Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mega Man Review

Mega Man is the classic action platformer released by Capcom in December 1987. In Japan the game is known as Rock Man and was the first in a long line of classic platforming games. Originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US and on the Famicom in Japan it's popularity has led Capcom to rerelease the game on many different consoles including PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, original Xbox, mobile, Nintendo Virtual Console, PlayStation Store and most recently on the Xbox One as part of the Mega Man Legacy Collection which is how I played it.

When we were kids my brother wanted Mega Man, despite the comically terrible box art shown above, and got it for Christmas or something and we loved it. While we never owned any of the sequels we did rent them and play them a lot so I'm more than familiar with Mega Man on the NES.

You play as Mega Man and your mission is to stop Dr Wiley from doing bad things. There are six bosses that you need to beat before you can take on Dr Wiley and this is one of the reasons these games are such classics. After defeating the boss you gain their abilities and can use them in future battles. The boss battles can be tough but if you figure out which power works best on each boss the game gets much easier. Using your regular cannon can take dozens of hits to finish a boss off but if you have the right power can can take just a handful of shots.

Mega Man is a platformer, as lots of the classic 8 Bit games are, which also is a big aspect of the game. I haven't played this game in decades but it didn't take too long for me to get through even the toughest levels.

As Mega Man you'll have a hit counter which when emptied means your death. You'll also have a second one which shows you how much ammunition you have left for your selected power. Your standard hand cannon has unlimited ammo so you do have to be careful with your powers. As you kill enemies they can drop pellet jewel things that restore some of your health or ammo. You can also find extra lives here and there. Once you lose your last life you can continue forever which helps you to learn the levels.

I never beat this game as a kid and it's probably because of the Magnet Beam. The Magnet Beam is a power that you find in the Elecman's level that you have to have to progress through Dr Wiley's level. I don't remember if I knew how to get it or not but it kept me from finishing the game. For those of that age will remember that there was no Internet to look up when you get stuck in a game. I feel that the Internet is a good but also a bad thing for gaming. When you are stuck in these old games, a famous example is in Castlevania 2 where you can't continue without kneeling down in a certain area, the Internet is great to get you past these areas. These kinds of problems are bad game design and it isn't your fault and I know there are a bunch of games that I never beat as a kid because I'd get stuck like this. On the other hand the bad part about the Internet is when you are stuck with a legitimate puzzle and you're too lazy to figure it out you can just hop on the Internet which in seconds will show you how to move past that puzzle and yes I'm guilty of this too but it's the way of the world today.

Mega Man isn't super hard but it is a challenging game especially if you're not use to games like these. I had lots of fun replaying this game. I'm at the last stage and haven't finished it yet, I'm stuck at the yellow guy, but it shouldn't take a lot more time before I finish Mega Man. I'm about five hours into the game which isn't too bad for Mega Man, I'm not the biggest platformer fan so someone who is better at these games will probably do if faster than me. If you enjoyed Mega Man when it was new or are a younger gamer looking to play a classic 8 Bit platformer then Mega Man is a great place to look.  I'd give the original Mega Man an 8 out of 10.

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