Thursday, October 09, 2008

Between a Rock Man and a hard place

My tepid review of Mega Man 9 is up now at Frankly, it may be less interesting than my first blog post about the game, but it's more of a traditional review so perhaps you will get some value from that. Or not! At the very least, clicking through helps to ensure that I will continue to have a job.

I am hoping to show this game to some other old-school Mega Man fans and get their take on it. My guess is that they will be more positive than I was. Then again, most people probably don't allow video games to plunge them into existential crises.


Anonymous said...

"And yet, Mega Man 9 seems like a pocket watch in a wristwatch world."

This. I didn't end up reviewing MM9, but my feeling was the same: if you regard traditional (or classic or retro or whatever word you use) gameplay in the same way a pipe aficionado regards smoking or a turntable owners regards music or - by your example - a pocket watch collector regards timepieces, MM9 is pretty fascinating and enjoyable. But if you think those things have been left behind for a reason, MM9 feels like little more than a silly exercise.

I honestly can't decide where I fall in that equation. I think a little more towards the pipe-smoking pocket watch-carrying crowd, but it's hard to say.

Anonymous said...


Iroquois Pliskin said...

I thought it was kind of interesting that you gave the game 3/4 stars but took a pretty harsh run at the game in the text of the article.

Not to fixate on the score, but why did you give the game an above-average score when you didn't enjoy it, and thought its basic gameplay was outmoded? Was it this sort of thing that you thought it achieved what it set out to do (replicate old-school mega man) but were left cold by the result?

Part of the reason I'm curious is that I wonder how we get about evaluating games that fall into this category-- it's a well-crafted genre exercise but you just don't crave the experience it offers. Part of this is subjective, right? But part of what you're saying in the review is that it's just not fun to be forced to memorize every level by heart in order to proceed.

Mitch Krpata said...

Iroquois, part of it is that I rate the games on a scale of 1-10, which is how they appear in the paper, yet online they show it between 1-4 stars. So there's some subjectivity there for the web editor. For what it's worth, I gave MM9 a 7.0 out of 10, which is a score I've often given to games whose craftsmanship I admired but which didn't fully work for me. On the web, I probably would have gone with 2.5 stars. A small distinction, I know, but an important one. In my mind, 3 stars is a straight-up recommendation. And that's about where I'd put 7.5/10 and up, as well.

Wouldn't mind not scoring them at all, but what can you do.