Monday, August 31, 2009

Mega Mondays : Cameo Marvel Vs Capcom 2

I missed the whole Marvel Vs Capcom 2 craze at first, sure I played the heck out of Marvel Vs Capcom 1, but the second installation I completely missed. Kinda ironic because Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is one of those games where the 2 is a part of title for the fanbase and not for the fact that it is the sequel, simply because it is superior than its predecessor. So it's out now to download from the Xbox Live Arcade and from what I hear they haven't changed a thing, which could be good and bad for both ways, somethings have aged badly like the music for example, it doesn't fit anymore.

There a a total of 4 Megaman characters than you can play with, first off is Megaman himself of course, second is his friend (girlfriend?) Roll, third is Tron Bonne from the Legend series and finally a generic Serverbot (they are the Mets of the Legend universe). I find Roll especially dull to play because she is technically only human, but the rest are fantastic. Tron Bonne use one of famous mecha machines to fight in the arena and is by far my favorite fighter to use, and Megaman well simply kicks ass like he always does. As for the Serverbot, he's the smallest character in the game making kinda a joke character like Dan in Street Fighter. The fun thing about being small is that he can dodge most of the moves by simply standing still! Awesome! So if you catch a Megaman only team online in the near future it might be me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mega Mondays : Megaman 2

Believe it or not but the first Megaman game wasn't praised and it didn't get very good sales either. Thankfully Capcom believed that it had potential and gave the team permission to do a sequel, as long as it doesn't interrupt their other currently developing titles (if only game development was still like that today). Supposedly they didn't have that much work to do, they already had a bunch of leftover from the last title since the NES cartridges had serious space limitation, but they still polished everything from the ground up. The first thing I noticed was the backgrounds, they are more varied and greatly animated, same effect with the enemies. Now its thing that most people won't notice but back then that it was pretty amazing to look at, one in particular is border line epileptic seizure fodder.

The game also features one of the most badass intro ever created! The story told below, sky view shot, camera slow panning upwards, tense slow beautiful music, suddenly we reach the top, CRACK! Music gets intense, we find Megaman hair aloof in the wind as the title slams in your face "MEGAMAN 2" accompanied by some of the most memorable and epic music ever. Games today lack that, music that marks itself and attaches itself to the game, now-a-days they seek epic orchestras, but they never seem to be memorable. Another epic value that they added was the start of epic big boss battles, fighting against enemies four times your size! Later becoming a staple for EVERYTHING CAPCOM.
They also added new weapons more varied in the form of attack, making them even more fun to play around with. In the first Megaman, personally I simply kept my Buster Canon equipped because there was no advantage with the other weapons. Now in MM2, they gave each weapon its unique attack pattern and in return gave you a gameplay advantage for some situation. They also added these platforms, which you could use to get to higher up places to obtain items or simply make the game much easier; there are a total of 3 different platforms, a floating one, flying one and a climbing one. They also added another component to the game which was the Energy Tanks, what they did was when picked up you could later use them to refill your health bar. Now all of these new components have been a staple to the series so far, so they really got it right the second time around.
I also need to gush about the Metal Blade. The Metal Blade is the most epic power up ever created. You get from defeating MetalMan, which is a real easy by the way, and then you get this awesome powerup. Complained about not being able to shoot up? Then get the frikin Metal Blade! It shoots in eight directions! It even somehow breaks the whole robot master weakness circle, simply because it so versatile and powerful! I love the Metal Blade, bow to its awesome power!
Only negative output I have about the new features is that, the game isn't designed to have all of these, it still have level designs from the games draft and it doesn't exactly draws the full potential of the new features. In correlation it only makes the game easier, even with the supposed "difficult mode" MM2 is one of the easiest of the series. But because it is the easiest I suppose it would be the good one to for a newbie to start with, it still lacks some features from the future games but it holds up incredibly, most say this is the best Megaman game ever, sales do to, MM2 was the highest selling Megaman game ever and it still stands today.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Stay In

The last month has been kinda weird actually for no particular reason, feels like the weird transition from summer to going back to school, but the weird thing is that I'm not even at that moment yet. I'm actually looking forward to being in a schedule again, random happenings are always fun, but a person can only take some much random in their lives. But I know I'll be kicking myself for saying that soon, a single booted hit to myself carried on by another single hit from the school schedule kicking in as well. I did have quite a relaxing day but I did prepare for this day because of the upcoming hurricane warnings, but the hurricane Bill ended up being pretty lame, I looked at the sea and I could of gone swimming, so right there its symbol of its lack of power. Well, the preparations was simply not going anywhere and getting my hand on few movies for the day, and I had enough reading material in case of lack of electricity, but the hurricane was laughable. Also, don't get me wrong I'm glad the hurricane had small effect around here.

Anyways, my summer reading seems to have been crippled, I've barely scratched the surface of my random find, which ended up being a recommendation, even my Dr. Who'ing was crippled but that's torrent issues. I've also realized how close the new release of the new installment of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is. I still remember hearing about and completely putting it aside even resiting it, but it quickly gained my heart out of a gritty hope of some new witty H2G2 fiction. Still a little weary about it but I'll still be picking it up, I'm sure I can ease myself into it, kinda like I did with the movie. Speaking about the movie I can't believe I used to not like it after my first watch, now I really do like it a lot. How can I not like it I asked myself today, it was personally backed up from new material from Adam himself, most fans rejected it because it wasn't faithful to the books, but something as media varied as H2G2 shouldn't be bashed for different adaptations. Personally I'm still waiting for The Restaurant at the End of Universe movie (damn you low film grossing!). And last but not least, maybe the single most amazing internet find I've ever found in ever. Click and enjoy now, by the power of all this is awesome. Seriously this is what I did with most of my day, play this game, its amazingly sublime, I've been spreading it around for most of the day.

Apart from thinking about H2G2 most of the day I've watched a few movies. Had myself a mini marathon of the Hellboy live action movies. I simply love these films, the action is amazing (no shaky camera!). The CGI never seems forces and it never relies on it unless it absolutely needs to, I believe that it should be used like dialogue, you don't add useless dialogue that doesn't add anything to the narrative right? Well do the same with CGI! I kinda have this love/hate relationship with full blown CGI, using to smooth out effects is fine, but making entire scenes out of it makes it look fake. Now movie techniques aside, there is something that bothers me is that, I've seen the live actions films, all of the animated as well, even read a prose book about Hellboy, yet I haven't even look at the original material being the comics. Really should because I love almost everything about the Hellboy universe, the only thing stopping me is the same reason why I haven't picked up Atomic Robo Volume 2; comics are expensive, more than I expected actually. That also a reason why I haven't gotten a video game in quite some time.

Another film I've seen today was Trainspotting, only heard about it last week, with the simple explanation of "It's hard to explain". So with that lucrative incentive, I found myself a copy (only to ironically find it playing numerous times on IFC today). Quite surprised about it actually, always fun going into a movie without knowing a basic plot, setting, premise or anything for that matter. Didn't get the morale, if there was one of course. Some interesting directing and cool camera angles, don't know what to say actually really is hard to explain. Another thing, maybe its because I've been introducing myself into the Beatles lately and I'm seeing things, but this film had at least 3 different nods to The Beatles, not in music but in character placement mirroring album covers and such. Re-reading what I wrote I realize how I've said absolutely nothing about the film; maybe that's the right way to explain it.

Anyways tomorrow Mega Monday again, I haven't been posting anything besides that lately, no reason actually, just didn't feel like it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mega Mondays: Dr. Light

Dr. Light is the creator of Megaman, like I mentioned last Monday. But there's still a small misunderstanding about him, he is a pacifist. In a few games they point the fact a few times, going as far as giving him the Nobel Peace Prize. As a matter of fact he's the most violent Nobel prize, knowing that some situation are needed for peace. So the dear doctor tasked himself with building various destructive upgrades for Megaman. Actually he does kinda parallels Alfred Nobel in a way; Nobel created Dynamite which is one of the most violent objects out there, so Dr.Light winning the prize is a worthy choice. Even more awesome is the fact that he is the best tactician to ever live. The Doc made a plethora of upgrades for Megaman and installed capsules holograms modules of himself for Megaman and his variation centuries later, presumably the Doc did this all while being dead. Although after so many centuries he still hasn't managed to give Megaman the upward firing capability. (Ok that was my last obvious/overused Megaman joke).

So we salute you Dr. Light for being awesome.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mega Mondays : Megaman

Very surprising how a small game in which the concept was formed trough Rock, Paper, Scissors came to be one of the most successfully series in the video game industry. Came out way back in 1987, when you think about it is a frikin long time ago, for me at least I wasn't even going to be born for a few more years back then. One thing I'm glad about is that it survived trough the americanization butchering quite well compared to some other titles. First off they scratched the name Rockman and went the manlier Megaman, but the weird thing is that the boss Yellow Devil was ironically renamed Rock Monster, huh. Nothing much to add about that, they mixed up Dr.Lights name a few times and added some backstory which was fine by the times standards. Oh and they fucked up the cover up bad, sure everyone on the internet has made fun of it by now, it made like a bunch of top ten worst cover art lists like on IGN, Topless Robot and others. Anyways, aw at its ridiculousness.
Anyways on to the game! The evil Dr.Wily has unleashed 8 robot masters to destroy the world, simply because nobody appreciated his science. Apart from being the worst motivation for world domination, Dr.Wily is apparently able to do so without much resistance. But! Dr. Light the old compatriot of Wily's has his secret weapon of his own, which if you haven't guessed by now you should leave (It's Megaman btw). So armed with your single arm canon, you set off to save the world against under an appreciated scientist. Story is standard and would never pull trough today's standards but nobody cared back then and they shouldn't now either.
Still, playing trough it I noticed how it has aged, not by much but it has (funny seeing a score meter for a stage based game). Another silly bit is how the modern market has made me soft, I remember being able to plow trough these games, sure it was difficult but I could still do it, now replaying it seems like I'm not in my prime anymore. Small confession tho, I do pay a lot of video games by I ain't that much good at them, makes trash talking at Halos that much more ironically satisfying in a comedic sense. I'm drifting off now, back on topic! There are simply some sections that seem impossible to pass trough without at least getting hit once, there is the small invincible blinking after you do get hit that you can take advantage of, and I think that in some areas you need it to pass trough Firewalls like in Fireman's stage. It is difficult but there isn't any curve in it either, since you pick which stage you want at first they can't exactly made a difficulty curve. There are some more difficult stages and bosses but that subjective in a way.But for the difficulty, yes it is hard but its more of the fact that I've aged so I'm not used to it anymore or something, but as for the gameplay itself, it does seem dated because of itself and not the actual design. You only have you standard three shot blaster with no charge shot which every Megaman fan has become a costumed to after the sequels, and the lack of the Mega Slide is troublesome at times, pressing the combination with no avail can be frustrating. Another thing is that they haven't quite mastered the jump/fall mechanics yet, but I'm nitpicking now, there no real problem with it, still 100% playable and enjoyable. Still fun to see the start of all and the recurring annoying level designs (disappearing blocks!) and enemies, one of which still today survived each incarnation and even spawned fantastic fan game and a few cameos here and there. So here's to our little mini mascot the helmet wearing Met for the first time. Below, fear him, love him or kiiillll hiiiim.
One thing Megaman bought to the table which was truly original was with the boss battles. For once it felt like both robots of equal match, each had his advantages and disadvantages, mono-e-mono, a showdown. I found that they did that brilliantly and Capcom has held the title of best boss battles every since then. Annnnd lets not forget the truly unique ability to get the defeated robot masters weapon! So in total you can have 8 extra weapons, each with their unique attributes, and it's here where the whole rock, paper, scissors concept come into play. With each power up you gain from a robot master, another Robot Master is Weak against it or it could be utterly useless as well. Sure you can switch on the fly but it's still a small gamble.
This game for me was simply a taste of what the series could be at the time, it is one of the most memorable but not the best by far. Each game is upgrade to the next, then in some cases it falls into the curse of the series which is the always disappointing fall from grace, but as always new reincarnation appears to save it all! The good ol' classic Megaman you shall be cherished. Oh and one last pic of my favorite battles; Fireman!
Also doing the alternative text thing now, because I think I'm funny at times.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mega Mondays : Small Intro

Been busy this last week, with some odd stuff and actually trying to make a banner for my blog, but I can't seem to please myself with anything my artistic talent is very limited. Anyways I'm regretting not being able to update for the last week, now for my new feature which is Mega Mondays!

A weekly look on the Megaman universe as whole. I'm going to try to look at everything and I mean everything that Megaman has touched, so hopefully it'll last for quite some time. The series has 7 sub series going on right now, the original, X, Zero, Legends, Battle Network, ZX, Star Force and a bunch of TV series, anime and everything in between. Which adds to a shit load of games, and that's not including all of the cameo appearances and the awkward yet highly enjoyable RPG. Oddly enough I always found that for the credit it gets, it still doesn't get enough, Compared to Mario who seems to overshadow a lot. Megaman has found a formula that works and sticks to it but at the same time still innovating more and more, not to mention that music in Megaman is some of the most memorable and catchy. Would video games be the same without Megaman? I highly doubt that, he basically invented the awesome power ups and giant boss battles! His games have barely aged at all, every single game are still playable today, if you need proof simply look at Megaman 9 which came out last year in glorious 8-bit and it competes to the new HD games out there.

For the moment be patient, because next week I'm going off with the original that started it all, Megaman. I'll be going through it all by series from the oldest to the newest, might not go trough all of the new stuff for lack of hardware but I'll do my best to get my hands on it. Also trying to make a sprite banner for Mega Mondays but my spriting is rusty and sincerely, I never was any good to begin with.