A look back at the 2006 release, Sonic Riders. A very polarizing things, we look at what the game excelled at, while noting how some of the flaws may have led the game to be overlooked.
Mega Man Dream: 8 Powers The Blue Bomber Needs Right Now
In appreciation of Mega Man week, I started thinking about what makes Mega Man so great. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the answer was obvious: His ability to assimilate the power of any boss he destroys. That is really cool. I don’t think he gets enough credit for what an awesome, and original, idea that was back when the Blue Bomber first hit shelves.
In that spirit, I got to thinking about what powers I would like to see him steal from characters outside his game. I’ve put together a small list of the 8 Robot Masters I would like to se Mega Man dismantle, and the sweet powers they would confer on our azure protagonist. I also attempted to create an 8-bit version of what Mega Man would look like while utilizing these powers, but, as I have the art skills of an autistic third-grader, I could only do so much. Enjoy!
(Special thanks to Colt Blevins for helping with the artwork!)
Sephiroth Man- M. Blade: I seriously don’t think I can imagine a more epic battle than Mega Man vs. Sephiroth. I mean, come on, that is legendary. Unfortunately, Mega Man will have to beat Sephiroth with only the Mega Buster, because Sephiroth isn’t weak to any of these other weapons. Sephiroth’s stage is of course based off the Northern Crater, so expect plenty of avalanches and at least one dragon to contend with. The final bit is pure platforming hell.
Defeating Sephiroth gives Mega Man access to the M. Blade, an incredibly long sword with a wide attack arc. It has no navigation uses and is completely and absurdly unwieldy, but it looks f—ing sweet.
Sonic Man- S. Spin: After braving your way through Sephiroth Man, you enter Sonic Man’s stage. Green Hill has never been so deadly! Mega Man doesn’t handle loop-de-loops so well, but the ample numbers of spikes lying around are more than capable of ending his day. Evil robot forest creatures populate the slopes of Emereld Hill, and with no weapons but the M. Blade, the M. Buster is forced to handle most of the shooting duties.
Sonic Man tries his best to spin around the stage quickly, but the far reaching M. Blade cuts him to pieces. The S. Spin is your reward. It functions kind of like the Top Spin from Mega Man, except it’s not completely stupid.
Mario Man- F. Flame: Once you’ve put an end to that pesky hedgehog, it’s time to take on the legendary Mario Man. Braving Worlds 1-1 through 1-4 is significantly tougher without Mario’s jumping ability, but it sure does helping having that arm cannon.
I’m a Sega man at heart, so Mario Man’s only weakness is the S. Spin. While he jumps around and attempts to flatten you, he will periodically toss a fireball your way. The real problem is the star that drops in the battlefield when he reaches half-health. Grab it first or you’re in for a world of trouble! You get the F. Flame for your troubles, a handy flame thrower that causes damage over time.
Isaac Clarke Man- P. Cutter: It’s a good thing you’ve got a few weapons now, because you are about to enter one of the toughest stages in the game. Trust me; you’re going to need that F. Flame when the 8-bit necromorphs start swarming. They aren’t near as cute as they sound, believe me. In a special surprise, if you die, instead of the usual Mega Man death explosion, you are treated to his brutal dismembering by necromorph. It’s awesome.
Isaac Clark Man is nobody’s patsy, but he can’t stand up against the might of the F. Flame. You’ll want to avoid his signature plasma cutter, because he is quite a bit harder to beat without an arm cannon. Once he’s taken care of, you get the badass P. Cutter all to yourself. It is just as fun here.
Pikachu Man- P. Bolt: If you think the necromorphs were scary, wait until you’ve trekked through the Kanto region as Mega Man. Having to stop every five seconds to battle another trainer just because you glanced at him is a real pain. A variety of Pokémon and over-happy teenagers are just waiting to end you, and there’s no Pokecenter to save you this time.
Fighting Pikachu Man is an exercise in frustration. The P. Cutter is his weakness, so you will have to deal with his increasingly crazed “Pika!” cry as you systematically cut off his adorable little limbs. You’ll have to take off his ears last, so I hope you’ve been practicing your aim.
Ryu Man- H. Doken: Since Mega Man X got his own hadoken, it only seems fair that classic Mega Man should get his own version. Keeping it all within the Capcom hierarchy, you’ll need to utilize their only weakness, Nintendo, to take down one of their leading mascots. Also, prepare to destroy a lot of cars throughout his stage, and marvel as it magically iterates itself to death in front of you.
Ryu presents a hefty challenge, but the combined power of Nintendo Magic and the P. Bolt can put an end to him. Ironically, it’s not the electricity itself that kills Ryu, it’s the static electricity. As everybody knows, Ryu cannot abide a clingy gi. After handling Ryu, Mega Man gets his very own H. Doken. And the best part about it, no quarter-circle needed! You just have to hit the A button!
Link Man- H. Shield: The land of Hyrule has always been an unreasonably dangerous place, but nothing is going to stop Mega Man this late in the game. The very unusual local fauna is extremely hostile, so you’re going to need all the advanced weaponry you’ve obtained. Thankfully, platforming is basically nonexistent, because apparently jumping isn’t the”in” thing in Hyrule.
Dealing with Link Man himself isn’t all that difficult, besides dealing with his aggressive grunts and yells. His bombs and boomerang are as impractical in actual combat as his, um, battle dress, but that sword isn’t playing around. One or two hadokens to the face should put an end to this menace, landing you the H. Shield, one of a long line of useless defensive powers.
Ghost Rider Man- G. Chain: I wanted to do the majority of these with video game characters, but I couldn’t resist the idea of Ghost Rider Mega Man. Seriously, how awesome would that be!? Ghost Rider Man’s stage is a soul-crushing romp through the psyche of Nicholas Cage. The man is clearly insane, so you n ever know what to expect from this randomly-generated cavern. It could be anything from bats to John Malcovitch.
Luckily, the H. Shield can defend against his crazy chain-whip-thing (I don’t know a ton about Marvel…), so all you have to do is get close and thrash him. Since he is from another media, his weapons aren’t very effective against the video game realm, so he is your last enemy. That’s kind of a shame, because Ghost Rider Mega Man is pretty sweet.
Well, that pretty much sums up my dream Mega Man game. What characters would you like to see Mega Man assimilate?
(Featured graphic provided by Benjamin Sawyer. To see more of his work, visit benbrush.com or benbrush.deviantart.com)