Mega Man hasn't appeared in a game since March 2010's Mega Man 10. He's not scheduled to show his face again any time soon. That's so weird. The franchise has been the face of slapdash sequel profitability for two decades, so it's strange that we've gone a year and a half without any original Mega Man releases and may not see another any time soon.
As recently as three months ago, two Mega Man games were in development. Both were announced last year. Both were canned this summer. While one of those two aborted games was on course for Xbox Live Arcade obscurity, the other was anything but ordinary. Niche series revivals, long-removed sequels, fan involvement, executive politics...the Mega Man Legends 3 Project opened plenty of worm cans in the nine months before its abortion.
One can, in particular, piqued my curiosity: the paid demo. And I think it might have the most regrettable casualty in the game's cancellation. Before you groan, hear me out.
The Nintendo DS was the first game system that I followed from announcement to launch. It was way back early 2004 that Nintendo first hinted at a dual-screened handheld, then codenamed "Nitro." Considering that was the only information available, it's not surprising that many questioned Nintendo's strategy. Why two screens? Nintendo offered some hypothetical benefits, like extra camera angles for sports games, but their words were hardly convincing. Little did we know, it was Nintendo's first step into the "blue ocean" strategy that would lead the company to greener pastures.
And yet, the original DS launch in November 2004 came and went with little fanfare. I was aware of the date, but didn't even realized that it arrived until I walked through a Wal-Mart electronics section and saw the grey handheld on the shelves. I kept walking. I was Nintendo faithful, sure, but it was hard to get excited about a launch lineup headlined by something nearly a decade old. It wasn't until the impending release of Kirby Canvas Curse in the summer of 2005 that I decided to bite the bullet, trading in half of my Gamecube library to GameStop in order to pay off the Nintendo DS and one game.
While it's certainly worth praise in its own right, I think Canvas Curse deserves to be remembered as the flagship of the DS library; it was the first of a fleet of incredible games that would follow in its wake. A system redesign, dubbed the DS Lite, accompanied the platform's newfound software vigor. Reduced size, brighter screens, and an iPod aesthetic provided enough worth for many to upgrade (including me) and many more to buy in for the first time. The sleeker profile and beefier games are what truly began the success story of the best-selling handheld game system ever.
But even Nintendo's first detour in the generations-old graphical arms race would lead to a dead end eventually. With the launch of a successor, the 3DS, history tells us that the best we can hope for is a year or two of life support for what was once Nintendo's "third pillar." It was an incredible performance that none could have predicted, and I think the Nintendo DS deserves a hearty round of applause before its curtain call. I've decided to contribute to the celebration in that age-old tradition of blogging: the top ten list.
In no particular order, here are ten great games that exemplified some aspect of the Nintendo DS' legacy.
Announcing the 2010 Game of the Year Awards from the First Hour! We published over 60 full reviews this year, tripling our output from last year. Of course, our writing staff has grown quite a bit also. I personally beat 30 games, undoubtedly making 2010 my most productive video gaming year ever. We also played over 55 first hours, keeping up a steady pace of one a week. We have not been lacking for great games or content this year.
This isn't your normal Game of the Year awards, we cover everything from older game of the year to worst first hour, so keep scrolling all the way to the bottom! If anything, our game of the year picks are the least interesting decisions. The writers here also don't vote on the categories, instead, everyone is welcome to submit their picks as their own definitive decision.
The second video game I ever played was Mega Man 2. Since then, I've
finished twenty-eight games with "Mega Man" in the title, most of them
multiple times. I was the sixth person in the United States to submit a
game completion time to the leaderboards in Mega Man 9, the afternoon it
was released. I was fifth in Mega Man 10. I beat Mega Man 9 without
taking any damage, earning the "Mr. Perfect" in-game challenge title.
I'd even go so far as to say Mega Man 9 was my favorite release in
2008, a year packed with great titles that don't look like they were made twenty years ago and forgotten in a time capsule somewhere.
I enjoy Mega Man, you guys. Like, kind of a lot.
Because I didn't have a PlayStation 2 until a few months ago, I missed out on two titles released exclusively on that system, Mega Man X7 and Mega Man X8. I recently came across the latter in the bargain bin of a local game shop, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The Mega Man X series had started to lose its way by the sixth game (my least favorite game in the series, oh no!) but I had heard good things about X8.
I was understandably excited to start a relatively new Mega Man game for the first time. So how did the first hour go?
You know the scenes I'm talking about. These are the kind of scenes that you have a save file just moments before so you can replay them over and over. These are the scenes you invite your friends over to see so you can show off your system in all its technical glory; the scenes that surpass mere nostalgia and still to this day retain legendary status in the gaming community. These are some of my favorite impacting scenes in gaming history. What are yours?
Captain N: The Game Master was a animated television series that aired for three seasons in the late 80's and early 90's. It was set in an imagined Nintendo universe, where most of the major Nintendo games along with a few games from third-parties come together to fight evil. While they made over 30 episodes, four from the first season were available for instant streaming over Netflix so I took the opportunity to check them out. If the rest of the series is anything like the four I watched (Kevin in Videoland, Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain, Videolympics, Mega Trouble for Megaland), then I don't think I'll be continuing on. It's an interesting premise though, and the following is simply some random thoughts about the episodes I watched.