Community Discussion: Blog by Mike Moran | Gemnalysis: Mega Man and Bass, the true Mega Man 9Destructoid
Gemnalysis: Mega Man and Bass, the true Mega Man 9 - Destructoid


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Episode 07: Duke Nukem 3D - PC
Episode 06: Resident Evil 2 - PS1
Episode 05: Deus Ex - PC
Episode 04: Mega Man Legends - PS1
Episode 03: Jet Grind Radio - Dreamcast
Episode 02: Mega Man 4-6 - NES
Episode 01: The Neo Geo Pocket Color - NGPC

Nostaljourney is a retro gaming podcast that features an new cast every episode. Each episode is based on discussing a particular game or series, then finding people who are nostalgic for it and people who have never played it before. If need be we go so far as to donate all the necessary gaming hardware to the newcomers. We compare the experiences of the two groups to find out how well a game has really aged as well as discuss its history.

For younger community members it may be a chance to learn what gaming was like in the past. For older community members it may be a chance to discover what games are truly classic and what games are not. In general the show exists to evaluate and discuss the nature of nostalgia and for everyone in the community to get to know each other better. Because the show involves giving out free games, it only records once every couple of months.

Recent changes to the game plan will hopefully entail the show recording every 2 weeks.

Shadows of the Damned - Multiplatform
Alice: Madness Returns - Multiplatform
Dead Rising 2 - Multiplatform
Radiant Historia - Nintendo DS
Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks - Nintendo DS
Ace Attorney Investigations - Nintendo DS

Wryviews are my personal review series where I try to do things different from the norm by asking myself how well the game achieved its goal, instead of if I liked the game or not. Wryviews are a personal challenge to stay objective and identify who would enjoy a certain game, rather than complain about who wouldn't. I feel that being a good reviewer entails being able to identify each game's audience.

Mega Man and Bass - Gameboy Advance
Maken X - Dreamcast

Gemnalysis is a series where I hunt down lesser known or neglected games and make a case for playing them despite the fact that they're older. Instead of flat out reviewing these games I look at them from the perspective of a collector and go over the game's history, and special trivia it may have.

Boss Battle - Mark of the Wolves
Boss Battle + Final Match - King of Fighters 98

Fatal Impact is a series of community tournaments revolving around SNK fighters; rather, it was. I happen to host the tournaments, but only once in a blue moon when I have the free time. I accept any and all callers, though I am not an entrant. Instead I am a trainer who organizes my entrants and helps to improve their game while introducing them to new and lesser appreciated fighting games.

The Fatal Impact tournaments will likely not continue until SNK releases games with better netcode. With recent promises from Atlus, King of Fighters XIII is likely to become the next big Fatal Impact game.

King of Fighters 94
King of Fighters 95
King of Fighters 96
King of Fighters 97

The King of Fighters Love Letter is a series dedicated to the storyline and history of SNK fighting games. Many people don't know anything about SNK in general, and with King of Fighters XIII on its way I'm going to bring everyone up to speed on the story in the series thus far.

Now that King of Fighters XIII has an actual release date this series may continue beyond the first story arc (Orochi Saga), but it's difficult to find solid information on the series' backstory.

Podsumaki Episode 09: Mortal Kombat Special
Podsumaki is a fighting game podcast that I hosted on and organized. There was a lot of random smack talk but it was a fun show. Currently it's on hold and none of the hosts are sure if it will ever come back. Our last episode was our highlight, where we spoke with three of the best Mortal Kombat players in the US and discussed the Mortal Kombat community and the upcoming game. If you were to listen to any one episode of Podsumaki, I'd recommend it be this.

The Top Three Things "Gamers" Should Care About Less
Somebody on Call of Duty: Black Ops screamed at me for not being good enough at the game, even though I wasn't on his team. Thanks to that I decided to write an article on some of the biggest problems with the gaming community, mostly their inability to care about things that actually matter.

Tainted Beauty: The Death and Rebirth of a Genre
What we have here is an article revolving around the 2D fighting game genre, the path one must go through to become good at the games, and all the obstacles in the way of this that I feel eventually led to the temporary death of the genre prior to the release of games like Street Fighter IV and BlazBlue.

Wry Guides: Goozex Training Manual
Wry Guides are a series where I try to educate the people of the community by writing about something that I in particular know a lot about. More than anything else though, it's just me unleashing a bad pun upon the world.

Top 11 Dreamcast Games You Probably Didn't Play
In this article I recap my experience as a guy who loved the Dreamcast, because he grew up with it as one of his primary forms of entertainment. The games listed aren't the popular and trendy choices so much as the lesser played B-list and C-list games that only true Dreamcast veterans touched.

Hey, I liked it: Mega Man VII
Hey, I liked it was a series where I reflected on games that I'm fond of that weren't appreciated by many people. As opposed to Wryviews which are meant to be impartial, this was a much more personal series. This series might continue some day but I could really not think of a bigger black sheep game than Mega Man VII.

Wry's Dreamcast Homebrew Guide: Pre-Brewed
There was a time when I was extremely, extremely into my Dreamcast. I didn't just play tons of regular games that I found on sale, I also researched the wealth of bootleg Dreamcast programs. These days I'm a collector and I'm not concerned with unofficial software. I'm too busy playing games I actually own. Still I created a quick guide to some of the easiest and best programs available for the Dreamcast that can be used with no hassle.

Untapped potential: Stop breaking my balls
I suck at games: But not forever
My Expertise: The Grand Jackass of Obscurity
Nothing is sacred: Sequels
Groundhog Day: Can you feel the sunshine, Sonic?
I started writing about games roughly a year and a half ago, and since then my viewpoints and my writing style have changed. Destructoid's Monthly Musings were a good way for me to get started when I didn't have many article ideas. These are all the ones I wrote that were promoted to the front page. I'm not super proud of them anymore, but if you want to see my writings evolve a little bit you can compare these to my more recent articles.
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Here is what I was thinking when Mega Man 9 was first announced: "Umm... there already is a Mega Man 9. It's the one where Protoman gets cut in half and you can play as Bass. You know, the one on the Super Nintendo?" People who don't know their Mega Man history are probably thinking I'm stupid right now. Mega Man 8 was on the Playstation (and the Sega Saturn with hidden bosses!). How could Mega Man 9 possibly be on Super Nintendo?

Technically the game's codename was Mega Man 8.5, but its actual title was Rockman and Forte. Mega Man and Bass in English. Man, that game was awesome... but you probably didn't play it because it only came out in Japan. Mega Man geeks were largely aware of it, though. Emulation was big among Mega Man fans thanks to something known as sprite comics. So yeah, for the most part you had to be a pretty big nerd to know about this game when it first came out. Most people who have played it have done so on their computer, not an actual Super Nintendo. Later on a Gameboy Advance version of the game was made and released in the West so don't worry. It is possible to play this game normally.

Now it's obvious why the game isn't considered a true sequel. It's not entirely new content. Several bosses and enemies are ripped directly out of Mega Man 8, but the resulting product is such an incredibly good game that I think it deserves to be considered the real Mega Man 9. In general Mega Man and Bass is just an extremely ambitious game in the series. It has unique level structure, an extremely robust shop system, amazing graphics for a Super Nintendo game and a brilliant set of weapons. Despite all the good ideas that went into this game its single defining trait is being able to play as Bass: Mega Man's rival.

Most people probably don't know much about Bass because he was introduced in Mega Man 7. While that happens to be my absolute favorite Mega Man game, most people didn't play it or didn't like it. . He's basically the prototype of Zero from the Mega Man X series, and he's got a real inferiority complex when it comes to proving he's better than Mega Man. He's also fun as hell to play as. He can dash, double jump, shoot in all eight directions and still steal powers like Mega Man. Bass can pretty much send himself flying across a room while shooting down at enemies. Plain and simple the guy is super fun and completely changes the way the game plays. Thanks to PinkKittyRose from Youtube for providing video and commentary that helps illustrate all the differences between playing as Bass and Mega Man in this game.

I don't feel the need to go into any extreme detail about how a Mega Man game plays beyond the above video. I'm just going to stress the point that this isn't a game that should be written off. If you like action platformers this is a must play. This game is extremely hard, but at the same time it offers you more useful tools than most Mega Man games. Pretty much every weapon is powerful, and you're capable of upgrading yourself significantly in the item shop. Mega Man's upgrades tend to revolve around all his various sidekicks from the series. He can call in Beat to make himself invincible. He can phone Roll to give him advice on enemy weaknesses. He can summon Rush to dig for hidden items and he can get Eddie to fly down and give him health during a boss battle. They're very useful if you take advantage of them. Mega Man also has a couple oddball upgrades like being able to automatically charge his buster or stand still to slowly gain health.

In contrast Bass only has one sidekick upgrade, but it's a doozy where he can fuse with Treble and fly for a limited time. There's pretty much no place Bass can't reach. People like to refer to Bass as the game's easy mode, which is only partially true. He's a less balanced character than Mega Man that needs to rely heavily on upgrades and powers to win boss battles. When you start off the game with Bass it's real rough. His machine gun will work great on regular enemies but he does almost no damage to boss characters. His upgrades largely revolve around making his buster gun more useful by allowing it to do more damage or fire through walls.

One of the coolest thing about the game is the way the stage structure works. You're not immediately allowed to play any stage like in a normal Mega Man game. Instead you're allowed to select from 3 starter stages, and every time you beat one of them you're allowed to branch out to 2-3 connected stages. The brilliant thing is that there's an unseen path here: Whenever you beat one of the starter stages you're given a weapon and led directly to one of the bosses that weapon is strong against. You're also led to stage that can give you the weaknesses of one of the other starter bosses.

The weaknesses in themselves are brilliant as well. They're not the least bit standard. I'll spoil it for you with one example: Cold Man's power gives you the ability to create an ice wall. You can push that wall around and it'll slide into enemies. You're also able to jump on top of that wall and use it as a moving platform. It's an extremely useful weapon if you know what you're doing. Now typically the ice power works on the fire boss. This is still true, but it's not what you expect. Burner Man is a pain in the ass boss who dashes around the screen laying traps on the ground. When he has you cornered he sprays a stream of fire and tries to push you into a spike pit on the edge of the stage. You have to time things perfectly because Cold Man's power doesn't actually hurt Burner Man. What you need to do is block Burner Man's stream of fire with an ice wall, then push it away. If you do it right Burner Man will be pushed away to the opposite side of the stage... into the other spike pit.

Not every weakness in the game is that unusual, but none of them are extremely obvious either. Aside from Bass, the way Mega Man and Bass approaches weapons and upgrades is the other highlight of the game. On average everything is just more useful than your average Mega Man game. Even though the game isn't extremely innovative, it makes up for that by just being really well designed and at least having a few new ideas.

Mega Man and Bass is well worth the time of any Mega Man fan, but it can easily be brushed aside thanks to the argument that it's just a spinoff. I would say Mega Man and Bass is on par with the actual Mega Man 9, but it loses out just slightly thanks to Mega Man 9 having a great retro concept and an awesome soundtrack Despite that, Mega Man and Bass sits on my list of best Mega Man games ever made.

I recommend anyone interested hunt down the Gameboy Advance version that was released in 2003. It's cheap and a solid port. There's only 2 real complaints against it: The graphics and music were slightly scaled back, and Bass doesn't have a dedicated dash button. They're not enough to hold the game back, though. If you like action platformers at all you should hunt this game down.

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