Well folks, after a week straight of nothing but Mega Man related blogging, we’ve made it to the big finale.
That being said, let’s dive into Mega Man 8!
At the time of it’s release, Full Motion Video (FMV) was already old hat, however after the release of the Amiga 32CD, Sega CD, 3DO, and other such CD based consoles, many game developers saw fit to include FMV in their games, resulting in the technology being en vogue for much of the 90’s.
Mega Man 8’s FMV sequences were fairly entertaining, and decently well-animated, however the English voice acting was absolutely atrocious.
He also stutters.
Like a fattie.
The end result was a series of fairly entertaining, but often times, all too tempting to skip, cutscenes.
There was 1 scene in particular though that I remember keeping an extra save file (it was a Playstation game, of course you could save!) for just so I could watch it over and over again:
It seems kind of lame now, but when I was 10, that was the coolest thing ever. Even though my Playstation would freeze during it just about 90% of the time…
Anyway, the story of Mega Man 8 is based around a capsule of “evil energy” that falls to Earth.
This energy grants it’s wielder great power, and multiplies by feeding off of it’s host’s evil intent.
Dr. Wily of course gets his hands on this evil energy and uses it to power his latest creations to tangle with Mega Man.
In the meantime however, an intrinsically “good” robot from outer space named Duo (the big dude in Dr. Light’s lab during the video) crash lands on Earth, only to awaken halfway through the game to serve as an ally to Mega Man.
Basically, Vejita, I mean Bass; has an inferiority complex, which results in him attempting to use the evil energy to grant him the power to defeat Mega Man.
I like Bass, really, I do; but he’s a total pussy in Mega Man 8.
Mega Man 8 was vastly different from any Mega Man that came before it.
From a presentation standpoint, it was easily the most graphically intense iteration of the series, well, pretty much, ever.
The animations were silky smooth, and the music was excellent all-around, with most of the tracks being quite memorable.
Although from a cosmetic standpoint Mega Man 8 was a drastic departure from the norm, and undeniably, an improvement, the gameplay was merely different, and not necessarily for the better.
One of the comments I received on my Mega Man 7 post from yesterday made note of the fact that the game was slower than the NES games in the series.
I failed to address this in my post, and for that I apologize, however it is an incontrovertible fact.
Mega Man 7 was a much slower-paced game than it’s predecessors, and Mega Man 8 followed suit by being even slower.
The sprites in Mega Man 7 were very large, excessively so, and thankfully 8 addressed this by increasing the screen resolution, while at once one-upping their level of detail.
Despite being a sidescroller like every other Mega Man game, 8 was a much more vertically oriented game.
The screen orientation was “taller,” and Mega Man’s jump controls were changed so that he jumped higher than normal, however, due to his much slower walking speed, his horizontal jumping distance was toned down a bit.
While definitely a much slower-paced, and in-fact, much easier game than it’s predecessors, Mega Man 8 was still quite fun.
New gameplay features in Mega Man 8 were plentiful (for a change).
The shop from Mega Man 7 made a return, though this time around it was run by Mega Man’s sister, Roll, and the currency used there consisted of an extremely finite, and difficult to acquire, supply of bolts scattered throughout the robot master stages.
Items in the shop consisted of equipment to dampen the “knock-back” effects of getting hit, decrease the charge time for a Mega Buster shot, change the function of Mega Buster, and a variety of other things.
Part of the fun of the shop was the fact that not all of the items were all that useful, such as the one that increases your climbing speed, or the one that disables your Mega Buster!
I greatly preferred this shop system, as unlike 7, where all you had to do was “farm” for money by killing enemies, purchases in 8 felt much more strategic.
In addition to the shop items, there were also a total of 4 Rush items, all granted to the player after defeating minibosses during the robot master stages.
While virtually all of the Rush items were nothing more than novelty items that could net you a nice item or two here and there, I always thought it was a neat idea to turn Rush into a motorcycle and ride him into battle.
But, that’s just me.
In addition to the changes made to the overall pace of the game, Mega Man 8 also featured some truly inspired level designs.
No longer consisting purely of platforming action, 8 contained a several vehicle segments and a few maze-like stages that couldn’t be completed linearly.
Mega Man 8 took this concept and greatly expanded on it.
Frost Man and Dr. Wily’s tower both featured perilous snowboarding sequences wherein the player would have to alternately jump or slide to survive the course.
Tengu Man’s stage featured an extensive on-rails shooting sequence in the skies.
This sequence was one of my favorites in the game, as it had you riding Rush while shooting numerous enemies, all while gradually recruiting a huge DEATH SQUAD of Mega Man’s buddies to help you out.
While Sword Man’s stage was not really a maze, but rather a series of trials that had to be completed while making use of specific robot master weapons, Astro Man’s stage was one mother of a maze.
Seriously, I fucking hated Astro Man’s stage…
Well, I think I’ve said more than enough about Mega Man 8, it’s time we got down to deciding who’s The Best MAN, for the very last time.
The Best MAN of Mega Man 8 is…
Didn’t see that comin’ didja’?
You know why Frost Man’s The Best MAN?
‘Cause Mega Man 8 was the first game in the series to give it’s robot master voices, that’s why.
Okay, okay, that’s not the only reason I picked him, but it had a lot to do with it.
You see, Frost Man’s voice made me laugh as a kid.
His character was supposed to be that of a huge, powerful, dopey idiot, and his voice reflected this very well.
Seriously, when the biggest fuckin’ robot master in the fuckin’ series leaps into the arena, smashing a bunch of Mega Man ice sculptures to show off his strength, only to yell out something retarded like:
“I’m gonna’, crush you! I will…… Beat, you!”
I just can’t help but smile.
Tune to 4:45 for example:
Seriously though, Frost Man has a lot going for him.
His “walking igloo” design is inspired and truly a sight to behold in-game with it’s vivid animations, his weapon, the Ice Wave is fun to use, (although much cooler looking when he uses it) and his stage is lots of fun to play with one of the better background tracks in the game:
Seriously, I actually had to rewrite a big portion of this post on account of me changing my mind about Search Man at the last minute.
The problem with Search Man is that, while he’s got personality up the ying-yang, and a cool weapon to boot, I didn’t care much for his stage.
You see, like Mega Man 7, 8 split up it’s robot masters into 2 groups of 4.
Because I rarely finished the game as a kid, the second group of robot masters were one’s I didn’t end up seeing all that much of.
On top of that, I’ve never actually fought Search Man without having the Flame Sword to pwn his ass with, so I’ve never really gotten to experience a real fight with him firsthand.
Clown Man on the other hand, while one of my favorite designs in any Mega Man game, suffered for exactly the same reason Frost Man was promoted.
His voice annoyed the piss out of me.
He had an extensive repertoire of interesting attacks, his stage was cutesy fun, and his weapon was not all that bad, but his voice was just painful to listen to.
Oh yeah, that and he was WAY too fucking easy…
Well folks, we’ve named our last Best MAN.
Hopefully everyone had fun along the way, I know I did.
See you tomorrow when I (hopefully) think of some other shit to write about…