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Old 05-24-2012, 01:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

If you want to start a commotion, you can throw some raw meat into a tiger's cage, or you can ask the patrons of an online gaming community, 'Hey, do you think that video games count as an art form?' We have yet to fight the decisive battle that will determine once and for all whether or not games are art, but consider this: In this industry, there have always existed men and women who put their entire soul into making a game, and to regard these titles anything less than a meaningful contribution to our culture is silly, stubborn, and archaic.

For instance, take Mega Man 2 (no, take it: here, have my copy. You totally won't regret it). The story behind its development has been immortalized as gamer lore, thanks in part to Gutsman-sized efforts Chris Hoffman, the writer behind the articles 'Playback: Mega Man 2' (Nintendo Power, September 2007 issue) and 'The Best Damn Mega Man Feature, Period' (Play, April 2004 issue). The original Rockman/Mega Man game hit Japan in December 1987, and while it sold adequately, Capcom wasn't overly impressed by its performance. The company had no plans to release a sequel, but the team behind the game thought the little blue boy had a lot of potential left in him. The development crew (which included now-legendary game designer and eventual Mega Man producer, Keiji Inafune) banded together and developed Rockman 2/Mega Man 2 alongside the projects Capcom had already heaped on them.

For most of us, a nap starts to sound really good after three hours of work and a big lunch. So how did the Mega Man 2 crew manage to gather up the Herculean energy stores necessary to work on multiple game projects? To hear Inafune recall Mega Man 2's development period, the team ran off pure passion, and possibly some very black coffee. It was exhausting, it was ridiculous, it was, at times, seemingly impossible—but Inafune says it was also one of the best times of his life.

'So we, of our own accord, got together, spent our own time, we worked really, really hard, you know, just 20-hour days to complete this, because we were making something we wanted to make,' Inafune told Play. 'Probably in all my years of actually being in a video game company, that was the best time of my working at Capcom, because we were actually working toward a goal, we were laying it all on the line, we were doing what we wanted to do. And it really showed in the game, because it's a game, once again, that we put all our time and effort and love, so to speak, into it, designing it.'

Mega Man 2's conception and birth was pretty much the definition of a labor of love. And while every developer is no doubt invested in his or her work, it's worth wondering what the industry would be like if more sequels existed not because profit is at hand, but rather because the team behind the game believes in the property with every fiber of its heart and soul.

Again, that's not to suggest for a second that modern developers don't put everything they have into their games. But consider what an unusual game Mega Man 2 is. It's still regarded as one of the best action games of all time (and we can all agree that it has the sexiest 8-bit soundtrack in existence), because it's solidly put-together, and it expands on its predecessor in all the right ways. Its difficulty is delicately balanced, its graphics are brighter, its sound is richer, and it boasts eight confrontations with Robot Masters (not including the creeps guarding Dr. Wily's fortress) as opposed to the paltry six battles in the first game.

Other NES sequels at the time, including Super Mario Bros. 2, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link played around with their ancestors' formulas, with mixed success. Mega Man 2 succeeded at everything it set out to do, and it did so by simply building off what was already there.

Needless to say, Capcom built off Mega Man 2's success, and built, and built, until the robot warrior's games covered the digital landscape like a blue carpet of locusts. But for one shining moment in game history, Mega Man 2 existed as a perfect example of what a game developer can accomplish with a little energy and a lot of love.

So what would the industry be like if more developers stood up and said, 'To heck with this noise, I'm gonna develop what I want?' We're on the cusp of that reality, thanks to a surge of independent studios and the rise of crowdfunding. Developers can bring a new property to life without having to surrender to a publisher, and even potential fans can say, 'I believe, too,' by helping to fund projects via sites like Kickstarter.

And no matter what state the game industry is in, we can always think back to the small robot boy that inspired a team of fledgling game designers to make a near-perfect sequel out of love, passion, 20-hour workdays, and, presumably, some pretty hardcore hallucinations born out of sleep deprivation.

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Old 05-24-2012, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

Mega Man 2 - Nintendo Entertainment System
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

It's kind of over rated. I've beat it a billion times, it's just really well made. It's not as exciting as some of the later ones IMO. Megaman 2 is Justice for all, Megaman 3 is Master of Puppets.
Megs 3 is a little better (the intro might not be as timeless but it's way more epic).

Megs 4 is probably the best one.

Megaman2 just had the best continuity I think. Not as many glitches or weird randomness that 1 and 3-6 had. It's safe and easy, kind of paint by numbers ish. 3 is a bit darker , I like it a little more. 4 seems perfected but lost some of the charm with it's commercial success, kind of like the black album.

Megaman 2 is darkside of the moon, Megaman 4 is wish you were here, Megaman 3 is the wall.

God , what the hell am I doing with my life ...

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Old 05-24-2012, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

2 is the best, then 1, then 3, the rest are redundant.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

Quote:
It's kind of over rated. I've beat it a billion times, it's just really well made. It's not as exciting as some of the later ones IMO. Megaman 2 is Justice for all, Megaman 3 is Master of Puppets.
Megs 3 is a little better (the intro might not be as timeless but it's way more epic).
I agree with that one. Megaman 3 is better, but 2 is still great.

Here's how I rank the classic series of Megaman: 3, 2, 1, the rest are...well, just too much of the same thing, but with some of the charm missing.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

@Fungus: That's not what he means by the article.

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  For being the only one to actually convince me that the article was read to any extent so far.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What If Every Game Sequel Was Like Mega Man 2?

actually, most of the nes sequels for nes are as great or even greater, than the first one
the titles that came in my mind: tmnt, ninja gaiden, robocop, adventure island,chip n dale
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