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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Mega Man I

Back in the days in which I was a hardcore gamer - as opposed to being "Gamer Light" that I currently am - I used to play a lot of video games. 

And one thing that I have learned over the years is that some video game manufacturing companies are better than others.

For instance, take Nintendo.  They're the guys who brought us Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Starfox.  I can't recall the company coming out with a terrible game, and they are always consistently great.

On the flipside, the company known as LJN, known for releasing the video game adaptations of "Back To The Future", "Jaws", "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", and "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", produced some of the worst video games ever made.  Not that any of them were as bad as say, "E.T." for the Atari...but trust me, they were bad.

Some video game companies started off fantastic, but ended up falling apart after a shift in the company dynamics.  Look at the Square company that came up with "Final Fantasy".  When they were known as "SquareSoft", they were at their prime.  Since they became Square-Enix, they haven't been as good.  At least, that's my opinion.

Or sometimes, the quality of the games themselves decline due to the production company that manufactures them.  The first three Spyro the Dragon games were produced by Insomniac Games and were awesome.  The next game was done by Check Six Studios and Equinox Digital Entertainment, and was so filled with bugs that it made the game quite unenjoyable.  Now that Spyro is under the Skylanders umbrella, it seems to be doing much better.

And then there's Capcom.

Now, Capcom is a company that elicits a lot of mixed opinions within the gaming community.  Some really don't like the company because they feel that the games that they release are way too difficult.  To an extent, I agree.  Have you ever played "Ghosts 'N Goblins" straight through without losing a life?  Very few can make that claim.  I can't.

But Capcom has made a killing on releasing one successful franchise right after another from "Street Fighter" to "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney".  And while the games are challenging, they are also fun to play.

And in today's blog, we're going to be talking about what I think is one of Capcom's biggest success stories - and it's a video game that I can't believe that I haven't done a blog about. 

I even remember the first time I played this game.  Back in the days in which I was a kid, video games were extremely expensive to purchase (and let's face it, $70 for a copy of "Bioshock" is still ridiculous), so if you were like me, you went down to the local video store and rented a game for $2.50 per day.  Believe me, that was the only way that I managed to be a huge gamer back in my childhood.

That's where I saw this game.

Behold.  The game that kicked off one of Capcom's biggest success stories.  The original "Mega Man", released in North America on December 17, 1987 by Nintendo.

Of course, I bet you're wondering what the heck is up with the cover art.  You're thinking "That does NOT look like Mega Man!"

I agree.  I'm more accustomed to this classic look.

But keep in mind that "Mega Man" was brand new, so the company was probably still testing the waters in character design.

I mean, this was what Mario looked like in 1981 when "Donkey Kong" came out.  He's evolved a lot in 34 years.

Anyway, back to "Mega Man".

The story of Mega Man goes like this.  Mega Man is created by Dr. Light and his assistant Dr. Wily.  He was one of seven created by the duo to perform industrial tasks to better the world. 

And if that's where the story ended, it would make for a really lame video game.

I suppose it's a very good thing that Dr. Wily has decided that he wanted to be top dog, even if it meant stabbing his partner in the back.  He manages to get access to six of the seven robots and reprograms them to do his bidding, and these six robots end up being Dr. Wily's tools for world domination.

However, Dr. Light still has an ace up his sleeve.  Mega Man.

The game's mission is to go through each of the game's six stages, where at the end of each stage is one of the six robots that Dr. Wily has taken control of.  And each level is designed to match the characteristics of each boss robot.  They are...

Bomb Man - Created for clearing large sections of land through the power of detonation.  Is a bit of a daredevil.

Cut Man - A robot designed to chop down trees and create lumber.  Always in a terrible mood.

Elec Man - He was designed to use the power of electricity to control nuclear power plants.  Instead, he uses his power to shock anyone who crosses his path.  He is competant, but egotistical.

Fire Man - What was once designed as a method to incinerate garbage, Fire Man is now set to burn down entire cities, thanks to Dr. Wily's reprogramming.  Hates the cold.

Guts Man - Possesses great physical strength, which could cause a lot of problems for Mega Man.  Don't let this guy's tough personality fool you though.  He sees the other robots as his family and will do anything to protect them.

Ice Man - The polar opposite of Fire Man, Ice Man can leave Mega Man feeling really cold.  But all it takes it a little bit of heat to tame this frosty beast.

If Mega Man can defeat all six robots, then he can go up against Dr. Wily and save the world from complete destruction.

That being said, do you have any idea how hard it was to do just that?  I reckon it took me 47 tries just to even get to Elec Man, let alone defeat him!  The game is tough, and just about anyone who has played "Mega Man" can appreciate how tough it is.

But finally being able to finish the game?  So rewarding.

And, luckily for you, there are at least nine other Mega Man games in the series for you to play.  I admit that my favourite of the bunch is Mega Man III, but you feel free to choose your favourite.

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