I don't know if Mega Man was all that popular when it was originally released, or if it was something that picked up popularity after its two sequels were such big hits. But I do remember that a friend of mine had the first game, and we played it plenty before the vastly superior Mega Man 2 was available. That said, once 2 and 3 came out the original came felt pretty meh in comparison. It was sort of rough around the edges, and kind of came off as a bit of a demo compared to the fully realized awesomeness of the sequels.
And that's how I've always remembered the first game - JUST OKAY. But y'know what? Playing it this weekend with some fresh eyes and a whole lot of time away, I was actually sort of impressed with how good it actually was. For a first game in a new series, it's actually damn good. And really it comes out swinging will all of the series' hallmarks right there on display.
Sure 2 and 3 smoothed out those rough edges. And sure those games added NEW things that were totally appreciated as quality of life improvements. But the first Mega Man is certainly a whole lot of fun. And it has some cool bosses - I mean Cuts Man and Ice Man are definitely iconic. And moving those big boulders with Guts Man's weapon is awesome.
One thing that surprised me was that it's not actually as difficult as I recalled. I still hate the platforms that dip you off in Guts Man's stage. And those appearing/disappearing block platform sections are still a pain in the ass, but that holds true in sequels as well. So whatever.
So yeah. Good game. Not perfect, but definitely good.
As a still recent New Dad, I'm still trying to balance how and when I can play games. The answer is often that I have to try to squeeze games into short windows of time. So while I do still get to play games throughout the week, it's often in small bursts. It's also not always easy for me to go and sit alone in my game room. So I've been really embracing keeping the Switch or 3DS or GBA close by.
This week I got in a Supaboy that I had managed to get in a bundle of traded games. The Supaboy is Hyperkin's portable SNES console. It's interesting. It's sort of shaped like a really big PSP or something, and can play SNES or Super Famicom cartridges. I didn't know much about it, but I think Hyperkin's Retron 5 is a fine device, so I took a chance on this thing.
And so I need something to test the system out with. Now you tell me, what's the first game you'd want to test on a SNES clone? Mario World or Kart? Link To The Past? Maybe Super Metroid? No, of course not! Obviously you'd want to play some Looney Toons game that Sunsoft made, right? Yeah, me too. Sigh. Sometimes I don't know why I do this to myself.
Alright so Road Runner's Death Valley Rally is as far as I can tell, Sunsoft's attempt at making a Sonic game. A really really bad Sonic game. And please remember, that in 1992 Sonic was at the height of his popularity. Much like Sonic, Road Runner can basically just, y'know... run. Which would be fine if the levels were well designed, or the screen was zoomed out enough so you could see upcoming obstacles, or the hit detection wasn't crap, or if you even knew what you were supposed to be doing!
It's bad y'all. The first stage feels sort of like a quick tutorial, but by the second I was lost. The level isn't really linear and I couldn't figure out where to go. There were some signs with arrows that seemed to be sending me in a circle. Annoying. Just everything - ALMOST everything - felt bad about this game.
There was one good thing, though: the graphics. I suppose if you're a Loony Toons fan you'd want to check this out. The animations are really good, and the little intro thing where the sprites freeze to allow for name credits to pop up is such a good throwback to the cartoons. It's almost too bad that the game looks so good, because it fools you into thinking it'll play better than it does.