Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11533
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:34 pm

1. Horace (Switch)
2. Ghostrunner (Switch)
3. Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland (NES)
4. Mickey’s Safari in Letterland (NES)
5. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross (3DS)
7. World of Illusion starring Mickey & Donald (Genesis)
8. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
9. Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
10. Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
11. Portal 2 [co-op] (PS3)
12. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch)
13. The Knight of Queen (Switch)
14. Q.U.B.E. - Director’s Cut (PS3)
15. What the Golf?! (Switch)
16. Prune (iOS)
17. Kenshō (iOS)
18. For the Frog the Bell Tolls (GameBoy)
19. Holedown (iOS)
20. King’s Field (PS1)
21. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
22. MO: Astray (Switch)
23. EQI (Switch)
24. Foxyland (Switch)

Foxyland is a hop n’ bop platformer with 36 stages. It has just as much personality as any generic ‘90s mascot platformer. You can complete the game in about an hour. FUN FACT: I played it on the Switch, but it is also available, as a homebrew title, for the Sega Mega Drive.

.....

Pasting Popo’s excellent review here because we flipped to a new page. Popo’s very detailed review is way more interesting than mine, and you should read it.

MrPopo wrote:Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC
29. Wing Commander III - PC
30. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Switch
31. Shadow Man Remastered - PC
32. Wing Commander: Privateer - PC

Wing Commander: Privateer is a side entry in the Wing Commander series; instead of being a recreation of the WWII Pacific Theater it's Origin doing their own version of the classic game Elite. You're a private pilot trying to make a buck in the frontier of human space. You can trade cargo, take on missions, become a pirate, or follow the plot. But don't do that last one until you've maxed out your ship doing the first two (definitely don't do the third one, the rewards are almost non-existent).

The game features the best version of the 2D Wing Commander engine. It plays butter smooth and the enemy ships have far more angles drawn so they move much more naturalistically. Combine with a larger cockpit window and you have the most playable of the 2D Wing Commander games. Except for the whole "we kept in asteroid fields and loved to toss them around jump points that the plot sends you through."

As mentioned, the game has a plot, unlike some other space trading games. It's kinda hard to stumble upon if you don't know how to find it, as it requires you going to a specific system and going into the bar. Thing is, the game doesn't really give you reasons to go to the bar in general, as the bartender's "rumors" are awful and there's nothing else going on there. But once you find the plot you'll discover it is extremely padded. The actual plotline is a guy hires you for a mission, gives you an alien artifact as collateral, you then see three different people trying to find out what it is, finally find a fourth guy who knows and sends you to get an alien gun, the gun gets a probe to chase you, and you blow up the probe. But almost all of those plot points is wrapped in "I won't help you until you do four missions for me". What's worse is that the game balance is such that trying to do the plot without the best ship fully kitted out is a good way to get killed, which means the plot, while giving you a good amount of money, is giving you no real rewards; you have nothing left to buy.

One other thing that sets the game apart from the mainline series is the focus on humans. The factions you run into are militia, military, free traders, pirates, bounty hunters, and religious nutjobs. And every so often some Kilrathi. As a result you will be flying against different ships than you do in the mainline games, and for the most part they aren't as threatening as what you might be used to. Meanwhile a fully kitted out Centurion isn't too far off from a heavy fighter in the mainline series; fast, armored, good guns and missiles.

The game is overall kinda rough; as mentioned the plot is thin and padded and they got too happy with the asteroids. They also didn't get the balance right. Not only do you need to be fully kitted out for the plot, the game's economy is such that you'll do so in the very first system. Trading can earn you maybe 30 credits per unit on a trade route with a 225 cargo bay on the best trade ship. Meanwhile you can take a mission to visit five waypoints and afterburner past any enemies and earn 10k. And you can stack that mission with a second patrol over the same waypoints (if you're lucky) or just a couple of scout missions to a single waypoint you're already visiting, making that by far the fastest way to make cash. So while the game as a lot to do, for the most part there's not a lot compelling you to do so.

Fortunately, the game isn't terribly long and is definitely the easiest of the 2D games. So if you're interested in experiencing the 2D era of Wing Commander this might be the most approachable.
User avatar
Gunstar Green
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 4961
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:12 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Gunstar Green Sat May 01, 2021 1:54 am

MrPopo wrote:Combine with a larger cockpit window...


I see you scrubbed the early game from your memory. Flying the Tarsus is like looking out of a porthole. :lol:

Now you can probably see what I mean about Rebel Galaxy Outlaw being a straight-up Privateer remake with the names changed to protect the innocent, unfortunately including some of Privateer's warts.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23468
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Sat May 01, 2021 12:08 pm

Outlaw was so much better in every way. Though it had just as forgettable a plot. And yes, I forgot the Tarsus viewport because it never is of consequence because you should never be fighting in that thing. Just dashing around on afterburner for quick cash.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23468
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Sat May 01, 2021 8:42 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC
29. Wing Commander III - PC
30. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Switch
31. Shadow Man Remastered - PC
32. Wing Commander: Privateer - PC
33. Salt and Sanctuary - Switch

Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D Dark Souls game that demonstrates exactly why it is hard for studios to create satisfying Dark Souls knockoffs; Dark Souls (and the other From games) are carefully curated to be hard but fair. Most non-From games that try to emulate it understand the hard part, not so much the fair part. And so we come to Salt and Sanctuary.

Now, when I say it's a Dark Souls game, I mean it's a game where you start off with no real sense of what's going on, die to a neigh hopeless boss fight, collect a currency off of enemies used to level up and upgrade weapons, can build your character towards different builds (magic, different types of melee), you upgrade your weapons, you lose all that currency when you die but can recover it, and are constantly stymied by shortcut gates you have to get to the other side of to unlock them first. Oh, and you have various safe zones where you can restore your healing items while respawning enemies and you can either use a shield or dodge roll through stuff. The game literally had "let's make 2D Dark Souls" as the first line of the design document.

But there are some very notable differences. The first is there's actually two pieces of currency; salt is your stand in for souls, while gold is used for purchasing items. This actually removes a bit of the "don't want to spend" tension, as gold also only is lost in 10% increments on death. This ends up giving you the option of being able to freely use weapon buffs (more follow up on that in a bit). The second is in character upgrading; rather than just picking a stat you instead have a very large skill tree. Inside the tree are increases to all of your stats as well as other benefits, like extra healing potions and the ability to equip higher level gear. See, you're actually restricted to only being able to use gear you've skilled into in addition to satisfying the weight requirements of that gear. So if you don't have level 3 swords you can't use that level 3 sword you picked up. One important thing to note is that for the stat upgrades you can actually buy an individual node up to five times; keep this in mind when you want to start really stacking a stat so you don't waste time buying nodes you don't need to get to another node you want. Another thing to mention is the safe areas can be staffed with up to four NPCs. You need to find items in the world to do so, but this lets you customize each one for what makes sense in the area. However, teleporting from a safe zone requires an NPC (you can always teleport to any one you've visited). The NPCs are various flavors of merchants plus some other utility.

The biggest difference, though, is the 2D nature. The level layouts are now more of a Castlevania style, and there is a lot of platforming. You can ledge grab, but it can be dodgy at times. And you'll gain a handful of mobility powers like an air dash, a wall jump, the ability to invert gravity at preselected spots, and a couple for interacting with magic platforms. Here's the problem though; fall damage still exists. Now, you can fall a surprisingly long way before taking damage, but then it ramps up FAST. So there's a fairly narrow window between "no damage" and "pancake". Now add in the extreme amount of very long knockback in the game and you experience the first problem; a fuckton of bullshit deaths by being knocked off of ledges. Now, that sort of thing can happen in a proper Souls game, but it usually involves some doing and the areas are obvious. In Salt and Sanctuary you spend half the game one bad knockback away from death.

Another major problem is how the game handles boss resistances. Let's again compare with the Souls games. There you tended to see that a boss might be vulnerable to a particular element, so taking advantage of that could make things a lot easier. Salt and Sanctuary does have a similar thing, where most bosses have at least one weakness. And fortunately, all the elemental weaknesses are easy to hit thanks to the merchants. But the really shitty thing is that bosses tend to be in the form of "barely scratched by half the elements, severely hurt by the other half". This can put you in a position where the weapon you've specialized in barely tickles and you have to use the elemental buffs just to have a shot at killing the boss before dying. It's less of rewarding smart play and more of just forcing you to know weaknesses (which frequently aren't obvious).

The game has an ending only slightly better than some infamous NES games. You get a short four line poem as you drift off to sea. There are apparently multiple endings, but any of the decent ones are locked behind you doing all the right stuff with NPCs. Which is the third major problem with the game; the level design does a poor job signposting. The game has no map, which puts the onus on the developer to have great level design that carefully guides the player to where they need to go. Dark Souls has that; Salt and Sanctuary does not.

Overall, I think it's a middling game that has very prominent warts. If you get into a groove with it it starts to ease up a bit, but there's always the specter of an unfair death ready to remind you that these devs are not From Software. I think you can do better.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
 
Posts: 21849
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Ack Sat May 01, 2021 10:50 pm

1. Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard (PC)(Adventure)
2. Revulsion (PC)(FPS)
3. Nonogram - Master's Legacy (PC)(Puzzle)
4. Sekiro (PC)(Action-Adventure)
5. Grim Dawn (PC)(Action RPG)
6. Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth (PC)(Action RPG)
7. Grim Dawn: Forgotten Gods (PC)(Action RPG)

8. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage (PC)(FPS)
9. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
10. Shrine (PC)(FPS)
11. Record of Lodoss War - Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (PC)(Adventure)
12. Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (PC)(Action)
13. Red Alliance (PC)(FPS)
14. The Forest (PC)(Horror)

Somewhere over a remote peninsula in Canada, your plane suddenly nosedives. When you come to, you find yourself on the ruined remains of the rear fuselage, your only companion a dead stewardess with an emergency ax stuck in her. The other passengers are gone, including your young son, Timmy. Thankfully, you're some kind of crazy survivalist reality show personality, so you know how to hunt, build shelter, and make fire. Unfortunately, the peninsula is also home to tribes of mutant cannibals. Good luck getting Timmy back.

Imagine a man, dressed in a loincloth, his skin dyed white with ash. He stands upright, he has a muscular build, and there is a row of CDs strung together with strips of cloth as jewelry around his shoulders. And he's wielding a club made from a human skull on a stick with dismembered hands slung to it. He's going to kill and eat you, under the watchful eye of his chief. You can tell who the chief is, because he has a skull totem and severed arms splayed out like wings on his back. As you run from this fight, you find the remains of the survivors, where they were butchered, gutted, left up as grisly reminders to mark territory or wait to be a future food source. If you're lucky, you'll be able to fight back. And you have to survive against a tough enemy. You've got to be tough too, and they say you are who you eat, so...

Of course, this is just the outside world, where the cannibals patrol the forest as you try to explore, build shelter, and protect yourself from their encroachments. There are also the caves, the dark dens where even nastier cannibals dwell, along with things that are much worse, things out of David Cronenberg's fevered nightmares. And you're going to have to face them if you want to find Timmy again.

Yeah, The Forest is like Minecraft, if Minecraft looked less blocky and more realistic and also required you butcher and get butchered like in Cannibal Holocaust. In fact, 1970s/80s Italian cannibal exploitation films such as Man from Deep River and Cannibal Ferox were some of the main influences on the game, along with other horror films like The Descent, The Thing, and so on. Survival games like Don't Starve were also important, though you could draw lines back to the likes of Robinson's Requiem in the mid-90s.

Bottom line, it's survive or perish, kill or be killed. And then it's all about base building, because who doesn't want nice log benches and skull lamps beside your cabin while you wait for the arms of your dead foes to dry out like jerky? While I did go through the game in single player, I've also been doing it in multiplayer with friends, and you know what? They find me scarier than the cannibal tribes.

I like The Forest. I recommend it if you like horror in your video games and you don't want Eli Roth's Green Inferno to be the cannibal film genre's last real hurrah.
Image
Image
I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
User avatar
Tiduas
16-bit
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:16 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Tiduas Sun May 02, 2021 5:16 pm

I recently completed Rocket Knight Adventures for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive and ended up liking the game so much that I made a video out of it where I tried to gather my thoughts about it.

Link to it here: https://youtu.be/A5n5E34n8uQ.
(if it's not okay to post this link here, please tell me but I hope it's within the context of this thread, only in a different format).

Although I rarely post here on the forums I like to lurk from time to time, love seeing all your finishing thoughts on many of the games you finish.
My YouTube channel with a focus on mainly retro and indie titles:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0ykdF ... yJNpHEeY3Q

I made a browser game where you guess from which game the images comes from:
https://www.namethevideogame.com/
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 8054
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Henderson, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Sun May 02, 2021 8:53 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 28
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. God of War - PlayStation 3 - January 1
2. God of War II - PlayStation 3 - January 2
3. God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation 3 - January 3
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation 3 - January 4
5. God of War III - PlayStation 4 - January 6
6. God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3 - January 9
7. God of War [2018] - PlayStation 4 - January 16
8. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - PlayStation 4 - January 16
9. God of War: Betrayal - Mobile - January 17
10. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Switch - January 18
11. Muv-Luv photonflowers* - Steam - January 22
12. Muv-Luv photonmelodies♮ - Steam - January 27


February (5 Games Beaten)
13. Gun Gun Pixies - Switch - February 1
14. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS4 - February 8*
15. Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s - Vita - February 13
16. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4 - February 17*
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Steam - February 23


March (3 Games Beaten)
18. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - Steam - March 4
19. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd - Steam - March 7
20. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - PS4 - March 21


April (7 Games Beaten)
21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5
22. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 00 - Steam - April 7
23. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 01 - Steam - April 10
24. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 02 - Steam - April 11
25. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 03 - Steam - April 13
26. Neptunia Virtual Stars - PS4 - April 18
27. Before Your Eyes - Steam - April 18


May (1 Games Beaten)
28. New Pokemon Snap - Switch - May 2


28. New Pokemon Snap - Switch - May 2

Image

For 22 years, every millennial Nintendo fan has been waiting for a new Pokemon Snap game. It seemed odd that the Wii never got one. It seemed weird that the Wii U never got one. It seemed downright bizarre that the 3DS never got one. At long last, though, on the Switch, a dream 22 years in the making as been realized. We finally have New Pokemon Snap. Stupid title aside, this game is everything I had hoped and prayed that it would be.

Image

In terms of the basic game mechanics, this is pretty much exactly like the original Pokemon Snap but smoother, modernized, and streamlined. You can zoom your camera, you can take pictures, you can throw apples, you can throw a non-edible projectile, and you can zoom. You can also play a flute of sorts and - after you beat the story part of the game and see the credits - you can enable burst fire to take three, four, or six pictures in rapid succession with a single button press as opposed to just the one picture. It's still a rail shooter at its core, so you don't get any free movement, but even if you didn't go into this game expecting that to be the case, you get used to it pretty quickly.

Image

The story has you play as a young aspiring photographer who travels to the Lental region to work with Professor Mirror (it bothers me more than you would think that his name isn't a type of tree) to help him work on a ecological survey of the region. He's also assisted by a young girl named Rita, Todd from the original game, and Todd's annoying apprentice, Phil. You go through each of the region's six islands (a total of twelve locations) taking pictures of the Pokemon there and investigating the "illumina" Pokemon, powerful Pokemon which exhibit a strange bioluminescence ability. Each Pokemon you photograph gets entered into your Photodex, and each Pokemon has four types of poses you can photograph denoted by one to four stars. The number of stars have no impact on the photo's score, but the score will determine whether the photo is awarded a bronze, silver, gold, or diamond star. That's my first complaint with the game - it can be difficult if not nearly impossible to tell exactly what the game wants you to photograph the Pokemon doing in order to get each of the four star categories. Most of them I just stumbled upon, but there are a still a lot that are blank in my Photodex because I got frustrated and gave up on figuring out.

Image

There are a total of 214 Pokemon in New Pokemon Snap of which ten are legendary. As far as I'm aware, the legendary Pokemon aren't available until after you beat the story portion of the game and see the credits. Each of the areas you can explore has a research level from 1 to 3 (you can level up from 3 to MAX but it doesn't seem to change anything), and the higher the research level, the more Pokemon will appear. While I still have a couple areas at level 2, you'll need at least most of them at level 3 in order to photograph every Pokemon in the game, and if you're anything like me, you'll want to photograph them all. The models are absolutely gorgeous - especially the illumina Pokemon - and while the character models in Sword and Shield looked fine in my opinion, New Pokemon Snap really harnesses the full extent of the Switch's power to make these Pokemon as good as they can.

Image

While it's pretty limited and only functions as a leaderboard and for picture sharing, New Pokemon Snap does have online connectivity. You can compare you Photodex rating with the other players around the world, the other players of your language, and the other players on your friends list. You can also edit pictures saved to your album with borders, filters, and art and upload those (up to six at a time) to your profile for the world to see. Other players can give your pictures "Sweet" awards; these don't do anything except make you feel nice, but it is cool to see which pictures of yours catch the interest of random folks online. You can also customize your player icon, your badge, and your catchphrase. At a certain point in the game, you can enable the option to have Professor Mirror automatically upload his favorite pictures to two additional slots on the side of your profile although I never did figure out the criteria for what he considers worth uploading. You can see a screenshot of my profile below for reference.

Image

New Pokemon Snap may not be a perfect game, but it's damn close. It's definitely everything I ever dared to hop a second Pokemon Snap game would be. Pokemon spinoffs are rarely big enough to be considered "system sellers" on their own, but honestly, I had enough fun with this one to be willing to say that it deserves the title. It took me right at 26 hours to clear the game to credits (although I did admittedly spend six or seven of those hours obsessive-compulsively scouring the first area until I gave up on completing every optional request the game throws at you) and additional four or five hours to hunt down the legendary Pokemon and the last couple that were missing from my Photodex. It may not be the longest game in the world, but it took me longer to reach the credits than Pokemon Shield did, and it's significantly longer than the original Pokemon Snap. If you're a fan of Pokemon, you absolutely have to at least check this game out. The rail shooter genre isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there's an enormous amount of chill fun to be had here.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

Image
User avatar
PartridgeSenpai
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 2832
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:27 am
Location: Northern Japan

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Mon May 03, 2021 3:39 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)
34. Mole Mania (GB)
35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)
36. Rock Man 4 (Famicom) *
37. Wai Wai World (Famicom)
38. Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (GB)

Mega Man Marathon

Playing through Rock Man 4 scratched a Mega Man itch I didn't realize I had been feeling for a while. But I guess it didn't so much as relieve the itch, so much as make me realize just what a bad need for Mega Man I had XD. I've spent the last week playing or replaying (more often the latter) through the classic Mega Man games via the collections on Switch, as they've been on sale lately in Japan, so they were well below their usual far-higher-than-the-US-eShop prices XD. For all of these except Mega Man 2, it's been quite a while since I've played them (like 7+ years at least), so it was re-learning things I loved (or really did not love ^^;) all over again~

----

39. Mega Man (Switch) *

The game that started it all. I've known for a while that it's not my favorite, and I've beaten it a fair few times, but to get a good overview of the whole series, I knew I just had to start with this one. It took me about two or so hours to get through the Japanese version of the game (which I think is more or less identical to the US release I'm more familiar with).

The first Mega Man game only boasted six robot masters instead of the eight that would become standardized with its sequel, and the story is fairly simple and really not present in the game at all. Dr. Light and Dr. Wily used to work together, but Dr. Wily felt scorned by Light's success, and hijacked their robots created together to try and take over the world. Having a "strong sense of justice", Rock volunteered to become transformed into a fighting machine, and Mega Man was born. It sets up the action, and does all it needs to in terms of setting the stakes and giving us opportunities for fun character designs.

The level design is for the most part pretty solid, but it can definitely feel a bit mean at times with some jumps it demands of you. There are tight timings all over the place as well as certain sections (such as the platforms that shoot bullets in Ice Man's stage) where you feel like you need to be lucky as much as skillful to get past. The biggest thing that makes this game feel so much weirder and more difficult than later games is how Mega Man himself controls. You can jump and shoot, but he feels very slippery, like every stage is some kind of ice stage, and it makes the more tricky jumps way harder than they need to be. They also have the particularly mean element of having a weapon you get as a platforming aid that is actually findable in a level, and if you miss it, you can't complete Wily's stages and you need to go back and get it (if you even remember where it is). That's not an unforgivable sin, but it's a mistake the later games thankfully never repeat. It's far from the meanest stage design on the Famicom, especially for the time, but it's definitely a far cry from even Mega Man 2 in just how unpolished it can feel.

This being a Mega Man game, of course it has the function where you beat a boss and get its power to use for yourself. However, like the stage design, the bosses are also very clearly just the first entry in the series, as they range in quality widely, but often lie in the "not very fun" part of the scale. Bosses like Ice Man and Bomb Man have pretty good and clear patterns that make them pretty fun to fight, but bosses like Fire Man and Elec Man feel more like challenges in rushing them down with their weaknesses before they can mulch you to death. The same goes for the bosses of the fortresses, with the infamous Yellow Devil being particularly nightmarish if you don't use the pause trick with Elec Man's weapon to just cheese him down. Though I will say, I do quite like the Wily Machine fight, even though that type of final Wily fight is improved upon in later games.

The presentation is pretty solid for the time, but definitely one of the weaker entries in the series. The music is often good in Mega Man, but I'd say the first game's tunes are just okay. Though the graphics are quite pretty, they're also very of their time. However the enemy and boss designs do still stand the test of time, with bosses like Guts Man being still so incredibly iconic, not to mention Mega Man's design being just so well done. There's a good reason they stuck with that sprite for so long, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. Mega Man 1 isn't a bad game, but it's a rough game to go back to. The slippery controls, tricky platforming, and annoying boss designs make it really stand out compared to the later games in the series. It's still a very good action platformer when compared to a lot of other stuff on the Famicom, but it is still very much an unpolished stone.

----

40. Mega Man 2 (Switch) *

This is one I've played a lot over the years, between having it on my Wii Virtual Console as a kid and then having easy access to it on my NES Classic and Famicom Mini, but I wanted to review it properly here particularly because I finally beat it on Difficult mode. That was always something I saw as "just too unreasonable" simply out of its reputation, but I finally tackled and conquered it recently, and it really brought a lot of perspective about the game's design to me. I beat the game on Normal and Difficult mode, and it took me a little over an hour to beat it on each.

Mega Man 2's story is pretty bog simple, with it basically just being that Dr. Wily is back and more determined to conquer the world this time! This time instead of just six robot masters, he's brought along eight of them! The stages here, particularly Wily's Fortress stages, are overall longer and more polished than the first game's. Mega Man 2 sets the trend for the rest of the series in taking what came before and making it generally "more" and "better polished". Though not every entry in the series could hold up to that standard, Mega Man 2 is a strong first step forward.

The stage design in Mega Man 2 is very highly improved from the first game. First and most importantly is the fact that Mega Man's movement has been tightened up a LOT. He's still a little slippy, but he controls way more precisely and intuitively than the first game, and it raises the quality of the platforming of the game as a whole significantly. Secondly is that you now get several "Items" for defeating a few bosses instead of just their signature weapons. These Item weapons allow you to skip or make easier certain platforming challenges, although they are required for several sections of Wily's stages. The gimmicks are generally more interesting and fair compared to the first game, and it feels like the game isn't trying to mulch you quite as often. There are still some rough stages, as I think the instant-kill lasers in Quick Man's stage make it a pretty strong contender for one of the worst stages in the NES series, but overall the stages feel fair and fun to go through.

The bosses have been improved for the most part from the first game as well. On Normal mode I find them a little too easy at times, as some die absurdly fast to your normal mega buster weapon, but the last few bosses feel a bit too hard on Difficult mode. I think there's a happy medium possible between the two, but overall each difficulty mode gives you a nice modicum of control over just how hard you want bosses and normal enemies to be (and that's especially true given that this game finally adds E-tanks you can use for mid-fight health refills). Their patterns are more often consistent and readable, with bosses like Bubble Man and Heat Man being super fun fights. However you have some bosses that are just a bit too fast and frustrating to be much fun to kill with anything but their weaknesses, like Crash Man or Quick Man. The final Dr. Wily fights are overall pretty fun, but the fortress bosses are pretty bad. They're either really easy like the Guts Man Tank, or cheap and needlessly difficult feeling like Picopico-kun (the one that is composed from platforms) or the Boobeam Trap (which is easily one of the worst bosses in the entire series). They're a mixed bag of quality, to be sure, but they're ultimately a meaningful step forward for the series.

The presentation of Mega Man 2 is definitely one of the highlights of the series. You have the colorful, quality enemy and boss designs, sure, but the music really stands out here. Damn near every track is one of the best in the series, with the famous first song of Dr. Wily's stages being a well-deserved classic of 8-bit tunes.


Verdict: Highly Recommended. It's not my favorite in the series, and it's honestly not even close, but it's still a game I really like a very good action platformer on the NES. Probably one of the biggest things that would make me recommend it as the first game someone plays in the genre is how easy it is compared to most of the others (although I still wouldn't say it's "easy", just "easier" XD). It's certainly outshined by several of its NES brethren, but I think it's damn impressive just how steep an improvement Mega Man 2 is compared to where the series started.

----

41. Mega Man 3 (Switch) *

Mega Man 3 was the third Mega Man game I had on Wii Virtual Console as a kid, so it's another one I'm relatively familiar with, but like Mega Man 1, it's a game I had forgotten a reasonable bit about beyond which boss's weapon is good against whom. It took me around an hour and a half to beat the Japanese version of the game.

This game's story throws a bit of a twist into it. Dr. Wily claims to have learned his lesson and mended his ways, and he's going to work with Dr. Light again to build Gamma, a BIG robot who will ensure that there's world peace for all. All that needs to happen first is that Mega Man needs to defeat eight robot masters led by the mysterious Break Man and get the energy they have so that Gamma can be completed. Of course Break Man turns out to be Proto Man, and Dr. Wily runs off with Gamma once Mega Man has completed his quest, but it adds a bit of flavor and sets the action up just fine, as the other games also do.

The stage design is again fine tuned just a bit more to once again be excellent, and part of that is due to Mega Man's new ability: dashing. Holding down and pressing A allows you to zoom along the floor for a brief time, and it gives you a much higher ability to dodge enemy attacks and stage traps than you did before. While the first eight robot master stages are quite good, where the game takes a bit of a dive is in the four stages that follow. At that point, Doc Robot (a poor translation of "Dokurobotto", with "Dokuro" meaning "Skull", referring to his skull-shaped head) hijacks four of the stages and makes them harder than before. A lot of them being harder involves just adding a bunch more spikes and traps that makes them far more difficult to get through. It makes a game that is otherwise really tightly designed feel far more unfair, and it's a real shame. You do once again have unlockable platforming aids in the form of Mega Man's new doggy sidekick Rush, but that doesn't save the game's platforming from the uneven quality of the first eight from the latter four (though Wily's stages that follow are better, albeit a bit short).

Where this game really starts to shine for me is in the robot master and boss fights. The addition of the dash means that you have a lot more mobility to get under and around bosses when they jump, and the boss fights overall get a lot more technical. They're not all perfect, with some like Top Man being far too easy and Spark Man feeling a bit too mobile still, but fights like Magnet Man and Snake Man are great, challenging fun. This game even manages to have quite good Wily fortress fights, with the Yellow Devil MKII being a particular highlight. The only really sour part here is once again with Doc Robot, who appears twice in each of his four stages toting a particular weapon from a Mega Man 2 boss. It's more than just an homage though, as Doc Robot is harder versions of those, largely owing to his larger size compared to most of those bosses, but here Mega Man 2's somewhat rough boss design rears its ugly head. Doc Robot's tough stages and overly tough boss designs push the formerly manageable Mega Man 2 robot masters into pretty rough slogs quite often requiring using E-tanks to heal through. It isn't a deal breaker, but it's again a pretty unfortunate mark on a game that's otherwise much more polished than that.

The presentation, however, is once again excellent. The graphics are a bit better detailed once again, and the boss designs are as well done and iconic as ever. The music too is excellent, as like Mega Man 2 you have a ton of really banging main stage themes. I wouldn't say there are quite as many really good tunes in this game as there are in Mega Man 2, but there are still a lot I really love, like Magnet Man's and Snake Man's.


Verdict: Highly Recommended. Again, not my favorite in the series, but one I do ultimately like better than Mega Man 2. Warts and all, I think Mega Man 3 does manage to stand above its predecessor, particularly in how much better its boss fights are and how good its platforming sections manage to be. Both are definitely worth playing, but I think Mega Man 3 manages to be just thaaaaat much better in my book, and it's definitely an NES action game that still stands the test of time.

----

-- Mega Man 4 (Switch)

I've already reviewed this game recently, but I figured I should put the link to that here as to be consistent in formatting~.

----

42. Rock Man 5 (Famicom) *

Mega Man 5 is the only one of the bunch that I actually played through on my Famicom rather than on the Switch collection, and I actually played through it before Mega Man 1, but I'm putting it here order-wise for the sake of consistent formatting XD. Mega Man 5 was a game I only played through once on the Anniversary Collection when I was younger, so this was a game I remembered far far less of than the first three games. It ended up taking me around four hours to beat the Japanese version of the game.

Mega Man 5 has a bit of a different take on the story again, and does a bit of a fake out like Mega Man 4 did. Proto Man has suddenly turned traitor, and he kidnaps Dr. Light! He tells Mega Man to defeat his eight robot masters before taking him on directly if he wants Dr. Light returned safely, and Mega Man of course sets off to the task. In the end, "Proto Man" turns out to be Dark Man in disguise, and it was Dr. Wily behind it all the whole time (of course), but the scene where the real Proto Man saves you from the fake one is a really well done, text-less cutscene for the NES. It helps set up the action just fine, as the other NES games do.

However, story aside, Mega Man 5 is a pretty steep blip in quality from the generally upward trend with saw with the previous four games. Mega Man 5's stages often feel like they repeat the same thing too often and are far longer than they need to be, so they end up feeling a bit empty as a result. You also have a fair few stages, especially Crystal Man's, that have really unfair-feeling traps that require either super reflexes or downright luck to get past. They also have a letter of "MEGAMAN5" hidden in each of them, and you'll really want those if you want to unlock this game's hidden weapon: the new birdy companion Beat! They aren't awful, and I definitely wouldn't say this game's stages are worse than Mega Man 1's if only because of how much better this game controls, but they're still definitely one of the weakest among the NES games in quality.

The boss designs are also less than stellar compared to most of the others in the series. You still have your chargeable mega buster from Mega Man 4, thankfully, and it's also even better because it now unleashes a much larger projectile. But this is one of the few saving graces of this game. While this game does tend to be fairly easy with how often it gives you extra lives and health powerups compared to previous entries, the bosses also tend to be disappointingly easy in just how simple their patterns are. It often didn't even feel worth trying to use their weaknesses on them, as they're just so easily beaten with the mega buster. But on the flip side of that, you have Dark Man's stages and his bosses, which you REALLY want Beat for, as he's their weakness. The Dark Man bosses are generally really tough and not in a fun way, and drag this game down just like Doc Robot did in Mega Man 3, but even moreso. Wily's stage's bosses are pretty good, but that doesn't make up for just how short and unimpressive their stages are, and the whole thing ends up feeling way more rough than you'd expect after an entry as good as Mega Man 4.

The presentation is pretty good, but it's still a far cry from the goodness that was Mega Man 2 and 3. Dark Man's stages have a pretty good theme, but other than that, most of the music is pretty forgettable. The graphics are quite pretty though, with the robot masters and other bosses looking as nice and well-designed as ever.


Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. While I wouldn't put this below Mega Man 1 in quality if only for the reason that it has tighter controls, that's still damning with faint praise. Mega Man 5 is a really disappointing game not only because it's so mediocre, but also considering the games it followed. It's still a good NES action game, but just how rough this entry is makes its existence very confusing in the series.

----

43. Mega Man 6 (Switch)

This was another game I had on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection as a kid, but it was the only one on that collection I never ended up completing. There was a Wily stage boss so tough I simply couldn't get past it, so I never did. I aimed to fix that this time, and I finally completed the last of the NES entries that had escaped me in my youth. It took me around two hours to complete the Japanese version of the game.

Mega Man 6's story once again takes the route that 4 and 5 did with the "fake real bad guy", this time in the guise of Dr. X, a character who has collected eight of the world' strongest robots and aims to take over the world (all the while looking VERY SUSPICIOUSLY like Dr. Wily ;b). Again, it's nothing really special, but it does give us an excuse to have a more globe-trotting look to our robot masters (several of which are also quite casually racist XP).

This entry is probably the easiest of the NES entries, but it's also one that has some of the tightest design. Putting a neat spin on the idea of using Rush as your platforming buddy, you now no longer have him as a transforming machine you ride, but now you fuse with him to transform! There are two mode, one for punching and one for a sort of hover/double jump jet boost combo, and the best part about them is that they have recharging energy! Finally, the issue the other five games struggled with, that your platforming weapon can run out of energy forcing you to grind for more, has been solved. Of course, this isn't entirely true, as the rideable arrow shot you can also get has limited energy, but it's a BIG step in the right direction. The stage design is overall very solid and well put together, and is probably one of the more consistently fair feeling of the NES entries (particularly with how kind it is about health and life powerups).

The bosses are also overall quite good. You once again have your dash and chargeable mega buster, and much like Mega Man 4, most all the bosses are quite tightly and fairly designed, leading to some very satisfyingly technical and challenging boss fights. The only real issue, if it can be called as such, is that a lot of the bosses, particularly the non-robot masters (though some of them are also like this), are just too easy. Mega Man 6 is by no means an "easy" game, by most standards, but compared to the other games, the challenges it offers can feel a bit unsatisfying at times despite how well designed they are. It's not a flaw in the empirical sense, to be sure, but it something that made this game hit a bit less well for me than I hoped it would.

The presentation is another mixed bag like Mega Man 5's was. Graphically, this is definitely the prettiest of the NES games, with the robot masters especially being very well detailed and impressive looking. However, the music here just isn't really anything to write home about compared to the glory days of Mega Man 2 and 3. It's still good music, but not an all-star track like those ones.


Verdict: Highly Recommended. Out of the old games, I think this one sits just below Mega Man 4 in quality for me. It's got some disappointingly easy places and some rough design bits involving the new Rush fusions, but it's still a really tightly designed game that does a good job of righting the ship after how rough Mega Man 5 was.

----

44. Mega Man 7 (Switch) *

This was yet another game I only beat once when I was younger on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, but I had generally positive memories of it. I remembered it as "another one" of a generally positive slew of Mega Man games post-Mega Man 3. Hooooo boy, was I in for a surprise going through it again this time XP. It took me about three hours to complete the Japanese version of the game.

Mega Man 7 is the first entry in the classic series on the Super Nintendo, but it still has a fairly simple story. Taking place soon after Mega Man 6, Dr. Wily had a back-up army ready to break him out of jail, and it's up to Mega Man to put him back there once again! You're assisted by your new robot friend Auto, who runs a shop you can buy power ups at, and you're going against a rival made by Dr. Wily, Bass (and his Rush-analogue named Treble), but it's still an ultimately quite simple and typical story for Mega Man.

Despite not being anywhere close to Mega Man's first outing on a 16-bit console (both Mega Man X and X2 were out already), you would think this was the second Mega Man game ever with how many mistakes they make. In order to get Mega Man to be a big and detailed sprite, he's, well, BIG. he takes up a lot of real estate on the screen compared to how much he did on the NES, and it ends up feeling a lot more like the Game Boy entries in many less than positive ways. Your hitbox is often unclear, so getting onto ladders is often frustrating (not to mention how that makes fighting enemies harder), and how big arenas/areas are compared to how big the screen is can make some bosses like Cloud Man feel far more frustrating than they need to. The game's stages overall just have far more mean and unfair-feeling traps than you had in previous games, even in Mega Man X, and it makes them far less fun to replay as a result if you're hunting for the hidden items (which this game has very similarly to how Mega Man X did) or just going for yet another attempt at a boss.

This game's bosses are also harmed by how big you are and generally feel really unpolished. Mega Man feels slow and heavy a lot of the time, despite his ground-dash, and bosses frequently feel way more mobile than you. I very often only tried to kill them with just the mega buster once, if even that, because my expectations for how fun they'd even be to fight were lowered so much by the end of things. The final boss has a reputation for being a really tough bastard, deliberately designed to be "impossible without an E-tank", and that's a well deserved reputation. Dr. Wily is about as difficult as he'd ever be, and is just one huge cherry on the sundae of generally unpolished and needlessly difficult bosses this game is plagued with.

The presentation of the game is fine, but not really what you'd expect by now. While the graphics are very pretty, their largeness and prettiness comes at the expense of the level design (in my opinion), and while the music is nice, it's never nearly as good as the music in Mega Man X. None of the presentation is bad, per se, but it doesn't exactly impress when compared to Capcom's previous SNES titles even in just this series.


Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. I recommend this game really only in the view that it's still ultimately a fairly solid game compared to a lot of other SNES action titles. However, as a Mega Man game, it's a severe disappointment. It was developed over only three months, and damn if it doesn't feel like it. While within that frame of reference, it's still super remarkable that Mega Man 7 is even as good as it actually is, it's still a really unpolished experience that will likely frustrate just as often as it entertains, and if you were going to skip any entry in the classic Mega Man series, it should really be this one. I know some people hold this up as their favorite Mega Man game, but I just cannot see the appeal when I compare it to what came before (let alone what came later).

----

45. Mega Man 8 (Switch) *

While this IS another one I've beaten before, I only kinda think I've beaten it before, as I remembered just about nothing at all about this game. It's very possible I've actually mis-remembered beating it as a kid, since there is SO little about this game I recalled compared to other games I've only beaten once like Mega Man 7. Nevertheless, I've beaten it here again, and it took me around four hours to 100% the Japanese version game.

Mega Man 8 was released quite closely to Mega Man X4, and it shares some similarities in its presentation and story in that regard. You have a lot of animated anime cutscenes that get you up to speed that are really well voice acted in Japanese and very infamously poorly voice acted (even for the time) in English ^^;. Investigating a "meteorite" that has crashed on a remote island that was a former Dr. Wily base, Mega Man finds a crashed robot from space, Duo, as well as shards of some horrible enemy he was fighting before he crashed. However, Dr. Wily gathers up the evil bits and plans to use them for his own devices, and Mega Man is here to stop him! Honestly, while he may be cool, Duo's presence in the story feels fairly contrived and unimportant, even for a Mega Man game ^^;. But the story isn't really why we're here. We're here for action and shooting, and this game thankfully delivers on that, albeit in its own strange way.

Made so much later and on the PS1 to boot, Mega Man 8 feels like a serious black sheep of the classic series, and in many ways it feels more like a spin-off of the X series. The stages are fun, and have two sections with a continue point in the middle (just like Mega Man X4), and they also have gimmicks quite frequently, such as a shoot'em up-style section, or the infamously difficult snowboarding sections.

I honestly have trouble articulating exactly how they don't quite feel like classic Mega Man levels, but I think it's down to the pacing of their design. Between the traversal gimmicks and even the traversal powers such as the grappling hook, the stages have a much different pacing to them. The move to much larger areas full of platforms and away from the very room/corridor-based quicker action of the previous titles also contributes to this. Heck, they even remove E-tanks (and give you different mid-stage healing), give you dedicated mega buster and special weapon buttons, and there's even the new weapon the Mega Ball which you can use to get up to some interesting platforming shenanigans. This isn't to say that Mega Man 8 is bad, so much as I understand why it is such a divisive entry in the series, as it is definitely not Mega Man as it'd been before. While I quite liked how the stages worked, I can easily understand people not gelling with how this game does its thing.

Another change they've thankfully done is made the camera zoomed out more and made Mega Man smaller, and that contributes both to better feeling stage design as well as better boss fights. The robot masters make for really entertaining and technical fights, and you can really feel the inspiration from the X-series in just how much you'll need to dash and utilize your special weapons in order to defeat them. Bosses are no longer quite so comically weak to their weaknesses, so even if you're fighting them "the easy way", you'll need to stay on your toes to win these fights. That approach to boss design as well as the removal of E-tanks does ultimately make this a bit of a harder game than a lot of the earlier Mega Man games, but it's thankfully more so a good challenging than a frustrating challenge.

The presentation is really well done, as you'd hope for with an early-/mid-life PS1 game. The animated cutscenes are, as mentioned before, very pretty, but the in-game sprites are also highly detailed and full of character. The VA for the bosses gives them just a bit more personality that brings them to life in a way previous bosses weren't. You also have a more electronic music-style of soundtrack, and while that isn't so much my jam compared to music in the older classic games or in the X series, it's still really quality.


Verdict: Highly Recommended. Mega Man 8 is a divisive Mega Man game and it really deserves that reputation. It's classic Mega Man as he'd never been (and, at least since then, never be in the future) imagined again, and I really understand people not enjoying that. It's so unique and quirky that it's actually pretty hard for me to feel super good about comparing it to other entries in the series, but despite that it's still a game I enjoyed a lot. It's not my favorite in the series, but I still enjoyed it way more than I thought I would, to the point I'm even considering trying to hunt down the hella expensive and rare Saturn version because it adds a couple extra optional bosses and has remixed music~

Special shoutout to my friend DogStrong for helping me through the game, and appreciating it even more ^w^ <3

----

46. Mega Man 9 (Switch) *

Thanks to my big brother's game collection, I was quite the retro gamer when I was little, so despite being only 12 when it came out, I was really excited for Mega Man 9 and bought it right when it came out back in 2008. It's been more than 12 years since I last played the game, so I had forgotten just about everything about it except for sorta what order to fight the bosses, but I was super pleasantly surprised by what I found. I knew people said Mega Man 9 was good, and I went in ready to be met with just a middling game, but heck am I glad to have been wrong. It took me around an hour and a half to finish the Japanese version of the game.

Eight robot masters are once again trying to take over the world, but this time it's allegedly Dr. Light controlling them! Dr. Light is thrown in prison, and it's Mega Man's job to help prove him innocent! Mega Man 9 was made some 12 years after Mega Man 8, and it was quite the event back when it was announced. The story is very well aware of the twisted, awkward road that Mega Man had stumbled through (such as the later Mega Man X games) and the somewhat Sonic-like reputation the Blue Bomber had gained over the years, so this game is quite tongue-in-cheek with its story quite often (down to the point where they even made deliberately awful box art for it just like the American game boxes for Mega Man used to have X3). The news anchor is dressed like Chun Li from Street Fighter, Wily uses a Swiss bank account, Roll rides around dangerously on the Rush jet, and the animations on some of the stills used for narration and cutscenes are hilarious. Sure it turns out that, of course, Dr. Wily is behind it all, but it's a lighthearted return to the good old days as you remember them being, and not just in the 8-bit graphical style.

Mega Man 2 is a game that's really tightly designed for the time, but it's got a lot of problems when you look back at it with some two or three decades of hindsight. However, Mega Man 9 is how good you REMEMBER Mega Man 2 being. Mega Man is back to only his pea shooter and Rush (no ground dashing or charge buster), but despite that this game is still just so well made. Traps and enemies are almost always in places they can be reasonably dealt with, and though there are a couple places where things feel less than fair, just how well put together the rest of the game is makes the odd blip in fairness that much more noticeable. It might take you a bit of trial and error to get enemy or platform patterns down, but every challenge can be gotten through with the right timing, patience, and use of special weapons. The special weapons in this game are especially worth mentioning because so many of them, like the concrete shot, have uses outside of combat for getting rid of enemy platforms, grabbing out of the way items, or just a little boost to get you through a tough spot. It's hard to put into words exactly *how* Mega Man 9 is so tightly designed, but those wizards at Inti Creates only heckin' went and did it.

Another place the quality of the design extends to is the boss design, and they're easily a handful of the best fights in the series. Again, despite having no charge shot or ground dash, you always feel super well equipped to take on these bosses with only your mega buster, and I had a blast taking them down without their special weaknesses in a way I've never had in the older entries. All of the bosses are really well designed, technical fights that vary in difficulty (Concrete Man is definitely the hardest out of the first eight bosses) but never in quality, and it makes the boss rush time attack mode a blast as well.

The presentation is also top of the line. Sure, the graphics are great and in a very 8-bit style (though they're of a quality that they probably wouldn't've run on an actual old NES), but plenty of Mega Man games are pretty. What plenty of Mega Man games are NOT is full of awesome music, and that is where Mega Man 9 shines. It's like we're back to the old days of Mega Man 2 and 3 with just how heckin' great basically every track in the game is, and I am all here for a return to basics like that.


Verdict: Highly Recommended. Throughout my marathon of playing Mega Man, I was thinking a lot about which entry in the series was my favorite, but that thinking stopped with Mega Man 9. This takes all the best things of the old games and of games made since and uses them to absolutely masterful effect. As far as the classic style is concerned, this is the Mega Man game without peer. Perhaps someday Capcom will put out a better one (and I haven't played 11 yet, so perhaps they've already got something good going on), but damn if they haven't set themselves a VERY high bar to clear.

----

47. Mega Man 10 (Switch)

Despite being so excited for Mega Man 9 when I was younger, Mega Man 10 was so much less of an event (it was back to being "just another Mega Man") that this was the only one of this marathon I'd genuinely never touched and knew nearly nothing about. I had heard it was definitely not as good as 9, which is at least partly why it took us so long to get Mega Man 11, but I'd still been looking forward to tackling this total unknown the whole time I was playing through the other nine games. Well, now that I've seen it to its end, I can definitely see what all the lack of hype had been about XD. It took me around two and a half hours to complete the English version of the game.

In a pretty serious tone shift, Mega Man 10 goes for a much more serious tone in its story. A computer virus is ravaging the globe, and this Roboenza virus sends any robot who gets it into first a fever, and then into a violent rage. Even Dr. Wily has been put out by this, and he comes to Dr. Light and Mega Man begging for their help in both developing a cure and subduing some robots who stole the parts of his old cure machine. It's largely the plot of Mega Man 3 again, but there's a lot more dialogue to the story, especially when Roll gets the virus. But the more serious story isn't just super wild whiplash compared to the rest of the series (not to mention Mega Man 9), but it's also just not very well done since the visual still communicate something silly and happy despite the more heavy way the cutscenes play out. It's very sloppily done, and I'm not sure why they did it, and that sorta sets the tone for the rest of my issues with the game.

Mega Man 10's stage design is reminiscent of, if anything, Mega Man 5 in just how *empty* they so often feel. The gimmicks at play in them are often somewhere between frustrating or overly simple, and while they're not bad, per se, they're definitely far weaker than Mega Man 9's were. Now the reason for this, I believe, is that the game launched with not just Mega Man playable, but Proto Man too (and Bass came later as DLC). While Mega Man 9 also had Proto Man added later, what that game didn't have were easy and hard difficulty modes like this one has. These difficulty modes aren't like Mega Man 2's modes, however, and they affect the platforming as well, giving you more or less enemies to fight and platforms to land on depending on what difficulty you're on (instead of largely just damage rebalancing like Mega Man 2 had). This really restricted what the developers could do with level design, and it really shows in how plain and uninspired the stages feel compared to what came before. It was a noble attempt to try and add some accessibility features to the game like this, but this was definitely not the right way to go about it.

The bosses are thankfully still pretty solid, but also still not as well done as Mega Man 9's were. They're still technical and fun in a way most of the earlier games weren't, but they are much harder than 9's were, and often for not great reasons such as difficult to read patterns or requiring some pretty damn great reaction time. While they thankfully aren't outright bad, they are a decidedly firm step backwards from where the series was just one entry ago, and they really could've used some more polish.

The presentation is quite conflicted in the graphics department, as was discussed earlier in the story section, but thankfully the music helps make up for it a bit. One area where this game is just about on par with Mega Man 9 is that the music is pretty damn good the whole way through. While it certainly doesn't make up for all the other problems I have with it, it's a nice consolation given every other way this is a step back from Mega Man 9.

Verdict: Recommended. At the end of the day, Mega Man 10 is far more disappointing than outright badly done. If this had been Mega Man 9, I think people would've been relatively happy with it and it might've gotten a sequel, but being a disappointing sequel to SUCH a strong revival just wasn't what the doctor ordered at the time. I definitely don't think there's much reason to pick this game over something like even Mega Man 4 or 6, let alone Mega Man 9 if given the choice, but it's certainly a nice addition to round out the second Legacy Collection.

Now that my marathon is over, I guess I'm ready to give my overall ranking on the series.
While some of these could change depending on how I'm feeling on the day, today's particular ranking is:

9 > 4 > 6 > 8 > 3 > 2 > 10 > 5 > 7 > 1

I really enjoyed playing through them all, and am looking forward to the GameBoy games (or rather at this point, reviewing the rest of them, as I actually played through the other two I hadn't gotten to yet earlier today, at the time of writing ^^;) as well as the X series~. If I've learned anything from this, it's that at the end of the day, even the worst of the classic Mega Man games are still pretty good games, and each one has something to make it stand out from the crowd with its own appeal (even if that particular thing might not actually be all that appealing to a lot of other people XD).

One last special shoutout once again to my friend DogStrong, but also to my friend Fii, for sticking with me and sharing in the celebration of Mega Man as she watched me play through all of these ^w^
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11533
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Mon May 03, 2021 8:04 am

Great reviews, Pidge! It’s been fun watching you play through these. Do you plan to play Mega Man & Bass at some point too? It’s like a 16-bit remix of Mega Man 8. Not entirely original, but definitely its own thing.
User avatar
PartridgeSenpai
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 2832
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:27 am
Location: Northern Japan

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Mon May 03, 2021 9:59 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Great reviews, Pidge! It’s been fun watching you play through these. Do you plan to play Mega Man & Bass at some point too? It’s like a 16-bit remix of Mega Man 8. Not entirely original, but definitely its own thing.


Thanks, Prfsnl ^w^. I might play that at some point if I can find it cheap on GBA, maybe. I had it when I was younger, and I remember not enjoying it very much (and my friend Fii says it isn't terribly good, either ^^;).

I'm glad it's been enjoyable chatting about them here and Slack chat for y'all too ^w^. It's been so much fun getting up to speed on the series again, and I'm pumped for the Mega Man X games too. I already replayed through the first X a day or two ago to prepare. Now I just gotta write the GB Mega Man reviews so I can clear my plate of reviews first X3
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
Return to General Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests