The hosts of this weeks GRcade Twitchcast are Pedz and The Doom Spoon.
This week the guys talk about the latest PlayStation State of Play. The games they’ve shown, whether it was engaging enough – did anything pique anyone’s interest?
After that, the chat turns to the Inside XBox presentation and again similar things are discussed; which was more interesting?
Lastly, it’s been 2 weeks since Robocop Versus Terminator was picked as a game that both will replay to see if it still holds up and whether nostalgia is a big part of that. Both have played the game, but, how does it fare today? Pedz also played the NES prototype game and that’s rather different. During the podcast, there is footage from the game shown. Check it out on YouTube if you are interested in seeing some of the points made.
Bucky O’Hare was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in its twilight years, it came out in 1992 in Japan and the US while it came later in Europe in 1993. It was made by Konami.
Bucky O’Hare is an action Platformer that sees you visiting different planets (which are all conveniently named after the colour they are) to rescue his crew members who have been kidnapped by the evil Toads. The unique thing about this game was the fact that after finishing a level and getting each crew member they would become usable and on each level, on the fly you can press select and you would change to another character. Of course changing character wasn’t just something as a skin option there are actual benefits and also gameplay changes due to it. An example would be as Bucky you have a basic gun, that fires normally and the ability to jump really high, as Dead-Eye Duck you get a short ranged triple spread gun and the ability to cling and climb walls for short periods of time, and there are 3 more characters in which you choose too.
Visually the game is great, but it’s not unexpected when you have Konami making a game especially so late in the consoles life, but the sprites are amazing the planets are all varied, and the variety is from act to act too. Then you have the music which is great, with some truly terrific tunes that seem to set a mood.
I’ll admit, the game is hard though, and by hard I mean very hard, but unlike games like Mega Man where you get 3 lives and then you can continue from the beginning of the level again when you lose them all, the planets are split into acts and each time you lose you 3 lives you start from that act, which is much better than having to start all over again, so while balls to the wall hard, you get a fair challenge due to the lenient continue structure, also continues are unlimited, unlike most games where you get 3. I have to admit, I was pretty unfamiliar of the game before playing it Monday, I knew of it, and I had had a little go of it last year, but only for about 5 minutes, and now playing it properly I’d say it’s one of the best Action Platformers on NES, easily.
Released in 1988, Mega Man 2 for the Nintendo Entertainment System is widely regarded as the best in the series as well as one of the best games ever made in general. In it, Mega Man returns to save the world by defeating the evil Dr Wily and his 8 Robot Masters by battling through tough-but-fair 2D action-platforming levels.
The core gameplay loop of blasting and jumping your way through each themed stage is a lot of fun, even though they present a solid challenge. Despite the difficulty it doesn’t feel too unfair, dying is generally down to player error however respawning enemies can make it feel more like luck and can ruin precision movement and jumping. As with previous and successive Mega Man games, defeating each Robot Master unlocks their particular weapon for use in other levels. These range from conventional weapons like metal saw blades to bubbles, yes bubbles, which are more effective against certain bosses, however weapons like the Metal Blade are a bit overpowered. Despite the breadth of these weapons they are all effective and don’t feel like they’re included for padding out game time or content.
Each level has a clear and crisp visual style and is themed around its respective Robot Master, giving the game a rich and varied visual palette without having to have a convoluted plot to justify the changes in scenery. For example the Wood Man stage is in a forest and the Heat Man stage is in a furnace/industrial factory. This variety is reflected in the soundtrack too, continuing the series’ reputation for catchy and memorable chiptunes. There is some sprite flicker, however Mega Man 2 doesn’t have the awful framerate drops present in Mega Man 3.
I have a long personal history with Mega Man 2; I played it a lot when I was young and played it through to completion about a year ago and keep an eye on speed run events to see it being done as quickly as possible. It really is action platforming at its best, a template which has seen a resurgence in recent years through games like Super Meat Boy and Shovel Knight, retro de-makes/direct sequels like Mega Man 9 and 10 as well as spiritual successors like Might No.9 with varying levels of quality and appeal.