Azn Badger's Blog

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The Best MAN!!! #7

Afternoon everybody, and welcome back to the 7th installment of The Best MAN!

Today we’re of course going to be exploring the tragically flat, and only 16-bit adventure in the linear Mega Man series, Mega Man 7.

Ah, I see we've reached the mid-90's era of Capcom's American cover art...

Before we delve into the utterly vanilla experience that is Mega Man 7, I feel it important to address one simple issue surrounding the stigma that seems to have arose in regards to this game.

Case in point:

Now, I can’t claim that this video’s (clever) views on the Mega Man series are at all that of the general public, however I feel that it should be said that Mega Man 7 is far from the worst of the Mega Man series.

*Ahem!* By now it should be obvious that that honor belongs to Mega Man 5

Pictured: Mega Man 5.

Anyway, despite Mega Man 7’s apparent reputation for being a shit-fest of epic proportions, the game actually had a decent story.

Not that that counts for anything in a franchise that puts zero emphasis on story.

In short, after Dr. Wily is thrown in jail at the conclusion of Mega Man 6, exactly 6 months later, 4 robots he had hidden in an underground laboratory wake up and blow the shit out of the city to free him.

Essentially, the plot is a carbon copy of the first half of Dragonball Z movie 7.

This was the coolest shit ever when I was in middle school... I'm not even kidding.

Coincidence?  I think not!

Nah, I’m just Joshing yah’, it probably was a coincidence.

Anyway, like any Mega Man game, the changes to the gameplay made in 7 were small, but fairly impactful.

Just not as much as in most other games in the series…

Several new characters were introduced, including Auto, Mega Man’s burly mechanic buddy:

"Pull my finger."

And Bass and Treble, the series’ obligatory evil clone characters:

PIMP.

While Auto served as little more than window dressing, Bass and Treble engaged the player at several points in the game, initially pretending to be all baby-faced n’shit, only to turn heel and bash Mega Man over the head with a steel chair.

"MY GAWD, WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!!!!"

Gameplay additions to Mega Man 7 included a new equipment store run by Eddie, wherein the player could purchase new items and abilities, and a brand new Rush adapter called “Super Mega Man” that combined the flight and power functions of the adapters from Mega Man 6.

Mega Man, GATTAI!!!!

It was also the first game in the linear series to allow the player to “charge” the weapons of all of the robot masters.

In addition to this, the game also adopted the “Intro Stage before Stage Select” mechanic that had been pioneered in the Mega Man X series, as well as set it’s own precedent by introducing the “Intermission” stage, that is; an unskippable level forced on the player after defeating 4 of the 8 robot masters.

PHARAOH MAN CAMEO!!!

As you can already tell, outside of 16-bit graphics and sound, Mega Man 7 didn’t really bring much to the table in terms of innovation.

In fact, despite the larger sprites and more detailed animations, the games’ musical compositions were actually somewhat weak for the series.

Even so, there were exceptions:

Just goes to show you that technical advancements don’t always mean much in regards to gameplay.

Mega Man 7 was not a horrible game, nor was it the worst Mega Man game, however; due to the hype and expectations surrounding it, the first 16-bit Mega Man game; it ended up being a pretty big letdown.

Even so, the games’ biggest shame is the fact that it is utterly average, serving as nothing more than a mere hiccup in the vast legacy of the Mega Man franchise.

Enough dour bullshit, let’s get down to who’s The Best MAN!

Well kiddo’, that’d have to be…

Shade Man

SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!???

This one hurt me.

Physically.

Seriously, Mega Man 7 has a decent roster of robot masters, but I really only like 2 of them.

Turbo Man and Freeze Man, those are the only 2 MEN in the game that come close to being The Best MAN.

ALL THAT IS MAAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!!!!

So why the fuck aren’t either of them The Best MAN in Mega Man 7!?

Well, shut up and I’ll tell you.

Junk Man is the first guy I’d always kill, and c’mon; he’s fuckin’ Junk Man.

More like "Pile of Fail Man."

Cloud Man is a fattie.

Pictured: Cloud Man.

I actually had to look up Burst Man just to figure out what the fuck his gimmick was.

Note: I still don’t know what it is…

Seriously man, what the fuck is his deal?

Slash Man is cool, but uninspired, *cough!* Wolverine *cough!*

I did like the dinosaurs in his stage though...

Spring Man is lame and had one of the most frustrating stages in Mega Man history, right next Astro Man in Mega Man 8.

Pictured: Spring Man.

That leaves us with Turbo Man and Freeze Man, the only 2 MEN that I actually like in Mega Man 7.

Both are my favorite designs in the game, they have pretty cool weapons, pretty fun stages, and are tough cookies when you finally get down to stompin’ a mudhole on their asses.

Despite Shade Man’s relatively crappy design, he trumps both of my boys in every other category, hands down.

He’s got a pimp-ass weapon, he’s tough to fight, and if you hold “B” before selecting his stage, you can play a through his stage with the Ghosts ‘N Gobins intro stage music playing as the stage background music!

Not only that, but his is the only robot master stage that includes a brief story sequence wherein Mega Man runs across an injured Bass and Treble just after they fought, and lost to Shade Man.

Even though it is later revealed that Bass and Treble were in fact working for Dr. Wily, it’s worth noting that Shade Man was considered powerful enough to have believably defeated them.

That’s street cred son, you can’t buy that.

While I don’t really care much for the whole vampire schtick of Shade Man, from a gameplay standpoint, he was a very creative and unique addition to the series.

He had more attacks than most bosses, including a life draining bite and Medusa-like stone gaze.

Clearasil: It's your friend.

More importantly, his weapon, the Noise Crush, was truly awesome, as it would bounce off of walls, growing more powerful as it ricocheted.

Like I said, the thought of declaring Shade Man the best, well, anything, makes me violently ill, however I feel I’d be lying to myself if I elected one of my favorites in his stead.

Just goes to show you, that which you like isn’t necessarily what’s best.

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The Best MAN!!! #4

Well, we’ve reached the halfway point in The Best MAN series.

Yes, I am aware that there are in fact 10 games in the linear Mega Man series, however; as someone who has yet to play #9 or 10, I don’t feel qualified to determine who The Best MAN for those games might be.

Oh well, that still leaves 8 other games for me to work with.

Speaking of which, let’s get down to the matter at hand: Mega Man 4.

Awkward composition, but clearly an improvement over previous covers. Mega Man's face looks kind of pedo though...

Mega Man 4 was the first game in the series to feature the Mega Buster charge shot.

Little known fact: Mega Man's anus is located in his left hand.

This simple change in the mechanics of the gameplay would profoundly effect the Mega Man series all the way until Mega Man 8.

The charge shot allowed the player to power up their standard bullets to form a singular, larger and more powerful shot that dealt approximately 3 times as much damage as a normal shot.

While this made combating the basic enemy fodder a somewhat simpler affair, the charge shot ultimately caused the boss fights to take on a more methodical pace than was customary for the series.

In fighting the robot master bosses, Mega Man’s standard bullets were de-powered to the point in which they only did one unit of damage per hit.

In addition to this, the duration of the invincibility frames given to the bosses (and Mega Man himself) upon being struck, were increased significantly, presumably for the sake of giving the player time to charge another Mega Buster shot.

The following is an example of the horrors of invincibility frames:

In essence, the introduction of the Mega Buster forced the player to pick their shots, rather than try to overwhelm their enemies as was possible in the previous games.

Mega Man 4 also introduced a handful of new characters to the series canon.

Flip-Top Eddie, Dr. Light’s walking briefcase, made his first appearance in Mega Man 4, showing up to give the player a random item during certain stages.

Also, the game featured the first appearance of Dr. Cossack and his daughter Kalinka.

Pictured: Dr. Cossack and Kalinka.

The Russian, and therefore evil; Dr. Cossack serves as the games’ main antagonist until the latter stages of the game when it is revealed that Dr. Wily kidnapped Kalinka, thereby forcing Cossack to do his bidding.

That evil son of a bitch...

Mega Man 4 was a pretty solid addition to the series.

The Mega Buster represented a major change in the series, one that I still can’t decide was for the better or worse.

The game was very difficult, arguably one of the more difficult entries in the NES series of Mega Man games.

The soundtrack was very good, while taking on a dramatically different sound from it’s predecessors, not in composition, but in MIDI instrumentation.

Give this remix of the iconic Mega Man 2 Title Theme a listen to see what I mean:

That’s enough about that crap though, let’s get down to who’s The Best MAN!

Well, that would have to be:

Pharoah Man

PHARRRRRROOOOOOOOAAAAHHHH MAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!

Really, was there any doubt on this one?

Mega Man 4 was by no means a perfect Mega Man game, however one thing it did better than most was the designs of it’s 8 robot masters.

AWESOME!!!!

Consequently, the designs for the 8 bosses were not designed by Capcom’s in-house artists, but from the results of a public mail-in contest.

Thank you creative people of Japan for giving us the awesome character designs of Mega Man 4!

No wait, I take that back...

Anyway, despite the general awesomeness of MOST OF the MAN designs in Mega Man 4, none can hold a candle to Pharoah Man in the looks department.

I mean fuck, look at him!

He’s got the Pharoah headdress, the MC Hammer/Vanilla Ice-esque pointy shoulders,

That's right, The Azn Badger is a survivor of the dark time known as "The 90's."

an awesome grill covering his mouth,

Wheeljack: You Are Remembered.

and his color scheme is both intricate and iconic.

You knew I'd find a way to slip Seinfeld in there, didn't you?

Hey, Dive Man and Skull Man might be cool, but shit son, HE’S A FUCKING PHAROAH.

You guys ain't got shit on THE PHAROAH.

Despite Pharoah Man’s landslide victory in terms of looks, it takes more than looks to be The Best MAN.

Fortunately, Pharoah Man’s got pretty much every base covered.

His stage is fun and has one of the better background tracks in the game.

His weapon is badass and is chargeable just like Mega Man’s Mega Buster.

"I AM PHAROAH, AND THIS, IS MY KINGDOM!!!!!!"

Not only that, but he’s a tough customer and puts up one helluva’ fight when you finally get around to facing him…

Flash Stopper = MEGA RAPE.

Provided you don’t have the Flash Stopper.

You use the Flash Stopper and he’s just a pussy like everyone else.

Seriously, he can’t even move if you Flash Stopper his ass.

For real, any fool could whoop him like a little bitch if they used the Flash Stopper.

Pictured: Any Fool.

We’ll just forget about that for now though and honor Pharoah Man as The Best MAN that he is.

Seriously though: LIKE A LITTLE BITCH.

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