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PS3 Attitude

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Megaman 9 Trial Version; Impressions

12 years have passed since 1996’s Megaman 8. After a ton of spinoffs that went a different way (introducing new features and gameplay), Capcom took a moment to listen to what fans had to say. The result was Megaman 9.

Megaman 9 has everything that made the franchise popular. It follows the series' roots, continuing the storyline, adopting classic gameplay and going back to the 8-bit era, when the only buttons you had to use were A,B, and the D-pad (except this time you’ll be using x, ■ (Square) and the D-pad).

3 days ago Megaman 9 Trial Version went live at the PS Store, enabling players to have a taste of the game before deciding whether to purchase it or not. Amongst the thousands that downloaded it was PS3 Attitude. We turned this trial version upside-down in order to be able to share our impressions with you.

So, let’s start with the basics. As I mentioned before, Megaman 9 continues where Megaman 8 left off. We’re at the year 20XX (whatever that means) and Megaman has saved the world from Dr. Wily’s evil plans. In other words, everything seems to be going alright in the Megaman universe.

Suddenly, robots around the world start attacking the citizens. Dr. Wily makes an appearance in TV, stating that all that’s happening isn’t his doing. Instead, he says that the attacking robots are Dr. Light’s creations, implying that he’s the evil one. He goes even further by showing a video that features a conversation between Dr. Wily and Dr. Light; in their conversation, Dr. Wily denies to become an accomplice in Dr. Light’s evil plans for world domination (yeah, right…).

The video is of course a fake, but people seem to believe Dr. Wily’s sayings. That’s why he encourages them to deposit their money in a Swiss Bank account; that’s the only way to stop the evil robots, he says. Finally, Megaman decides to take action. While Megaman is ready to leave the laboratory, Dr. Light tells him to take care, since he hasn’t done this in awhile (ah, nostalgia…).

The Trial Version allows the player to play only one of the 9 stages; Concrete Man. Now, before going into any details, I have to admit something. This stage took me about 15 retries to beat it! It’s freaking difficult (for the “noobs”, that is), but the experienced Megaman players will find everything familiar. Since I never really was an 'avid' fan of the series (maybe because the young of my age), it took me some 'trial and error' before beating it.

As far as the stage is concerned, the first thing you are going to notice is the vast amount of enemies (three ball-throwing robotic elephants in a row? Come on!). Anyways, after dozens of rock-carrying birds, creepy spiders, 'kabuto' like creatures -which by the way do some major damage-, cannons and trees with eyes (!), you’ll get to meet Concrete Man. Megaman walks through a 'Metroidish' corridor/hallway and finally meets his opponent. Better get ready for a fierce battle (or not?).

As you are ready to kick his 'butt', the stage ends leaving you 'hungry for blood' (God damn you Trial Version!). It seems that Capcom doesn’t let you defeat Concrete Man for a reason. This 'hunger' for more Megaman action that the demo creates is an excellent way to boost sales. Every self-respected Megaman fan will rush to buy the Full Version of the game. The demo just gives players the incentive to continue with the purchase.

With 50 challenges, Online Rankings (get ready for hundreds of 'speedruns') and the explicit nostalgia/retro feeling that the game emits, Megaman 9 is considered a must-buy, especially with that price (9.99€ for the European PS Store and 9.99$ for the American PS Store)!

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