Revenge of the 80’s: Gaming
April 27, 2016
Filed under Lifestyles
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The 80’s was rammed up the patootie with arcades and video games, even more than there are now. From arcade favorites like Turtles in Time, Pac-Man, and Galaga filling every pizza joint in town to stinkers like The Cheetahmen, Top Gun, and Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde causing you eternal pain on your Nintendo at home, the 80’s had thousands of memorable games from its time. We’re going to look at modern games taking (maybe too many) hints from these games in the second installment of Revenge of the 80’s.
Retro gaming has become the most popular of all retro trends, with many studios following the trend. One of my favorites, VVVVVV, is a Commodore-64 style puzzle game with only 3 buttons: left, right, and flip. Flipping has you attach to either the ceiling or the floor, depending on which you were standing on before. This gets you caught in some extremely tough spots, but once you go through it about 50 times you’ll probably get it. Extremely frustrating, yet very fun.
Abobo’s Big Adventure is a deadly thrill ride starring everyone’s favorite, monstrously large Double Dragon enemy, Abobo. Trying to save his son (Aboboy) from various NES characters. Mainly a side scrolling beat ‘em up, Abobo is relentless in the death of beloved Nintendo characters such as Donkey Kong (while also punting his son out of existence), Samus, Little Mac, and Kirby while fighting through levels based on other game levels. For example, there’s Mega Magobo (Mega Man), Contrabobo (Contra), Zeld Abobo ( Legend of Zelda) and Super Mabobo (Mario). Abobo’s rage meter fills while dealing all this relentless damage and lets you unleash unstoppable rage moves. As a free online game, everyone can go and play this masterpiece of a tribute.
Even already established series have been given the retro treatment, officially and unofficially. Capcom developed the 8-bit Mega-Man 9 & 10. Mega-Man 9 was released on September 22, 2008, 10 years after the last main series entry Mega-Man and Bass (April 24, 1998). Going away from the flashy 16-bit graphics of the Super Nintendo and Playstation, Mega-Man 9 went back to using only 8 again. With all new music, stages, robot masters, and the ability to play as Protoman through DLC makes this an all-new experience while retaining every part that made the originals good. The release of Mega-Man 10 on March 1, 2010 marked the end of the classic series. Being able to play as Mega-Man, Protoman (who is no longer DLC), and Bass (who is DLC) adds many more dimensions as all three characters play different and have different strengths and weaknesses. These official Capcom entries breathed new life into an old character
The best of the modern Mega-Man retros is a fan-made game. Street Fighter X Mega-Man pits the super fighting robot not against eight robot masters, but against eight Street Fighter characters. With levels designed after the character and their stages with chiptune renditions of their music, Mega-Man inherits the characters powers just as he would to robot masters. He gets Ryu’s Hadouken, watermelons from Blanka and Chun Li’s Hyakuretsukyaku. You can change powers on the fly with one button rather than going to the menu and stopping the action. While shorter than other games, Street Fighter X Mega-Man is not just one of the best classic style games, but one of the best Mega-Man’s overall. Officially backed by Capcom, and (freely) distributed through their website, that’s enough to prove this game is dope. Check it out!
Possibly the greatest love letter to difficulty of 80’s gaming, I Wanna Be The Guy’s tagline is ‘A Very Hard Game about a Boy and 8-bit Masochism!’. I Wanna Be the Guy stars a character named The Kid, who is dressed in a red cape, and armed with a pistol on his journey to become ‘The Guy’. With extremely difficult, unorthodox, and at (many) times unfair level design, IWBTG has many bosses and enemies from other NES games. Characters such as Mike Tyson, Dracula, Dr. Wily and Mecha Birdo who were past ‘The Guys’ are defeated by the kid as he makes his way to the current ‘Guy’. The final boss The Kid must face is The Guy, who is his own father! After defeating him, The Kid returns to his hometown with his father’s gun and is the newest The Guy. With every last thing trying to kill you and level design the will test your temper and patience, but will greatly reward it once you’ve beaten it, IWBTG is the game of the year every year.