Archive for the ‘Mega Man 9’ Category

2008 Round-Up Review – Kept You Waiting, Huh

March 9, 2009

2008 was nowhere near as stellar a year for movies as 2007, but any year without There Will Be Blood, No Country, Michael Clayton, The Mist and a new Ghost in the Shell movie will suffer.

BUT. 2008 was one helluva year for genre film. Probably the best since 1999 or 1982. Those years gave us The Matrix, Iron Giant, Blade Runner, Wrath of Khan… y’know. Classics. 2008 has some serious future classics as well.

First let’s go backwards. The worst of the lot:

Worst Movies:

Rambo – In my review I wondered if I would ever warm up to this big stupid, bloody gore-stravaganza. I’ve liked dumber movies. And well, I kinda did warm up to it. Not a whole lot, mind you! It’s no great piece of art by any means but it’s worth seeing for… for… for the carnage. Yes. That’s it. It’s almost… cathartic? Is that cliche? Well, then, it fits. For a movie so full of cliche – bad guys kill good people, good guys kill bad guys – it executes every single one of them visceral aplomb. Recently, in the comments section I defend Stallone as someone who knows exactly how to pander to a sick, depraved audience. Genius or not, he knows what he’s doing. Just look at who he’s casting in his next movie, The Expendables. Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Forest Whitaker, Jason Statham, Jet Li, ARNOLD … Bastard’s got my money again.

Quantum of Solace – I warmed up to Rambo’s idiocy, but I grew even colder towards James Bond’s latest escapade. I actively hate Quantum of Solace more and more with each passing day, my thoughts coalescing into a ball of climactic hotel-destroying fury. A misfire in every possible way. Dull villain, wafer-thin plot, pointless Bond girls – a boring Bond. Way to squander that reboot, fellas. Can’t believe ya did, but ya did. At least there’s still Bourne.

Pineapple Express – Hey, we got a weekend, some weed and woods in the backyard. Let’s make a movie!

Harold and Kumar 2 – Poop poop poop poop poop poop outdated George Bush jokes poop poop poop poop poop celebrity cameo poop poop poop poop poop. $10.75 please.

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Performance Review – Mega Man 9: From Hell’s Heart I Stab At Thee

September 29, 2008


Everyone is up in arms about Mega Man 9. A new sequel to the classic series that’s resurfacing after ten years. That was enough to send the hardcore fanboys into a tizzy. Then Capcom really pushed their joy button: it wouldn’t be returning to the cartoony sprites of Mega Man 8 or going the polygonal route… it would look just like the NES installments that the fans have a fondness for. And they went nuts for it. What a ballsy move! The mock box art they produced a few months later that poked fun at Mega Man 1‘s original shitty box art made them even giddier. It’d be just like the old days!

Then the game launched on WiiWare and the locust-like fans descended upon it and devoured it in record time. Reviews flew up left and right from die-hard fans spewing jizz all over the game’s aesthetics, gameplay, music and challenge. But most of all, its nostalgia. Hell, this blog even produced one of those. But what about those that are uninitiated? What about the gamers that never grew up with a NES or Mega Man to play on Saturday mornings? What about those with no fond memories tied to the Blue Bomber? Would they have anything nice to say about it?

I knew something smelled about Mega Man 9 the moment I saw that fucking awful box art. It was the stench of pandering. Of manipulation. Capcom knew exactly what it was doing by going back to NES sprites. It was preying upon its loyal fanbase, feeding upon the memories of Mega Man 2. It seemed less like appealing to our sense of good gameplay and more about appealing to our sense of nostalgia. Play our game, it’ll make you feel like you’re back in 1988. It all seemed so very underhanded and slick; predatory.

Well here I am to give you an impression of the game that’s untainted by goggles of vaseline-smeared nostalgia, unfettered by years or training to play this type of game and uncaring of the feelings of anyone it happens to cross on the way to its inexorable opinion. I hope this grump ruins friendships. I hope it dissolves marriages. I hope it scorches the very earth it stands on and poisons the water until all that’s left is blackness. There will be no getting along, no compromises, no uneasy truces.

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MEGA MAN 9 – For Everlasting Fun

September 23, 2008

In Ratatouille there’s a scene in which the grumpy old food critic Anton Ego takes a bite of Remy the rat’s titular dish and he recalls a memory of a time when he was small, wide-eyed and innocent. Everything was simpler, everything was fresh, the sun shined a little brighter, and mom was there to cook his favorite food. Anton’s bitter, jaded defenses, built over years of tasting the same bland junk over and over again, crumbled against the might of Remy’s refined technique and mastery over what is called a “peasant dish”, something boring, nothing special. He took what is common and plain, saw what worked, saw what didn’t, remixed it, kept it simple and ended up with something extraordinary, something even an ultragrump could not only appreciate but stack up next to the best dishes of the past.

This is exactly (well, maybe not exaaaactly) the situation Capcom and I are in. After years of tepid sequels and endless spin-offs the chefs at Capcom scanned their vast history, reworked their basic recipe and gave me, er, us the best Mega Man game since Mega Man 2, or Mega Man X. Playing Mega Man 9 flashes me back to those Saturday mornings full of Captain N, Super Mario Cereal and hot chocolate me mum made for me. Fueled by sugar and early morning sunlight – or better: dreary, gray rain! – I waged war against Dr. Wily and his creations for everlasting peace. 18 years later, I’m a little taller and really unshaven, but I’m the same Nintendo-loving kid stuck in arrested development. I rolled out of bed, downloaded MM9 on the Wii and turned the Wii-mote sideways to better resemble a NES pad. The opening title revealed old-school pixel art and 8-bit sound. It was Saturday morning again.

you now have mega man music in your head
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