By Kevin Vong

Capcom released Mega Man 9 this week on all current generation consoles and brought back some 8-bit flavor in this generation of high-definition gaming. Old-school graphics and sound bites in this day and age? You betcha. It is certainly not a glossy-looking action game like “Devil May Cry” or “Ninja Gaiden.”
In this installment of the series, the evil Dr. Wily frames Dr. Light, creator of Mega Man, for corrupting robots and it is up to the Blue Bomber to free Light and put an end to Wily’s schemes.

Like every other Mega Man game, you’ll have to go through difficult stages and destroy robot masters to beat the game. The question is “How hard can it be?” Well, you’ll have to perform pixel-perfect jumps, dodge multiple enemies and projectiles, avoid pits and spikes aboard a moving platform, and read bosses’ patterns. There’s hardly any room for error. Sounds unfair? It is, but it’s not the game’s fault when the Blue Bomber dies… it’s all you.

It’s hard to believe this game was made this year. The game looks and feels like a NES game. I was playing it on my HDTV through HDMI source with 16:9 resolution… it doesn’t even support 16:9 and converts to 4:3 resolution. It even added the feature of making the screen flicker to enhance the old-school feel. The controls are simple: move back and forth, jump, and shoot. Some of the old-school programming is still at work, such as having only three enemies appear on the screen at one time.

Why is Mega Man 9 significant? It doesn’t hold people’s hands and guide them through the game to bring an accessible experience like most action games in this high-definition generation. This game encourages masochism from the minute you start to the minute you finish. Oh, the nostalgia of the retardedly-hard 8-bit era.