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Why the look of Mega Man 9 should raise red flags

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Demographically, I feel that I should be in the group of those who are hailing the look of the new Mega Man 9. I have been a huge fan of Mega Man since I was a kid in elementary school. I still have memories of sitting in elementary school designing Mega Man levels in my school notebook. Many of my earliest memories of quality video game music came from Mega Man (Mega Man 2 and 3 title screens, Snake Man, etc). Yet, I feel that the retro 8-bit look of Mega Man 9 does not particularly excite me and in fact raises alot of red flags for me.

So here's what bothers me about the look of Mega Man 9.

The Mega Man games started going down the tubes (4 was a decent entry but I think 5 is when it started going down) because of unmemorable bosses, unmemorable music, and largely unmemorable stage design. While the non-NES games Mega Man 7 (SuperNES) and Mega Man 8 (PS1) were not as good as the first three games, I thought that they were actually a step in the right direction. I liked alot of the changes that Mega Man 7 did by tightening up the gameplay. The game had some great stages and I especially loved the boss battles with Treble and Bass. Mega Man 8 was also far from a bad game. If anything, the game was marred for me by its horrendous voice acting (hell, it was so bad that they should have just hired the voice cast from the highly questionable Mega Man animated series) and a particular game mechanic in two stages which can be summarized as such to anyone who has played this game: "jump jump slide slide jump slide..."


Graphics are NOT the reason that former was a better game than the latter. Credit to Gamespy for the first pic and Neoseeker for the second pic.

All in all it is simply very hard for me to believe that there is an actual artistic and game-driven reason to downgrade back to an 8-bit look other than the desire to cut costs and space, which in the latter would allow for WiiWare release as well. I am not going to call it a ROM hack as the video trailer does show some interesting new gameplay mechanics and as such I do have some hope for the game's stage design. I guess I just can't shake off the feeling that this is Capcom's way of quickly making an easy buck from us by churning out an unambitious sequel. This feels especially true to me since from the other information we have about the game, we know that mechanically, this game will probably have the same gameplay and structure as an older NES Mega Man game and honestly, I am not sure I like that seeing as I liked the gameplay controls in the newer games.

I would love to be proven wrong about this and regardless, I know that I plan to pick up a copy on XBox Live and try it for myself. I guess I just don't understand why so many people are out to defend a game for no reason other than its graphics, which is hardly a criterion of quality. I feel that given the continuously declining quality of the Mega Man games, gamers have every right and should be skeptical about any game that claims to be a true sequel to this series. I just don't understand how when game series like The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear, and Super Mario Bros have shown that 8-bit icons can make a very good upgrade into 16-bit and beyond if the designers actually care enough to put in the money and effort, that people are defending this game's choice to pursue what seems to be a very unambitious sequel by pulling out all sorts of excuses about the artistic merits of the 8-bit style, all while ignoring the fact that the 7th and 8th games were praised for their graphics and that many of the Mega Man games that people generally consider bad had these same 8-bit graphics.
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About Tascarone of us since 9:27 PM on 03.03.2008

Once upon a time, back in the 8-bit and 16-bit era, I was a "hard-core" gamer. Since that time, a variety of factors ranging from money to college to real life significantly cut into my video game time. Nonetheless, I have always retained my love and interest in video games, although to a lesser extent.

At present, my video game time is generally monopolized by World of Warcraft. I play a troll mage named Moor (WoW Armory profile here) on the Nathrezim server where I am a happy member of the guild Sanity.

Current-generation consoles I own include an XBox 360, a Ps3, a Wii, a Nintendo DS, a PsP, and a PC.

I am a huge fan of video game music. In fact, I confess that many of the games I own, such as the Halo games and Rygar: The Legendary Adventure are in my collection solely because I love their incredible musical scores. I have only been able to attend one VGM event, Video Game Live's New York concert on April 26, 2008 which was an amazing experience.

During middle school and high school, I was inspired to attempt music composition after hearing the reprise of Shadow's theme that appears in the ending of Final Fantasy VI by Nobuo Uematsu and "Angel's Fear" from Secret of Mana by Hiroki Kikuta, an attempt that quickly ended due to my lack of talent with little more to show than a crappy five-song musical. The highlight of my musical career as well as my journey through video game geekdom came during an impromptu musician meet-up at the Otakon anime convention in 2003 in which I had the honor of performing the violin solo in Yasunori Mitsuda's incredible "Scars of Time" from Chrono Cross.

I have been a lurker on Destructoid for some time. I am an especially huge fan of Destructoid's three excellent podcasts, which are not only the best video game podcasts I have heard but amongst my favorite podcasts of all time. I give much credit to these podcasts for bringing about a resurgence in my interest in video games and inspiring me to think more about video games. I also give them special credit for entertaining me during a series of hospitalizations in which the only thing I had for entertainment were these podcasts saved on my Zune.

I was particularly inspired by Podtoid and randombullseye and ended up composing the music to randombullseye's game Bonerquest, my first and last foray into video game composing as I quickly came to realize, as I did back in high school, that I lacked the training and talent for the art. Nonetheless, I am grateful to randombullseye for the opportunity to have contributed to a part of an actual finished product as opposed to the unfinished sketches that populate my desk and computer hard drive.

I love writing and I often find myself discussing and writing about video games on a variety of subjects and contexts. As a high school student, I had great difficulty writing long papers or long articles and so I began to force myself to write as much as possible. By the time I was in college, writing huge amounts of text for both school and school-unrelated purposes became not only easy but rather relaxing and unenjoyable. I therefore apologize in advance because I know that a great deal of my writing will probably be far far longer than what is probably necessary or appropriate. In the past, my writings on video games found themselves in a variety of places ranging from the WoW forums, a text file on my desktop, to my friends' Xanga and MySpace pages and for some time, I have thought about consolidating my video game writing at one place, which is why I am happy that I discovered Destructoid. The Destructoid staff and community have greatly influenced my thoughts on video games and opened my eyes to things that I never saw. I hope that many writing can give a fraction of that inspiration (or at the very least some entertainment) back to the Destructoid community.
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