Azn Badger's Blog

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The Best MAN!!! #8

Click me, I took hours to make...

Well folks, after a week straight of nothing but Mega Man related blogging, we’ve made it to the big finale.

That’s right, today we’re gonna’ be taking a look at the 10th anniversary game of the Mega Man series, Mega Man 8 on the Sony Playstation!

As previously explained Mega Man 8 will be the final installment in The Best MAN series, as I haven’t played Mega Man 9 or 10, and thusly don’t feel qualified to elect a Best MAN for those games.

That being said, let’s dive into Mega Man 8!

8′s story was, much like 7, somewhat more involved than previous entries in the series, largely due to the unprecedented inclusion of hand-drawn anime cutscenes.

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.

For real man, Dr. Light sounds like fuckin’ Elmer Fudd after a stroke, no joke.

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.

EVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

This energy grants it’s wielder great power, and multiplies by feeding off of it’s host’s evil intent.

Think the Venom symbiote from Spider-Man.

And now, gentleman, for your viewing pleasure: A T-Rex wearing the Venom symbiote.

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.

That is, not before trying to kill him, of course.

On the side there’s also a very Dragonball Z-esque “Goku and Vejita” dynamic that plays out between Mega Man and Bass.

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.

Oh Bass, we do this dance again and again, and yet you just don't seem to learn the steps, do you?

I like Bass, really, I do; but he’s a total pussy in Mega Man 8.

Haha, get it!? "Bass!"

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.

THIS FUCKING SLOOOOOWWWW.

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.

TONS OF 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.

A Hummer: THE strategic purchase.

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.

PIMP.

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.

While Mega Man 5 was the first in the series to feature on-rails vehicle sequences, in the form of a jet-ski ride during Wave Man’s stage,

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.

JUMP.

Tengu Man’s stage featured an extensive on-rails shooting sequence in the skies.

"FUCK YOU, WHALE!"

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.

The Mega Man Death Squad in all their glory.

Auto, Eddie and Beat all made appearances in this sequence, with Beat finally redeeming himself as the single most powerful ally you could acquire.

I'm lettin' you off easy this time... Chump.

Sword Man and Astro Man’s stages served as the first maze levels in Mega Man history.

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.

ARRRRRGHH!!!

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…

Frost Man

FROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST MAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!

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.

"I will love him, and kiss him, and I will call him George..."

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:

If anyone could usurp Frost Man’s position as Best MAN, I’d say it would be Clown Man or Search Man.

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.

Sorry Aqua Man, no one likes you...

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.

EXAMPLE

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…

Protip: Sticking your arms into the ground isn't a viable combat tactic. It just gets you shot. In the face.

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…

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The Best MAN!!! #6

Get your shit kickin’ boots on folks, ’cause today’s gonna’ be a real slobber-knocker!

That’s right kids, today we’re gonna’ be talkin’ about Mega Man 6!

More specifically, we’re gonna’ be deciding just who’s The Best MAN in Mega Man 6.

Mega Man 6 holds a special place in my heart.

I remember I got Mega Man 4, 5 and 6 as birthday presents from my parents on my 11th birthday.

Keep in mind this was 1998, or, more importantly, 2 whole console generations removed from the days when the good ole’ gray box was at all relevant.

1998: The Azn Badger's mother apologizes to him after his annual birthday movie outing for the first, and only time.

Me being me though, I was very thankful to my parents, and went to great lengths to play the shit out of my new Mega gifts.

At this point in time I had yet to play, let alone of hear of a Mega Man beyond #4, making 5 and 6 a special treat for me.

This guy has one more "special treat" and he's gonna' have a coronary... AGAIN.

Based on some of my harsh words regarding Mega Man 5 yesterday, I’m sure many of you can deduce how I felt about that game as a kid.

Well, despite Mega Man 5 sucking a monster of a Blackanese cock, I really enjoyed Mega Man 6.

In fact, of the 3 games gifted to me, 6 was the only one I beat on it’s original cartridge.

Yup, still got it.

The basic plot of Mega Man 6 involved yet another scenario wherein Dr. Wily is not the villain from the get-go.

THAT EVIL MOTHER FUCKER!!!

This time around, a mysterious man named Mr. X hosts a global exhibition of robot engineering, only to use this event as a means to steal 8 of the world’s most powerful robots to use for his evil machinations.

No way, he doesn't look ANYTHING like Dr. Wily...

Long story short, Mega Man sets out to battle Mr. X, only to later find that Mr. X is actually Dr. Wily in disguise (no fucking duh).

Am I really supposed to be intimidated here, or what?

Mega Man 6 added a decent amount of new stuff to the series.

While this once again served to over-complicate much of the gameplay, unlike #5, many of the additions were actual attempts to try something different.

Most notable among these additions were a pair of new Rush adapters, called “Jet Mega Man” and “Power Mega Man.”

The “Jet” adapter, shown on the box cover, allowed the player to fly to a certain extent by holding the jump button in mid-air.

The “Power” adapter, or “Mega Man Football Pads” as I referred to them as a kid, allowed the player to shoot powerful short range blasts, as well as use charge shots to blow up cracked blocks.

Both of these adapters, while causing Mega Man to become incapable of sliding; served to expand the gameplay by affording the player new options in how to approach each stage.

Consequently, the level design featured numerous branching paths for each stage that often required the player to use these Rush adapters to traverse or reach.

While none of these alternate routes were required to beat the game, clearing 4 out of 8 of the robot master stages via these routes would reward the player with that useless fucking bird, Beat.

Yup, still fat, and still useless...

On a side note, an elementary, but previously unexplored addition to the gameplay of Mega Man 6, was the Energy Balancer, given to the player by Proto Man upon finding him in Tomahawk Man’s stage.

The Energy Balancer allowed the player to pick up weapon power items and have that energy allocated to the weapons that need it most, automatically.

This was a huge time saver, and should’ve been in the series from day one, however Mega Man 6 was the first game to have this feature.

Subsequent titles in the series have since made this a standard feature of gameplay, albeit one that still needs to be purchased or discovered in-game.

Even of this hippie-dippy-gobbledy-gook though, let’s get down to who’s The Best MAN!

Well, that’d have to be…

Yamato Man

YAMATOOOOOOOOOOOO MANNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!

While pretty much all of the designs in Mega Man 6 are excellent, determining which was The Best MAN was a fairly simple matter.

Let me walk you through the process:

First of all, Plant Man and Centaur Man are out on account of being fruitcakes.

PUSSIES.

You see, the prime issue is that they lack the MAN factor that is implied when searching for The Best MAN.

Moving on, Blizzard Man and Wind Man = FAT.  ‘Nuff said.

FATTIES.

While a decent enough MAN, Flame Man was always the first guy that I would take on, (either that or Plant Man) so, like Metal Man in Mega Man 2, even though I like his design a lot, he’s too much of a wimp to be true MAN material.

ANOTHER PUSSY.

That leaves us with 3 MEN to work with: Knight Man, Tomahawk Man, and Yamato Man.

While all 3 have great background music and cool weapons, Knight Man was the first cut due to being a truly pathetic challenge when you finally get around to fighting him.

Yes, he is in fact wearing a lampshade while holding a big black dildo.

Tomahawk Man had my favorite background music in the game:

Despite this, my decision ultimately boiled down to who was the most fun/hardest to fight, and that, for the 11 year old Azn Badger; was always Yamato Man.

Both guys only had 2 attacks, but 1 of Yamato Man’s involved him shooting his spear head at you, and then dashing across the room to retrieve it.

Yamato Man used Skull Bash! It's Super Effective!

Tomahawk Man’s moves were both horizontal projectiles that were relatively easy to jump over.

Tomahawk Man used Feather Dance! It's Not Very Effective...

While I could sometimes squeak by Tomahawk Man without the Plant Barrier, I always needed the Silver Tomahawk to take down Yamato Man as a kid.

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The Best MAN!!! #5

After the hootenanny of character design awesomeness that was Mega Man 4, most of us were left thinking, “what the fuck kind of crazy awesomeness can the guys over at Capcom possibly follow this up with?”

The answer, unfortunately, was about 2 thirds crazy, and 1 third awesome.

Ladies and gentleman, it’s time to tangle with the odd bird that is Mega Man 5.

Really diggin' the Mega Man stiff arm.

Mega Man 5 is a really fuckin’ weird game.

The story was some hackneyed bullshit wherein Proto Man was set-up as the main villain, only to have it revealed later that he is in fact innocent, and, guess what, Dr. Wily was the actual mastermind.

THAT EVIL MOTHER FUCKER!!!

In terms of graphics and sound, it was a significant step up from it’s predecessors, and even the gameplay was pretty solid as well.

Yep, they actually gave those little Met fuckers jet packs and space helmets...

It was the design of the game that hurt it.

For the first time in Mega Man history, the player was faced with issue that there were one too many features.

While Mega Man 5 was far from innovative, in fact it was one of the more “phoned-in” games in the series, what little it added was the straw that broke the camels back, the last block pulled from the Jenga tower.

That's right, Jenga mother fuckers!

Some of the (few) features that Mega Man 5 brought to the table were more intricate level designs, a new weapon called the Super Arrow, and Beat, the fighting bird that could be earned after collecting letters in all 8 of the robot master stages to form the phrase “M-E-G-A-M-A-N-V.”

Fuckin' worthless-ass turd burglar...

By the way, despite the level of dedication required to activate Beat, he’s pretty much useless.

He’s like the equivalent of using Zero for 1 third of a stage in Mega Man X3.

The best thing Zero did in X3 was get his ass kicked for me so I could jack his beam saber.

Oh you know you gonna' gimme' 'dat shit son...

For real man, Zero is like the Trunks of the Mega Man X series.

Everybody and their mother thinks he’s the bees knees, suckin’ his cock left and right, but if ever you ask them “why?” they can’t come with anything close to an answer.

Know why he smilin'? 'Cause you suckin' his dick, that's why.

It’s gotta’ be the hair or some shit, I swear…

Anyway, bullshit tangents aside, like I said, while it wasn’t a horrible game by any means, Mega Man 5  was kind of a lazy effort by Capcom, and was also the first in the series to begin to feel over-saturated.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the character designs were some of the weirdest in series history up until the fuck-sandwich that is Sheep Man?

Yet another reason as to why I haven't played Mega Man 9 or 10...

Good thing “weird” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad,” (it does when you’re talking about sack-donkeys like Sheep Man) ’cause it’s about time we got down to deciding who’s The Best MAN!

Well, among the side-show freaks and fuck-tards that are the cast of Mega Man 5, The Best MAN would have to be…

Gyro Man

GYRRRROOOOOOOOOOOO MAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!

Like Mega Man 3, this one was a toughy.

Unlike that game however, I had no real attachment to any of the robot masters in Mega Man 5.

I mean shit, look at ‘em:

TRAIN DUDE!!? MISSILE FACE!? PEARL MAN!!? WTF!!!!!????

Mega Man 5′s cast of robot masters was unique, I’ll give it that.

Even as a kid, I seriously didn’t think they’d actually make a “Star Man,” but hey, I’m not a videogame designer, what do I know…

The real difficulty in choosing who was The Best MAN in Mega Man 5 sprung from 1 simple personal debate:

Crystal Man or Gyro Man?

Really, that’s all it came down to, but I have to admit it gave me some issues.

Pretty much every other robot master in the game is ass-faced failure, to the point in which I was left with only 2 guys I really had any sort of appreciation for.

You wanna’ know how I made my decision?

Well, I started, of course, by looking at their designs.

I liked both, but to be honest I felt I liked Crystal Man just a little bit more.

Sexy...

Something about his color scheme and strong body shape just “did it” for me.

Next, I moved on to their stage music.

Gyro Man:

Crystal Man:

No contest here.

Point, Gyro Man.

Normally I’d insert a comment here about who was the tougher challenge, but seeing as both guys were pussies, I’m left with nothing more to say other than, well, they were pussies.

"Who, me?"

The final deciding factor ended up being my (fragmented) memories of that goddamn Mega Man cartoon.

While Gyro Man’s appearance in the show WAS RETARDED AS FUCK, at least it wasn’t as bad as Crystal Man’s.

If I remember correctly, Crystal Man fought Mega Man on the moon, got his chest bulb shot out, and generally just got shat on for the entire half hour.

What the fuck is up with American redesigns of Japanese shiieeet!!!??

Gyro Man at least got to wear a wig and pretend to be in a shitty 90′s rock band with Gemini Man and Spark Man

Lookit' them pointy shoulders... That's how you know it's the early 90's.

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