the devs really did much to make the boot upgrades stand out any in X7 and 8. The high jump was interesting, and so was the jump attack, but they didnt add anything too special as far as mobility goes- and the Glide was totally forgettable, When a fully mobility upgraded Axl could hover for a pretty decent length.
X always seemed like in his default form, he should be landlocked. Zero get's the default air dash, and the double jump, but he's a close ranged fighter who needs mobility to get out of harm's way quickly. It works. X is a long ranged gunner though, who enemy placement aside- realistically wouldnt really need it. (of course in an ideal scenario, we would be able to aim X's buster in different directions)
So the Armors to me, feel like the way to give him bonus mobility like the air dash and whatever flavor of the day special mobility upgrade the game wants.
Of course though, i can see why they gave it to him, which is because Axl got a default air dash AND hover to boot. So if X didn't have something to balance him out with Axl and Zero's default mobility, he would become obsolete, having to rely on leg upgrades to be on par with the other two's mobility. That's the only reason i can see why they gave him a default air dash. But as far as it normally goes, I really don't feel like X should have it by default. It trivializes the leg upgrades which are supposed to give you that bonus mobility to more easily overcome challenges. And X6 gives you a starting armor to that end, with an air dash, which while nerfed in range over a regular air dash, is something to "make do", until you get that game's poster armor, which includes a much better dash. Much like X5 gives you a starting armor to "Make DO" until you get that game's armor. the difference being that the 4th armor is terribly gamebreaking to the game's difficulty level, since as Hypershell has said previously, it is basically the "End of Game Secret" minus the Giga Attack. You can charge weapons, you take reduced damage, can air dash, can hover, and have the all powerful Plasma Shot. a better way of balancing it would have been to instead give it the Stock Charge, (which seems to be the original armor's "default" buster upgrade, given it is the one that actually matches the rest of the Armor's color scheme) which while useful, is nowhere near as powerful. (specifically, it doesn't pass through enemies leaving plasma balls) And maybe getting rid of the hover.
By contrast however, the Falcon armor is ridiculously nerfed, having lost it's flight capability entirely, leaving a severely gimped Air Dash as a result, the Buster having lost the ability to pass through walls, yet still being a ridiculously thin shot, and not too powerful, and it balances that by leaving the Giga Attack, and giving it the ability to charge special weapons if I remember right. The X6 Falcon Armor is TRULY an example of something to "make do" with until you get the more powerful Armors specific to the Game.
Unfortunately the Blade Buster is kind of wonky, like a poor man's Plasma Shot that doesnt always seem to trigger. But then again, Blade's defining feature is mobility, not power- (I mean, [parasitic bomb], Blade Armor let's you sit there in midair indefinitely until you let go of the dash/jump button!) Power is Shadow's territory, much like Gaea was in X5. (to be honest, the armor themes are really just the same as X5- a mobility armor and a power armor that gives spike protection while taking special weapons away. only difference is Shadow let's you high jump and stick to the roof)