The Biggest McDick’s in the World!!

You’ve read the first installment of my Disney World log, right? If not, go here to check it out. If you have, you’ll know that while we were touring in Orlando, we came across a big freaking McDonald’s. In fact, the biggest in the world. After seeing it on the Food Network, my mom and brother were determined to find this place while we were there. Not only did we manage to find it, but on the first day to boot. And as they had been raving for about a week at that time, it was really freaking big. So big, that it was advertising it’s greatness on the M signpost outside, and several other signposts in the vicinity.

Just as a little preface, I’d like to point out that a lot of my pictures of this McDonald’s turned out a little blurry. And by “a little”, I mean “terribly”. I’m not sure why, as almost every other picture I took turned out fine, but that’s the way it is, so you’re going to have to deal with it or go and do something else. The blur isn’t so bad that you can’t tell what’s what though, so you should be able to cope rather easily. Now let’s get this party started.

So now we’ll take a wondrous journey into one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen Disney World. Our tour starts outside, where amazingly, there is quite a bit to see. Just standing outside of this place, you can tell that it’s going to be like no other fast-food restaurant you’ve ever seen. You have to witness it first-hand to get the full effect of how spectacular this place is, but I’m going to do my best to give you a good general impression.

Well that one turned out horribly, but I’m sure you get the picture. It’s the big M sign seen in front of every single McDonald’s restaurant, so chances are pretty good that you’ve seen one. Only instead of a sign saying that they’ve sold so many billions of burgers, it’s got a fancy-ass electronic signboard that boasts about it’s hugeness and greatness. It also gives details on current specials, what kinds of food they serve there, and just how popular the place is. I can imagine that it’s running the 3 other McD’s restaurants within 30 feet into the ground.

And the fact that there are other McDonald’s restaurants close by is the really sad part. I thought it was a pancake house that they had on every street corner, not a McDonald’s. But on that note, there were a lot of pancake houses around. Especially IHOP (International House of Pancakes, for those not in the know. I just learned that while I was there.). That seems to be the granddaddy of them all. And while pancakes are good and all (now that I think of it, I wonder what the breakfast menu is like here…), I’m at McDonald’s, and that’s what I’ve got to get back to reviewing. So in conclusion, while in Florida, I ate no pancakes.

You might not be able to tell so well from pictures, but this place, as I may have mentioned before, is frickin’ huge. Just look at it and compare it to things around it. Oh yeah, there’s also the whole two-storey thing going on. That’s a big one. Not only is it huge, it’s exuberantly decorated as well. The huge fry box motif, the art all over the walls, and the lights and decorative crap coming out of every which way, it’s amazing just to look at. If you do ever visit, you’ll probably be stuck standing in awe of this place for a good five minutes or so before you actually get inside. And it only gets more extravagant on the inside. If God eats fast food, this is where he goes.

When you walk in (and through automatic doors, no less) you’ll notice that every bit of wall and possibly even ceiling is covered in something. To your right is the dessert bar, which I’ll get to later, right in front of you are swarms of people trying to get food, and to your left is the happy little scene pictured above. As you can see, we’ve got ocean-painted walls, a huge map, a table for taking charity donations, and that token Ronald McDonald toy display. On the floor are some sort of funny footprints that point you to the exit (which you might miss with all this stuff going on around you), and the occasional shoe scuff, which might be unintentional.

Now this one is the real kicker. Look at all of that food advertisement and display. In the very back is the regular McDonald’s counter area, where you get your food. Right in front of them are more little cash register machines, where you order your stuff. This is all a lot more complex than any McDonald’s I’ve ever seen already. Then in front or that is their gourmet food displays. These contain pizza, real sandwiches, desserts, and seafood, among a bunch of other fancy stuff. You can see various signs posted around, like the black pizza sign above, the sandwich sign in the background, and that bistro gourmet sign to the left. Over on the right side, you can just barely get a glance at that dessert area and chef station. That’s right. This McDonald’s has real chefs. That means food that won’t make you crap 5 minutes later (or block you for several days, as I would soon learn).

So while my parents stand in line to get us our grub, we decide to go explore this huge place. It might be the excess of people, or that fact that it’s crammed to the brim with games, tables, chairs and odds n’ ends, but it feels a lot smaller on the inside. Well, to be more precise, the first floor does anyway. The second floor is less jam packed, because the eating area is exclusive to downstairs, so there’s a lot more room to move around, but we’re still investigating the downstairs, so I’ll get back to that.

As you can see in the picture, there are not nearly as many people as I might have led you to believe, but there were still an ample amount. You can also see that the walls are still painted from top to bottom, and there’s decoration as far as the eye can see. Unless you’re looking out those crooked windows, because even downtown Florida, a place filled with more crap than you can imagine, looks bare compared to this single establishment. And you can also see a couple of the games along the back wall, and I’ll hint at it now, that’s one of, if not the best part of this McDonald’s.

There’s the kid’s/birthday area. It’s just as covered in fancy as the rest of the place, and it’s even got those cool character chairs. Just looking here, can you imagine how exhilarating it must be for a kid to have his birthday party here? Even to attend a party here? Or Hell, if you were going to go to a party here, chances are that you live close enough to go whenever you so desired. And that would be great. A place like this is just one of those places you have to go to more than once if you ever get the chance. Just like Disney World, and I have been there twice. Not to boast or anything, though.

Ack! It’s the attack of the blurry camera invaders! I swear… It’s not that I screwed up. No. I’m good at taking pictures. What’s that? I already admitted to screwing up at the beginning? Damn. Hoisted by my own petard. Now while that phrase makes very little sense according to, I’ll take the Family Guy quote for what it’s worth. Now back to the stuff and such, this is the opposite wall to the kid’s area, and you can see that it’s covered in games, and the floor is absolutely cluttered with eating place. It’s actually quite hard to move through the tables themselves, even when they’re unoccupied. Going around the perimeter may be a longer trek, but it certainly is easier.

Oh gah! It’s even blurrier than the last. Luckily, this one I can chalk up to wanting to take the picture fast so that girl wouldn’t think I was taking a picture of her. It’s just one of those things you have to watch for when you have a camera. You see the aquarium. It’s cool and blue, but the fishies inside leave something to be desired. They’re tropical aquarium fishies and all, but they’re no eels or mantis shrimp or anything really awesome like that. Just plain old angelfish and other brightly coloured aquatic critters. It is pretty big though, so it’s not a total loss. And even if they aren’t special, fish are always fun to watch, in a bored sort of way.

You know, I think it might actually get better after this one. I’m not sure, but we can hope, right? This little corner is jungle themed for some reason that I can’t explain. It comes complete with tons of leaves and flowers hanging from the ceiling, a little statue thing with some water in it, and a rather dark air altogether. It certainly is different from the rest of the restaurant, and it really shows that they were trying to please as many as possible. This way, plant lovers can bask in their flora, and goths can sit in a dark corner. Fun for everyone!

and now, we get to the best part of the whole entire place, and one of the biggest highlights of my trip. Yes, it’s something that only I would get super-hyped about, and yes, I realize that it qualifies me as a huge loser, but damned if my heart didn’t stop when I saw this beauty…

Mc-freaking-Donald’s has an F-Zero AX machine!!!! Just like it says in the title bar! Ever since GX came out, I’ve been searching the city for one, but up here in Canada we’re lucky to get cool stuff late, and most of the time, we just plain miss out on it. I’ll tell you this, If one of these machines does take up residence in Winnipeg somewhere (please inform me if you know of one!), I haven’t been there, because I know I would have used or at least caressed it once by now.

To make my severe geekness a little more understandable, I love F-Zero. I’m not a huge racing fan, but the Nintendo racers have always had a special place in my heart. Mostly because those are the only ones that you can control without being a racing freak. Damn that Gran Turismo and it’s complexity. Heck, damn all sim racers for being too hard for me to understand. But F-Zero, it’s not like that. The car turns when and where you want it to turn. If you want to make a sharper turn, you hold the sharp turn button. None of this spin-out, drift and slow-down-when-turning funny business. Just me, the track, and 29 other racers. All set to awesome music and beautiful sci-fi scenery.

and the arcade game only capitalizes on everything there is in GX. For one, the seat moves around while playing. And since it’s an extreme racer, it moves a lot. So much it needs a seat belt. And then the speakers are right in behind your head, so those awesome tunes are blaring in your ears all the way to the finish line. It may sound distracting, but anyone who doesn’t like a hardcore mix of the Mute City music needs a serious re-evaluation of their musical tastes. Plus it sets the mood really well. I’ll even throw in this link, which you can follow to download every track from every F-Zero game. The steering was a bit touchy and oversensitive, but was easy to get used to.

Oh, just look at that. A perfect picture after all of that blur. Fitting, isn’t it? Well, there’s yet ANOTHER great thing about this machine that I didn’t yet mention. If you’ve got an F-Zero GX game save, and you bring your memory card, you can slot it in here and unlock a bunch of new machines, tracks and parts to play on GX. Yes, you can unlock them without AX, but it’s freaking hard. Just ask anyone who’s played the game. Finishing the races on the AX machine is a helluva lot easier. And even though it might cost you a couple bucks to do it, the experience is definitely worth it. This is one of the greatest arcade games I’ve ever played, topped only by Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man(which was also at this particular McDonald’s), and Bust-A-Move.

So now that I’m done with that little rant, it’s about time that we moved upstairs. Like I said earlier, up here there were no tables or chairs, so it was a lot less crowded, and access to games was much more convenient. If you turn around while heading upstairs, or happen to be on your way down, you’ll see the scene pictured above. While the downstairs was built around the premise of eating and playing F-Zero, the upstairs is a much more patriot-friendly place. But of course, only for the American visitors. Foreigners like me feel completely out of place, eh.

Holy crap. Now that one is bad. More patriotism with the flag-bearing Lady Liberty, and behind her is a huge and brightly lit wall. Inside that wall is the prize room. Not only is this place awesome, it also takes the premise of Chuck E. Cheese’s before it and implements a ticket/reward system. All the prize-type games might have been upstairs, but I’m not sure, since I didn’t even give most of them a second glance. I was far too caught up in F-Zero. It’s kinda very sad that I’m obsessing so much about a single arcade machine, but I’ve been looking for one for months, so I technically could have had a orgasm when I saw it and still been in the right. But I didn’t, so I’m not totally screwed for finding a girl yet. (Note: Even I have a limit when it comes to video game hype.)

And the monstrous ball pit/climbing structure is something you just can’t ignore. This thing, like the restaurant, it huge. I couldn’t go in it, of course, but you know I wanted to. All the twists and turns and windows and things inside. It’s a spelunker’s paradise. In the first picture, you can see a Rollercoaster Tycoon sign of some sort; it’s a pinball game. I thought it was pretty cool, but not cool enough to earn a picture. And in the second, you can’t really see anything. I’m almost ashamed at how bad these pictures turned out, but it’s not like it’s something I can just go back and re-shoot any time I want, so they’ll have to do.

I played a mere two games while I was here. That may sound quite odd, but you already know about the F-zero AX situation. “What was the other game?” you ask? Well, in my entire life up to this point, I’ve only spent money on one woman; Ms. Pac-Man (I make things for my mom, or get my dad to buy stuff. I’m not totally heartless). Now seeing as that statement pretty much ensures me to be single for the rest of my life, I might as well keep going, as I’ve nothing left to lose. …Strange. I think I’ve typed out a phrase similar to that in an older article. Maybe it’s just one of those inaccurate feelings of déjà vu. I don’t know, and I don’t care enough to check. Now bring out the next picture!

You’ve all played one type of Cyclone game or another. Unless you’ve never been to Rucker’s or Chuck E. Cheese’s, but that’s impossible, so I’ll assume you all know how it goes down. In any case, they had both this Cyclone machine, and an identical machine called “Titanic” almost side-by-side. Maybe it’s in case of a busy day, maybe they’re just being redundant. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, but I do know what didn’t kill her. Smoking. Ah, now that’s two Family Guy quotes that don’t quite fit. Oh well, they bring back good and funny memories, so I’ll leave ‘em there. Family Guy rules.

And now that we’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see in this Super McDonald’s, it’s time that I leave. It had to happen, but not after one final race across Mute City. Well, after that, I was done, we had to leave for real, and on good timing, too, because there wasn’t anything else I really wanted to take pictures of. But on the way out, there’s one thing that stares you in the eyes through the whole long walk to the exit.

The ice cream bar. The most magical gift the human race has ever been given, and my last stop in the world’s biggest McDonald’s. There wasn’t a huge selection of flavours to choose from, but all the best ones were there; bubble gum, cookies n’ cream, mint chocolate chip, rainbow, chocolate, chocolate swirl, yellow, and a couple less noticeable ones. I, the ever-hungry pile of human I am, decided that I would delight myself with some of this ice cream even though I’d just eaten 4 double cheeseburgers, a super-sized drink and 3 portions worth of fries. I got the yummy bubbly gum flavour that I haven’t had in the years since the awesome ice cream place we used to go to closed down. That was a sad summer for everyone.

See? Blue. It also matched the sign outside if held up properly. You might also notice that it says “internet” in the window. Yes, they had internet. Yes, I could have made a little post while inside. But it cost money and it was a touch screen, and I had racing and dot-eating to do. So I opted not to and simply went on my way.

And that’s the end of that adventure into the wilds of fast-food land. Actually, if you compared it to the rest of fast-food land, it would be like the throne room where the king sits and get really fat. And now that I’ve typed over 3100 words about a McDonald’s restaurant, I have to go and wonder why I’m not doing this for money. Seriously. I would love to get paid for the site, but it’s not going to happen. So while I flush that pipe dream, I’ll leave you with a couple closing statements.

1. If you’re ever in Orlando or anywhere remotely close to it, make sure you visit this place. Even if you don’t like McD’s food, they’ve got something for every taste. They’ve probably even got caviar if you’re into that kinda stuff.

2. Buy me an F-Zero AX machine for my birthday. It’s still 4 months away, but you’ll need to start saving now. If nothing else, get me GX and a racing wheel so I can pretend.

3. Yes, they have a Bill Cosby standy. If that’s not reason enough to travel down to America’s wang, I don’t know what is.

Waldo + Bust-A-Move – A Double ROM Review!

As a gamer, I’ve seen a lot of crap. And by a lot, I mean tons. There are literally hundreds of craptacular games out there. Sure, the Playstation and PS2 have tons and tons of titles, but over 90% of those games are utter bullhock. Not to say that Nintendo systems are without their stinkers. Just looking back on the SNES and thinking of bad games for it makes me cringe. Heck, even the GameBoy Advance is a victim of this virulent affliction. Anyone can see they suck, but people must be buying them, cause they keep getting made.

On the other hand, we’ve got some real gems too. Speaking as a fanboy, almost every one of Nintendo’s games have been of excellent quality. Sure, production values are sometimes sold short, but they’re almost always fun. And it’s not only Nintendo, of course. A lot of other companies have very nice track records, like Namco, Squaresoft and Enix (which are now conveniently rolled up into one), and Rare. It’s companies like this that make people keep coming back for more. If it were only crappy whored-out movie/TV licenses (Matrix and Simpsons, lookin’ at you), video games would have been dead long ago.

So if I’m talking about both sides of the spectrum in one article, what the Hell is going on? Well, simply put, I’m reviewing one crappy game and one excellent game. Why do both at once? Well not only am I trying to make some kind of deeper meaning or something only an English professor could figure out, but neither game that I chose to review could possibly fill an entire properly-sized article. So now that you know what’s going on, I’ll start with the bad news.

Yes, that’s right. I’m going to subject you to something so bad that you’re bound to appreciate the better of the two. Now that’s a clever little idea right there, isn’t it? Glad I thought of it while typing that last sentence. Yes. Yes… But anywho, you remember Waldo, right? That guy who everyone was consistently trying to find? Ha, I can see that look on your face right now. I love that “Oh God no! They made a game out of that!?” look. It’s so… je ne sais quoi. But yeah, they made a game out of Waldo.

Actually, they made at least two games out of him! I remember renting the NES game, and damned if that wasn’t the worst 5 bucks ever spent. Actually, buying the game would constitute as worse, so I guess second worst 5 bucks ever spent will have to do. But it was entirely impossible. As far as I can remember the “maps” were huge and you got very little time and only a small sphere of vision. And if my memory is right, they stupid-fied the SNES version like rap music does to anyone who listens to it.

After the title screen, we get treated to the difficulty select right away. And let me tell you, you’ll be blown away by this. The difficulty levels in this game are Normal, Expert, and Waldo. Yes, instead of an “easy” level, they put Waldo. And no, it doesn’t just say “Waldo” where “easy” should be, there’s just a big graphic of his head and upper torso. I let curiosity get to me, and dammit, the Waldo level was just the exact same map five times in a row. Who’d have known? And why would they put something so ridiculous in a game? It beats me, but since Waldo was so easy, I’ll try Expert next.

After I picked the difficulty, I got a choice of four different graphics. A dangerously obese man-thing (anything that fat cannot be classified properly as a man), two guys who looked to be getting drunk [whilst sitting] on magic carpets, a strange pig-like thing with spikes and a hugeass nose, and some guy throwing what looked to be liquid Play-Doh on a robe-sporting man. It decisions like this that make life so difficult. I figured eventually I’d have to see them all, so I took the drunk carpet guys.

And this is what I got. I don’t know, but I feel as it there’s something wrong with this picture. Oh, maybe it’s that it’s following the exact same stereotypes as the Where’s Waldo books. I’m not exactly sure, but I think they might be in Arabia somewhere. If that’s even a place. I did really bad in geography class. But anywho, you’ll notice that everyone here is coloured. Not only that, but they’re all wearing turbans and sashes, and riding on carpets. And when in the Hell did they invent a country where anyone and everyone was required to be on the rooftops? And why didn’t they ask me to be a part of that country?

Next I chose the pig face thing, and we move from somewhere in Africa to the medieval times, where everyone has changed from black to white. Where is the equality? I’m already sick of this game and its racist stereotypes. Didn’t the creators of this game ever see that movie Black Knight? But now I’ll direct your attention to some on-screen stuff. Near the bottom, we can see a gray brick. Clicking it gives you 150 points. Somewheres near the middle right side of the pic is a clock, which increases the time you have to find Waldo. And speak of the devil, there he is right beside the magnifying glass! That level sure was a breeze.

The other two levels are pretty much the exact same things. I should note a couple things about the gameplay here, I guess. Now obviously there’s a time limit, and you can extend it by picking up those clocks. But honestly, you don’t even need the whole first clock to complete a level. The only thing that takes any time at all is finding the other objective, a scroll. They, unlike Waldo, can be hidden quite well, as they’re small and can be fit behind things quite easily. But of course, they rarely are, so each level will take you about 30 seconds, and that’s if you stop to pick everything up.

One other thing I forgot to mention that influences the game in a big way is the size of the maps. For one, they’re very, very small. Bite-sized, even. And to top it all off, they only scroll horizontally. This may not sound like such a big deal, but considering how big everything is, you’ve got an extremely small zone of probability of where Waldo can be hiding. A zone of probability comparable to that of an electron. And that’s pretty much all there is to it. You scroll around until you see the scroll and Waldo, and you’re done.

But what would a game be without its bonus levels? I’d be a game without bonus levels. But Waldo’s game has one. Yeah, one… If you manage to find the strange Waldo-dog in a level, you get to fly around on a magic carpet collecting bones. Now you don’t have to be in the magic carpet level to get this bonus, it’s the exact same on every level. Yeah. They went through all the trouble of making four levels, so why not four bonus levels? Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so cheated. Maybe if there were more than 8 people on the staff, they would have put in individual bonus levels. We’ll never know now.

So if you just so happen to beat all four levels, you get taken to the super-secret fifth level! Woah! Never saw that coming! It’s just the same thing, but with no extra pickups and one tiny little twist. There’s a lot of Waldos here, see, and only one is the right one. That right Waldo just happens to have lost one of his shoes. It’s a long shot, but at least they tried. I’m still not satisfied. And what do you get for finding shoeless Waldo?

Even Super Mario freaking Brothers had more of an ending than that. The question remains, though, why did I want to get the scrolls back? He’s obviously not going to do anything for me. Hell, he could be evil incarnate for all we know. Maybe the instruction booklet had some kind of story in its pages, but I really doubt that possibility. I bet this game didn’t even have an instruction booklet. You can only use two buttons the entire game, so there’s really nothing anyone needs help to figure out. Even Jessica Simpson could figure this one out. (Okay, the joke was a bit stale, but I couldn’t think of anything else.)

I think I can sum up the entire review portion into one paragraph here. Graphics were so-so. The animation was at a max two frames switching back and forth. The sound and music wasn’t much better. The music was forgettable and might have been annoying too. The sound may have consisted of a couple beeps and one really bad voice sample that says “Where’s Waldo?” every damn time something happens. Gameplay was boring and simplistic. I finished all three difficulty levels in less that 10 minutes total. If that doesn’t tell you that this game needs a little tuning, what will?

As a final note, I’d like to just plainly say that The Great Waldo Search sucked. It doesn’t even deserve to be italicized. I’m being kind enough just capitalizing the letters there. It sucked hard. Don’t even download the ROM. You’d be better off doing something productive like taking a dump or making a macaroni statue of Jerry Seinfeld. I guess the only good thing you could possibly say about the game is that the maps are fairly faithful to the books. Other than that, total crap. At this halfway point, I’m at about 1600 words, and the next game will probably yield a shorter review, because lo and behold, it’s a puzzle game. If you want, this would be a great time to go get a snack or something. It’s okay, I’ll wait for you.

I hope you’re done whatever you chose to do at our little intermission, cause I’m getting back to business now. Waldo was a horrible stain on the tapestry that is the history of video games, but the next game is one of my all-time favorite puzzle games ever: Bust-A-Move! Now the tricky part is going to be making it to the 2500 word mark, because there just isn’t a whole lot you can say about puzzle games. Fortunately, since I love this game so much, I could probably drone on and on about it for quite a while.

Hooray! Look at the happy little dragons. Incase you didn’t know or are having trouble placing it, they’re the same characters from Bubble Bobble, one of my old NES favorites. Bub and Bob make their grand puzzle debut here, and they do a marvelous job of it too. And as an added little trivia note, the game also comes packaged on every system from arcade machines to the Nintendo 64, and sometimes it’s known as Puzzle Bobble. But I’ll refer to it as Bust-A-Move, because it’s such a catchy phrase. The more you know!

Because there isn’t a whole lot of screenshot variety in a game like this, I got this great idea that taking a pic of the “modes” screen would be a good idea. Only what am I supposed to say about it? Let’s see what we have here. I’m obviously going to choose the 1P Play, because I’ve got nobody to play against and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna challenge anybody’s record. As for options, I need no options! Though a sound test would be fun…

Like most people, I don’t know any passwords, so I have to start all the way from Round 1. it’s not so bad, because these easy rounds are great for racking up huge points! It’s a pretty simple game at heart. You start with a bunch of bubbles hanging from the ceiling (Bubble Bobble fans will recognize the little guys trapped in the bubbles). Your job is to shoot bubbles up to pop the one on the roof. You get one randomly coloured bubble at a time, and you have to “line up” three or more bubbles of the same colour to pop them.

But of course it sounds easy! It is, for the most part. The only thing that gets in your way is the fact that you can get a lot of rubbish bubbles when you need particular colours, building a huge ball of garbage off to a side. And on top of that, you’re racing the clock, as the roof keeps getting lower, and if a bubble ever goes below that line near the bottom, you’re done. If you do manage to clear all the bubbles from the screen, it’s happiness and dancing dragons for you! In conclusion, yes, it is an easy game.

Now after a couple learning levels, the game spices it up a bit with some different types of special bubbles. In the pic above, you can see a fiery bubble among all of the regular bubbles. If you hit this guy with a bubble, it’ll explode into a big ball of flame and vaporize any bubbles within a small radius of where it once was. This is very useful for clearing out patches of trash bubbles, and lets you complete the round shown above in only three shots.

There are a couple other types of special bubbles, like the electric bubble pictured above. Shooting this one will send a lightning bolt blazing across the screen, destroying any bubbles that get in its way. It can be even handier than the fiery bubble, especially if it’s at the top of the screen and there’s a clear path towards it. The last special bubble I’ve seen is a watery bubble that lets a flow of water downward, changing the colour of all the bubbles below it to a single colour, making them easy pickin’s.

Like I said earlier, if you aren’t swift enough in your bubble-busting ways, you’ll get smoked by the torrent of bubbles. The poor little dragon fell over… If that’s not incentive enough to lose, let’s put it this way; when you do lose, all your points go with you. So continuing would put your score back at a measly zero. Unlike some games though, Taito thought ahead and doles out plenty of continues so you can keep going. They aren’t infinite though, so don’t slack off too much.

I might add that there is one finer point to losing. When you do lose, if you choose to come back, you get an aiming tool that helps a lot. You can’t see it in the pic above because it flashes and I pressed the button at the wrong second. It’s not my fault though, the little dragon was yelling at me to hurry up. But it does take all the guesswork out of the game, so you only get it for one level. After that, you’ll have to rely on your knowledge of simple physics. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let me take the course because I’m no good at math, so all I can do is hope my aim is true.

I’m not sure why I love this game, but anyone who’s ever gone to a movie with me can surely back that claim up. If there’s an absence of Metal Slug, you just know I’m gonna be at a Bust-A-Move machine until my quarters run dry or they manage to pry me off the machine because we’ve already missed the previews. I think one of the biggest factors that keeps me coming back is the music. It’s always the same tune over and over, but I love it so. If you need a little idea of how it goes, here’s a link to a remix of the main tune. It’s not quite the same as the original, but I can still put it on loop for hours and not get annoyed.

To wrap this one up in a single paragraph doesn’t do it justice, but I will anyway. The graphics are colourful and fun, almost giving off a Yoshi’s Island vibe. The music, as I already stated, is very cute and loveable. Sound effects include happy “yay!”s and such from the dragons, and the always fun bubble popping sound. The gameplay is that of a puzzle game: simple, but at the same time complex. Controls are nice and precise, and give you the accuracy you need for tricky shots.

Overall, I still love this game, and when it gets ported to the Nintendo 20075, I’ll still love it. When I go see whatever movie I deem worthy of seeing 30 years in the future, I’ll still love it, and my accomplices will still have to convince me that the movie is what we came to see. I suggest finding a GBA version, or if (God forbid) that doesn’t actually exist, go for one of the older GB games. If you can’t find one of those, look for the PS2 version. As a last resort, download one of the many ROM versions. Usually I wouldn’t condone such a thing, but some games are just worth breaking copyright law for.

And that’s the end of this week’s article. I probably shouldn’t say that, because these don’t exactly come weekly, but it’s too late to go back and type in something different. Maybe I should try to do an article a week, or at least bi-monthly. Lately I’ve been doing pretty good, with nine submissions so far this year. If you total what I did last year, that a whole lot of crap in two months. I think that this is one of my best articles in a while, because for at least the first half, I concentrated on not actually reviewing, but picking out little things and making big deals out of them, much like one of my many web-heroes would do.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. I know the electron thing made all the difference for me. I think it would be a whole lot funnier if I’d actually made that page, but as it stands, very few people will know what I’m talking about or take the time to read the whole thing and try to understand. I also had fun taking the screenshots for Bust-A-Move, and almost forgot that I was trying to write an article and not trying to finish the game. As a final remark, I’d like to say that after writing this, I’m certainly convinced that I should go out and buy Bust-A-Move. I guess it worked. Ooh! And I even managed to finish with a sweet word count of over 3100!

Guest Article: Yoshi’s Island

So, I’ve decided to make a review for Ryan. Horrific sentences and hard to understand ideas are in your near future. So, I’ve decided to review Yoshi’s Island; A wonderful game, one of the best games I have ever played. On to the article!

It’s great when your subject does the work for you, but there’s a little more back story than this. So, as they say in the streets, “This is how it goes down.” Baby Mario and Luigi are on there way to what I assume is their parents house in a stork’s bill. Magikoopa attempts to steal both babies, and fails 50% when Mario falls to what we believe is his doom. Luckily, he falls to Yoshi’s island and onto either, The Yoshi, or a yoshi. To be honest, I’m not sure, it says “It’s a lovely day and Yoshi is taking a walk.” but Yoshi the common noun is capitalized too… Oh screw it, it’s of less importance than the game. We’ll just blame the translators.

Here we can see the anger of failure. Notice the gaping peanut shaped mouth, and the fists of frustration. If you take a look at those 4 smaller Magikoopa-esqe toadies, these are the only things in the game that can make you fail, other than to fall into one of the holes in the game. To help your confusion, the game play works like this; You have baby Mario on your back for the vast majority of the game, if you get hit, Mario gets enclosed in a bubble, floats away, and you have X seconds to get him back before the red quartet snatch him away. It’s a real pain in the butt, but I really like the idea. It’s a “truly original idea” that even John Nash would be proud of. The goal of the game I guess is to get Mario back to his parents. I really don’t know. All we know is Yoshi is following a map that fell along with the future hero. Heck he could be going to Motocross Madness.

Alright, now that the back-story has been dealt with, onto the game! Look at this brilliant piece of work, it’s the best opening screen I’ve ever seen. It’s so colourful! This is really where the cartridge’s FX chip really came into play, all the background stuff rotates! It’s really a beautiful thing to see, I could spend hours just watching this. Wow, now that I think back on it, I was 9 when this thing came out, I think a little math will prove my accuracy. 1995-1986=MeBeingRight. There’s a brilliant song playing in the background too, I got this from The Mushroom Kingdom website.

Yoshi’s Island Title song

Hey, I never said I was good at the game. Besides, he got behind a wall that takes far more than 10-30 seconds to get to the other side of. One of the things that bothers me the most in this game is Mario’s wailing. I mean, he’s in a bubble, he should be happy that he’s floating around. But enough bad. I think the best part of this game is that it’s chalked full of everything. There’s so many different things in it. Since I’m being a bit vague, I suppose specifics are in order. Let’s take the bosses for example. One boss is a big fat bouncing something or other, and you have to hit him till his pants fall off. it sounds perverse, but he’s just a ball with eyes and feet, and there’s nothing there that the pants could be covering. Another boss is a blob that also bounces, but he tries to shove you into lava. I haven’t really played this since grade 4, so I remember very little, but I believe there’s also frog that eats you, and you have to hit that hanging thing at the back of his throat. There’s so many different things in this game, there are new things every level.

So, I’m losing interest in writing this, and am going to do the ratings thing

Graphics: 10/10

The graphics are mind-boggling. Some of you are saying “but it’s 2D blah blah blah” the thing is, it’s a lot harder to do things in 2D than it is in 3D, with 3D, the graphics engine does all the work, and practically everything is the same. In Yoshi’s Island, there was so much work put into making the different levels/bosses that I can’t even fathom how they did it.

Sound: 10/10

I love the music to this game. If you really want to know what I’m talking about, here’s a site with a few Midis people have made.

The Mushroom
Kingdom — Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island Midi Page

Game play: 8/10

Good, but I find myself in a lot of trouble when Yoshi turns into a mole car… the controls go to hell. Also, shooting could have been much better designed.

Well, that’s it. This was my first article. It took me an hour to make it… What can I say, loosing interest is what I do best. I strongly recommend getting this game by any means necessary. It’s great.


The Top 12 Reasons to be a MegaMan Fan

Over the years, there have been many, many different video game heroes. Some have been in several games, some in only one, and some that could have an entire store dedicated exclusively to their games. Some of the most famous franchises have come from Nintendo, including Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Kirby, the Pikmin, and hundreds of others. Mario alone has reached a level of familiarity with the world that more people know him than even Mickey Mouse. He’s appeared in literally hundreds of games, playing both big and small roles, even making cameo appearances in several other companies’ games. While no other video game superstar has come anywhere near the record that Mario holds, there is one who is gaining ground very rapidly.

That one character is my personal favorite, MegaMan. The little robot has starred in well over 40 games by now, and even has games named after him that he only has one or two lines in. As a single character usually has trouble getting over the 10-mark, MegaMan has been reincarnated several times, each time spawning a whole new series with a brand new plot and mountains of new secondary characters. MegaMan has been around for about 15 years now, and I know because Capcom’s been promoting the 15th anniversary for a while now. The little guy has been on almost every major game system conceived after the days of the Atari, and has seen the likes of every Nintendo system (except the Virtual Boy).

MegaMan has plenty of experience in different genres of games. His forte (Ha! Forte! You’ll get it later…) would be the side-scrolling platform game, but he’s also seen fighting games, racing games, shooting games, and has even a couple of RPGs. Not only that, but Capcom has also spliced genres and created unique games that defy any solid genre. Most notably, the infamously popular Battle Network series. But now the question is begging to be asked, “Why is MegaMan so damn popular?” That’s what I’m going to explain in today’s article. There are tons of reasons why MegaMan has persevered for so long, and these are the 12 most noteworthy points that I could think up. I’m going to assume that everyone reading this has a slight idea of what MegaMan is all about, since you should have read my MegaMan 4 article by now.

Known as RockMan Dash in Japan, the third MegaMan series may not have been the giant hit that Capcom wanted it to be, but for what it was, it did incredibly well. This series placed our blue hero in a new world, where nearly everything had been covered in water, and people got by by exploring ruins of ancient civilizations and finding treasure. Sounds a lot like what I imagine Waterworld was about. Since I never beat Legends 2 I’m not sure whether this MegaMan was a human in a “digging suit” or a robot, and I’ve never bothered to ask anyone who has.

The general public seemed to be rather disappointed with this series, as it totally changed the MegaMan universe. For one, it was a 3-D adventure game, which was way off from the norm. It also got rid of the standard type of boss enemies and just added in some new villain character and made most bosses run-of-the-mill robots. The one thing they did keep intact was MegaMan’s ability to equip new weapons, but they weren’t drawn from defeating bosses, but instead they were developed by Mega’s partner, Roll. She also changed (perhaps for the better) from a robot to a human. She the only character (aside from MegaMan) who survived into the Legend series, and only in name at that.

Aside from the fact that it wasn’t too well received by the public, the Legends series managed to go on for two games, and there was even a spin off featuring the main villain, Tron Bonne. She and MegaMan were also featured in at least one fighting game, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. All the Legends games were Playstation exclusive until Capcom decided to port the first to the dying Nintendo 64 as MegaMan 64. To this day we haven’t heard of any new Legends games in development, and we probably won’t, even with Capcom’s tendency to drag on franchises forever. But in exchange for it, we got the Battle Network series, which is a more than suitable replacement.

This is where it all started. The original series bore to us the blue robot that the world would fall in love with almost immediately. Back in ’89, we got our first taste of MegaMan, and apparently it went over pretty well, because the original series managed to be carried over into over 20 games. Most of them adhere to the MegaMan rule of selecting bosses and completing the level in the standard run and gun format. Some were a little more original, such as titles like MegaMan’s Soccer and Super Adventure RockMan (RockMan is MegaMan’s Japanese name), which were totally different than what the casual Mega-fan would be used to, but still retained the charm of the more common titles.

The bulk of this series is the basis of almost every MegaMan game. The game starts with an evil mastermind, Dr. Wily, plotting world dominance, and MegaMan goes in to save the day. Before he can confront and capture the demented doctor, he has to go through eight robot masters, each with their own stage. After defeating an enemy robot, MegaMan acquires his special ability, which can be used to exploit the weakness of another robot. This formula is the most used for the MegaMan games, and only differs when the genre of the game changes. It may seem repetitive and boring, but considering the number of sequels, it obviously works.

Behind every great hero is a cast of loveable sidekicks and other secondary characters. In every series of MegaMan games, there are plenty of supporting characters. Some good, some evil, some still on the fence. There are no characters who survive the transition to every series, but Roll comes close, and appears in three of them, only absent from the X series. Roll is MegaMan’s sister robot in the original, his partner in the Legends series, and his possible romantic interest in the Battle Network series. Appearing in only the original games is Dr. Light, the good doctor who created MegaMan, Roll, and countless other robots. MegaMan’s first rival, ProtoMan, appears in both the Battle Network and original series. He acts as MegaMan’s brother in the original, and as a true rival in the Battle Network games. While his personality changes only slightly, he drops the gun arm from the original games and uses slick sword attacks in Battle Network.

Zero is one of the most loved MegaMan X characters. At first he played a small part, but as the sequels were made, he took the steps to become a star in his own rights. He’s even got two of his own games, MegaMan Zero and (obviously) MegaMan Zero 2, which could debatably fit into their own category. Like the battle Network ProtoMan, Zero uses a sword as his main attack and only uses a buster in a couple occasions. Zero’s allegiance is clearly with the good guys, but he was designed by the main villain from the original series, Dr. Wily. Wily managed to reappear as the main villain in the battle Network games as well, and leads the crime syndicate World Three. In the X series, the big bad guy is a robot named Sigma, who keeps coming back to life due to some strange virus that was passed to him by Zero. As for the Legends baddies, MegaMan encounters a family of pirates called the Bonnes, consisting of leader Teisel Bonne, tech wizard Tron Bonne, baby Bon Bonne, and a whole lot of little Lego look-alike ServBots.

As for the Battle Network co-stars, there are far too many to list, as the series is mostly an RPG. The biggest one would be Lan Hikari, who is more the main star of the game than a supporting character. He is MegaMan.EXE’s operator, and you’ll play as him almost as much as you will MegaMan. Other characters include Lan’s friends, Mayl, Dex, and Yai, his dad, who created MegaMan.EXE, and MegaMan’s Navi friends, GutsMan, Roll, and Glyde. Seeing as almost every enemy Navi in the game has an operator, that easily doubles the amount of characters in the game, and every game boasts about eight different Navis (some are independent though), meaning that there are at least 6 new characters introduced in each game. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of how many characters are in the games.

MegaMan’s robotic animal friends are almost exclusive to the original series of games, and there are plenty of them. The most popular is the cyber canine, Rush. The little red robo-pooch could transform into many things that helped MegaMan, including a spring, a spaceship, a motorbike, and a submarine. In a couple games, MegaMan could even combine with Rush to create the Super Armor, which allowed MegaMan to fly for short distances. Rush appears in almost every original MegaMan game, either as an active ally, or just a side character. Rush is technically in the Battle Network series, but only in the anime version. He was a Popup virus that could call other viruses to aid if one of the Navis needed help.

Rush’s feline counterpart, Tango, was MegaMan’s aid in a couple of the blue robot’s GameBoy adventures, providing a special attack power or something like that. I never actually played the game(s) with Tango in it/them. Beat the bird was a great help in the later games of the original series, he would help MegaMan out of bottomless pits, and he might have done other stuff too, I just can’t quite remember. In Legends, MegaMan had a small monkey-like companion named Data, who could give him tips, save the game, and restore life. Data played a much bigger part in the story than any of the other animals, and he was definitely the coolest too!

If you hadn’t realized it yet, MegaMan and most of the characters are named after elements of music. MegaMan’s original name, Rock, is linked to his sister Roll, hence Rock and Roll. The animals are musically named too, with Beat, Tango, and Rush (which is either a pretty good band or some kind of music lingo). ProtoMan’s original name was BreakMan, and I know that “break” is some sort of musical term. Mega’s rival is also named in such a fashion. In English, he’s Bass and his dog is Treble. In Japanese, he’s Forte and the dog is Gospel. With all these references to music, the actual music in the games must be good, right?

Most of the music is rather upbeat techno stuff, and really helps set the adventuring mood. As the games evolve and get deeper story lines, the music also becomes more fitting, it gets dramatic if someone dies, and energetic and/or foreboding just before the final confrontations. Best of all are the actual theme songs composed just for the games. In MegaMan X6, we’re treated to a couple of great Japanese songs by Showtaro (search ‘Moonlight’ and ‘the Answer’) and a cool credits song (search ‘I.D.E.A.’). Best of all are the original theme songs for the RockMan.EXE (Battle Network) animes. At first I thought that the first show’s theme, Kaze wo Tsukinukete, was just awesome, but then RockMan.EXE Axess came around and wowed me with another kickass song, Futatsu no Mirai. Both can be found for free at RockMan.EXE Online under “music and videos”. Another great idea would be to check out the remixes of the various tunes at OverClocked Remix.

The X series was the second to be born and links directly to the original games’ storyline. At last I checked, nobody is sure whether MegaMan X is just an upgraded MegaMan or a completely different robot altogether. What we do know is that MegaMan X is much more versatile than his previous incarnation. While he still has the ability to take the weapons of defeated bosses, he can also cling to walls, dash, and collect different armours, which enhance his powers even further. Every new X game features at least one set of armor for X to collect, and the Playstation games have at least 2 each. The X games started on the SNES, then moved to the PSX and now the PS2 and GameCube, with spinoff series MegaMan X-treme on the GameBoy Colour, and an entire spinoff series, MegaMan Zero, on the GameBoy Advance.

The story of the original games continues hundreds of years into the future, when MegaMan X is found and is then used as a mold to created many new “reploids”. Eventually, they go berserk and X is charged with stopping them. Eventually he meets Sigma and destroys him, giving the illusion that the threat has subsided. But then Sigma comes back time and time again, each time twisting the plot a little more. Probably the biggest reason that the X series is so popular is because of Zero. Most people absolutely adore the red sword toting badass. The only drawback, and stupid plot advancement device, is that Zero dies four or five times total. This is why it’s either a love or hate decision with him. If you can look past his constant dying you’ll love him, if not, you’ll hate him.

The X series started strong, and kept up the pace until MegaMan X5, when new gameplay devices started appearing, changing the winning formula around until it was very different and very complicated. Not that they really made the games worse, but by the time X6 come out, it was starting to feel somewhat stale. Strangely, this never happened with the original series, and there are no signs of it happening to Battle Network either. In the future of X, however, is a completely new game, for the PS2, MegaMan X7. Only instead of reusing the side-scrolling formula, it’ll be in 3-D. At first I was worried, but now it seems like it might have been a step in the right direction. Capcom has also announced RockMan X Command Mission, which seems to be a more traditional RPG for both the PS2 and GameCube. They certainly aren’t giving up on this one.

At about 2500 words, this is getting awfully long, so I’ll quit here, and start on a fresh new page.

Pretend there’s a link to a second page here, will ya?

The best thing to do in this situation would be to pick up where I left off (as opposed to writing up a new intro for Page 2). It’s not like there are many other things that I could do. So now that you’ve seen the first six reasons why I prefer MegaMan over any other video game franchise, I guess you should continue down the line and find out what the next (and debatably more important) six reasons are. So fasten your seat belts and get ready for the rest of the ride.

As I’ve stated several times, for the most part MegaMan games are simple side-scrolling adventures. But there are plenty of other games featuring the blue bomber that break the mold. Most obviously are the Legends and Battle Network series, which take the game in two totally different directions, but are able to retain the general feel of the MegaMan series. The next most prominent genre that MegaMan has starred in is the fighting genre. He manages to appear in several Vs. Capcom games, both in the arcade and console versions. The best that I’ve actually played being the arcade version of Marvel Vs. Capcom. There really is no more satisfying super hero team-up that MegaMan and Spider-Man. Go on, try to think up a better team-up. It just can’t be done, plain and simple. There were also a couple games subtitled Power Fighters and Power Battles where one would choose from a set of heroes and battle enemy robots to defeat Dr. Wily. Never played ‘em, but they’ll be in the MegaMan Anniversary Collection released sometime in Q4 2003 or Q1 2004.

Besides fighters, MegaMan has also starred in a few sport-type games. The first, and more notable is MegaMan’s Soccer for the SNES. Back in the glory days, we didn’t get a whole lot of good soccer games. And I’m not saying this game is exception. The only thing that makes it better than other soccer games is that it stars MegaMan. Maybe I’m so harsh because I’m not a big fan of soccer. But it was great, because you could make a team of robot masters like ElecMan, BubbleMan, and even ProtoMan. What it lacked in fun, it made up for in fan appeal. Then there was the racing game, RockMan Battle & Chase, or something like that. I’m not sure if it ever hit Western shores, but I sure as Hell hadn’t heard of it until a few years ago. I don’t even know what platform it was for. You’d probably be better off with Super Mario Kart though. Finally there is . I don’t know what it is, and I’m not up to doing the research, because I’m not gonna tease myself with another game that I’ll never have the chance to play. All I know is that it was some kind of shooter.

I personally don’t have a huge crush on him like most of his other fans (I don’t swing that way…), but I thought it would be an injustice to not put him on the list. Forte is one of the greatest characters in the MegaMan universe. He is featured in both the original and Battle Network series, always a total badass. Created by Wily, the original Bass (or Forte for those of you in the know) was a tool made to destroy MegaMan, but he often rebels and does what he wants. His personal mission is simply to defeat MegaMan in battle, and he usually doesn’t stop until he’s beaten or MegaMan runs away. He was introduced in MegaMan 7, made an appearance in MegaMan 8, was a contender for both Power Battles and Power Fighters, and got a starring role in MegaMan & Bass. His robotic wolf buddy, Treble (Gospel), performed a similar function to Rush’s Super Armor, and combined with Bass to create the Treble Boost.

While his alter ego was itching for a fight with our blue hero, Battle Network’s Bass was a fearsome Navi looking to fight anyone. He’s a very shady character, appearing in all 4 installments of the game, and only in Battle Network 3 have we come to understand where he came form. But I’m not gonna spoil it for youse who haven’t played through it. Bass is a feared opponent to anyone who hasn’t played the games and haven’t found the easy ways to kill him. Still, if you weren’t going to use Program Advances (Play the games and you’ll understand), he’d be more than a challenge for even the best of players. In Network Transmisson, a hit worth 150 HP would barely even dent his life gauge. While Gospel (no name change this time) doesn’t play the same role as he did before, the two still manage to team up and create a very powerful problem for MegaMan.

MegaMan has enjoyed a nice lengthy stay in the video game universe, but his influence doesn’t end there. He’s even managed to score two different TV shows! The first one aired many years ago, long before the X series was out, so I’ll give you one chance to guess what series it was based on. The show would have been great, but it had just one problem: it was bad. Maybe not bad to the point where it was unwatchable, but even I can see that it wasn’t up to the standards of cartoons of that time. There were tons of plot holes, the cheesiest jokes and puns ever, and some very big inaccuracies (Read: ProtoMan working for Wily). Did I say one problem? I actually meant to type two. The second thing that killed the appeal was the opening song. It consisted of “Super fighting robot (da da da da) MegaMan!” Over and over and over again. Once or twice it wasn’t so bad, but after the third time it started getting real annoying. After his first try, one would imagine that Mega would be banished from TV Land. But in thinking that, one would be very wrong.

Last year, the world was overjoyed as a new MegaMan cartoon was brought to life. This time around, it was an anime, and the Japanese certainly did a better job than their American counterparts. RockMan.EXE was a huge hit in Japan, leeching off the already impressive popularity of the Battle Network games. It was so big that even us Westerners were swooning over it, downloading as many fansubbed episodes as we could and loving it. Recently, it has been dubbed and shown on a couple American channels. The only drawback is that the censors really screwed it up, changing some key elements, like character names and messing with some story elements. Changing ColoredMan to WhackoMan is apparently something that we can’t see past, and the dub hasn’t seen nearly as much success as the original Japanese episodes. I really hate how the pronounce Chaud as “Chod”. Ugh.
Oh, and there’s even a continuation of the EXE series called RockMan.EXE Axess which is just as good as the first shows.

The Battle Network series started just about 2 years ago, and already there are 8 games based on it. The series has enjoyed its extreme popularity, and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. I own BN2, Network Transmission and 3(Blue version), and I’ve played through BN1. Battle Chip Challenge is due out sometime near the end of the year and BN4 will be out sometime next year. I can’t wait! Oh. Back to whatever I was talking about. The BN series is more like and RPG, where you walk around, talk to people and fight random battles. The catch is that the game takes place mainly on the internet. The main character is not MegaMan, but a 5th grader named Lan. In this world, everyone’s got a little thing called a Pet, which acts like a cellphone, e-mail thinger, and plenty of other stuff (ED: here in 2011, It’s called a smartphone). Inside each PET is a NetNavi, a program which is like a little friend for the operator.

Lan’s Navi is, conveniently enough, MegaMan.EXE. The general story is centered around Lan and MegaMan trying to stop the evil netcrime organizations World Three and Gospel. The game’s layout is a disguised version of the general formula. There are approximately 8 story bosses in the game, and you have to fight through their levels as the story develops. The only difference is that you have no choice in the order of which you’ll face the bosses. I should also note that (excluding NT and BCC), the battle system is very different, taking place on a 3 by 9 field rather than on the level itself. Battles can be fought with the standard MegaBuster, but it is preferable to use Battle Chips, which give MegaMan a huge assortment of attacks and abilities. The best part of these games is that they are huge. After completing the story, you’d only be done half the game, and maybe not even in BN3’s case.

Network Transmission uses the same type of Battle Chip system for fighting, but gameplay-wise, it is a closer relative to the original and X games. It’s a side-scroller all the way, and you never have to switch between Lan and MegaMan. Between levels you go to Lan’s room to play with the options, but other than that, it’s all MegaMan. The only problem with it is that it’s too short, with only about 10 levels, and 137 Battle Chips, whereas the other BN games have between 150 and 300 chips. Battle Chip Challenge, on the other hand, seems to more of a card game than an RPG or action game. I don’t have a great idea of how it plays, but I’ve gathered that it is a lot different that anything we’ve seen before. One of the pros I’ve found is that I can finally play as SharkMan! Hooray! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what it’s all about.

One of the most obvious points of why the MegaMan games have been so successful is the plethora of enemies. In each game, there are approximately 8 boss robots. The exceptions to this rule (that I can think of at the time) are MegaMan and the Battle Network games, which feature far more than 8. In the original games, all the bosses’ names ended with -Man, some of the best being ElecMan, FireMan, and of course, SkullMan. The Battle Network bosses are mostly reincarnations of these robots, but there are plenty of original enemies like ColoredMan, DesertMan, and SharkMan. In the X games, all the enemies are based on animals and plants. These enemies include Chill Penguin, Tornado Tonion, and Commander Dragonfly. The only games without similar boss patterns are the Legends games, which have more generic robots as bosses (if robots inspired by Miyazaki films could be considered “generic”). I think that’s one of the reasons that they weren’t so popular.

Somehow, all of the MegaMan characters were able to inherit some kind of ability from the many robots. MegaMan, X and newcomer Axl all had the power to absorb the powers of any bosses they were able to defeat. Just like Kirby. Zero couldn’t really take the bosses’ powers, but he did learn special sword techniques in their stead. MegaMan.EXE didn’t absorb powers either, but if he was able to delete the boss Navis quickly enough, he could obtain their Navi BattleChips and use their powers that way, although they were used more like summons from normal RPGs than regular attacks.

The greatest part about the bosses is that they’re all rather likeable despite their allegiance to evil. A lot of the time, you’ll probably find yourself saying “Wow, ShadowMan is so cool, I really wish I didn’t have to kill him” or something along those lines. The only one I have a problem with is BrightMan. He’s always been a bit of an asshole, even as a NetNavi. Him and his damn “Lighto-beams”. That about concludes this portion. I really need better ideas for transition phrases.

The number one reason that I am so loyal to MegaMan is because… he’s a robot! OK, that’s not really the best reason, but it is one of the 12 reasons, and I’ve already done the other 11. Sure it may seem weak in comparison to some of my other points, but damned if I don’t think it’s a great way to end this. Now I think we can all agree that robots are pretty much the coolest thing ever. And MegaMan has all the makings of a kickass robot. He’s got the helmet, the giant feet, the gun-arm, the booster shoes, and the happy demeanor. Sure, he changes a bit from series to series, but in the end he’s always the little blue robot who fights for good. The rest of the point really sums itself up, and I feel I don’t need to write any more paragraphs about this particular point. Just rest assured that robots rule and MegaMan is the greatest of them all.

I said I didn’t need another paragraph, but after rethinking it a little bit, I think that maybe I don’t like MegaMan so much because he’s a robot with a gun-arm, but just because he’s MegaMan. Just look at the little guy, look at his versatility, look at how many games he’s been in. This guy has a number of starring roles that rival even Mario’s count. And the fact that he’s made it this far without getting stale is a good enough reason to like any character. Well, that’s my mama! …It didn’t work for Peter Griffin, and it didn’t work for me. Oh well. That’s the end. Read the conclusion and bye bye.

So there you have it folks, that’s why I think MegaMan is the coolest thing since sliced bagels. Which, by the way, are far superior to sliced bread. (Yeah I said it!!) Some of my points might not have been as influential to you as they seem to me but it’s all about my opinion, so technically it’s all right.

It’s funny how long this actually took to write. Seeing as it’s two pages, the actual writing process took about 3 days, but I was able to span it out over about 3 months. The main reason (which you probably know) is that Paint didn’t work and then my PC got fried by a virus (several times). But now that all is well and good I’ve been able to finish the conclusion and get the pictures done too. Sorry it took so long, but we’re slaves to circumstance. Now that it is done, I can finally move onto other normal projects, not just Mini-Reviews and other text-only stuffs. And with that little note, I leave you and head for my next assignment, which probably won’t be as long, but will most likely be more entertaining.

The Hunt for the Banded Dragonfly

Like so many others, I’ve been charmed by the little virtual world that is Animal Crossing. What is it about the sim that makes me want to play it so much? I really don’t know. What I do know, however, is that it is the perfect game for anyone. For one, it’s insanely simple to play. You don’t have to know any secret button combos or cheat codes to get through this game. You just have to do what a person with no cares in the world would do, wander around town trying to make an easy buck. Sounds fun? Strangely enough, it is.

I’ve almost been playing for a year now, and I still haven’t come close to doing everything that the game presents you with. Even if I do manage to collect everything, I think that I’ll still play. But the task of collecting every single item is one only those with time on their hands and a very long attention span should attempt. Now I have a relatively short attention span, but I’ve managed to get this far without completely losing interest, though I did give up on my ‘play every day’ campaign.

My current task is to collect all of the different species of fish and insect that are crammed onto the little game disc. I’ve come very close to accomplishing this goal, and any that I’m currently missing are either extremely elusive or out of season. I’m only missing a few of each, and I can smell the scent of victory getting closer. There’s only one big problem between my goal and me. The irony is that the big problem is in reality quite small. And fast. And yellow. This problem is the one bug that has been able to evade me every time I’ve seen it, it is none other than the accursed Yellow Banded Dragonfly.

It’s been almost a year that I’ve been hunting this little bugger. I’ve been searching so relentlessly for this insect so that I may acquire the legendary Golden Net. Why I want it so badly, I don’t know. It’s more of a personal victory than anything, but I’ve been putting off continuing the hunt for some time now and I must get back to my mission. Today could be the day that I gain the upper hand over the insect kingdom. Today could be the day that I become a legend in RyanLand. Or it might not and I’ll just try again some other day.

Unfortunately, as I walked out the door, the first sign of defeat had already reared its ugly head. It was raining outside. Armed with my trusty net, I set off anyway, because I knew that the bugs would not be stopped from their merry flitting by some water. But before the quest began, there were two things that I had to check. The first was the town bulletin board. Animals would usually post messages there a lot, but during the last month they’ve stopped completely. I’ll have to investigate this some other time. Next I had to check the mail. since I’d let it accumulate for a while, there was a plethora of letters stocked in the box. There were two letters from my own mother, and they were quite confounding in their own way.

The letter on the left is thrice confusing. First of all, I didn’t know that I had an ‘Uncle Dweezil’. Why were my parents holding this back until now? Secondly, what didhappen to him. Did he just wet his bed? The words “suffer a horrible fate” make it seem like it was much worse than just that. From now on I’m definitely using the bathroom before bedtime. And most importantly, who would name their child ‘Dweezil’? Who, I ask you!? Who!? As for the other one, my mother clearly knows that I live in a town inhabited only by animals (bar myself). Yet she asks if I’ve developed feelings for one of them, and she even suggests that I mate with one! Bestiality is a serious offense in my book, and my mother has just lost a lot of the respect I once had for her.

So after I finished with the disturbing mail, I left to find that damned dragonfly. But where would I look? RyanLand isn’t the biggest town on the planet, but it certainly is a large place. I figured that I should seek some help before continuing my search any further. The first instinct would be to ask another bug enthusiast about the Banded Dragonfly, and gather as much information on it as I could. Why I didn’t think of this months ago, I haven’t got a clue. So I went over to my good friend Tabby’s house. I’m sure I’ve heard her say something about bugs once or twice before. I got there and started asking about it, but she started going off about how she has no GameBoy Advance or Nintendo GameCube GameBoy Advance Cable so she can’t get to some island. I stopped listening and inched away as she went on furiously.

But before I could get away, I noticed a shiny glow coming from the ground. After living in RyanLand for a while, I’d learned that money can appear pretty much anywhere, and that shiny ground equals big bucks. Fortunately, I’d packed my trusty Golden Shovel so I was able to search the earth beneath the shine. To my great fortune, it was a sack nearly overflowing with bells. So now that I had some cash in hand, I thought that I’d go see if the local store had any tools that might further help me in my quest.

Another bottleneck came about as I found that the store was closed until 9:00. I learned a lesson that day: don’t wake up bright and early if shopping might work itself into your day. That lousy shopkeeper has been a lot less liberal with his hours ever since he was able to renovate from a convenience store to a real store. Since my good friend Bill lived almost right next to the store, I thought that I’d pop in and see what he knew about Banded Dragonflies. Yet again, a damper was put on my plans. Bill was also lazy, and hadn’t gotten up yet. Knock as I might, he just wasn’t going to wake up. I even banged my shovel against the door, but it was to no avail.

Just North of Bill’s house is the dump, so I went over to have a look-see at what the villagers had recently disposed of. To my dismay, there was nothing but a couple of shirts there. They weren’t even nice shirts. I don’t think I’ll ever find a shirt I like better than my Whirly Shirt. Then again, that’s what I thought about the Flame Shirt and look at where it is now. In a pear-shaped dresser. So having no success so far, I thought it best to question every animal in the village. One of them had to know something.

The next stop was the house of my other good friend Genji. Now Genji isn’t the smartest of the bunch, but he does spend a lot of time frolicking around outside, so he seemed like the next best person to turn to. Yet again my plan failed and he knew nothing. It seems that he’s gotten even more stupid from the last time I saw him. He seems to think that looking as his watch counts as a ‘cool trick’. I’d consider nothing short of finding and catching a Banded Dragonfly a ‘cool trick’ at the moment. After speaking with about a dozen of my other good friends, I’d concluded that they all knew nothing about the Banded Dragonfly and that not one of them would listen to what I had to say. And my mom thought I might be more than friends with one. Disgusting.

I’d been hunting for a good half-hour by then, and I hadn’t even seen a common, easier to catch bug. Not one. And I’d searched almost every part of town. What I did find, though, was a basketball. It seems that someone is very careless with their sporting equipment, because every time I return one of these things I find another lying about. While I was trying to catch this one in my bug net, I accidentally knocked it into the river. I tried to fish it out, but after it went over the waterfall I knew that it was gone for good. Let’s keep this between just you and me, okay?

Just before I was about to give up I was given to sign to continue. I was just strutting about when I saw a small thing moving around on a tree. It was too hard to make out what it was from that distance, but in hopes that it was the dragonfly, I lunged straight at it and slammed the net down over it. Sadly, I had only caught a stupid drone beetle. I can’t even sell those for a decent amount of money. But with the knowledge that there were bugs about and waiting to be found, I pressed on.

By the time I reached the pond, I had become bored with my current game of wild goose chasing. I thought it best to just sit back and relax for a while before I resumed my search. I wasn’t a hard rain, so I sat down by the pond and cast out my fishing line, hoping to catch the rare Popeyed Goldfish. It’s one of the few fish that’s been able to elude me as well as the Banded Dragonfly. So I sat for a few minutes, with not even a nibble. I was in a very giving-up mood that day, so I was about to pack up and go home. But then it came along.

The Giant Catfish had stuck itself to my hook. What chance! I even had to make an extremely bad joke I was so happy. Heh heh, mousefish. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. But it was very good that I caught it, because they go for a huge amount of bells down at the store. Even if I weren’t going to catch the Banded Dragonfly that day, I would surely come home richer man. So the day wasn’t a total loss. With renewed faith in my small pseudo-animal catching abilities I whipped my net back out and got back on the trail.

This time I had a much better plan. I would ask the local police chief, Copper, about the dragonfly. My idea wasn’t as good as I thought, because I had forgotten that he is totally enamored with his job and doesn’t think about much else. He just congratulated me for being a good citizen and resumed standing in one place. The only time I’ve ever seen him move is when he instructs morning aerobics, and even that only lasts for about 30 days. The poor guy never gets a break. I should volunteer there sometime so that he can go out and get a life. But not today! I have more important things to do!

Just as I was about to finish the complete lap of the town, I saw something move. It was lightning fast and I readied myself instantly. It’s a good thing that I’ve been practicing for this day. I got my net ready and slowly moved toward where I thought I saw the movement. But there was nothing there at all. It must have been the wind blowing some leaves around. I thoroughly searched the area to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but previous encounters had taught me that the Banded Dragonfly doesn’t stick around for very long after it knows you’ve seen it.

That was it for the day. I was soaking wet, and I had been out for quite some time. It seems that bugs don’t appear all too often on rainy days. But the day was still young, what was I to do for all that time? I certainly couldn’t go back to bed, I was already dully awake by then. So I went back home and did what any righteous man would.

I played NES games all day!

Ha ha! See, it was different than my usual tripe. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I’ve been too lazy to move the GameCube out of my room to the PC, even though it’s a maximum of twenty steps between the two. And, uh, if you noticed, the date is a moth or so behind, mostly because I haven’t played the game for a few weeks and I don’t want to miss all the stuff between then and now. So I’ve just been playing a few shortened days every playing session.

The most amazing thing about this is how long I was able to drag it on for. I’m sure that I could have made it a bit longer, since I didn’t include everything I could have, but I still thought it would be a lot shorter than what’s become the norm. Actually, it is significantly shorter than the GCN Demo Disc article, but there was a lot of ground to cover in that one. Animal Crossing just isn’t big article material. It’s really more of a journal logging type thing than anything else. But I’m happy with the way it turned out, so it’s all good. I don’t know what’s next for me, but it should be soon. Later, eh?

The 3ft 6 Pak! (Part One)

You know how I love video games? Well if you didn’t, now you do. But to get to the point, I’m really more of a console gamer. Sure, there are tons of good PC games out there, but most of them are first-person shooters and online RPGs (Half-Life, Everquest, etc), both of which fail to intrigue me very much, if at all. That’s half right there, another quarter are crappy games that really serve no purpose, and are boring and stupid (Lego Island, etc). Then we come around to the good games, which are primarily real-time strategy and console ports (Command & Conquer, Metal Gear Solid, etc). So like I said, I don’t play a whole lot of games on my PC.

So then what purpose does my PC serve? Well for one, what you’re reading takes up a significant percentage of my time on the computer. The rest of the time I’m usually browsing the internet for any type of interesting stuff I may be able to find. So in short, I use the computer almost exclusively for the internet. But what of the days when I had no access to the web? Well, that was when computer games were still fun, and typically 2-D. You’d be surprised at the kind of games they made back then. There were tons of things you’d never hear of unless you were into knowing every game that was ever released. Or if you had parents who randomly bought games that seemed to be of good value. I was in the latter.

Today I will once again delve into my shady and rather boring past to explore one of the oddities of my computer game collection. I haven’t touched this thing for years. Not since I was 12 at the very most. I didn’t plan to ever pick it up again, but as I write this, I temporarily have lost my connection to the net thanks to the bumbling tomfoolery of my brother.(Editor’s Note: I placed the blame a little prematurely…) So here we go, get ready for a trip into the darkest depths of edutainment as we witness PC gaming at what might just be it’s worst. Get ready for the ‘3 Foot 6 Pak’.

As I stated above, this thing is old. I’m not sure exactly when it was made, but we got it sometime around between when I got my Super Nintendo and when I got my Nintendo 64. So that’s a span of about 4 years right there. In any case, this marvel of something was apparently made in 1994, or so the packaging has led me to believe. Sirius Publishing probably knew what they were doing too, because the package also says “From the makers of the original 5ft. 10 Pak”. Wow. So that’s about 1.6 times the crap. And almost twice the size. Maybe they learned that too much crap at once was bad and lightened the load by four coasters, errr, games. The part that bothers me the most is that it’s only Volume 1, even though it’s got a predecessor.

Scratch that, the part that bothers me the most is how much my parents paid for it and that they didn’t remove the price tag. Now technically this is a great deal, seeing as most ‘full version CD-roms’ are about sixty bucks each these days. But realistically, they shouldn’t have been able to get away with trying to sell it for $15, never mind $30. I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not yet, but the ‘games’ in this ‘pak’ are total crap. I’m talking extreme craptacularness here. Except for three of ’em, but I’ll review each separate game later. Right now, let’s just make sure all the goods are here.

Sadly enough, all six games are indeed in the pak. All of the discs are unnaturally clean and unscratched too. Which is only unnatural because my brothers don’t seem to understand the importance of keeping them in working shape. But now for the real test! Do they really equal three feet? In the interest of science and filling up this paragraph with mindless banter, I shall be the first one to find out! Well, maybe. But I’m not sure that anyone else ever purchased this thing, never mind produced the effort or interest to check if it’s actually 3 feet long.

I only have two feet, so I can’t tell for sure, but it seems that all six discs do indeed equal up to a length of three feet. But on the other side, if you factor in the cover and little flap thing, if would actually add up to about 3 feet, 8 inches. A-ha! I knew it! Sirius Publishing is in for some hard times and legal battles for false advertising. I wonder if I could actually take this to court? I’m mostly wondering because Sirius Publishing might be long dead by now. But now what am I to do with this thing if it’s not 3 feet long? It’s totally useless to me now that it’s more than 3 feet. And just for the record, none of this means anything to me because I use the Metric system!

Now imagine my surprise when I attempting to fold the thing up and this fell out. Actually, I wasn’t surprised, because I knew it was there all along. I was just trying to avoid it. What did surprise me though, is that it’s in extremely good shape considering it’s age and owners. I was very shocked to see that this nice poster-thing is still in one piece. But, in the end, it’s just a crappy poster. I wouldn’t hang it on my rival’s wall. Mostly because I haven’t got a real rival yet. If you want to apply for the position, I’m taking in applications from September 3rd to 16th. So why is this seemingly useless poster included with the pack? Let’s turn it over and see.

Ah! It’s really just a cover for the instruction manual! Quite the screwed up manual if I do say so. It’s more of an instruction map if anything. But, since I’m so smart, I won’t need this thing at all! The only problem I face now is the folding of this damn thing. Yes, I’m smart, but I’m no neurosurgeon here. Although it does seem like quite the interesting field to work in, and I hear it pays quite well, too. I could be the next Dr. Drake Ramoray! …On a totally unrelated topic, if an actor is playing the part of an actor, is he really acting? What if he’s playing himself? Wouldn’t it be cool if watermelons came in different colours like in Yoshi’s Island? Okay okay, I’ll quit the crap and move on to the reviewing of the games. Damned games.

Great. First game is already the boringest of the bunch. It’s the Family Circus for crying out loud! Just associating something to the Family Circus decreases it’s interesting points by 500. This “Our House” game isn’t getting anywhere near my CD drives. I refuse to play it. What could there possibly be to play? I mean, it’s probably just clicking on stuff around the house which produces a quote which is supposed to be funny but really isn’t. Just like the comic. Stupid Family Circus. The only good ones are the ones that show the trail that the kid took from point A to point B. And that’s only good because FoxTrot made fun of it. Yes, I do think that the Family Circus is dragging down the rest of the Saturday comics. But seriously, I’m totally not playing this game. Ever.

What is this!? Cinderella? It just goes downhill from here, doesn’t it? In any case, I’m not actually going to try this out either, but not because I’ll hate it. No, that’s a given. I don’t want to play it because someone might walk in and see me playing it and then tell everyone I was playing a damn Cinderella computer game. And if that happened, my precious reputation would be ruined. Cause, you know, what others think of me is all that matters. It’s. All. That. Matters. Heck, I’ll probably be mocked for simply mentioning this entire pak of games, but I thought it would be a good thing to write about, and as usual, I stand by my decision. It appears to be an ‘interactive storybook’, and I’ve only had good experiences with those so far, so as far as actual quality and interestingness of this game goes, it might actually be good. Or it could be complete crap, like I expect. Onto the next!

Sing-Along Kids… I probably would try this out if I had a working mic, but I don’t, so we’ll never know if I would have actually tried it. A mic probably isn’t a necessity, but I’ll just say it is so I don’t have to waste more time ‘playing’ this ‘game’. It’s really more of a karaoke than a game. Or at least that’s the impression that I’ve been given. In any case, the songs on it don’t seem to fit my tastes. All I see is stuff like “Old Macdonald” and “Yankee Doodle”. Where’s “Hysteria” and “Hell’s Bells”? I haven’t even heard of some of these songs. What the Hell is “This Old Man”? For the positive though, it includes the song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, which is just about the greatest song to hum or whistle when doing anything that requires little to no thinking. Matt was right.

Next on the chopping block is “Basic Spelling Tricks”. See that happy old man in the corner? Until you quit the game, he never goes away. I’m serious. He never, ever moves from that position. Not even during the screen transitions. Anyway, he seems to be the leader of the tribe that your character belongs to, and he’ll instruct you as you go along and make fun of you if you do nothing for a short period of time. The zaniest part of this game is that it has a story! A spelling game with a story! Not since “Mario Teaches Typing” have we seen edutainment of this calibre. The story goes like this; the river is flooding and you have to get upstream to save the tribe. We’ve got a real award-winner here, folks. So, I suppose now that I have a mission, I should get started.

The first step is to register your name. Try as I might, I just couldn’t fit ‘AssMaster’ or ‘AssMan’ into the thing. So in the end, I just named my character Ryan. Five spaces just isn’t enough. But it is better than four. And three. But when they only give you three spaces, it’s usually for initials anyway, like in arcade games. For future reference, if you ever get a high-score in a arcade game, enter ‘SEX‘ as your initials. I’m sure that got the skimmers’ attention.

Okay, now I have a mission and a character. Let’s start the game already! This is more or less the main game screen. Sorry if the pics are a bit blurry, the jpegs were huge and I had to do a lot of size reduction to get them under 50KB each. And there was a header-type thing at the top of this screen with some angry Moais on it, but you know how it is. Anyway, I sailed in on my raft, and the old guy tells me to pick up the letters to spell “first”. I would have been fine with this had my raft not floated away as soon as I stepped off of it. So, I figured I’d try anyway and grabbed the letters. For anyone who has trouble spelling the words, there’s a sentence provided at the bottom of the screen with the proper spelling. Needless to say, I finished the level with no trouble at all. To my surprise, when I got the last letter, my raft came back! Old man instructed me to go back to the raft, and I continued my journey upstream.

Every level is divided into two separate parts; the main game, where you run around solving puzzles and picking up letters, and this typing challenge. It seems out hero can’t paddle hard enough unless you can spell, so I guess he’s just lucky that I’m playing, and my friends aren’t. This part would be a lot easier if old man would enunciate a little better. He asked me to spell “flute”, but I didn’t realize what he was trying to say until I turned up the volume about 30 decibels and had him say it roughly 67 times. Also noteworthy is that every time you get a word right a mini-villager will climb up onto the board, and when you’re done, they do a mini-wave!

I know that the first level looks pretty easy, and it was. If memory serves though, the game gets really hard later on, with some very advanced puzzles. I only played about 4 levels, and I thought to myself “How long could this game possibly be?”. Well, upon returning to the main menu, I discovered that, in the words of Def Leppard, I’ve got a long, long way to go. Oi. I’ll be damned if I ever finish this, or if anyone else ever finished it. I like puzzle games and all, but this just doesn’t cut the mustard. The most ironic part is that even though I’ve been playing a spelling game for the last 20 minutes, there are probably going to be a lot of overlooked typos in the finiched articel.

I’ve also noticed that this thing is getting horrendously long. At this point, it’s over 2200 words long, and that’s almost as much as the Hulk and AW2: Black Hole Rising articles, if not more. I think that for now, I’ll stop here. Mostly because it’s going to be a really long article if I continue, and also because I’m desperate to get a new article up. It’s been more than a month since my last offering, and any readers out there need something after waiting for so long. So I’ll just wrap it up now, and do a separate review for the last two games, which coincidentally have a lot more content and fun than the first four combined.

For what I’ve looked at today, I must say that I’m really not impressed. I’ll give them credit for the sake of they were made way back when, but somewhere deep inside I was expecting more. I’m sure that it’s the fact that I’m maturing (slightly) that makes these games less interesting than they were all those years ago. So for now, I’ll just blame growing up for the crappiness of these so-called games. Actually, I should blame growing up more often. It’s working pretty well here, so I imagine it could be used in other situations as well.

So that’s it for today’s review. We- I mean I will just have to hope that both Putt-Putt and Lenny the Penguin can provide more entertainment than the Family Circus could. Looks like they’re shoe-ins for the “best games of the pack” award. I remember these last two being the best, and I hope that memory will serve better next time around, cause I don’t wanna be stuck playing a crappy game that I used to enjoy. That would mean that I enjoy crap. And I sure don’t wanna be known as the guy who enjoys crap.


MegaMan 4 – Starring Skull Man!

To be completely honest, I’ve been wanting to do an article on a NES game for a long time. When we finished Chat Radio #2, I knew that I had found my calling. Maybe not my calling, but it was some kind of sign, because it was then that I found the perfect game for my first video game article: MegaMan 4, or as it is known to the higher classes, MegaMan IV. Damn social butterflies. Actually, damn all butterflies. I don’t know why, but I don’t really like them.

“But why MegaMan 4?” you ask, “Why not MegaMan 1,2,3,5 or 6? Or MegaMan Soccer?” The answer is simple, really. 1) MegaMan 4 features the best Robot Master ever, Skull Man and 2) MegaMan Soccer was for SNES. I distinctly said in the paragraph above this that I wanted to review a NES game. And NES game I will. Oh yes. Oh NES. Sentence that really has no use except for to make this paragraph look longer than it really is.

I can already tell that this review is going to take a long time, mostly because all of my articles have taken a long time. And also, because as I type, I’m playing MegaMan 4. I need screenshots, and I didn’t have any on hand before, so I’m multitasking a bit. I know it’s something that men aren’t supposed to be able to do, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna stick to the stereotype.

When you first boot up MM4, you are treated to a nice little “movie” of Mega’s story. It all started when Dr. Light and Dr. Wily worked together to make robots that would help the humans. But for reasons unknown, Wily went nuts, took control of the robots, and went on a rampage. Light’s remaning robots, Rock and Roll were powerless to stop them, for they were mere maid-bots. But brave Rock volunteered to become the super-robot, MegaMan. He had stopped Wily a total of three times, hopefully putting him out of the biz for good. And now we’re in the present.

Rock steps into the hot seat... 
Once again, 8 robots have declared war on Earth, this time led by a mysterious scientist named Dr. Cossack. His name kind of souds like cock sack. High school must have been torture. Now Megs must spring back into action and defeat yet another wave of angry ‘bots. It’s not gonna win any awards, but the story of MM4 was probably one of the best of the era. Considering the kind of crap they were marketing as “video games”(read: Jaws) back then.

Sure it looks cool, but I'm too lowbrow for Roman numeralsSo many to choose from. Where to start?
The key to beating any MegaMan game was always to know which order you were supposed to beat the bosses in. It was like a big game or rock-paper-scissors, every boss had a special power. When you beat him you gained that power to use on the other levels. Every boss also had a weakness to one of the weapons. So the only real trick here was figuring out which one of these guys to kill first. They were all pretty tough, but I recommend starting with Toad Man, since he’s such a wuss. Wait… I just contradicted myself, didn’t I?

I will ribbit you to death!How does this HURT anyone?
Toad Man really didn’t account for much, except for that he was the only frogish Robot Master within the whole series. But I guess that counted for more than I think, because he got reincarnated in MegaMan Battle Network 2 for GameBoy Advance/SP. Which, I might add, is also an excellent game. Buy it. Back to Toadie. his special weapon is called the “Rain Flush”. How it manages to count as a weapon is beyond my comprehension, but then again, most things are. Like I said before, Toadie’s a wuss, so he shouldn’t be too hard to take down with the Mega Buster. As an added bonus, you also get the Rush Marine for beating him.

When I have an idea, my head lights up.Again, how does this hurt anyone?!?
Bright Man is a bit tougher, if only because his level is rather hard. Lots of spikes, peope. And as any Mega-fan knows, spikes kill you in one hit, regardless of how much life you have left. If you have the Rain Flush weapon, he’s not too bad. Of course, every boss can be taken down with the Mega Buster if necessary. I guess Bright’s name described the guy pretty well, since he was more or less a big light bulb. The bulb on his head lit up every once in a while, but I don’t think it was ever actually used as a light source. His Flash Stopper stops enemies. That’s it.

*does that weird egyptian dance*Finally, I gots me a real weapon!
The other day I was drawing all the boss robots from MM4, and I got to seven before I was stumped. It was a decision between StarMan and PharaohMan, and I chose wrong. I don’t know why, I’m usually pretty good at remembering which bosses were in which game. It’s probably because PharaohMan is the least memorable boss in MM4. He was pretty boring actually, all he did was throw a big energy ball. Every other boss had something that did something unique(to say the most). And if short-term memory serves, his level was pretty crappy as well. The boss himself wasn’t extremely easy, and as one would expect, his .EXE incarnation is way stronger and cooler. Onto the next.

And I STILL had to buy her a wedding ring...This is a lot more effective than it should be.
Ring Man! For some reason, his level was space-themed. I don’t know what’s so spacey about rings, and they sure didn’t have Halo back then. In any case, he was like every other boss who attacked with projectiles. Jump, shoot, jump, shoot, lather, rinse, repeat. None of them were terribly difficult in theory, but the unpredictable jumping and aim could best even the best player. Unless they had the boss’ weakness. Then it was very possible to beat them without getting hit, never mind breaking a sweat. Only I didn’t know this back when I rented the games, so it made for some frustrating times. It also explains why most of my NES controllers don’t work very well at all.

There is no broom powerful enough to defeat ME!Attacking with dirt. Neat-o.
Next on the list we have Dust Man. Look at him! He’s got a ventilation shaft for a forehead! Mega could just sneak in there to get into the enemy base like in the movies. Maybe not, but I think it would be pretty funny. In any case, Dust Man’s level is kinda tough, since it’s got enemies that pop out of pits randomly and if you get hit, you’ll more than likely die. Then near the end there’s one of those “crushing machine” things, which poses a problem only because there’s so damn many metools lurking around inside it. As for Dusty himself, he’s a generally easy boss, even without the Ring Boomerang. His shots always go straight, so just jump. His movement is similar, so it’s a solid strategy. Your reward for beating him is the Dust Crusher, which is remarkably similar to Junk Man’s special wepon(MM7).

This game should revolve around me!Look at them spin!
It’s about damn time we got to Skull Man. He’s so cool. I’m not sure why. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the undead. Putting zombies or skeletons in a game increases the worth by about $10 by itself. Well, at least that’s what I think. It might also explain why I enjoy Castlevania and Resident Evil games so much. Anywho, Skull Man’s level is embarassingly easy, and there are two Energy Tanks to grab along the way. Skull Man himself isn’t much of a challenge either. He’ll shoot straight and diagonally and run around, pausing occasionally to use the Skull Barrier. The Dust Crusher will stomp him down in about 5 or 6 hits. Victory secures the Skull Barrier weapon, which is a non-active variation of the Leaf Shield. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve played MM2.

Perhaps the most original of these guys, I'm a submarine.It's no Slayer, but it'll do.
Dive Man, theoretically, has the biggest level of all. It spans the clouds right down to the bottom of some type of cyber sea. But in reality, all the levels are pretty short. It does have a good amount of spikes though, making it somewhat tricky to get through. And, as a bonus, you can find the Wire Adapter here by navigationg a chasm of spikes. What the Wire Adapter does exactly, I have not clue, but it might allow MegaMan to cling to ceilings. Dive Man is a rather tough boss, even if you do have the Skull Barrier. His missiles will follow you forever and he moves quite fast. An Energy Tank will help here. Taking him out will result in gaining the Dive Missile power.

Say hello to my pointy friends!Twirl twirl, gouge gouge!
I think that Drill Man’s level is actually the longest. It’s hard to say for sure, but I know it took me the longest to beat. It’s got a lot of spike traps at first, then falling rocks, then falling rocks over bottomless pits. Plus, there’s a whole area where you have to turn platforms on and off to progress. And hitting a switch and then changing direction to land on the newly created platform isn’t exactly easy. If and/or when you make it to Drill Man, he’ll launch drills all over the place and pop up at random places to try and catch you off guard. The Dive Missile’s homing ability makes it that much easier. Manage to kill him and you’ll bring home the Drill Bomb.

Rock steps into the hot seat... 
After you beat all eight bosses, you’ll be taken to Cocksack’s castle. Then you’ll have to beat so many levels until you fight the Doc himself. I don’t have the patience to play through the rest of the game on an emulator, so I’ll just guess what happens from that point on. After you beat Cossack, you’ll reveal that Dr. Wily was the bad guy all along. What a unexpected plot twist! Then you’ll have to go through hiscastle, fight all the Bosses again, and then finally beat Wily. It’s standard fare. Every 4th game and on in every MegaMan series is like that. Well, maybe that’s being a little too general. It only happens in the original and X series. None of that crap in the Battle Network series. Ah, good old MMBN.

I suppose this review should contain the general review contents, so here goes. The graphics are great. For the NES anyway. The sprites are all nice and clear, and sized well for the levels, not too big, not too small. The backgrounds seem to be a bit more detailed than the previous three games, but that’s about all the change there is. As for controls, they’re spot-on, if and only if you’re using a controller. If you’re playing the ROM and using the keyboard, be prepaed to get frustrated with the controls at least once. It might be the emulator, but the game won’t let me jump left while charging the buster, and that has caused death on more than one occasion.

The sound is just what you’d expect it to be. Fast-paced techno-ish music that fits right in with the game. Then there’s the evil music whenever one of the Docs come on screen. And the prologue has a nice tune playing too. Of course, every other MegaMan fan will say that MM2 has the best music of them all. I’m not sure if I agree or not. It’s all really similar to me. As long as it sounds good, I guess. Of course, let’s not forget sound effects. It keeps true to that jumping sound that MegaMan makes in all the NES games. I love that sound. Not sure why, but it’s just a funny sound. And all the other stuff is standard MegaMan fare too.

Overall, I give MegaMan 4 a 10/10. It might seem a bit biased becasue Skull Man is in it, but I’d give most MegaMan games 10/10. The only exceptions are MMX6, RM.EXE(WonderSwan), and MegaMan Soccer. Sure, MegaMan Soccer is a fun and hilarious game, but it’s got control issues and I’m not a huge fan of soccer. MMX6 is a good indication of why a series should die, and RM.EXE for WS was a terrible, terrible game. But back to MM4 for a second, it is a more or less perfect game, the only faults being that it’s a bit slower than modern day MM games. Otherwise, it’s all good.

The thing that really bothers me though, is that I never got the chance to own this superb game. Back when my NES was my premiere game console, I really didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t buy it. And you know that when you let parents buy you games you’re gonna end up with a lot of crap and maybe a few good ones. Luckily, my library of 30+ was pretty well-rounded, so I can’t say my parents neveer picked anything good. They did get me Punch-Out!! after all. I suppose the moral of this story is that ROMs are a Godsend.

There, finally finished! But the intro is a little bit out of date now… this definetly isn’t my first game review, and obviously, it took a very long time to finish it. But I promised that I would, and I try my damnedest to keep my promises. So now that it’s done what do I do? I was thinking something along the lines of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow or some type of Animal Crossing article. I can never predict what my next article will be.

I also took a lot of pics for this article, and a good amount of them are rather large too, so it’s taking up a lot more space than I want it to. Maybe by the time I need it, I’ll have access to a bigger amount of webspace. If only it didn’t cost so much. If you want, you could always send me some money so that I could afford some. Or, I could just make another Angelfire account and store articles on that! But it is againt the TOS… I don’t know how long it would go unnoticed. Anyways, this is the end. You can click the back button now or click the link below the table to send me an E-mail. I like E-mail.