3/23/2012

Megaman - 8-Bit Deathmatch

Alright, first and foremost, let me just get this off my chest. I LOVE MegaMan. MegaMan is MY GAME. I grew up with it, and it was my first video game I ever got specifically for me to play, and eventually got good at. Mario and the others were more or less for my parents, but as they grew out of video games, I grew into them until I became the internet superstar you see before you. What? You don't see me? I thought a blog worked that way. What do you mean I'm not an internet superstar? I'm writing my own damn blog and I know damn well all of you guys want to hear about everything I have to say. You're a tasteless hack if you dont. True facts....





I know what you're thinking; "MegaMan isnt a hidden gem! EVERYONE knows MegaMan!!" 
But hold on to your memory chips; MegaMan has seen his share of ups and downs.

Sometimes more downs that we could keep in good taste.

As such, his popularity has risen and fallen to a number of degrees over the years. But one thing has always stayed the same: He's a retro gaming icon. Despite this, the waves of games coming out every year seemed to slow down as Capcom began to make fewer and fewer MegaMan games, each with a new gimmick or draw. But once they realized that wasn't going to cut it anymore, Capcom did what they do best; Sell you a game you've already bought and played, and slap a new title on it. Actually, I would like to believe they realized gimmicks didn't work and went back to the basics and gave us a game with a formula that was a proven success, but let's face it, Capcom is a greedy greedy company.

Pictured: Greed

With that in mind, Capcom decided to do a major throw back to it's glory days; MegaMan 9 and 10. These games are essentially the long lost sequels to MegaMan Classic you never knew existed. They were modern sequels to MegaMan, but 8-bit, and giving you lots and lots of that runnin' and gunnin', Wily stoppin' action you remember growing up. But as we all know, Capcom sucks at their own franchises, so leave it to the fanbase to do them one better. This is where MegaMan 8-Bit Deathmatch comes in.




Megaman 8-BIT DEATHMATCH (PC)
Developed & Published by: CutmanMike/Cutstuff.net
Released on: October 8th, 2010

MegaMan 8-bit DeathMatch is a mod to the popular game Doom 2, wherein all the textures for the game have been replaced with 8-bit counterparts, the maps are beautiful 3D renditions of all your favorite; frustratingly difficult boss stages, and all the weapons have been replaced with nearly every single Robot Master weapon you can Get Equipped with. What seems like a dream come true, is actually...no wait. It IS a dream come true.

8bit Deathmatch focuses heavily on multiplayer. You can change your name, avatar, and of course a slew of other options necessary for fragging your friends with adorable weapons like Bubble Lead, or fragging them in the ass with the bazooka of the game, Hard Knuckle.


MEET THE MASTERS

The list of skins for your character is quite admirable. You can choose anyone from MegaMan, with or without hair, all the way up to the alien hologram Dr. Wily uses in MegaMan 2. The skins include every major cast member of MegaMan, and even some non-essential ones, like Quint, Punk, and Enker. If you don't know who Quint is, don't worry, most casual MegaMan'ers don't. Most of his notoriety actually comes from how weird he is, his “wtf factor” if you will.


(These may not be in any particular order because Butler. Why not)
 


 My only real question though is why there are so many skins for Bass. He has his default skin a'la MegaMan 7, then one for MegaMan 8 I think, then one for MegaMan 10, then one for this obscure Wonderswan game he was in, and then one for I dont even know. The point is, he has a lot.




Another impressive thing that you may overlook is that every character has a sprite that can be viewed from ANY angle. Not just the characters you fight, but even simple things like Metools  and other stage enemies now peppered around the environments as decoration. Every game object has a sprite for forward, back, left, right, and the diagonal directions in between. Honestly, I took it for granted the first time I played because, damn, they did such a good job, I just accepted it as though those characters ALWAYS had those sprites, but you'd be surprised how many are actually custom. It may not seem like much, but it is impressive to be able to walk around characters or look at enemies in the stage decoration and view them from the proper angles instead of the old fashioned "always facing you" view.


Read these screenshots from left to right; this isn't a Japanes FPS.

Now let's get onto the meat of things. The weapons. Who cares what skin you have? You all explode into little balls just the same. Let me just say that the weapons are quite impressive. Almost every memorable MegaMan weapon has been ported into this game and functions exactly as you remember it in the games they originate from. Rolling Cutter actually comes back to you, Thunder Beam actually goes in three directions, and Metal Blade still rocks everyone's shit. However, the one downside to Metal Blade is that it's thrown vertically, meaning it's paper thin as it flies through the air at your targets. Keeps all of it's strength, but loses a large chunk of it's accuracy thanks to the third dimension.

Some notable weapons (in no particular order) :

Search Snake: I couldn't give you an accurate measurement of it's strength, but it's more or less stronger than the default Mega-Buster. Despite being relatively weak, it's a great weapon for being...well....sneaky! It shoots forth tiny little green snakes that scurry across the floor and up walls, and even back down them. If you know where someone is hiding, just shoot in their general direction, and the snakes will climb up or drop down and hit them without revealing your location and leaving them none the wiser. I've gotten several kills just blind firing at a flight of steps or walls and hitting someone unsuspecting on the other side.


Search Snake highlighted so you can see it against the snake-floor, and snake-walls... Subtley isn't their forte.


Hard Knuckle: Aside from having a hilarious name, Hard Knuckle is, as I said earlier, the Bazooka of the game. Or is it the BFG since this is Doom...I dont know. There's no time for technicalities because THERES A GIANT FIST FLYING AT YOUR FACE. Hard Knuckle deals a whopping amount of damage in a straight shot projectile. The only draw back is that there is a delay in firing and some slight recoil that pushes you back slightly. Also, you have to stop moving in order to shoot it. Jumping while shooting is advised, as long as you are prepared for the knock back it has. There were SEVERAL very bad sexual puns I could have made, but since HardMan has to live them out every day of his pixelated life, I refrained and did the polite, and original thing by NOT making them....(Fists in your ass- DAMMIT!!)


No Japanese robot would be complete without rocket fists.


Gemini Laser: Gemini laser is plain and simple a fun weapon. In 2D space, the weapon fired at an angle to make it bounce off the walls. Since this is a 3D game, the laser now fires straight and the angles at which it bounces depends on how you aim your buster. While the shots move slow, they deal decent damage and bounce off of the walls many times before they dissipate. For maximum fun, fire a ton of those fuckers down a crowded area and watch as your targets dance around like they're having 8-bit convulsions trying to dodge your lasers like a suave thief avoiding security lasers, only with more Pew Pew and less stolen famous art.


It looks pretty bad ass in reverse too



Hyper Bomb: Hyper Bomb in my opinion was pretty useless in the game it debut in, MegaMan 1, where you toss a bomb, wait, and then it explodes. It's pretty much just that, a bomb. The damn thing NEVER hit anyone because in a 2D game all about reflexes and accuracy, the Hyper Bomb was pretty much the exact opposite, slow and inaccurate. What is lacked in speed, it makes up for in power, and no that wasnt a reference to that rap song on Youtube you're all thinking about now (this one--> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6L9bUouDr8 ). That much has stayed true in 8-bit Deathmatch, although it's gained an advantage. You can fire off a lot more of them now, and in 3D space, it's harder to dodge. A common, and effective tactic, is to corner an enemy and throw a metric fuckton at your target. Wait, when did this become BomberMan 8-bit Deathmatch? While they are busy dodging the ones you just tossed, the ones you already threw are beginning to explode and chopping off valuable bits of their health bar.


Do they also come with a curly mustache and dastardly piano music?

Atomic Fire: If Hard Knuckle isn't the BFG, this weapon is. That is of course unless you forget to charge it. Atomic Fire is pretty much a useless weapon unless it is charged. Your piddly little fireballs don't do squat unless you charge them up. It also has a motto, go big or go to the title screen. That is, when you charge this sucker all the way up, it not only fires off a very large projectile, but it also deals an instant kill. The one draw back is that it takes a very long time to charge the weapon. I hope the Hellboy approach works here

“I aint got good aim, but that's okay....I use big bullets.”


Charge Kick: It's a Falcon Kick. Seriously. You slide forward and kick whoever is in front of you dealing a decent chunk of damage. If only it were a Falcon Punch. It's a great weapon for confusing your enemies since you move quite fast when using it. It can also be used in the air as a mode of transportation. In fact, some weapons and power ups require the use of other weapons to reach them. It's such a simple attack that is quite satisfying to use.


Self Captioned


Top Spin: Yes. This is a thing. How could anyone forget Top Spin? Remember that weapon in every MegaMan game you never used because it sucked? That was Top Spin for MegaMan 3, except somehow it whoops the ass of ShadowMan pretty quickly. Well guess what? In this game, EVERYONE is ShadowMan. Top Spin, as useless as it used to be, has somehow reached God-Tier as it pretty much acts as a ONE SHOT KILL. In my time playing, the majority of deaths players got on me was by using Top Spin. It is incredibly powerful for some inexplicable reason. You cant tell me it's because of how hard it is to hit people with, because really, all anyone has to do is get near you and jump, and you're pretty much a DeadMan.


I would put an actual screencap here, but Top Spin just makes your camera spin around when you use it.
It actually turns your character.

There are many more weapons in the games than I have listed up there, but to cover them all would require a review of it's own. A lot of weapons are just duplicates of others, though surprisingly, each one has very subtle advantages over the other. For instance, Yamato Spear fires a ton of very rapid spears at your target that travel very quickly through the air. Needle Cannon however, does the same thing, except it's shots move a little bit slower through the air and fires at a very slightly slower rate, while dealing a little bit more damage.

As if the plethora of 8-bit implements of death weren't enough, there's a sub category of power-ups too. There are your usual E-Tanks and W-Tanks which instantly refill your health and weapon energy respectively, but then there are more obscure ones, such as Item 1, which creates a platform in front of you; Treble Sentry, which summons Bass' dog Treble down who looks around for enemies and rapidly fires strong buster shots at them for a short period of time; but then there's my favorites: The Buster Upgrades.

Buster upgrades are a series of power-ups that change your default buster into something much more powerful and at times more useful. The Proto-Buster gives you a shield and a chargeable buster. When not firing, the shield is raised and blocks all incoming attacks to your front. The drawback is that your rate of fire for your default shots are lowered. The Bass-Buster is one of my favorites, which gives you Bass' rapid fire buster ability from MegaMan and Bass, which rains rapid fire pixelated death upon anyone in front of you, and can kill a player pretty quickly if your aim remains consistent. There's also the Super Adapter, which not only acts as a buster upgrade, but also an ability upgrade, giving you the power to double jump. The buster itself loses the ability to fire as rapidly as before, much like the Proto-Buster, but gains a special charge shot whhere you fire off your fist as a rocket, which homes in on targets to some degree of accuracy. Also included is the Sakugarne. That's the thing Quint rides on. Remember that guy you don't know about? Well the Sakugarne is a fucking jackhammer pogo-stick, making it (and maybe him) instantly awesome.


Dear receiving end, You're fucked


With all that said, there is very little bad that can be said about this game. It's well made, looks great, sounds great, plays great, and is a lot of damn fun. Matches are a lot of fun even just between two friends duking it out.


(no sound due to IDK dongs, but you know what megaman sounds like already)

Playa can kick your ass, granted you're in the options menu 
when he can take clean shots at you.
It's always fun to see just how one player can fight the other when the weapons are no longer “BLOW SHIT UP!! SHOOT BULLETS IN THIS DIRECTION!! OMFGGG” but instead are interesting, sometimes autonomous weapons, with very different uses. You really have to stop and contemplate which weapon is best suited for each situation, giving the game a lot more depth than the original vanilla Doom 2. In fact, I would go so far as to say there is more depth in the weapons than in the original games they came from. Usually, you just breeze on through and pick the strongest weapon and stick with it through the whole thing, which is usually the Mega-Buster if you're pro as hell like my main boy “Player” who we fragged endlessly. But 8bit Deathmatch honestly forces you to consider your options and make critical thinking paramount in your weapon choices and how you use them.


However, critical thinking is not exactly easy when playing against a large group of players. Once the number of players rises from 2 to 5, the game starts to get a little crazy. The maps are big enough to suit any number of players, but you start to realize just how small they are when at every corner, there's someone who just collected Crash Bomb and he's already shot a wave of them to latch onto your face. This is both the game's high point and low point. More players usually results in more frantic fun and wild gameplay. It's hard to get mad when you explode into flashing orbs of light instead of bloody chunklets. Instead, the frustration usually comes in when TOO many players are in the match and you are either dying before you grab a weapon, or are finding that all of your kills are being stolen by someone who fired off a lucky shot at your direction trying to nail you both. Especially when everyone is spamming that goddamned Top Spin!! FUCK!!

No not THAT kind of topspin, Serena...


This is remedied slightly by maps of varying size, giving each match a different feel. Usually smaller maps result in a more fast paced “RIP AND TEAR!! RIP AND TEAR!!”  way of playing, where as larger maps allow you some time to get into interesting one on one duels before turning around and chasing after the next target.

The only real complaints I can make about the game do not lie in fault with the work put into the game. Issues like wonky textures and weird warping when looking straight up or down are not part of the game, but rather part of the Doom 2 engine, which doesn't actually use REAL 3D rendering, but instead is achieved with a trick of the textures. Think of it as a really complex Mode-7 game like F-Zero for the SNES or the first StarFox. Also, while the in game sprites for every character are EXTREMELY well made, looking exactly as I would imagine them to be if I could view them from any angle other than “you're playing a platformer,” the one thing that really breaks the immersion for me is the weapons on your HUD. When in first person view, some of the weapons switch from your buster arm to a hand or something, which is fine, except that it doesnt really keep that cartoony feel. The hands are well made, but don't exactly look like what I would expect from a MegaMan character. 


A'huh...
 Okay...

This is painfully evident with the Charge Kick weapon, where you dont necessarily look like you're using a MegaMan character's foot to kick, but rather some guy wearing pink socks. I understand not every character has matching feet, but all their busters look the same in first person, why not make their feet at least look like the iconic MegaMan style legs?


 Are those sweatpants?

In all, the game accurately recreates the look and feel of the 8-bit era MegaMan games faithfully in 3D, while also being an extremely fun game in it's own right. If you aren't a huge MegaMan fan from the Classic era like me (I started with X1), that's okay too, because this was only a review of vanilla 8bit Deathmatch. There are expansions that allow you to use new player classes and play as MegaMan X characters with their abilities, as well as a ton of other expansion packs out there to REALLY mix up the variety. There seems to be little this game cant do. Reviewing this game simply doesn't do it justice. Its a game that just needs to be seen in action. Go and play it ASAP and don't worry about getting your old password sheets out, this game has a save feature. What? It doesn't actually work? Well, download the game anyways. Here's the website for the game, as well as the download link because god dammit format your page. It's like looking for the arc of the covenant to find the important navigation links.


You should care about Megaman. Jim Sterling does not, apparantly.

You can get 8-bit Deathmatch and other mods at Cutstuff.net

Or, if you're a bastard, you can just get it from Mediafire.

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