Old School Gaming - Mega Man X

Title Screen
So, I couldn't help it. I had to crack out the SNES yesterday and plug in Mega Man X, the only Mega Man game I ever owned. Sure I played Mega Man on the NES but I never actually owned a cart. The thing is that at 16 the game seemed unusually hard compared to Super Mario World and so it lingered in the closet for a decade and a half. With all of the excitement of Mega Man 9 I felt myself overwhelmed with the desire to complete this game. 

The infamous password screen.
So, controller in hand, SNES connected to the TV (which doesn't look all that great on an HDTV, BTW) and an ample supply of Mountain Dew I took to the world of Mega Man X. And I've been in old school bliss all day. However some things don't hold up so well. Mega Man X, like the Mega Man titles before, do not have a battery backup for saving. This means that a password must be entered in to pick up where you left off. Imagine having to do that today.

Come on out Armored Armadillo!
It also struck me how much some gaming conventions haven't changed. To this day games still have the ice level, the mine cart level, the underwater level. Look at Halo. Look at Metal Gear. Ratchet & Clank. Sure they do it very nicely and make it look really pretty but it hasn't changed in the regard that the levels still follow basic structures defined decades ago.

Mega Man X was also one of the first, if not the first, Mega Man games to introduce the concept of upgrading not only the weapons but armor and abilities and then visually showed this in the sprite. The design astatic really pushed Mega Man in to the 16-bit era and would form the basis of Mega Man 7 for the SNES the following year. Not only the visuals but gameplay elements as well.  Mega Man X introduced the "introductory level" that preceded the eight robot villain levels.
Boss select!

Interestingly enough Mega Man X was release before the NES release of Mega Man 6 by several months in the US. It would also enjoy more sequels on the SNES than the classic Mega Man titles. Mega Man 7 was the only classic Mega Man title to be released on the SNES while Mega Man X saw two additional releases in Mega Man X2 and Mega Man X3.

Thank goodness for the Mega Man Anniversary Collection. Playing so old school Mega Man X has rekindled my love for Mega Man and as soon as this game arrives I plan to spend a great deal of time with Mega Man.

Giant Bomb Launch and Other Musings

Yeah, that's right, I'm musing. Mostly about my PS3. I finally upgraded the HDD as the 60 GB was slowly dwindling down to oh, about 5 GB. Not as bad as the 360 (but hell if I'll pay $180 for a 120 GB HDD) but not much space. So I dropped a 160 GB HDD in and it was surprisingly easy. The hard part is re-downloading all the content, which has been going on all night. And continues to go on. And on. And on.

But I'm really stoked about the GB website (Giant Bomb not George Bush). Congrats guys on a successful launch (seems to be going smoother than Apple's MobileMe launch) and I look forward to everything I can do here :D