Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mega Man: Powered Up Post-Mortem

[Now Experiencing] [Computer Gaming]

I never liked Mega Man. It was a platformer. It featured one-mistake deaths and bottomless pits. It was not my cup of tea.

But then, that's what I thought about Metroid, until I played Metroid Zero Mission, and discovered it was really a lot of fun. It's what I thought about Castlevania, but Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance turned out to be one of my best gaming finds of the year. So I thought maybe it was time to bury the axe with the old shiny blue robot and try out something from his more recent oeuvre.

It's worth noting that really good games for the PSP have not been as thick on the ground as I ideally would have liked, so I made a plan to remedy this by picking up Mega Man: Powered Up for my Sony handheld. It's a remake of the original, with cute super-deformed characters, and some modern gameplay concessions. It looked ideal - I could return to the roots of the series, without having to put up with 20-year-old NES game design.

Bah. Capcom obviously didn't remake Powered Up quite as much as I would have hoped. It still features one-fall deaths. And you know what? It doesn't really matter what else they've thrown in there, because none of it is going to get me past the sheer frustration of playing a difficult level almost to the end and then being booted all the way back to the start from losing my last life on a stupid jumping puzzle.

Total play time spent with Powered Up = about 15 minutes, just long enough to remember why I hate eighties platformer design. I'm done now. It can go back on the shelf, and never be played again.

No, I don't claim that this is a representative review of the game. It's just the reason that this game was a complete and dismal failure in interesting me in playing it, and you know, there's not that many games that manage that.


Grant said...

I was never a fan of Megaman either, to be honest. I did recently pick up the GBA port of the NES Castlevania, however, and quite enjoyed it - although am too bad a player to actually finish the thing.

GregT said...

As far as my tastes go, the original Castlevania and the original Metroid are both vastly better games than the original Mega Man. That's not to say that they don't both benefit from having their formula slightly re-imagined to benefit from the last twenty years of advances in game design. 8-) Although I am happy I finished the original Legend of Zelda exactly as originally designed; albeit 18 years after the fact on the GBA.

Grant said...

I'm in a weird minority in that I vastly prefer the second NES Zelda to the first.

GregT said...

That -IS- a wierd minority. Isn't there some sort of a law against liking Zelda 2? I'm pretty sure there is, or at least there should be.

Grant said...

Nah, it's a much more fun game and has a better sense of story. It's also the origin of all the sage names in Ocarina of Time, so y'know it is a foundation upon which genius was built.