As an individual who completely missed the NES era, I’ve seemed to have missed out on a lot of foundations, or debut titles, of franchises that are still around today. Mega Man is one series that I just never played in, what seems now, as a limited time of gaming. In my younger years, Mega Man was nothing more than this:
Initially I thought nothing of it. Years passed and countless sequels littered the shelves. Then came January 2008, around the time of 20th anniversary of the franchise, where I first discovered this amazing site and RetroforceGo! I instantly became a fan of the show and began spiraling in the realm of retro games. My first attempt was the Mega Man series, beginning with the original NES game.
I really had no expectations for the game, no real idea what it was about aside from a blue robot shooting other robots. Most of all I had no idea how difficult the game was. Needless to say I got owned pretty bad. Everything required precision and timing that I just could not deliver. Each level found different ways to frustrate you and even if you made to the boss stage it didn’t necessarily guarantee a boss win. From Gutsman’s level that had the dropping platforms to those random helicopter robots that I couldn’t dodge in Cutman’s level. With inch of progress I made in this game it seemed I ultimately took a step backwards and always had to restart.
At first I didn’t even know about the rock/paper/scissor game play mechanic of the boss power ups. I, apparently, was making this a much more masochistic experience than it should have been. Even after acquiring this essential knowledge and some pro tips from the roommate, I just couldn’t keep going. It was a disheartening start.
Afterward I began to try other games but still kept the remaining original Mega Man games, in case I ever cared to indulge in the hurt once again.
That time came again earlier this summer when, on an internet-less vacation, boredom struck. I began playing Mega Man ZX and Mega Man II. Both games are vastly different, but yet still have the core game play essentially unchanged. Mega Man ZX, story aside, still had robot masters and pew pew action of the original, except with anime cut scenes, some voice work, flashier explosions and more useful boss power ups. Playing though Mega Man 2 I understand why so many people choose it as their favorite. I probably should have started my foray with this title. It’s solid, it still maintains that level of difficultly but with each replay you begin to feel the game became more manageable and I began to appreciate the roots of the series more. In turn Mega Man 2 made me a better Mega Man player and made the rest of Mega Man ZX a lot easier. I eventually did beat Mega Man 2 making it the first Mega Man I have ever beaten. Mega Man ZX was the second I beat, its story was a more fleshed out derivative of the originals but still satisfying.
As of writing this post, I have also completed Mega Man III which seems to be the other highly praised title in the franchise. I finally know where Rush from the TV show came from; sadly there is no Scooby-doo talk in this game. Right now I’m playing Mega Man 4 and I bought the Mega Man X Collection for my Wii. I will eventually reattempt the first game at a much later time. In the end I am very content that I kept with the series and hope to play more and am really looking forward to Mega Man 9. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.
tl;dr summary: I never played Mega Man, got owned, then I liked it. read