Title: Mega Man 8
Game Type: PS One Classic
Download: 235 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable
PSTV Support: Yes
There are a lot of different franchises that the PS Vita (and the PlayStation TV) has become a device for it. Many people could say the Vita is a Final Fantasy or Persona machine. For example, the Vita can play Final Fantasy Origins, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, and X-2. It can also play Persona 1, both chapters of Persona 2, Persona 3 Portable, and Persona 4 Golden. Other objective series are out there as well.
One series that I have started to have this view over is the Mega Man series. While there aren’t very many Mega Man games available on the Vita in Europe, North America is a different story. If you looked on PSN for PSP and PS1 games, you will notice that Mega Man 1, 2, 3, and 4 are available as well as Mega Man X4, Mega Man X5, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, and Maverick Hunter X, the PSP remake of Mega Man X.
As of last week, Capcom and Sony Computer Entertainment America have brought even more games to the PlayStation Network for play on both the PS Vita and PlayStation TV (and PS3 and PSP). Bringing more of the original series to Sony’s powerful handheld, here is my official review of Mega Man 8!
The plot of Mega Man 8 begins in space. The game’s intro shows two large robots duking it out for a fight over chaos and justice in the universe. In a massive explosion, the robot of justice and the evil energy from the chaotic robot comes crashing to the Earth. As the crash happens, Dr. Light and Roll send Mega Man to investigate, only to find Dr. Wily stealing the evil energy and using it to conquer the world.
The story of Mega Man 8 is much more than the original series is known for, and the first game to incorporate anime-like scenes. It’s not an incredibly deep story, but it has some enjoyable moments, especially for fans of the series with previous characters showing up like Bass, Roll, and Proto-Man.
Like the previous entries of the series, Mega Man is a side-scrolling platform game with combat and puzzle elements. As you go through each stage of the game, you will be platforming through 2D environments and fighting off enemies in the hopes of reaching a boss fight towards the end and move onto the next stage.
The game has two main sections to it. You have stages to go through to reach and defeat bosses, and you have your home where you can save your game and enhance your weapons. The Home area is one area that is unique to Mega Man 8. When you go through stages, you can find bolts hidden in areas for you to collect. These work as a form of currency at home for weapon upgrades. You do get new weapons from bosses, but you can also upgrade Mega Man with the bolts, such as changing your charge shot, moving faster, or similar upgrades.
The rest of the game is how a normal Mega Man game progresses. You play through each stage leading up to a boss and gain the boss’s power when you defeat them. Then you repeat the process until you progress the story. There are two sections of bosses. You fight the first 4, then get some story progress, the last 4, and then the final stages and bosses to stop Dr. Wily’s evil plot. This isn’t exactly like the original series normally goes, with only 4 bosses available from the start, but it does hold true to bosses having weaknesses. Some boss powers do really well against certain bosses.
The difficulty aspect is also here in this game. Every stage is a task of trial-and-error. There are a lot of puzzle elements in each stage. Like learning boss patterns, many stages require reflexes and some of them require re-dos to get it just right. The snow stage, for example, has areas where you’re constantly on a sled and require very quick and precise reflexes in order to pass the stage.
All in all, there’s at least a few hours’ worth of content as you play through the game. Because of the trial and error of the stages, the game is a little longer than a normal Mega Man game. Regardless, there is plenty of content for a fan of the series to go through.
The controls for the game are easy to get used to. Despite being a PS One game, you won’t need to use the R2 or L2 buttons as you play through the game, like you do in Mega Man X4 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne. The buttons the Vita has at its disposal is more than you’ll need as you play the game.
Moving through the stages is done with the D-Pad. You can go left and right and the Down button can be used with the face buttons for the Slide command. The L and R triggers are used to switch the currently-equipped weapon. The rest is handled by the face buttons. X is used for jumping and Circle is used for sliding. Square is used to fire special weapons and Triangle is used for the Mega Buster.
The controls are the same on the PlayStation TV, and it’s pretty easy to get used to. I, personally, switched the Square and Triangle commands, but it’s very playable the way it is.
The visual presentation of the game isn’t bad, but isn’t great. Whether you’re playing on the PS Vita or PlayStation TV, you will notice some stretching and degradation of the character sprites as you’re playing through the game. It’s not to the point where it looks terrible, but it doesn’t look great either. X4 and X5 looked much better on the Vita.
Another thing to note are the anime scenes. The animated cut scenes are great to watch, but the quality is very low, with a lack of crispness in them. There is also the voice-acting. I am not picky with my English dubbing, but the work on this game is borderline ear-bleed material. The accent and dialogue performance by the English voice-actors has a lot to be desired.
As far as how the game plays, there aren’t any problems to fuss about. The load times are short. The game plays fluidly and the controls respond very well.
Mega Man 8 is the game that many believed to be the final game in the original series. With only visual and voice degradation bringing this game down, it’s well worth any Mega Man fan’s time.