Welcome to Mega Man Month! Every weekday in January I’ll be listing three things I love about the original Mega Man series. Let’s go!
The animated intro is legendary
Yeah yeah, the voice acting is hilariously awful. And I like that to an extent,. But I want to talk about how actually awesome the intro for Mega Man 8 is. First, there’s the pre-game intro cinematic. Here we get to see a bunch of awesome battle sequences involving robot masters from the previous 7 games. The music is pure cheese, but it doesn’t matter. It looks incredible. Then there’s the actual game intro, and it’s like watching a Mega Man anime. Voice work aside, this intro is everything I wanted the actual Mega Man cartoon to be. There’s awesome action, a monster of the week plot unfolding, and the sound is 100% 80s-90s anime. Seriously, watch the Japanese version. It’s great.
The scrolling shooter segments
Mega Man 8’s level structure isn’t my favorite in the series by a long shot, but a couple times thought the adventure, it does some stuff I thought was excellent. Chief among them was the scrolling shooter segments. Mega Man jumps on Rush in Jet mode, and it’s just a straight up scrolling shooter. Full range of movement, straight forward shots, and most importantly, you can get powerups that bring your friends Auto, Eddie, and Beat along for the ride. They may not be super challenging like R-Type or anything, but they’re really fun.
It’s ambitious as heck
Mega Man 8 fails on a lot of fronts. That said, I’ve always appreciated its ambition. This was a full fledged release back when it launched on PlayStation and Saturn, and it showed. The folks at Capcom put a ton of effort into its presentation and even more thought into its design. This is a radically different Mega Man game than we had seen in the past, and even though I wasn’t crazy about all the directions it moved in, it was a clear evolution of what a Mega Man game could be. Mega Man 9 and 10 were a blast, but they forced the franchise to regress to where it was when Mega Man 2 launched, which made Capcom a hefty profit, but was the safest thing they could have done with the brand at the time. Mega Man 8 was bold, and I love that about it. Warts and all.
And that’s all fo Mega Man 8. Come back tomorrow as we continue our home stretch with the retro throwback Mega Man 9.