Mega Man X

Not to be confused with Mega Man 10, and certainly not Mega Man Eggs.

There’s a video on youtube which goes into excessive gory detail about the smart design of MMX, which is well worth a watch even if you have no interest in the Mega Men. Since watching it, I’ve really started noticing the smart design elements of good games. Did you know, in level 1-1 of Super Mario Bros., there is a wall you can only get past by taking a running jump? It’s in a little ditch with no enemies nearby so you can learn by doing.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand- I’m playing the SNES version, which came bundled on the SNES Mini. (Apparently it was released on mobile devices? Playing a game like this on a touch screen sounds about as much fun as driving nails into my teeth.) I consider it separate from my ill-fated new-years resolution to play all the Mega Mens 1-10 (not X), since the X series is its own standalone thing.

While playing those, I think I came to the realisation that me and Mega Man just aren’t compatible. The gameplay cycle core to the series is the acquisition of boss-enemy weapons each time you defeat one, with each boss being weak to another’s weapon type. Bosses are HARD in these games, so taking advantage of these weaknesses is key to success.

This is where the incompatibility came into play. Often these weaknesses would let you finish a boss off in seconds, with them barely having the chance to get a hit in. It felt too easy- learning boss attack patterns and countering them is fun for me, and that’s what I was expecting, so I tried to beat each boss with just the standard blaster.

This was fine for the first two games, if occasionally frustrating. By the time I got to MM3, though, the series had definitely decided my way was incorrect. Several bosses were nigh-impossible without using the right weapon (and before you accuse me of just being a scrub, I looked up guides that all said the same damned thing- only luck and prayer would get me through that fight). It just wasn’t fun, for me.

Mega Man X, though! The same gameplay loop is in place, but now using the RIght Weapon actually changes the way the boss battles, instead of just killing them effortlessly. Electrocuting the Armadillo boss makes him drop his shields, so he can’t deflect shots any more! Cutting off the Octopus boss’ tentacles means he can’t grab you any more! It’s great.

Fin or Bin:

Sorry Mega Man, it’s not you, it’s me- we just don’t work together. But thanks for introducing me to your cousin, we’re having a good time from start to Finish.

Mega Man (NES, the first one)


This doesn’t really count for the BBLC, but it’s been a while since I started a new game. Smash has taken up the entirety of my time since its release, but I did find time to play this.

Part of my new years’ resolutions in 2019 was to play each of the main-series Mega Man games to completion, one each month. I’ve never REALLY played any of them before, aside from some brief tooling around, and people speak very highly of them all. Since it never went onto my backlog I didn’t really consider it part of the challenge, BUT it’s a game I played that I haven’t played before, and the police aren’t going to arrest me for bending my own rules are they?

I’ll keep most of these brief. I bought the two Mega Man Collections on Steam and I’m playing it that way- emulation seems to be pretty accurate even down to sprite flickering and slowdown which is neat. The first game has all the jank you’d expect from the NES debut of a series, and a fair few BS parts (Ice Man’s stage can kindly eat a shit). Nonetheless, the core of the gameplay is right and I’m looking forward to seeing how the series adapts and evolves over time. One thing I found myself doing was relying almost entirely on the default weapon. Some of the weapons I barely used at all, which is surprising considering that’s the main gimmick of the series. Maybe they’ll lean harder into that in later games?

Fin or Bin:

Wait, what are those sirens…? You’ll never take me alive!!!