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+ megaman 8 ost: frostmans theme

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Layout by: Lovely Designs
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Image: Hyung Taekim

i have never really been a big megaman fan, i enjoy some of the subseries, legends is a fav, command mission is a lot of fun, battle network is also fantastic and the starforce games look great, but when it comes to the actual platformers my opinions have been a lot more mixed, the nes games i just don't find fun at all, despite having some nice sprites and a fantastic soundtrack, the X games are a step up for me although i have only played the first two and i wouldnt say i love them and i haven't played the zero games yet, though i would like to. where megaman 8 comes into this is that it's the first megaman platformer that i found myself really loving. i tried this on a whim one day, entirely drawn in by the beautiful spritework and beat it over the course of a weekend, while it has some issues for sure, the vibes are excellent and it's a game i think about a lot.

the gameplay here i find is vastly improved from prior titles, while not much has changed overall i find it a lot more smooth to play and the decrease in difficulty is a large part i think of why i find it so much more enjoyable. the game is by far the easiest of the megaman platformers to me and i think this is a good thing, it makes for an excellent introduction and just makes the experiance a better time overall, i disliked actually playing those early games in part because their difficulty made them very inaccessable for me even with save states, as someone that is very bad at 2D platformers and it's a large reason why, on the whole, i do not enjoy the genre very much. There are difficulty spikes for sure, those sled stages are hauntingly difficult and some of the bosses are very challanging in wily's tower(the ball one especially) but they were fairly easy to overcome even without using save states, which i did use at the games checkpoints. beyond that a lot of the powers here are super fun, flash bombs, flame sword and ice waves being my favourites, they all work pretty well and i found almost all of them useful in some way and all the bosses look super cool! all the spritework is amazing, ps1 era capcom and their sprites never dissapoint, consiastant quality across the board here easily making it one of the prettiest games on the system for me, although the sega saturn version does look slightly better with extra environmental effects. the bosses are all super expressive, environments look amazing and megaman himself has a lot of very fluid animations.

the environments themselves are just lovely to be in, with the detailed backgrounds and the wonderful music by Shusaku Uchiyama, frostman and searchmans themes being standouts to me, many songs from this were instantly added to my usual playlists, a lot of the more chill tracks especially just give some levels an atmosphere that not many 2D games can match, clown mans stage is just so aesthetic that i find myself thinking back to it a lot, it's one of my favourite looking and sounding stages in any game, and frost mammoth's stage is so good to just chill out on, with the penguins wandering around and the very ambient music, i found myself just staying in a lot of these stages for far longer than i needed to just because i enjoyed being there so much, shoutout to aquamans stage too, the pre-underwater bit was a vibe. the game also has vocal themes by the band ganasia in the japanese version of the game AND BOTH ARE ABSOLUTE B A N G E R S.

also worthy of note are the very cool looking anime scenes, a first for the mainline games and they all look great, the designs really pop in the art style and seeing them was always a treat especially with the voice acting being as memoerable and quotable as it was, bad voicework is an artistry all its own and MM8 delivers in spades, megaman sounding like a litteral child, probably because thats who he was voiced by, bass sounding board and dr wily sounding drunk just never cease to make me laugh and it really ads to the charm, although the game does not have much in the way of actual story.

sadly the game would not have much of a legacy, for starters the game wasn't even going to come out on the playstation in north america originally due to sony having a stance against 2D games, this was however reversed and the game did come out in the west when sony saw the game releasing on saturn, there is also a hilarious review and tips guide from the 90's television show "gaming in the clinton years" that is still funny, we stan george wood and i will link the video below this. while it did have a spinoff on the super famicom in 1998 with megaman and bass, the next 2 games being 8 bit affirs for xbox live/wiiware/psn and mega man 11 being a 2.5D game, which is a shame as i would have loved to see another big ps1 or 2 entry with sprites this nice, but the fact those games got made at all is very nice. it was eventually released for the ps2 in the megaman anniversery collection and more recently as part of the megaman legacy collection 2 alongside 7 and the psn titles so it is very accessable today and well worth playing, even if you arent a fan of the series like myself.

+ george wood on mega man 8
+ george wood MM8 tips

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