Friday, July 18, 2008

The Best Game of E3 2008: Mega Man 9

With E3 over, I took a step back and asked myself, what game am I most excited about right now? Immediately I must say that Mega Man 9 has stolen my gamer heart this year.

I am a HUGE fan of the Mega Man series; sometimes nothing gives me more glee than to play through the old NES Mega Man games. Upon seeing the trailer for Mega Man 9, I nearly jumped out of my seat. The levels look so blocky and so retro and so relentlessly difficult. Upon searching for more Mega Man 9 news, EVERY preview I see from people who got to play the demo say that they loved it. 1up, IGN, Destructoid, ShackNews; everyone is raving about this game. I can't even find a negative preview of Mega Man 9.

The only universal concern that these writers have is that younger players may not enjoy the retro style or how the game is geared towards hardcore players. Personally, I doubt this will be an issue. Tons of newer gamers have played games from the 1980’s and even though they are graphically inadequate, their sheer simplicity and ingenious level design makes them so much fun to play. Graphics don’t matter when you’re having fun. There are reasons why video game companies keep making “anniversary collections” or have services like the Wii Shop Channel; the games sell like hotcakes.

Various writers have also said that the difficulty is intense, even harder than the classic NES titles. This may be off-putting to some gamers but, if you read all of the writer’s previews, most of them feel compelled to continue on and try again. Mega Man games always had the insidious quality of looking simple but being insanely hard which, I think, keeps us playing.

The music in all of the Mega Man games are also some the best examples of MIDI being used to its full potential. The songs are composed extraordinarily well, give the game a unique style and are insanely catchy. The songs are always upbeat, usually with sick bass lines and they usually have very progressive melodies. The trailer music for Mega Man 9 sounds as though it retains those qualities, and there are some quick-ass riffs thrown in there. Personally, I love this song from Mega Man II: Dr. Wily Stage 1 & 2.

For sure, I am feeling a bit of nostalgia. That feeling takes nothing away from Mega Man 9 though, as the previews looks amazing and the trailer looks like the game is so much fun. I love difficult games and Mega Man 9 is sure to deliver in that department.

Capcom has been laying on the fan service with this game, finally listening to their fans’ cries. The Mega Man 9 box art is truly hysterical; just look at the artist’s old-school horrific rendering of Mega Man. The ray gun is priceless too, especially since he has a buster arm to fire with. Even funnier, there will be no box for the game as Mega Man 9 is being released via Wiiware, PSN and XBLA. Great stuff.

Mega Man 9 is dated for Japan in September on this year. The US release shouldn’t be too far off from that since usually the time discrepancy is because of translation and localization, and there isn’t much text in Mega Man 9. My friend Chris and I plan on trying to beat this game in one night together, though we may throw something from the insane difficulty. I couldn’t imagine a better feeling than that.


Shawn said...

Dude - me wantie MM9.

Shawn said...

Can't wait to see what the world will be like in Twenty Exty Ex. :)

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