Retro Review: Megaman 6!

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Even the cover art is so much better than the previous entries!

Love retro games, but lack the time and patience to replay the same stages about 1,000 times over because a certain trick jump or jerk boss keeps getting the one-up on you? Well, I do. Lack the patience nowadays, that is. That’s why I’m in love with the Wii U’s Virtual Console games. They incorporate a Save State feature! For those of you who’ve never played an old-school game on an emulator before, a Save State basically allows you to save your progress at any point, so if things don’t go according to plan you can quickly load your last save and try again. While you only get one save state per game at a time, the system does remember your save state forever. I started playing Megaman 6 over the summer and recently picked it up again to find my save state right where I left it.

I didn’t mean for my retro review to open up with a Wii U Virtual Console plug, but there it is. I suppose that means this isn’t 100% retro, but whatever. It is very retro in that they didn’t incorporate the neat feature found in the Megaman Anniversary collection: using the L and R bumpers to swap abilities. As much as I love Megaman (And VI is my favorite) going back and forth into the menus to change abilities is freaking annoying. Especially in VI, because during the X and Wily stages it felt like I was constantly swapping to Rush Jet and Rush “Jacked” to traverse the levels or get extra goodies. It very well may be my only complaint about the game.

Like its predecessors, MM6 starts off with a relatively uninspiring introduction, complete with the “Baddie taking over the world with souped-up robots” schtick, and kicks you into the main menu screen. Here’s MM6’s Robot Master lineup:

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 I find it hard to believe there was no Bizzard, Flame or Wind man before the sixth entry.

You’ve got a few standard elemental types, then they get creative with fighter types from around the world. I’m not sure in today’s PC world if they’d get away with such stereotype-grounded enemies like Tomahawk Man and Flame Man (turban and all). Plus, if you ask me, Plant Man is pretty fabulous. He takes the Megaman bosses prancing around to a new level: with a shield of flowers. An ability I never really grew fond of, to be honest. Even more risque is Centaur Man, if you go by his story in the Megaman 6 manga. See, Centaur MAN is actually Centaur WOMAN. In love with Knight Man, or so I read online. I even saved a scanned image of the manga showing Centaur Man after Megaman broke “his” helmet, revealing long, blond locks and that feminine 90’s manga-style face. But as it turns out, the file type is Bitmap and isn’t accepted by WordPress, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I knew there was a reason I liked Centaur Man so much, besides the fact that it’s a Centaur and I’m a Greek Mythology nut.

I absolutely love this Megaman entry. I find it underrated and overlooked, due to Megaman X (My other favorite Megaman) releasing around the same time on the SNES. Why play the sixth NES entry when you could play a shiny new entry on the SNES? Well, now that it’s 20 years later, all you retro gamers need to play this if you haven’t already!

The music and graphics are top-notch for a NES game. I have all the old school MM soundtracks on my ipod, and this one is still my favorite. Every stage has fitting and catchy tracks that somehow bring back fond memories instead of the irritating ones! The level designs are creative and fun (in a Megaman kind of way) and also feature hidden exits and pathways thanks to the Rush adaptors. The Rush adaptors that don’t consume energy but add fun variations to the level designs. And let you punch enemies across the screen. Just saying. The Robot Master weapons range from lackluster to a lot of fun. The Centaur Flash is pretty cool. The Knight Mace can actually be aimed in different directions. But then you have the Plant Man Shield thing that just feels… useless. And Flame Man’s fire shot would be cool if it continued along the floor like when he uses it. But noooo, when Megaman acquires it, it just plops in front of him and makes one pathetic pillar of fire. Oh well.

There’s a “Megamanniversary” sale going on at Nintendo EShop until tomorrow, I believe, so pick up this classic (along with all the others) at a discounted price! Then you can enjoy this retro classic and save state your way through it if you want to save yourself some headaches. If not, have at it the old fashioned way. I just don’t want to hear about how badly your carpal tunnel is when you finally beat the game.

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Destiny: The Dark Below

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Whats up with the Warlock being all the way in the back?

I know I have a long-overdue Bayonetta 2 review to finish up, but I wanted to take a second and rant about Destiny. Namely, that the expansion drops tomorrow and I’m not level 30 yet! Bah!

I’m going to be completely headstrong and obstinate here: Tying max level to RNG is stupid. End of story, no discussion. I kept saying I’d give Destiny a break when my last piece of raid gear dropped (in my case, legs) so I’d be max level for the expansion. And, naturally, it never did. Steve-O even logged into my account and leveled a second warlock for me, thus giving me TWO chances at the drop I need every week. And nadda. Making matters worse, getting a raid together over the last few weeks has been nearly impossible. Newer, shinier games have been releasing and taking some of our core raid group away.

I could go on boards and find a random group. True. However, I have a two year old running around, being loud or playing with loud toys, and I would never subject online strangers to that. Hell, I feel guilty making friends and relatives listen to it when we’re trying to coordinate things during VoG. I can’t see doing the raid without a microphone, so randoms is out of the question for me. I’d be kicked out of the raid as soon as my kid yelled at his tablet for not loading a Youtube video fast enough, anyway.

Compiling all this with the Templar fight no longer being cheese-able (I’ve never even done that fight the legit way) and learning I’ll have to re-level any exotics I’ve maxed out, I decided to give Destiny a break the last week or so. Why pump experience into exotics when I’ll have do it all over again soon? Sorry Thunderlord and Patience and Time, you get to sit in the vault for a bit.

I’ll be popping back in to experience the changes and new content, of course, but now I’m worried I won’t get level 32 either. I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that getting max level isn’t a given in Destiny. Sure, they said raid gear will drop more often, but we’ll see. As of right now, the raid is still the only method for PvE players to get max level, and I don’t know how many people in our crew are going to stick around long enough to do the raid enough times for all of us to get the goodies. Plus, this time around, the primary weapons only drop in hard mode. And good luck getting kind, benevolent people to want to run a raid with an under-leveled person, since the damage penalty is stupidly high.

Some of the announced changes make me really happy (Not needing ascendant mats to level exotics. Yay!), and some make me uber pissed. All the changes and updates feel like a “One step forward, two steps back” for Bungie in my opinion. What do you guys think?