I remember Megaman. I remember thinking the first one was nigh-impossible. I remember carpet-thumping, controller-throwing frustration. The second was slightly easier, but only in the sense that pushing a bulldozer through a field of jello is “slightly easier” than towing a battleship with a frog kick.
Honestly, I think I got to like the game more and more as the series went along. I loved Mega Man 3, 4, and Capcom’s Magnum Opus, Mega Man 5. According to Wikipedia, there was a Mega Man 6 on the NES, but I was preparing to graduate High School (and everyone had moved on to the Super Nintendo) when it was released.
So, it was with child-like glee that I downloaded the NEW Mega Man 9 last night. For those of you not in the knizz-ow, Mega Man 9 was a stroke of genius that wonderfully found itself into WiiWare, the Nintendo Wii’s downloadable arcade. With this release Capcom and Inti Creates have given fans exactly what they want: another game like the NES titles. No 3d game with a tenuous connection to the original, but rather a title just like we would have played on our humble grey-and-black boxes.
After losing my first three lives to the first four screens of Tornado Man’s level, I realized two things: My 2D skills had waned, and I no longer have the reflexes of my 15-year-old self. I am pressing on, though, happy to have a new challenge. I will beat this game.
Gaming nowadays is too full of 3D shooters and 12 year olds with twitchy reflexes and trash talking skills. But, I teethed on two dimensions and 8-bit sprites. I may stand a chance here. I may not be uber enough to win a Halo 3 deathmatch, but I can compete here.
Anyway, it’s all back. The sprites, the mega-blaster (only fires ahead, aiming was not in his programming), and the sythoid music. Just like before, the beginning screen gives you eight bosses to battle through, and it’s up to you to figure out the best order to beat them in.
The programmers have also added in a “challenge” system as well, with challenges that range in complexity from “Defeat 100 enemies” (on the same level as “make me a sandwich”) to “defeat the game without missing with the mega-blaster” (i.e. “negotiate peace in the middle east”).
Overall, this is what I’ve been wanting. I would love to see Capcom release a similar platformer next on the Wii or DS, although with souped-up graphics and challenges, ala The New Super Mario Brothers. Until then, though, I have 9 and all its challenges. Then, I can borrow the Mega Man Anniversary Collection from a friend, and burn through all the games I used to love, plus the ones I missed.