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Mega Man 8 Anniversary Edition (PlayStation) artwork

Mega Man 8 Anniversary Edition (PlayStation) review

"Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has been superfluously criticized by both religious fanatics and the common folk, and while over the last two centuries most of the population has come to a compromise on this bitterly-contested thesis, there still remain the stubborn and untactful few. "

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has been superfluously criticized by both religious fanatics and the common folk, and while over the last two centuries most of the population has come to a compromise on this bitterly-contested thesis, there still remain the stubborn and untactful few.

But of course, the premise of natural selection can be applied to areas other than organisms. Gaming has evolved in such an intricate way so that the poorer games are ignored, while the titles of superior quality are plowed through by rabid fans in a matter of minutes. Of course, there are many exceptions to this case, where a bad game outsells a good game, but should the two opposing forces become franchised, the good game’s sequel would perform better as compared to the bad game’s sequel.

However, sometimes one trait of an animal that has lasted a long time can doom it to extinction, as others take its place. Such is the fate of Capcom’s ill-fated Mega Man 8, released for the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn before 3D gaming became all the rage. Seven strong preceding releases had paved the road for the unstoppable 2D platforming juggernaught that Mega Man 8 was slated to be.

It’s only too bad that it tripped before even going out the door.

Marking off the era of Capcom’s infamous voice acting talent, what sounds like an eight-year-old girl articulates the word of Mega Man, Blue Bomber extraordinare. Observe as he trudges through a bright island to confront – SURPRISE SURPRISE – Dr. Wily, he whom is the source of all our past problems. Capcom makes another fatal error in the voice department here, as Dr. Wily takes a fall from infamy with his laughable accent.

This is evolution?

In yet another *ahem* brilliantly-inspired plot, Dr. Wily has acquired ‘Dark Energy’, a source of power that despite being strong, corrupts the minds of who or whatever uses it. And it is in a laughable cinema that Mega Man departs on a journey made redundant. Capcom signs off another game to the new semi-linearity fashion of the Mega Man series, where you fight four bosses, have a mid-stage, and fight four new bosses and then head through four dull stages at the latest Skull Fortress. Honestly, Mega Man 7 was excusable, as at least it was able to manipulate the plot so the situation seemed desperate, but here, it’s just pathetic. Oh yeah, great, MORE bosses that I have to fight off with increasingly worsening controls and only my trusty Buster.

THIS is evolution?!

Of course, a few new features replaced a few good features of the days of yore. The shops of Mega Man 7 and the Japan-only Rockman and Forte are still around, but instead of collecting screws from enemies, you have to collect a small number of large screws hidden around the stages. Problem is, they’re not hard to find. You can see a good number right in front of you, but getting there is the tricky problem. Many of the screws either are hard to make a path to, or hard to get back onto the main trail from.


Atmospheric quality has also deteriorated, as Capcom took one step farther from the Mega Man 7 environments, and absolutely cartoonied the backgrounds. Mega Man 7 was OK, but Mega Man 8 stoops to a new low. The bosses don’t solve the problem, as they suffer the same fate, kiddified out of sheer stupidity on Capcom’s part; additionally, the idea behind pretty much all their weapons are stupider than any other in the history of the Mega Man series. One needs to look no further than Aqua Man’s *ugh* Water Balloon attack. Those at Capcom should bow their heads in shame, as they also just appeared to give up on music in this game, and the only exciting fight is your duel against Bass. Of course, that too is ruined by the awkward controls.

This is not evolution. It is de-evolution.

yamishuryou's avatar
Community review by yamishuryou (February 17, 2005)

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