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Mega Man 9!
  What's up, game fiends. I am still on vacation, carousing through the weird bizarre land of China, but thought I would take a few minutes and draft an update to my game-design blog, or whatever one would call this trainwreck, really.

  So of course I am quite out of touch with the world of game news these days - hell, out of touch with much WORLD news for that matter - but i do dip in here and there when I can get a moment, just to make sure it's not all gone the way of the dodo. You know, just in case. It sounds like things have been extremely busy in my absence - what's this, talk on an Xbox 360 price cut? Mega Man 9 is a throwback/retro-looking title? Castlevania fighter, and of course the announcement of Diablo 3 for next March (sigh, wish they could push that business back a little further, oh well hmm we will see, won't we. Go Fall!!!) And lots of news regarding all the millions of rock n roll games that seem to be all the rage with the kids these days. Lucasarts layoffs (yeah, more). I am sure there's a bunch of other stuff going on, as the typical summer malaise kicks into videogameland (with no big releases planned for some time). Otherwise, the pre-E3 hysteria sort of generally takes hold and everyone gets ready to be wowed and confused and all fo that, really.

  So, Mega Man 9. This certainly looks interesting - can I say that "I called it?" Well maybe I didn't mention it, or figure on this particular instance, but it certainly was the type of very-specific idea I have had going on in myhead for some time, to be honest. I am just a little surprised Capcom was the one to go ahead and bite this time, though I can't say it should come as the hugest of shocks - that would be reserved for a follow-up 8-Bit Castlevania or Ninja Gaiden. Anyway I haven't seen more than the most momentary of screenshots of this thing, but the mind races with possibility. It should be interesting to see how it turns out and all of that, and what the fallout is that ensues. Anyway, lest the world should forget how well New Super Mario Bros. performed on the DS..

  In honor of this, I booted up a couple of older MM games. Back in the day, I played (a LOT) through the first 4, by that point I had pretty much had enough. So the last couple of days I checked out 5 and 6 (NES) for the first time in ages and started trying to play through them in earnest, a little. Man. Those games are hard. Not super-duper hard, but they are a bit punishing compared to the ease with which I remember having swept through the earlier ones. Nice looking, each one gets progressively more technically inspiring - though honestly, I will always maintain that Mega Man peaked, for me, with Number Two. It was one of those cases where the game truly oozed with love and devotion, and all the parts gelled. The later ones were certainly cool but it was really getting to feel like a paint-by-the-numbers affair and "enough already," and just not anywhere near as captivating. I mean, if nothing else, none of them just sounded as AWESOME as Two...

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