Monday, September 22, 2008

Megaman 9 Impressions

I'm a Megaman fan. A huge one, at that. I've seriously played every Megaman game except for the old Tiger handheld ones, the Wonderswan Battle Network ones, the board game one for the original NES, Super Adventure Rockman and the old DOS ones (although I'd seriously love to). Oh, and some Chinese one that is somehow official, but not made by Capcom.

Of all the Megaman games, my favorites were the classic NES Megaman games, and the Megaman Zero games. Imagine, then, how pleasantly I was surprised to hear that the team that made the Megaman Zero games was making a brand new classic-series Megaman that looked like an NES game. I'll wait...

...ok, done imagining? I was apparently more excited for it than I though, because despite the fact that I haven't made a Virtual Console/Wii Ware purchase in over a year, despite the fact that I haven't even played with my Wii since Mario Kart, and despite my decision to get the game for the PlayStation 3 (best controller, I figure, and I have the Megaman Anniversary Collection for PS2 with the first 8 sorta makes my PS3 my default Megaman console), I broke down and got it for the Wii. Yeah, I know, I couldn't wait four freaking days. And the sad thing is, WipEout HD comes out on the PSN Thursday, so I'll probably buy it and Megaman 9 (again) together.

But I digress. You don't want to hear about my buying habits; you want to know how the game is. And it is clearly a classic Megaman game: 8-bit graphics, limited color pallet, disappearing bricks, and precision jumping straight out of the NES era. The graphics and the MIDI music make me smile (although compared to awesome soundtracks like Megaman 3, the soundtrack is mostly forgettable). But the one thing that stands out the most to me is that the game is HARD. Yeah, I know that the original Megaman games have a reputation for being hard. Trust me, they're not this hard. True, I might not have enemy patterns down as tight as I do for the first five (I actually never had Megaman 6... my first time playing it was in college on an NES emulator, and I never played it seriously until the Megaman Annviersary Collection came out), but more often than not it's not the enemies that are getting to me (except the second stupid elephant in Concrete Man's stage), it's the platforming. In my first sitting, I played all eight of the Robot Master stages... I only made it to three of the Robot Masters (Galaxy Man, Splash Woman, and Magma Man), and of those three I was only able to defeat Galaxy Man.

I was also surprised to see that, despite the inclusion of Rush and a weapon select screen reminiscent of Megaman 4-6, they were going for Megaman 2 in terms of gameplay. No charged shots, and no sliding for Megaman this time around. While for some people who really only remember Megaman for Megaman 2, this might seem natural, but it feels like a step backward to me. Especially the slide, which would have come in handy in a lot of places so far.

Expect a full review from me in the next few days, after I finish it. For now, if you've played an NES Megaman recently and think you're up to the challenge, check it out. But if you hate getting your ass kicked by a game, you might want to hold off, as Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden are walks in the park next to Megaman 9.


Joe said...

I am not sure which version I will get. I read it was hard, but hearing it from you, an expert at MM games I truly believe it. I really wouldn't get it for the 360 just for the achievements because from what I hear they are INSANE to accomplish.

I am like you, I don't really play the Wii, so maybe I should get it for the PS3? I'll have to wait and see what to do about that.

That being said, I love the fact that this game came out like this. It is truly amazing to think we can play these classic style games these days. Just thinking how much you will enjoy it brings back the good old times of games. Can't wait to read your review. Seriously, it is the ONLY review I will treat as the word on this game.

Mike said...

Making some progress, now. Four out of eight Robot Masters down.