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Showing posts from November, 2022

Mega Man: A rock-solid, if challenging, platformer

The original Mega Man gets a bad rap because its sequel is so much better. But if you can set that aside and appreciate Mega Man in the context of its late-1987 release, you'll find a top-notch platformer, if a little on the difficult side. Mega Man (called Rockman in Japan) is a blue, armored robot created by Dr. Light to destroy the evil robots created by Dr. Wily. He is not a cyborg, despite his human-looking face and hair. The game begins with a level-select screen. Mega Man can face the six robot masters in any order: Cut Man, Guts Man, Elec Man, Fire Man, Ice Man, and Bomb Man. The hallmark of the Mega Man series is that, whenever he defeats a robot master, he acquires its weapon. You can change weapons at any time from the menu (press START). Mega Man can also pick up the Magnet Beam tool in Elec Man's stage. This lets him create temporary, magnetic platforms, which help him cross gaps. The longer you hold the button, the longer the platform. A criticism I've had s

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: 30th anniversary

Three decades ago Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins brought the platforming brilliance of the Super Mario series to the handheld Nintendo Game Boy. Featuring 32 levels, it far surpassed Mario's first Game Boy outing. It also introduced the anti-hero Wario, who has locked Mario out of his mansion. To unlock it he must collect the eponymous Six Golden Coins. The dastardly and mysterious Wario The original Super Mario Land launched with the Game Boy in 1989. While that game succeeded in letting you play Super Mario on the go, it fell short of the series' high standards. The sprites were tiny and hard to see, especially when they were moving (due to the Game Boy's motion blur). The strange enemies and Egyptian setting made it feel like it was from another series entirely. And the game was too short with just twelve levels. Nintendo fixed all these problems with the sequel. The sprites are big, and the game has 32 levels—the same number as the original Super Mario Bros. This