Thursday, June 20, 2013

Retro Classics - Mega Man I

While I was doing research to help my dad, I found myself listening to a Mega Man OST. Only to find out that the "Blue B" is going to be part of Super Smash Brothers (Wii-U) collection. Although I'm excited to see the character finally mash it up with all of his old rivals, its been way too long of a wait for it to happen.

Back in the day, this is where Capcom beat out its competition. Especially when it came to action / platformers, his main competition at the time was Mario, Metroid and few others that could compare with its futuristic theme. It was all about this robot with an arm cannon versus the maniacal Dr.Wily. The biggest challenge was the leap from A to B, all the while fighting everything that was an obstacle. From heights, to spikes, and numerous dangers (including the nefarious fall into the screen, if there was nothing = instant death).

The second closest game to its difficulty level was a game called Ghouls and Ghosts, and Castlevania. Both were known for being notoriously hard. In G&G, you were limited to 3 hits to Arthur's armor, if broken there was no way to protect yourself. (literally running around in boxer shorts!) In Castlevania, Simon Belmont was limited to a number of hits, hearts, and damage counter. However if you fell into a pit, or fell into spikes, this would end in instant death to Simon.

Another key point in surviving these titles was to obtain items to keep your energy going. No matter what was in your way, there had to be a way to snag health items to progess. Sometimes you could use upgrades... but here is where it gets interesting.

Power Up!
The biggest difference with Mega Man and his competition is his unique ability to absorb a boss's power. Once a boss was taken down, Rockman could copy a bosses moves and use them to progress through any level. *This concept idea was never used before, until later games used the design technique.Including the ability to choose from a roster of foes, once they were defeated you could go back, retrace any missed steps and move forward.

So in a way this series is part action / rpg, included the fact your health bar could also be extended. By collecting "E tanks" these would serve as a backup to your character's way of surviving every endgame battle. (including facing the baddie behind all of it).

That Doctor!
No not the British science fiction classic character. The nefarious Dr. Wily who began the great robot war. Giving them self thought, the rampage, the battles, and the domination of society by his creation. Oddly enough Dr. Light and Wily used to be pals, until his creative genius got in the way of their friendship. So Light created Rockman to "fight for everlasting piece!"

The music
One of the key points worth noting about this series is the bgm tunes. You will literally get these stuck in your head, even if you play at least one level. It is addicting as much as the game, becoming more of memorization (actually some of the music is key to timing a bosses moves, give that a try next time).

It is tough to describe what makes Mega Man a truly awesome series. In the beginning it was a "one trick pony", thankfully it succeeded in becoming a most loved game for 20+ years. With the only limitation being its fans, whether young or mature (oh and it will push your buttons, hard). It is a game of patience, dexterity, and lots of faith in what makes this series truly unique.

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