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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Deja Vu Moments Part 2 - Mega Man series

For the next set of deja vu moments, I think it would be appropriate to talk about the Mega Man and Mega Man X series.  Both series are loaded with deja vu moments and in this blog post, I will talk about some of them.

Image description: robot masters from Mega Man 2.  In most (if not all) mega man games, you can expect to fight 8 different robot masters before going to Dr Wily's castle (Sigma levels in the Mega Man X series). 

Do you ever get a sense of deja vu in the video games?  Two game series I find with lots of moments of familarity are the Mega Man and Mega Man X series.  They are both loaded with several deja vu moments, and in this blog, I will talk about them.  Note: this blog post is only based on both the classic mega man series and the Mega Man X series.  I haven't played through Mega Man Zero, Mega Man Legends or Mega Man ZX yet or the gameboy verions of the Mega Man series, so I wouldn't know of they have the same formate as the original 2 series.  Of course, if you have played the later series, you are welcome to fill me in on them. 

Deja vu moment #1 - Facing 8 Robot masters

video description: watch a video where Akutare defeats all 8 robot masters from Mega Man 3 (does not include the ones from Mega Man 2, which you face after defeating the first 8 robot masters in the game)

For the first moment, you will know that you have been playing many mega man games when you see the classic stage select screen where you have to fight at least 8 robot masters (the only exception to this that I am aware of is in Mega Man 1 where you only have to fight 6 robot masters before going to Dr Wily's Castle).  In just about every Mega Man and Mega Man X game, you can expect to go through 8 of Dr Wily's or Sigma's (if you are playing the Mega Man X series) minions before going to either Dr Wily's castle or the Sigma Missions.  Of course, in the old school games, if you were lazy, you could always look up passwords to warp directly to Dr Wily's castle or the Sigma levels.  Of course, since Mega man 8, most of the games have done away with the password system and replaced them with the a save feature, making it so you have to play through all 8 robot master stages before moving on.  Mega Man 3 actually takes the robot master fights to the extreme as not only do you fight the ones from Mega Man 3, but later you will also fight clones of all 8 robot masters from Mega Man 2 (with 2 boss fights occuring in each of the 4 levels you face the clones), though Mega Man 3 is the only game in both series that I am aware of where you fight all 8 robot masters from a previous mega man game in addition to the initial 8 (Mega Man 7 only has you doing a rematch against Guts Man).

Deja Vu Moment 2 - Teleportation rooms

Video description: watch Cetega23 take on all 8 of the Maverik robots from Mega Man X4 as Zero.  I decided to use a Mega Man X game to illustrate this deja vu moment. You will be doing similar levels in just about any other Mega Man game shortely before you take on the final boss(es).  In Mega Mans X4-X8 you can actually play as Zero by the way (advanced players will like playing as him of course with his close range and lightsaber abilities).

Ah, you know that you have played too many Mega Man and/or Mega Man X games when you encounter the all too familiar "teleporter" room during the final stages of the game (usually twoards the end of the Dr Wily/Sigma stages and shortly before the final bosses).  Yep, that is right, you fought all 8 of the evil robot masters/mavericks (depending on the series), and now you will be going up against the same 8 foes once again (by the way, the only three Mega Man and Mega Man X games I am aware of where there is no teleportation room are Mega Mans 1, X1 and "Megaman and Bass" , though in those games, they spread out the boss rematches across the final stages).  On the positive note, all of the bosses are weak to certain weapons you get from another boss (for example, in Mega Man 4, Bright Man is weak against Toad Man's rain bombs, and Toad Man is weak against Drill Man's Drill Missiles), so it helps to know each robot master's weakness during the rematches (of course, you can always just use the good ol' mega buster, but the matches will be much more challenging that way).  By the way, in the classic series, you usually fight Dr Wily for the first time after the initial boss fights (such as the case for Mega Mans 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8), and some times the final boss occurs in those stages as well (as is the case for Mega Mans 7, 8, and 9).

Tips for teleportation rooms if you are not familiar:
- make sure that you know each bosses's weakness.  The boss rematches will be alot easier this way.
- It helps to try and conserve your energy tanks since sometimes the final boss lurks in those stages (especially in Mega Man X4 as Sigma is a very tough enemy in the game, especially in his 3rd form, and you will be hurting without those precious energy tanks).
- You might consider getting the hard robot masters out of the way first, and then moving to the easier ones later.
- In Mega Man X4-X8, you can play as Zero, but many of the bosses will be more challenging (especially in X4 as some of the Mavericks do not seem to have any weaknesses against Zero's weapons, such as Magma Dragoon).

Top 5 Favorite Teleportation rooms of mine:
- The one in Mega Man X8 - this one is probably my favorite as you are on the moon and the teleporters come in a tower format.
- Mega Man X5
- Mega Man 7
- Mega Man 3
- Mega Man 4

Deja Vu Moment 3 - Dr Wily's Castle

You know when you have played too many classic Mega Man games when you encounter Dr Wily's Castle(s).  Yes, in just about every classic Mega Man game (except for Mega Man 1), after you beat all of the robot masters , you will be treated to a scene with Dr Wily in his typical flying saucer as he flies to his castle, and then as you go through each of the stages, the game shows your progress through the castle.  Of course, at the end of the castle are the final bosses.  BTW, the Mega Man X series have final stages too, but Sigma does not have a castle like Dr Wily does.  Also, in Mega Mans 4 through 6, you will actually be going through 2 castles (the first one being an imposter villian, such as Dr Cossack in Mega Man 4, and then the real villian, Dr Wily). 

Tips for the castle stages:
- practice makes perfect, as some levels will probably take several tries (the hardest castle in my opinion is probably the one in Mega Man 2 as some of the levels did take several tries, such as the 3rd to last level where encounter the infamous turret room boss).
- Weapon energy tanks are your friend as most of your sub weapons are limited and some are bound to be used more than others.  Some levels will require you to make use of your rush units (such as Rush Jet, balloon lifts, etc).
- Most if not all of the bosses in these stages have weaknesses to certain weapons (for example, in Mega Man 4, the first Dr Cossack level boss is weak against Ring Man's weapon).
- Some castles have short cuts in them that have extra power ups and are usually easier to get through.

My top 5 castles:
  • The one from Mega Man 3 (the only downside to this one is that I thought that the bosses were too easy, especially once you get their weaknesses down)
  • Dr Cossack's castle (I remember when the first time I played through Mega Man 4, I was made to think that Dr Cossack was the new villian in the series).
  • The one in Mega Man 7 (I liked the fights against Bass)
  • Mega Man 2 - this one was a classic for me
  • The one in Mega Man 8.
By the way, I haven't played through Mega Mans 9 and 10 yet, so I don't have an opinion about those ones at this time.

Deja vu moment 5 - Dr Wily's Final Form

*Sigh* if you have played through any of the post Mega Man 3 games, you should probably know about this typical encounter with Dr Wily himself.  Usually Capcom gets creative with the first half of the battles against Dr Wily (which varies in each game).  However, eventually you get to his final form, where you are usually in a dark room and Dr Wily plays "hide and seek", where he teleports around the room and you usually have to hit him with his weak weapon as he appears and prepares to attack before he teleports again.   This may sound confusing, but if you have played through Mega Mans 4 through 8 (and probably 9 and 10 too), you probably know what I mean).  Of course, Dr Wily's final form is always the very final boss in the game and you get the ending after you beat Dr Wily.  On the positive note, they do seem to change things a bit in each game as in some games he is more challenging than he is in others and his weakness usually changes as well. 

My favorites are: the one in Mega Man 4 (the first of its' kind), the one in Mega Man 6 (this is a 3 part boss battle by the way) and the one in Mega Man 8.  By the way, I shared a video above showing the 2 part final boss in Mega Man 7 (by the way, this one was the hardest in my opinion, as his weapons are very strong and nearly impossible to avoid and you are doomed in the fight if you don't have all of your energy tanks in store, unless if you are an expert or are cheating of course).  The easiest version was the one in Mega Man 5 as you can simply use Beat against him and Beat simply attacks Dr Wily each time he appears and all you have to do is to try and avoid Dr Wily's attacks, thus making quick work out of him.  By the way, it has not always been this way as Capcom was much more creative with the Dr Wily boss fights in Mega Mans 1 through 3 (such as the Dr Wily "Alien" in Mega Man 2, as well as the Gamma Dr Wily in Mega Man 3).

Deja vu Moment 6- Vile and Dynamo

It is no secret.  In the Mega Man X series, you can expect to fight one of 2 of Sigma's notorious vile henchman: Vile in Mega Manx X, X3 and X8 and Dyamo in Mega Mans X5 and X6 (he is actually an optional boss in Mega Man X6 that you will encounter if you visit the hidden areas during the Maverick levels that you can enter via special portals and after you have beaten Nightmare Zero and High Max).  Vile is basically the Boba Fett look-alike that usually comes in a ride armor (though not always as is the case in most of Mega Man X8 prior ot the final level of the game).  You first fight Vile in Mega Man X1 and initially, a weak X is nearly defeated by Vile (only to be saved by Zero), but later on in the game, X becomes strong enough to beat Vile with Zero's help.  Of course, Vile does get resurrected in X3 and X8 and goes up against X and Zero again, only to be defeated once again.  Of course, by Mega Man X3, X has become much more powerful (to the same calibur as Zero) and can easily take out Vile without Zero's help, and by the time X8 rolls around, Zero is now a playable character (yes, starting with X4, Zero becomes a playable character throughout the games) and you can defeat Vile either as X, Zero or Axle.  In addition to Vile, in Mega Man X5 and X6, Dynamo takes the place of Vile and his mission is mainly to annoy X and Zero (though in X6, he is an optional boss, though you would have to fight him if you are trying to max out your nightmare gems).

Well, there you have it, just about all of the major deja vu moments I can think of.  By the way, there are bound to be more in the Mega Man and Mega Man X series, but this list would be too long if I tried to list them all.  By the way, this list is mainly based on the Mega Man and Mega Man X series.  I have yet to play through some of the other series, such as Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX (though you are welcome to fill me in on those).

So what do you think of all of these deja vu moments?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just started playing through Sonic 4

Hey everybody, just fyi, I recently bought Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 and will review the game within the next few weeks.  The game takes on an "old school" feel and will play a bit like the classic sonic the hedgehog games (prior to Sonic Adventure), with a new look of course.