Thursday, April 15, 2010

Games I Liked, Others Didn't - Mega Mania Edition

If there's one series I can't get enough of, it would have to be the Mega Man franchise. This is why we're taking a special look at several less-than-loved-the-world-over titles in the series with this installment of Games I Liked, Others Didn't-- Mega Mania Edition! We have five well-known entries in the Mega Man universe that I happen to like. However, there's a sector of [wrong] people who dislike these aforementioned titles. Let's find out why!

Mega Man 8 (PS, SAT)

Jump, jump, slide, slide. What's not to love about these difficult yet fun levels? Mega Man 8 may have had poor Japanese voice acting, but it held a lot of charm with it. It was cool hearing the robot masters speak in battle, and the soundtrack was impressive as well. Of course, the 32-bit visuals didn't do much to detract from the experience either. I enjoyed the variety as well. One level you'd be playing typical Mega Man run and gun action while the next you'd be riding atop Rush, blasting enemies in the sky. The addition of hidden bolts in the game's levels added longevity-- more so than any Mega Man before it. In short, Mega Man 8 is a severely underrated installment to the Mega Man series, and I hope Capcom returns to this style.

Mega Man 7 (SNES)

Or even this style for Dr. Light's sake! The 16-bit visuals were vibrant and colorful, the soundtrack was as infectious as the NES tunes, and game had a lot of fun challenge. Some didn't like how big Mega Man was in comparison to the NES games, but I happened to love the change of pace. There were B-E-A-T letters to collect, secret power-ups for Mega Man to obtain, for the first time ever, a shop where Mega could buy special goods with collected bolts, and some of the most ingenious and fair level design since Mega Man 4. This is just another case of haters gonna hate, it's the sensational Mega Man 7.

Mega Man Network Transmission (GCN)

Now this game I can understand why there's some hatred for it. It was damn difficult to beat! Not only did Mega Man take a lot of damage each hit, but there's the matter with the chip gauge. You see, at the start of each level a gauge would be full, allowing Mega Man to select five chips from a random selection of chips. The problem is that this gauge would then refill so slowly that you'd be waiting minutes for the opportunity to choose new chips. This means that if you got bad chips, you were out of luck until the next time the gauge filled. Apart from that (certain items and chips would make the gauge fill faster), the cel-shaded visuals were gorgeous, the soundtrack was catchy, and the game was fun overall.

Mega Man X: Command Mission (PS2, GCN)

Some think Mega Man, or his future self X, should stay in the realm of action-platforming. Mega Man X: Command Mission showcases Mega Man X in his first and one and only endeavor into the world of role-playing. The turn-based action was fun if not derivative of other titles, and the story was engaging enough to follow through to the very end. Who didn't like the awesome cast of characters that would join your party? Sure, the game was pretty linear, and it isn't too innovative, but Mega Man X: Command Mission is a competent RPG even without the Mega Man name attached to it.

Mega Man X8 (PS2, PC)

After the abysmal showing that was Mega Man X7, I had much trepidation to try out its sequel. Reading up that it would return X to his 2D roots, I opted to pick the game up, and I'm glad that I did. Yes, spikes are thrown around in the game's levels like sugar to children, and there's two dud vehicle levels, but overall Mega Man X8 is a successful game. Being able to switch between two heroes added a new dynamic to the game (even though it was present in X7), the 2 1/2D levels were tremendous, the music was a step in the right direction, and the bosses were as challenging as I was expecting. Those with a bad taste in their mouths after X6 and X7 should definitely check out Mega Man X8.

That concludes another installment of Games I Liked, Others Didn't. What do you think about these five Mega Man games? Like them? Hate them? Indifferent on them? Let me know in the comments section!

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