Mega Man

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Thad
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Re: Mega Man

Postby Thad » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:21 pm

You know what I'd really like to see? Mods. MN9 is frustratingly close to being a good game. If you eliminated the lives system, added more waypoints, tweaked the placement of some enemies and hazards, prevented bosses from recovering their health, and made it so Beck doesn't take damage if he dashes into something that's vulnerable (at least bosses, maybe regular enemies too), and made all the banter optional, that would really fix most of the pain points right there.

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Sharkey
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Re: Mega Man

Postby Sharkey » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:34 pm

Wait, it still uses lives? I understand this is supposed to be a retro-ish thing, but didn't we chuck that whole concept for being pointlessly shitty, what... decades ago now?

Yeah, yeah. I know you could probably do something useful or at least cheeky with that mechanic. There are probably examples. This doesn't sound like one of them.
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Re: Mega Man

Postby Thad » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:21 am

So I'm back to playing Mega Man Legacy Collection instead.

I'm up to 4. And I always knew I didn't like it as much as 2 or 3 but it's interesting to replay it and understand why in a more concrete way. It's not just the power shot (which I've decided not to use on this playthrough, except to clear out shit on Dust Man's level because it's interminable otherwise). The stage design is just boring as fuck. There are a couple of interesting ideas in there -- some stages have branching paths, though the branches all just dead-end -- but mostly it just feels rote.

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Spram » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:16 am

Thad wrote:So I'm back to playing Mega Man Legacy Collection instead.

I'm up to 4. And I always knew I didn't like it as much as 2 or 3 but it's interesting to replay it and understand why in a more concrete way. It's not just the power shot (which I've decided not to use on this playthrough, except to clear out shit on Dust Man's level because it's interminable otherwise). The stage design is just boring as fuck. There are a couple of interesting ideas in there -- some stages have branching paths, though the branches all just dead-end -- but mostly it just feels rote.


I actually really like Ring Man's level. I like the disappearing platforms and it has two mini bosses, which might be too much but I haven't played the game recently so I shouldn't have an opinion on this.

I can say that any level from Megaman 4 is better than Commando Man and Blade Man from 10.

Something else I can say about the Megaman level design is that 2 was the most diverse. In 1 the levels felt pretty similar but I think it's because of hardware limitations and after 3 most levels start feeling the same, as if they hit a formula that worked and stuck to it (with some good gimmicks in some of them like Gravity Man), this also applied to the graphics. In Megaman 2 the levels all felt pretty unique even if the gimmicks had nothing to do with their robot master (like Flash Man is slippery and Crash Man has platforms on rails).

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Thad » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:45 am

Ring Man is one of the better ones. The game's got some pretty cool giant animal minibosses.

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Brentai » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:34 am

Spram wrote:Something else I can say about the Megaman level design is that 2 was the most diverse. In 1 the levels felt pretty similar but I think it's because of hardware limitations and after 3 most levels start feeling the same


That Mega Man 1 existed on a fucking UNROM is just sheer unbelievable programming wizardry, once you understand what that implies. Things you take for granted, like being able to move freely left and right or even more unbelievably, up and down ladders are such goddam black magic tricks on that hardware that looking into the cartridge just for that much ought to melt your face off, Raiders of the Lost Ark style.

So here again is Mega Man's ending sequence.



Jesus H. Motherfucking Christ.

So in that light, it's entirely understandable why Capcom never seemed to upgrade or in any way change the Mega Man engine throughout the entirety of its NES run - they were probably terrified by the idea of trying to take it apart.
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Re: Mega Man

Postby zaratustra » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:45 am

Huh, Duck Tales is also UNROM. And, now that I think about it, is probably 70% Megaman code.

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Sharkey » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:40 pm

Same thing with Little Mermaid.
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Re: Mega Man

Postby Caithness » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:51 pm

I actually really like 4, probably because it was my first Megaman game. More than 2 even! (Which I never played until after 9.)

But my favorite is 3.

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Thad » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:42 am

The music in 4 is pretty solid too. Despite the downright boneheaded move of giving up an entire audio channel to the charge sound effect.

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Mothra » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:38 pm

You guys hear about this?



Looks to be the work of six or seven guys under the banner JKB Games (Facebook link). It's a flash-based fan sequel, set after MMX5.

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Blossom » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:53 pm

Scrolls left.

Worse than Mighty No. 9.
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Thad
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Re: Mega Man

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:34 pm

You know, for the game that basically made special weapons redundant, Mega Man 4's weapons are actually pretty good. They don't have the originality or variety of the previous games', but they also don't have any mostly-useless ones like Power Arm, Time Stopper, Atomic Fire, Top Spin, or Spark Shock.

There's a lot of thought put into these. Rain Flush can clear the screen but the delay between firing it and seeing the effect limit its application just enough. And its power consumption is just right; high enough that you can't use it all the time but low enough that it comes in handy in the sections where you need it (like the auto-scrolling level).

The items, on the other hand, *are* mostly useless. Rush Marine is the same as it was in 3 but the game's got even fewer places to use it; Rush Jet has been modified so that it automatically moves forward at a constant speed, which renders it pretty much only useful for the one section of the game where you have to use it. The wire, which only appears in this game...well, I wound up using it more times on this playthrough than I remember ever using it before, but I can still count the number of times I used it on one hand.

Balloon's pretty good, though. It's mostly just Item-1 from Mega Man 2, but the tweaks (wider, "softer" physics) are good ones.

Dr. Wily's second form only being vulnerable to a fucking undocumented feature (detonating the Drill Bomb before impact) is one of the biggest dick moves the series has ever pulled, though (not on the level of the wall boss in MM2 but up there); I assume that's the reason later games' "You got [weapon]" screens come with a visual demonstration of how the weapon works. And of course if you don't know what he's vulnerable against going in, there are pretty good odds you'll use up the Drill Bomb before you get to him, and then the only way to beat him is to suicide out, replay the level, and fight all 8 fucking teleporter bosses again. (The one nice bit of reprieve is that the boss who *is* vulnerable to the Drill Bomb, Toad Man, is the one who's easiest to beat with your regular weapon.)

I assume shit like that is why subsequent games started introducing Weapon Tanks and the like, which is nice and all but misses the point that sub-subsequent games finally got, which is that the whole system was bullshit and your weapons should just refill when you die, damn it.

(Again in "Mega Man 2's wall boss is just the worst": the first 3 Wily stages are really friendly about giving you places where you can grind for weapon energy, and then Wily 4 pretty much fucks you. You've got a few rooms of the tube guys who move agonizingly slowly and take forever to farm, and then you've got a gauntlet of Joes, with and without mechs, that are like the worst possible enemies for farming. Given how the previous levels dole out opportunities to recover energy, Wily 4's hostility on same is deliberate, which, coupled with a boss that's extremely difficult to beat without dying and refilling your energy, is just sadism.)

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Re: Mega Man

Postby Spram » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:01 am

I got Megaman Legacy Collection 1 (all 6 of the NES games) on the Switch and wanted to write something about the music.

Megaman 1:
Music by Manami Matsumae
Quality: Good
The music for Cutman's level is iconic, maybe because it's good or maybe because it was the first one I heard. Elecman's music is good but sounds too much like "Faithfully" by Journey, something I noticed immediately even as a child. The rest of the music is not as good but it's not bad.

Megaman 2:
Music by Takashi Tateishi
Quality: Best
This is my favorite Megaman soundtrack. Wily's first stage is many people's favorite with a good reason. Bubbleman's stage is probably my favorite but I would say they're all good. The second Wily Castle theme sounds out of place but serves to set the mood.

Megaman 3:
Music by Yasuaki Fujita and someone else
Quality: Very good
The music is still good here. Standouts include Wily Stage 3, Topman and (my favorite) Magnetman.

Megaman 4:
Music by Minae Fujii
Quality: Worst
I don't know why but I don't like or remember any of the music in this game. I would say Dustman's theme starts out strong but them ends up sounding like the rest of the game's music, just meh.

Megaman 5:
Music by Mari Yamaguchi
Quality: Mixed
Some good, some bad. Chargeman's and Napalman's themes are pretty good but some others (like Diveman's) sound sad even. Megaman music is supposed to be happy. Maybe she was saving her really good music for other games she worked on like UN Squadron, Super Ghouls and Ghosts and that Mickey Mouse SNES game.

Megaman 6:
Music by: Yuko Takehara
Quality: Mixed
Just like Megaman 5, some of the stuff here sounds sad or too low tempo but it also has Flameman's theme which is one of the best in the series.

Megaman 7 & 8:
Who cares.

Megaman 9:
Music by: Ippo Yamada, Ryo Kawakami, Yu Shimoda, and Hiroki Isogai.
Quality: Very good
Four people worked on the music here and it's very good. Yu Shimoda made Concreteman, Galaxyman and We're the Robots (a Wily Stage) which are all good. Ippo made Tornadoman's theme which is a work of art and one of the best in the series. Hiroki Isogai worked on Splashwoman, Hornetman and Jewelman, which are all good. Ryo Kawakami made the rest.

Megaman 10:
Music by: Everyone
Quality: Poor
Each track was made by different people, most of them worked on past Megaman games. I only like 2 of them: Sheepman's and Solarman. Sheepman was done by Mari Yamaguchi and Solarman was done by Megaman 2's Takashi Tateishi. Commandoman and Blademan stages are some of the least fun in the entire series not just in graphics and gameplay but in music too. Chillman's music is well done but doesn't fit in with Megaman.

As we can see Megaman music (and games) started out strong but crappyfied after 3. I assume it might be because Capcom saved their good musicians for SNES games. It makes sense. Another theory of the declining quality is that adding the charging shot sound effect took a sound channel and the music is simpler because of it.. I don't know because I don't know much about music. Maybe the reason the music is worse on the later games (4 to 6) is because the games themselves were less fun and it changes how we experience the music? Maybe.

So what makes a good Megaman song? One thing I noticed from my favorite soundtrack (Megaman 2) is that the music is much funkier. Later games have more melodic and even slower music which probably sounded better in the composers' heads than with the NES' bleeps. But I don't know.

Here is my top 10 (ignoring menus, boss, endings and title screens):
10. Quickman? Airman? Galaxyman? We are the Robots?
9. Topman
8. Flameman
7. Sheepman
6. Dr Wily Stage 3 (Megaman 3)
5. Cutman
4. Magnetman
3. Bubbleman
2. Dr Wily 1 (Megaman 2)
1. Tornadoman

Nerds, what are your favorite?

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