Mega Man
Review By: Jeff

Way back in the 1980's video games were simplistic. The purpose of some were to get the highest score possible while others challenged you to complete level after level to reach to ultimate goal of saving the president or a princess of some type. While these were great ways to entertain yourself before discovering the wonders of pornography, the task of going through each level as the designers had intended felt constraining.

Sure, some games had Warp Zones and stage select codes but those often required advance knowledge of them in order to find or activate. However, in 1987 Capcom changed all that with the release of Mega Man and introduced the world to the joys of level selecting without the need of a code, weapon stealing and the ugliest boxart ever created by man.

Mega Man's story goes something like this. In the near future, brilliant robot scientist Dr. Thomas Light and his assistant Albert Wily were competing with others in the field for a government grant to study the effects of food on starving people. Upon loosing the swimsuit competition Dr. Wily vowed revenge on the world and reprogrammed six robots to wreak havoc in their places of employment.

To stop this threat to the world, because apparently the army doesn't exist in the future, Dr. Light suckered his robotic lab assistant Rock into becoming a specialized fighting robot nicknamed Mega Man and then sent off him to his doom. Much to the good doctors surprise though, Mega Man returned with the heads of his fallen enemies except for Wily's whom he had forgotten to kill and because of that was locked in a cellar for about a week.

The game itself is a simple 2-D side-scroller where, upon beginning, you select the stage you wish to play by picking the picture of a robot master. Afterwards you must fight your way through their themed level (electric, ice, fire, etc.) until reaching the chamber where they wait to begin a horrific ten hour marathon of Magic the Gathering. If luck is on your side and you manage to destroy your opponent, they'll drop a data disc containing their weapon info that you can now use as long as you have the energy for it. Once that's over with, you'll return to the Stage Select screen so you can choose another level. Beat them all and you'll gain access to Dr. Wily's fortress to confront the madman on why he didn't just buy a gun and shoot up a populated area like the other psychos do.

The controls are tight and responsive but Mega Man slides a bit which can cause some problems when it comes to platform hopping. The A button jumps, B shoots, Start opens the weapon menu, Select pauses the game and the D-pad moves him left/right and up/down ladders.

The graphics definitely show that this was a first attempt with the lack of detail and backgrounds that have become a staple in the series as each sequel was added. Mega Man and the robot masters look good though as do the random enemies you run across.

The music is all right, nothing that will make your ears bleed but nothing as good as the songs in later installments such as part two. As for the sound effects, they're very well done as everything from firing your blaster, killing an enemy or jumping gives off a sound effect of some type.

I should also mention the game has a score for some reason but no password system or any other way to record your progress. Although the sequels are infinitely superior, Mega Man is still pretty fun and a nice challenge although some parts can be a little too much for some people (I FUCKING HATE YOU GUTSMAN'S STAGE WITH YOUR STUPID FLOATING PLATFORM THINGS THAT DROP ME EVERY GODDAMN TIME!).


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