Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back to the Future

I've been quite busy now that football season is in full swing. That hasn't stopped me from picking up a controller every now and then, though. The past couple of months have been pretty tame as far as retail releases goes, but several good downloadable titles have been released across all three consoles. I'll have updates on a few other games later on in the week.

The Blue Bomber returns

I was pleased when Capcom announced that Mega Man would be making a return this year. That excitement grew when I learned it would be in the traditional series and that the game would come intact with the graphics of the NES versions. It then became my most anticipated downloadable game of the year when the company quiped that the title would be made in the spirit of Mega Man 2, my favorite in the series. Does Mega Man 9 live up to the enormous amount of hype? Simply put, yes.

One of the main reasons I love Mega Man games lies in the difficulty. These games were hard. Theres nothing quite like jumping from moving block to moving block over a dark abyss. The challenge combined with terrific gameplay and fantastic music made growing up with Mega Man a blast.

The newest installment takes the difficulty to the next level and provides the toughest experience to date for our hero. The checkpoints in each stage seem to be placed further apart than normal, so one mistake could send you back quite a ways. Tornado Man will provide even the best Mega Man player with a challenge.

The stages, robot masters and general flow of the game is all ace. The game plays just as Mega Man 2 did back in the day, which means the Mega Buster cannot be charged like in parts 4-8 and there is no slide. The platforming elements are better than ever. As mentioned above, Mega Man is known for having an amazing soundtrack. Mega Man 2 still has the best music in a game ever, but 9 provides quite a show for the ears.

You are also given 50 challenges to complete while playing through the game. Some are fairly easy such as defeating 100 enemies or killing a specific robot master in under a certain time. Others are completely insane and were clearly added by crazed programmers. I'd love to shake the hand of anyone that can complete this game without getting hit.

My lone gripe with the game is the downloadable content that will be releasing soon. The game itself is only 10 dollars (800 MS points, 1000 Wii points), but Capcom will release 8 dollars worth of downloadable content over the next couple of weeks. This includes the ability to play as Protoman, two harder difficulty modes and more. Capcom should have included everything in the main game and released for 5 dollars more. That said, everything else about Mega Man 9 is quite good and I'd recommend it to anyone that enjoys the series.

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