Just moving some furniture, but wanted to say I'm glad we'll be heading into 7 next. It's another of my top three. Anyway...
This week was devoted to wiping the floor with Cossack's and Wily's asses.
There we go. MM4 isn't one of my top three or anything, but it's special to me for a few personal reasons.
- It was the first game I'd put money I'd earned myself toward. Not much, mind you, but it (and that special $5 coupon Nintendo sent everyone as ordered by the Justice Department) was enough to make me feel like I'd had a hand in buying it.
- It was essentially where I honed my MM skills proper. MM3 was the first MM game I beat, but that was due in part to how I'd learned to exploit the password screen for E-Tanks. MM4 was the first to put a stop to such shenanigans, as E-Tank amounts were no longer included in the passwords. The game wound up taking me two weeks to put down, but I emerged a man, and was finally able to put MM2 to bed on a rental shortly thereafter.
- The day I beat it was basically the only time I ever finished an MM to a crowd.We'd only had one TV at the time, and the twin-castle gauntlet (as well as the time spent farming Skullman's stage for E-Tanks - three trips for nine if you keep rejecting Eddie until he delivers) meant that the playtime that had begun a little after 7 was getting dangerously close to bedtime. But my family was actually pretty engaged - my mom was the one to think of how to beat the last boss. After that we got a smaller TV for the family room and I've played most MMs pretty much on my own since then. Alas.
I love the addition of the new Mega Buster, irritating sound effect and all, and the slide move feels more naturally integrated into the level design.
As long as you pick up the Pharaoh Shot before going to Skullman's stage, it's entirely possible to finish the whole game without charging the Buster once (which I do now, because I hate that sound). I do miss it, though. I wish Inti would drop Protoman and give MM back his charge shot and his knees for their Classic installments. The bilious codgers who say these things detracted from the series usually have nothing good to say about any entry past 3, so who cares what they think, anyway?
Capcom also had the good sense to take out the obnoxious 'selection' sound effect when sifting through the menu itself, opting instead for a silent select. Their decision to put the sound back into subsequent games always left me baffled.
That would be more of that misplaced nostalgia that lately weighs the franchise down like an anchor. Why yes, this is something I've had on my mind for the last two years.
And then there's the music. Considering how let down I was with Bunbun's work in MM3, it's surprising how on top of his game he is here. Either that, or Fujii's really picked up the slack, because I'm enamored with the entire soundtrack. (I'd always wanted to hear another full-fledged Mega Man soundtrack from Ojalin; her Desert Commando was my favorite from MM10.)
I kind of wonder why she was the only guest artist in 10 that didn't have a had in arranging her contribution on the Image album.
Cossack Stage 2, Skull Man, Pharaoh Man, and Dive Man take top musical honors.
You've highlighted all my favorite RM themes from this one, so good on you. All the castle themes are outstanding, though. On the other hand, the music that drives me up the wall the most? The boss theme. I hate it so much. Final battle theme is cool, though.
It seemed I'd gotten an absurd amount of E-Tanks from Eddie. I didn't keep track of the exact amount, but it had to have been at least four from the single playthrough. Was I just that lucky?
It happens. Of course, if you don't like what Ed's throwing you, you can leave it there, backtrack and re-enter the screen to try and force something else. Kind of a pain to do on Diveman's stage, though.
On Cossack Stage 2, I made the fatal mistake of forgetting that you can't freely control Rush Jet like in MM3.
Rush is a giant turd for the rest of the NES games. I know how important he is in 6, but...well, I'll save this rant for the proper time.
What's it say when I want to put off playing the next two games, and just want to tear through Mega Man 4 again? So good.
5 is my favorite in the Classic series after 2, but rock(man) on as you will. Do you know about some of MM4's deliciously weird, wonderful glitches? (Apologies for the cheesy intro on that second one)
P.S. I'm kind of a closet fan of playthrough videos on youtube and the like, especially when the player isn't a pro at what he's playing. If you've an hour's time, there's an amusing five-part disaster reel of an MM4 attempt posted by a British LPer (he calls his sets How to Successfully Fail) which should give a perverse pleasure to any longtime MM fan who knows all the pitfalls he's charging into well in advance. It IS very profane, especially as it goes on, so be warned, but I pull it up every now and again and have myself a cruel chuckle. (And despite how this set ends, he shortly thereafter decided to give in and use savestates, and saw it through to the end, enjoying most except the Wily Machine, which is admittedly kind of ridiculous until you learn the Drill Bomb trick)
P.P.S. I have never in my life gotten the power-up at the end of Cossack 3. Does anybody know how?
Just put the lid on Mega Man 5 -- and while it wasn't exactly a chore to play through, it didn't instill me with the same sense of enjoyment that MM2 and MM4 did either. The series is clearly going through the motions at this point.
As I said before, MM5 is my favorite in the series after 2, so I can't say as I agree. The game has its faults, as does every entry in the series to be honest, but the things that clicked for me feel so very right that it's top-3 caliber in my eyes.
Outside of the reversed polarity bit in Gravity Man's level, there really wasn't anything noteworthy to speak of about MM5's stage designs or boss battles.
The boss battles themselves admittedly aren't much - there wouldn't be bosses with interesting attack patterns again until MM7 - but the designs are glorious. I must've drawn Napalmman and Gyroman in the margins of my middle-school notebook a hundred times at least. Best designs of the 8-bit bots, no question (OK, Chargeman's pretty dumb-looking), and that's counting the MM9 and 10 lot.
Hang on, what was that other bit?
really wasn't anything noteworthy...about MM5's stage designs
Objection! Even putting aside Gravityman's stage, MM5's stages are remarkably vivid. Waveman's stage is notable because it's essentially abandoned until you hit the jetski, and bits like the bubble hop are unique in the series (at least until Splashwoman stole the idea wholesale). The rumbling parallax of Chargeman's train, Gyroman's elevators, Starman's meteor storm, the SMW-style snake platform (it blew my 12-year-old mind that the NES could pull off such a thing) and collapsing tower of Protoman's castle, all of it so idiosyncratic that I don't understand what people don't see in it. Really, MM9's barebones presentation only served to highlight how much more lush these entries were. MM10 was better, but we're still not where we were with the later NES games.
I love the edgy new look of the Mega Buster shot, but the changed color scheme for when Mega Man flashes when charging irks me with distraction.
I like the recolor myself - never did care much for MM4's 'fuzzy' effect, but the real neat thing about the new Buster is the ability to interrupt the sound and silence it. Awesome.
The music is the weakest in the series so far. I didn't quite take to Mari Yamaguchi's Cybersheep Dream in MM10, so I'd say she's par for the course as my least favorite Mega Man composer. Save for the new Dr. Wily stage theme (which admittedly is very good), I can't even claim to be indifferent to the rest of the soundtrack. I outright HATE Star Man, for instance.
Now see, I don't mind Starman's theme, and I actually regard MM5's music on the whole as a step up from MM4's (which has a few themes that drive me up the wall), if not as good as MM6's [NOTE: Anything positive I have to say about MM6 will be almost exclusively related to its soundtrack.] There are some turds (Stoneman, Crystalman, and that goofy-ass boss theme), but they are far outnumbered by the pieces I love. My top 10, to wit:
*These in particular are among my very favorite, if not outright favorite, castle and battle themes in the whole series.
...so yeah, this is one of those agree-to-disagree situations. (It's also worth noting that Ashley recently cited MM5's Wily theme as his least favorite in a different thread altogether, so it looks like one of those scores in the series to be forever debated instead of embraced.)
Where MM4 was plentiful with the E-Tanks, MM5 seemed to be rife with extra lives. Besides the numerous placements of lives in the stages themselves, enemies were dropping them left and right.
Absolutely true. No idea what that's about.
Not that I had any use for him, but I was two letters away from getting the Beat Adapter.
And good on you, for not being one of those that abuses the little runt in the last battle and then rants about it being too easy. A pet peeve of mine, that is. I've a lot of pet peeves with MM5 criticism, as you might've guessed.
My initial interpretation of Mizzile lead me to believe that it's one of the most aesthetically STRANGEST enemies I've seen in the series. In sprite form and onscreen, I honestly thought the top two dots and lines were its eyes and mouth -- and its ACTUAL eyes either a bra, or a tuxedo vest/bowtie ensemble!
All hail Brabot!
My own errata:
-I have to have crabbed about this before, but bear with me. It still stings that Nintendo Power essentially rigged the '93 Nesters to give this game the shaft. They made a point of bragging about Link's Awakening sweeping every GB category that year, and MM5 would've done the same in the NES category had it won the Best Overall. That instead went to R.C Pro-Am II (HUH?), which was developed by Rare with NP's in-house artist contributing designs. A few months later they unveil Donkey Kong Country and their partnership with Rare. Yeah. Sticks in my craw after all these years.
-Water Wave and Power Stone suck terribly, but Gravity Hold, Gyro Attack, Napalm Bomb and Super Arrow are all great in my book. To outer space with you, annoying splitting Mets!
-Have you seen the batshit nuttiest MM5 hack ever? Starman music, sorry.
-MM5's robots are some of the most televised, not only for their appearances in the American cartoon, but also for the pretty-terrible Rockman OAV Capcom produced in Japan, wherein Rockman and company fall out of the TV screen and learn about modern-day Japanese customs. No, really. There's even a Magmaman, but not the same one, obviously.
I don't mean to oversell it. MM5 is not a candidate for The MM Game That Will Change The World. But I do think it's every bit as good as its older siblings, in some ways better, and it's likely the most underrated in the series. I've found more positive things said about MM6 than MM5, and that's just plain wrong. Anyone who thinks I'm gushing about MM5 because I'm some kind of Megaman sycophant should stick around to see me go at MM6 with a bat.
P.S. I'll discuss X8 a bit later. Monday's my TV night.
There we go. Now where's my bat, it's time to go at MM6.