maanantai 21. tammikuuta 2013

REVIEW - Mega Man 10 | PS3 | 2010

GENRE(S): Action / Platform
RELEASED: March 1, 2010 (Wii)
AVAILABLE ON: PS3, Wii, Xbox 360
DEVELOPER(S): Inti Creates, Capcom

In 1996, a group of former Capcom employees founded Inti Creates. They spent their early years working on cult PlayStation games which never were to see daylight outside the Japanese borders. In the west, Inti Creates didn't become known before they returned to Capcom and presented the Mega Man Zero series for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. In a classic case of succeeding by the means of going back to the future, they had their big break with the throwback title Mega Man 9 in 2008 - a vintage 8-bit Mega Man game, complete with a silly plotline, weird bosses, a compact selection of favourite general gameplay features from the series, and a deliberately high level of difficulty. Mega Man 9 was something that was created just for fun, and as a spiritual successor to the most successful game in the whole franchise, Mega Man 2. Mega Man 10, on the other hand, was perceived as a whole new game - while still in 8-bit format, it's as full-blooded as a Mega Man sequel can be instead of an attempt at revival. No matter how they colour this ambitious endeavor up, it's still Mega Man as far as us players are concerned - whether going back to the main series again was a good choice or not, it's as heart warming and appealing for pretty much the same reasons as its predecessor. And extremely difficult - as hard as it is to believe, even moreso than its predecessor. But you've got an alternative, if you're up for being called a pussy.

For those about to play... we abuse you

The Roboenza virus spreads in robots like wildfire, eventually causing some of them to go on a rampage. With robots generally malfunctioning all over the world, people find it hard to perform the most mundane everyday tasks, and due to their machinery failing, scientists are unable to come up with a cure. Dr. Light and Mega Man reluctantly team up with Dr. Wily, who claims to have come up with a cure which was stolen by an infected robot. Mega Man sets out to challenge the "infected eight" in an attempt to locate Wily's missing cure.

And Mega Man's just laughing? God damn
Japanese artwork.
Storylines in the Mega Man franchise have never been ones of poetic and cultural importance, but Mega Man 10 is a new low - however, there are two things to catch the plot's giant fall. First, the whole thing's obvious self-irony, and second, at least it's different. At first. Fans should know by now that whenever Wily so much as appears on the screen, he's going to turn out the prime evil. So, as much as they try to colour it up with cutscenes, Mega Man 10 is still Mega Man of the very same basic structure it's been since 1987. It's just the way fans like it, and the way some critics hate to like it. But there's more to it than meets the eye - it's true that in some ways Mega Man 10 really does feel like a whole new game instead of the simple, endearing revival its predecessor was.

What about the bosses? 'Til this game came along, the Mega Man franchise had used every element available to create a credible Robot Master. Actually, they ran out of all the most applicable ideas somewhere between Mega Man 5 and 6. Recycling old themes and giving them different names might've been inevitable by the time of a "Mega Man 10" - and sticking to recycling with guys like Chill Man and Solar Man might not sound like such a bad idea when Sheep Man and Strike Man (you know, "strike" as in baseball) make their presence known. These two guys aren't even the worst, wait 'til you get a load of Pump Man, who is literally a sewer pump with a face.

The Challenge Mode is MUCH harder than it
looks like.
The developers cheated a little by pulling level design-related stunts that would've at least been extremely difficult to pull without generating the deadliest lag of the whole series back in the actual 8-bit era, such as the sandstorm that washes over the whole screen on brief intervals in Commando Man's level. The Legacy game mode is removed entirely, perhaps to drive home the fact that this isn't just an 8-bit tribute anymore. It's "replaced" with an arcade-like box around the screen, which I don't like too much. The music - which is completely original stuff this time around - is just God damn amazing at its best; Solar Man's theme is one of the best tunes in the main series, and the progressive theme in the first stage of Dr. Wily's fortress is second only to the classic from Mega Man 2.

Mega Man 10 offers the player an Easy difficulty level, due to some gamers and critics being very vocal against the previous game's difficulty level, from which there was no such escape. This mode, as seen on the demo screens, covers up a lot of spikes throughout the game and removes some hazards altogether, just to name a few examples which you might wonder about right off the bat. Let's face it, even if any Mega Man game might drive you nuts, you wouldn't play it on Easy - it just wasn't made to be played on Easy. Doesn't sound like such a bad idea, though, once you get into the game! Seven out of the eight main levels are pure evil with their unfair designs (like having three different enemies mauling you while you're standing on a conveyor belt and trying to nail down a long jump over a huge gap), and Dr. Wily's fortress, as awesome it is to listen to, is pure pain to play. Enter the toughest, lengthiest - and definitely most different - boss survival ever, and already you've got yourself the lousiest ball you've ever had. It's infernally frustrating, especially since you're not allowed to enter Dr. Light's Lab in between the just homicidal levels of the fortress - but addictive. Mega Man has got to be the most ironic game series of all time.

Mega Man 10 also offers the player a free chance to play as Proto Man. He was DLC for the previous game, but he functions exactly the same as he did as DLC; he has more moves than Mega Man and a chargeable weapon, only he takes double the damage. Appealing, isn't he? Why don't you take Proto Man for a spin on Hard and see what hell truly is? As cool as Proto Man is, I wouldn't touch him with a stick, not even on Normal. I've got enough problems with my sanity as it is.

The minibosses will have your blue ass if
you don't come prepared. And even if you do.
What you might find the most challenging and frustrating about Mega Man 10 - if you care for that sort of stuff - are two things, Challenge Mode and the Trophies, which were gloriously missing from the previous installment. I'll get to those real quick, but Challenge Mode needs an explanation first. In the previous game, there was but a Challenge List, which kind of compensated for the lack of Trophies. This list of different criterias included all sorts of challenges, like beating the game without your helmet on (still [IM]possible), defeating a certain number of enemies, finishing each boss off by using the Mega Buster etc.. Well, now we have Challenge MODE, which kind of works the same way, but there's more. You see, you unlock different challenges by playing the game. For example, just reaching a Robot Master adds his name on the Challenge List. You can then check out the related challenge from the list and try to conquer it to add to the 100% completion of the game. You probably need to defeat the bastard, whoever it is, by using the Mega Buster, to nail the challenge. The boss fight reprisals aren't even the worst on the list. Spike/jump puzzles ain't funny - ain't funny at all. Even when there are no enemies present, these might still turn out the most frustrating challenges.

Unless you are somehow able to put your pride on the line by choosing the easiest difficulty level to clash through this son of a bitch, you will have a hard time just completing one level in Mega Man 10. If the levels themselves won't prove to be enough to provide, the minibosses surely will - the Robot Masters themselves are moderately easy once you get started and figure out their weaknesses. The Trophies demand much more from you, too much at that. Like clearing the game without dying, or continuing, and finally, without getting damaged AT ALL. It's just sick. I actually made it to a boss room without getting damaged in Mega Man 9 once... but in this game's case, I see it as an utter impossibility on Normal and beyond. It's just way too unfair and unpredictable for that.

Quit pumping shit, bro.
Once again, unless you're man enough to admit your incompetence and choose Easy, you will find the most difficult Mega Man game of all time in Mega Man 10. There's so much more to it than being able to beat the eight main levels of the game - that's where the hell only begins. Once again, true fans will definitely get their money's worth and then some, but if you're a casual, sensitive gamer, you might want to turn to some other game instead.

Post-review rant - subject: Easy Mode. After getting raped by the first and second Wily stages enough times, I was more than convinced that the only way I was going to see this game to the end was to switch to Easy Mode myself. Well, first of all, the game was effortless to beat, and somehow I was not surprised of it at all. It's like mockery towards people who just can't beat the game. At least it's called Easy and not Practice like Capcom named the easiest difficulty level in Ghouls 'n Ghosts  back in the day - what's ironic is that even that level of difficulty was far from both Practice and Easy, and Practice is exactly what Easy Mode is in Mega Man 10! Not only are most spikes covered, there are also platforms to support your jumps and protect you from falling into most gaps, enemies are weaker and slower, and you take about half the damage you take in Normal even without a Guard Power Up. Health items, extra lives and an assortment of Tanks are scattered all over the place, and you get so much screws that you can empty Dr. Light's stock in just a jiffy, and rarely have to use that stuff at all. To cap it all off, the Easy Mode could just as well be called Trophy Whore Mode, 'cause playing on it doesn't really affect your Trophy run if you're not going for every single one of them. Some of the designs you'll bump into in Wily's fortress are still hell to get by even with all the help from the game, but all in all, this mode is a breeze - a big, insulting joke. Would it be so much to ask for a walk down the middle road again?

+ It's got a lot of surprises in store... yep, positive ones as well... well, at least on paper...
+ Amazing music
+ Extremely fluid controls
+ The Challenge Mode is frustrating and there are no real rewards for completing it, but die-hards who have followed the series from the early days might have fun with it
+ Adding Easy might make the game appeal to a larger target group...

- ...But we all know what die-hard fans of the series like a certain friend of mine would have to say about the mere concept - and the Easy Mode's completely effortless to beat
- Apart from the aforementioned choice of difficulty level, the game is simply too hard to remain enjoyable to the end; it would be nice to at least be able enter the store between the final levels, since there's simply too much to handle at once down there
- The plot, dialogue and the bosses are ridiculous, to which my friend would respond with "just as they should be", but personally, I miss the days when we had cool kids such as Snake Man, Gemini Man, Quick Man and Shadow Man wreaking havoc
- Why they didn't just give Mega Man Proto Man's abilities and just leave the latter out of the fray is beyond me
- The Trophies/Achievements are simply sick, there's no way around it, even if you choose to whore for them on Easy it's ridiculously hard to even attempt to nail them all

< 7.7 >

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti