Jack Thompson, Megaman, and Dragon Quest

jack-thompson

Jack Thompson, Megaman, and Dragon Quest

Welcome one, welcome all, to the Wrath of El Pato. Yeah, it has been about three weeks since I wrote a column-my usual apologies. Work was such a nightmare that I was working 23 days straight with no day off. Anyways, I’ll just go off a few things happening lately and call it good. I…think…I’m back.

This isn’t very timely, as it happened last week, but I saw that my best friend, Jack Thompson has been disbarred. While I’m sure the developers of ‘Murder Simulators’ will be throwing confetti around the room now that this incompetent prick is gone, I want to just point out that someone can and will fill his shoes. Before him we had Lieberman, Hillary even wanted a piece of this violent video game thing. Which does worry me.

Don’t misunderstand, I hate the guy; I had a segment on my radio show called “What would Jack Thompson do?”, referred to him as Jackalyn Thompson because I thought he whined like a little girl, and tore into him every chance I got (“Jack, if we lift your skirt up do we get a lap dance or do you still charge a dollar?”). With all things considered, we should be happy? Right? No because like I said, someone will step in. And I fear that this guy may have the charisma and actual debate skills to win everyone over and not be another laughing stock like Jacky is. Jack Thompson also served another purpose besides us being thankful for him being in the seat of “Anti video game dick” and that was: He made us realize how much better our lives truly are.

I downloaded Megaman 9 the other day. It’s just as reviewers have said, a trip back to nostalgia. I realized this the moment I selected Jewel man and had to precisely move a platform I was standing on into a chasim in the exact center to drop off-one misstep and I landed on spikes dying instantly. Besides the platforming elements which can be tricky at times, I haven’t really seen any of the insane difficulty that people have whined about. Is it hard? Yes, there are some points where it is harder than even the Blue Bomber’s first adventure. Is it so hard I will break controllers? Not by a long shot. I can see people aged 12 and under having problems since they’ve never played games like this before, but for the rest of us who played 2D games during the NES’s prime, it shouldn’t add too much frustration. Though expect to say a few curse words.

I think if we went back in time and THIS was MM5, and erased the original, as well as MM6, we would have the franchise still going today. Each game up till 5 had a good element of gameplay added in (3 had the slide, 4 had the charge shot). Once 5 hit it was more of the same and gamers grew tired of the formula. Not knocking 5 and 6 as I enjoyed them, but the masses were tired of “another” Megaman  game.  Once the SNES and Playtstation incarnations were made-it was too late. X was going strong and people could have cared less about the same generic gameplay.

Give it a few years and go back to the roots and you get 9, which very well could be better than MM2 in my opinion. The graphics are gorgeous, the levels are diverse, and the robot masters aren’t as goofy.  Granted, we lost the charge shot and slide, but this is still a good game on its own merits. I hope it does sell well. Because if it does, expect other developers to make old school continuations of franchises like Battletoads and River City Ransom. Why? Because games like these are CHEAP to make. The cost of development for a console title can go into the billions nowadays, a game like this has an extremely low budget and can turn a profit quick. Developers would be stupid to not follow the forumula.

So Square-Enix has released Dragon Quest IV for the DS? *sigh* . Fine. However, if they must release remake after remake and sequel after sequel, do it with games that people haven’t played a gazillion times over. Like Dragon Quest IV. A lot of gamers missed out on it when it came out for the NES years ago and the rising ebay prices didn’t help matters much either. Remaking this was a great idea, and I hope they continue with DQV and VI, both of which have never come out in America period. It’s the nature of the beast, with the costs to make a video game so expensive today, companies can’t afford to try a new franchise out. I see the business side of releasing sequels for Square-Enix.  Years ago, if Square released a couple games that tanked, it was no big deal as another game could gain back the loss. Today, if a game tanks-you’re in the red. Taking risks is extremely difficult and I can understand if SE want’s to play it safe. But still, can we lay off remakes and side-stories and get back to making original titles? Remember when Square was the S**t? and had all those original RPGs during the PS1 era? I guess I can only dream.

That’s it for now, see you all next week-hopefully!

Patrick is a freelance gaming journalist and crime-fighting penguin at night. He has tweets, and you can follow them.