Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mega Man 9

For the past two weeks I've been playing Mega Man 9 almost none-stop. I take breaks to play Mega Man, the 8-Bit version of Mega Man 7 (here's the link if your interested, well this is the blog post I originally found it on anyway), Mega Man 2, 3, 4, etc. Twilight Princess is going to have to wait, because I really enjoy playing games when they first come out, especially epic event like Mega Man 9.

Before I go any further, I have to announce: Cave Story coming to the Wii (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). It's official. Here's the official site. At the time of this article, the site only shows Quote running and says the site will launch Monday Oct 6. Well, it's 12:20 a.m. here, I guess they mean when they get out of bed. Moving on...

It's epic because it's an 8-Bit masterpiece, without a doubt the best Mega Man game ever made. It's the best priced at ten dollars, and delivers everything you wanted in a Mega Man game. Excellent level design, excellent graphics, kickass graphics... and it does this by going back to the basics.

It feels historic. Capcom really outdid themselves. I have no complaints. In fact, I want to thank Capcom, IntiCreates, and Inafune for making such a great game. I want to look at criticisms of Mega Man 9, and prove them wrong. Look around the internet and you'll find 3 forms of Mega Man 9 criticism. The first, will criticize the graphics. These idiots can continue to screaeaaeem about HD and component cables, but completely miss the point. It's like criticizing a Jazz musician for not playing Pop-Rock. Second, some folks think the game is difficult. IGN, 11 year olds, and seniors have certainly been having a tough time getting through the swings in Jewel Man's stage. Little children are also easily distracted by the elephant's in Conrete Man's stage, in fact the flashing colors and pretty lights are almost too much for young children, causing them to slam their faces on their keyboard all over the internet. Those not looking for a challenge need not apply, but abandon not hope, the force is with you, thou has slain the Hornet Man, and thou has learned a new spell.

Ultimately, Capcom gave the world something I thought we'd never have: a new 8-Bit game. Mega Man 9 (and Cave Story) prove that 8-Bit (and this site by extension) is still relevant. And its evolving, as our understanding of video games matures, programmers and designers are free to go back to 8-Bit, 4-Bit, 16-Bit, to pick the form that works best for the subject matter. Mega Man 8 doesn't have a single polygon in the entire game, and manages to be more fun than 99.9% of all games released this year (and certainly has a chance at being the best downloadable game this year, something that only Cave Story could change.)

Finally, there are the DLC criticisms. For those that don't know: Mega Man 9 costs $10 for the basic package; Tomorrow Proto Man will be released for $2 and the endless level will be released for $3, a brilliant marketing scheme by Capcom; In 2 weeks they will release two additional difficulty modes for $1 a piece and a new Time Trial stage for $1. These are valid criticisms. One should pay one price for a video game, but perhaps that isn't the best model for anyone. If the game was more expensive, Capcom would have less consumers, and would release the game for $20 bucks (or more!) to offset that balance. They wouldn't be able to make an 8-Bit game if it weren't cheap. Corporate Executives are, on average, very fat and stupid, and require large graphics with convincing pie pieces to approve creative and intelligent ideas. What I'm trying to say is: it's 18 bucks for the entire package, and that's a bargain.

Up until now Capcom has been very tight-lipped on the downloadable content, releasing information on Proto Man, but not much else. Always a fan favorite, I predict that he is a distraction from the real excitement: the endless level. I'm actually listening to the music right now... And I wonder, what could this level be like? If it's a randomly-generated Mega Man platformer, with as much polish as the normal levels, it may very well be the best 2-D video game.

It remains to be seen. I've beaten Mega Man 9 5 times, and am working on various challenges. I can't wait for the new DLC, it's like Mega Man 9 launching all over again, and there is still ANOTHER release date to anticipate. I'll be reviewing each set of downloadable content as its released.

Fight, Mega Man! For everlasting peace!


Anonymous said...

I agree with Everything you said in this article. Mega Man 9 is an absolute masterpiece. I'm going to be playing this game for a very long time.

Benjamin Fennell said...

I just picked up Mega Man 9 the other night (Along with Orbient (Very cool), Strong Bad Episode 2, and Super Metroid.) and I've mostly been playing Mega Man 9 since. 3 of the 8 robot masters down, enjoying the high level of challenge, and still only earned 2 of the 50 achievements or so, many of which are so ridiculous, I'm sure I'll never get them. Amazing game. Huge nostalgia trip. The HD gaming PS3/360 crowds have no appreciation for this game - and unsurprisingly, it doesn't seem to be selling well at all, not unlike Bionic Commando Rearmed, which sold fairly poorly after all the hype and critical praise. But then, that crowd has no appreciation for classic style 8-bit games, most of them having come into gaming on a diet of more graphically/M-rated-hype focal Sony and MS platform gaming, and with zero nostalgia for Bionic Commando or classic Mega Man, their not selling particularly well is unsurprising. (It didn't take long for MM9 to drop out of the top 10 for the PS3 on GameFAQs, never entered the top 10 for the Xbox 360, and it's #2 on the Wii at the present, after having been #1 for a couple of weeks, and continuing to be one of the bestselling WiiWare titles.) In general, WiiWare's proven to be a much more profitable downloadable game outlet for devs than XBLA or the relatively laughable PSN. We've got more open-minded gamers and far more consumers in general on the Wii, after all. But yeah, good post as usual. And great freaking game. Definitely give Orbient a look sometime too - it's challenging and very chill, and for 600 points, extremely worth it. Now I'm just wishing I had the cash for Magnetica, Pop, Super Mario RPG, and Shining Force II. (Not to mention Strong Bad episode 3 when that drops in another week or two.)

8bitcity said...

I definitely look into Orbient! I've heard some cool stuff about it, but you should look into the Endless Level,... after you beat MM9 a couple times!

Benjamin Fennell said...

I've still only finished the first galaxy in Orbient, and it's definitely addictive. Pretty high level of challenge, lots of great gravity physics gameplay - it takes some getting used to, but it's a wonderfully relaxing, thoughtful experience with a great soundtrack and some fantastic score attack elements - along with the general fun of picking up satellites to change the music and collecting crescent moons for completion icons for each stage.

I'll definitely pick up Endless level once I've got some more points. I've read some talk about it on the SomethingAwful forums, and it seems there's some pretty ridiculously high scores in the rankings already. (I'm hoping Capcom releases an update for the Wii version of MM9 yet to expand the ranking boards beyond the top 10s too, like on the other platforms.) I've only beaten a couple of other robot masters now, in taking out Splash Woman and Concrete Man. Hoping to take out Jewel Man next.

8bitcity said...

Jewel Man's a chump, you should be able to handle him. And we'll definitely have to play Bomberman Blast, though I'm thinking about getting the disc if it's not too expensive.

Benjamin Fennell said...

Yeah, I just took out Jewel Man earlier, at last. Once I got past a few of the tough jumps, it didn't take me too long to get to the end of his stage. (I managed to finish his stage and battle without dying once, no less.) Then I went on and took out Magma Man with the Mega Buster on my first try. Now I'm just down to Hornet Man, Tornado Man, and Plug Man, all of whose stages I'm having trouble on. I get stuck on that little flower miniboss in Hornet Man's stage and have yet to finish that. In Plug Man's, I've gotten to one of those really tricky disappearing block sequences later on and keep losing there - I'm tempted to see if I can use Rush Jet to skip through that part, having just gotten that. And in Tornado Man's stage, it's just a matter of getting the hang of those platforms you're spun around on.

Yeah, I hadn't even heard if they were going to bring the disc version of Bomberman Blast here, but if they do, I'll probably go for that. The nice, deeper single player gameplay, integration of Miis into the story, and such on top of the great online play seem like they'd add up to enough additional content to warrant owning a physical copy.

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