Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man 4

It’s time for a new entry to this Mega Man retrospective. But first, I’ve been thinking about the columns on the first three games, and I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job with those. I haven’t given enough of my own personal thoughts, memories, and opinions on those entries. So before I go into Mega Man 4, let’s do a little recap.

More

Classic Game Review – Poy Poy

Poy Poy box art
Poy Poy
Published and Developed by Konami
Platforms: PlayStation

Poy Poy is a somewhat obscure game from the original PlayStation library. It’s a game that is really difficult for me to describe, but I’ll do my best. It’s a 3D, arena-based, party/fighting game. That might not quite do it justice. I’ll get into a bit more detail later. It should be noted that this will lack a “Story” category as the game really doesn’t have a story. Again, more on that later.

More

Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man: The Wily Wars

I got a bit lazy last week and didn’t have anything to go along with the Mega Man retrospective. So to make up, I bring you…another Mega Man game? Well, this one is a little different. Before I start, though, I want to give a shout out to the Mega Man Wiki, which I’ve been using as a source for info on all the Mega Man games. That site has information about these games, even the ones I’ve played, that I never noticed or even knew about.

Mega Man: The Wily Wars box art
Mega Man: The Wily Wars was a game for the Sega Genesis. I’m using a Mega Drive box art because the game never saw a cartridge release in North America. Instead, it was released on the Sega Channel. It was, however, released on a cartridge in Japan and the PAL territories.

Wily Wars features the first three Mega Man games remade in 16-bit graphics with updated audio. For the most part, the games remain faithful to their NES counterparts (at least the Japanese versions), but there are some differences. In the first Mega Man, if you’re still invulnerable after being hit, you can’t be killed by spikes like you could in the NES original. The rate of fire was altered, and there is a slight pause after using certain weapons and items in the second and third games. Wily Wars also has a lot more lag, especially in the battle against the Yellow Devil in the first and third games and the Wily Machine from the first game.

Probably the most notable difference isn’t actually a difference at all. All sprites in the games were redrawn. Mega Man and the master robots were made taller, and given extra frames of animation. The sole exception to all of this is Proto Man. He’s the same size as his NES sprite and has no extra animation frames, but does appear to have a nicer, 16-bit color pallet. As a result, when he’s seen next to Mega Man, he sticks out like a sore thumb. A full list of differences can be found on the Mega Man Wiki.

Wily Wars also has a save feature, which is helpful. However, it should be noted that the type of save it uses is very uncommon and most Genesis emulators don’t support it. (I am in no way advocating piracy. I’m just giving the facts.) With the save feature, however, means that the password systems from Mega Man 2 and 3 are gone.

But the best part about Wily Wars, and the reason why it’s worth playing, is the Wily Tower. It’s only available after you beat the original three Mega Man games. There are only three master robots in Wily Tower, but it also has the best feature of any Mega Man game ever. You get to pick up to eight weapons and three items from the first three games. As far as I know, this is the only Mega Man game where you can mix and match weapons from multiple games however you want. And you’re able to do this before each level, including each Wily Castle level. Sadly this option only exists in Wily Tower, which is a huge bummer. It should be noted that Hyper Storm H., one of the Wily Tower master robots, is the first Mega Man boss (out of the original and all the spin-off series) to feature more than one life bar. However, hit him with his weakness, and he falls as quickly as any other boss.

If you live in North America, you may not even know this game exists. Which is a shame, as it’s actually quite good. I only recently discovered this game, myself, so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play it. But it’s probably one of the best in the Classic series, if only for Wily Tower.

Mark Hamill to Reprise, then Retire as Joker

1Up.com has a very interesting article about the upcoming video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum 2, and lists that Mark Hamill, infamously known for his role as Luke Skywalker, will be reprising his role from Batman the Animated Series as the Joker, but allegedly it will be the final time he will play as the character. The story can be read here.

Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man 3

Mega Man 3 box art
We continue our journey into the Mega Man series with Mega Man 3. This game saw the introduction of Rush, Proto Man (Blues in Japan), and the new Slide move.

The story behind Proto Man, much like the stories in most NES games, is revealed mostly outside of the game. Proto Man was the first robot that Dr. Light created. He was capable of independent thought and reasoning, but was still a prototype. He had a flaw in his energy core that would eventually cause his death. Proto Man started to distrust Dr. Light, primarily because of his free will, the fact that he knew he was incomplete, and because he feared that Dr. Light would alter his programming. So he vanished before Dr. Light could repair him.

After wandering the world alone, Proto Man was found by Dr. Wily, who replaced his solar energy core with a nuclear energy core, and also modified him to be a combat robot. Wily also gave Proto Man his now trademark visor. Working on Proto Man helped Wily better understand robotics, as well.

Proto Man would show up in Mega Man 3 as Break Man. At the time, he worked for Dr. Wily, but upon observing Mega Man he decided to help Mega Man instead, though he still didn’t trust Dr. Light.

Rush, the robot dog, replaces the items in Mega Man 2. Item-2 is now the Rush Jet, for example. There is no true Rush equivalent for Items 1 or 3, though. Instead you get Rush Coil, which is a springboard item, and Rush Marine, which is only for underwater areas.

The master robots were starting to get a little odd, but they weren’t too bad at this point. Snake Man, Gemini Man, Top Man, Spark Man, Hard Man, Needle Man, Magnet Man, and Shadow Man. The big twist, however, came when you defeated all eight master robots. The stage select screen showed these odd looking portraits for Spark Man, Needle Man, Gemini Man, and Shadow Man. You had to re-enter those stages, and what awaited would definitely catch new players off-guard.

The four stages were redesigned, but retained the same theme. About halfway through, however, you’d reach the boss doors. A bit odd, you may think. Then you see the Doc Robot standing, and suddenly one of the Mega Man 2 master robots descend from the ceiling and “enter” Doc Robot’s body. Now Doc Robot has assumed the powers of that master robot. Mega Man can’t take the weapons that Doc Robot uses, which is unfortunate. But it is definitely an “Oh crap” moment. The Doc Robot concept returned in Mega Man 10 in the form of the Weapons Archive.

Overall, this game isn’t as iconic as Mega Man 2, but it’s still a very good game.

Interview with TEW Developer Adam Ryland




The following is an email interview I conducted with Adam Ryland, developer of the acclaimed pro wrestling booker sim Total Extreme Wrestling 2010, Adam’s answers are in bold:


————


Chess: Thank you for taking the time to do this email style interview for Superfriends Universe, I hope by the end of it the fans know just a little more about not only yourself, but the Total Extreme Wrestling series as well. With that, lets get started!


Chess: Why did you start developing text based wrestling booker sims in the first place? What made you WANT to create the games?


Adam Ryland: The series originally began as a physical card game, created in the early 1990s. As it expanded, it became too complex to continue in that medium. As a result, it was computerised and the series grew from there. The original version was created simply because I was a wrestling fan and thought it’d be interesting to do.


Chess:Your first projects were absolutely free, when did you realize that you could make some real money out of this?


Adam Ryland: Shortly after I was an offered a contract to work professionally.


Chess: Did you receive any fan backlash for dumping the freeware format?


Adam Ryland: Yes, there was a severe backlash from people who believed they were entitled to continuing freeware games because they had “supported” the series by playing them. To this day, I do not follow the logic of their argument.


Chess: With the creation of TEW came the loss of being able to use real names, likenesses, and promotions. For those who don’t know, TEW comes with a complete fantasy world, however this doesn’t seem to turn many off from buying the game. What are your thoughts on the C-Verse and how would you respond to those who can’t get into it?


Adam Ryland: The CornellVerse is a rich and detailed fantasy game world, loosely based on reality, that comes with all my games. For the most part, it is very popular, and it seems to be played as much (if not more) than real world scenarios. As with almost any product, there are some who cannot get into the default data – but equally, there are many who can’t play real world versions either, so it evens out. There are a healthy number of “mods” (user-created scenarios) that simulate the real world anyway, so nobody is forced to play in a game world they don’t like.


Chess: The latest version of your acclaimed wrestling booker sim, TEW 2010, came out earlier this year. Can you explain why every wrestling fan reading this should check out the game? Where is it available?


Adam Ryland: TEW2010 is available from www.GreyDogSoftware.com and is the fifth game in the series. It is available for PC, and can also be played on a Mac (using emulators). I think it is generally accepted to be the most detailed “booking sim” available; that is, a game in which you play as the owner \ match-maker for a company and it is clear that the matches are scripted with pre-determined winners and losers. There is a free demo that allows people to try before they buy.


Chess: I know it’ll be hard to pick just one, but what is your favorite new feature in TEW2010?


Adam Ryland: I enjoyed creating the new morale system, which attempts to simulate the backstage atmosphere of a locker room and requires the player to carefully balance the different personalities involved.


Chess: What are some of the other games you’ve developed that are currently for sale?


Adam Ryland: My two other series are Wrestling Spirit, in which you play as a wrestler in a game world where pro wrestling is treated as being real, and World of Mixed Martial Arts, which does for MMA what TEW does for wrestling.


Chess: Many fans have suggested online multiplayer for a future TEW release, is this at all possible and have you considered it?


Adam Ryland: It is not currently a viable feature.


Chess: What are your plans for the future, TEW related or not?


Adam Ryland: My next product will be World of Mixed Martial Arts III, which will be coming out shortly before Christmas, again from www.GreyDogSoftware.com.


Chess: Any last words or plugs you’d like to give out?


Adam Ryland: No, thank you. Thanks for taking the time to interview me.

Weekend News Update: Jersey Shore, Men In Black III, Boxing & More

– The Jersey Shore’s Season 2 Premier broke records as the highest rated MTV show in 7 years with almost 6 million viewers on Thursday. Hey – something people CARE about on Thursday!


– While the fiscal numbers for Capcom and Nintendo came in as extremely disappointing, Sega on the other hand shockingly pulled a profit of 7 billion yen, due to their monstrous arcade business. Hilarious that Sega eeks out a win over Nintendo in 2010 – even though they aren’t competitors. 1UP.com has the story here.


– Men In Black III has an official release date of May 25, 2012


– Marquez defeated Diaz last night in their big rematch.


– Congratulations to F4WOnline site founder Bryan Alvarez and Whitney Neugebauer, who were wed last night. Congrats to Lisa Marie Simpson and High St. John Alastair Parkfield – who are scheduled to get married today.


– Sugar Shane Mosley vs. Sergio Mora is scheduled for September 18th in Los Angeles.


– The newest episode of Advanced Macking is up here. Mike Trojan is scheduled to be on this week’s episode of Superfriends. Plus – a new Laidback Gourmet AND Chessboard coming in the next couple of days!


Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 box art
Next up in this Mega Man Retrospective is arguably the greatest Mega Man game ever, Mega Man 2. This is the first game in the Classic series to feature eight master robots. These robots were created by Dr. Wily. They’re also some of the most memorable robot masters ever.

Air Man, for example, is the subject of a popular song amongst fans and internet meme enthusiasts, Air Man ga Taosenai (or Can’t Beat Air Man) by a Japanese group called Team.Nekokan. I’m a big fan of this song, myself.

Metal Man is known for his weapon, the Metal Blade, which is one of the best weapons in all of Mega Man. It’s more powerful than the Mega Buster, and it has so much ammo that you can use it for an entire stage and still have enough left to take down a boss at the end.

The soundtrack is also legendary. Wily Castle Stage 1-2 is my absolute favorite music track in all of gaming. On OCRemix.com, Mega Man 2 is the fourth most remixed game on the site. A group called The Megas created an album comprised solely of covers of Mega Man 2 music, along with lyrics for each song that tell the story of Mega Man, Dr. Light, and each of the master robots. The Megas’s album is definitely something worth checking out.

Mega Man 2 had the first jet (Item-2), shield weapon (Leaf Shield), Wily Castle map screen, and the only robot master (Metal Man) to be weak to his own weapon. Hit Metal Man with the Metal Blade during the boss rush, and you can take him out in two hits.

In terms of robot masters, we had Air Man, Metal Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Wood Man, Bubble Man, Heat Man, and Quick Man. Metal Man was unique in that he wouldn’t attack you until you attack first. Air Man has one of the more difficult stages, second only to Quick Man’s stage which has the insta-kill lasers. Heat Man’s stage has the obligatory disappearing block puzzle, a significant part of which takes place above a pit.

This game has three items you can get from the various bosses, along with their weapons. Item-1 is a platform item that floats upward and disappears after a few seconds. Item-2 is the precursor to Rush Jet, and is quite possibly the base for Proto Jet from Mega Man 9 and 10. Item-3 is a wall-climbing item, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since. It would bounce on the ground until it finds a wall, after which it attaches itself and starts crawling upward.

This is the peak of the Mega Man series. That isn’t to say that the rest have been bad. But everything just came together in this game. Memorable characters, one of the greatest soundtracks in gaming history, awesome gameplay, and overall a great experience.