Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Genre Character of the Week: Mega Man

It's been almost half a week since I sent my Wii console away, and even though I don't play a lot of games, I can't help but think about what I would be playing if I had access to the machine. This of course leads me to thinking back to my favourite games and specifically my favourite characters in games. This week, a little robot called Mega Man.

I first came across the character in Mega Man 2 at a video store and after one hour of play I knew he would end up being one of my favourite characters of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). His back story in a nutshell - created by Dr. Light, Mega Man began as a robotic lab assistant. After treachery by Dr. Light's partner, Dr. Willy, Mega Man is converted into a fighting robot and must fight through multiple worlds to get to Dr. Willy.

The main part of what I love about Mega Man is the structure of the game - as the player you can select any game world you like to start in. All of the bosses are also robots and tough to beat, but if you defeat them in a certain order, you make your job much simpler. So the game is kind of a cross between a standard platformer (in which a character jumps from platform to platform), a puzzle game, and an open world game (where you get to pick the order in which you do things.) Also as Mega Man defeats each world boss, he gets that boss's power as well, something which can be used in many different ways throughout the rest of the game.

I think my favourite part of Mega Man is that after decades of playing the original game I still come across references to him today, whether in an a capella version of his theme song, references to the old Captain N: The Game Master cartoon, or one of my favouite online games StinkoMan 20X6.

Recently Mega Man 10 has come out for the Wii virtual console and I've got to say, once I get my machine back, I really want to give a try to this new game with an old school feel.

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