In true "10 Things I Hate About You" fashion, I have a series of "fuck you's" that sum up my feelings about the recently released old-school throwback Mega Man 9.
Fuck you for reintroducing the spikey ball of instant death back into my life. Your newest game has ushered in the return of the bane of my gaming childhood: sudden, instant death. With no save points (save for a somewhat merciful start over if you make it past mid-level), and finite continues, I would take my time approaching the spiked pits, only to have a sudden knee jerk reaction throw me to instant obliteration. The first time I saw those goddamn spiked balls on the screen again I nearly broke out in a sweat!
Fuck you for re-redefining my concept of "spending time" on a game. "Progress" according to Capcom circa 1988 was making it to one more screen further, only to find out that you were totally "effed in the a" if you had played the bosses in the wrong order. Don't have the water gun for the fire boss? TOO FUCKING BAD. I hope you've got an extra Capri Sun in the fridge, because you are not moving a muscle, squirt! I'd like to think that in my semi-adulthood my gaming pursuits would be more of the learning, developing, experiencing type, not the "jump, miss, die, repeat" type. Maybe I'm a simpler creature than I thought.
And lastly, fuck you for making me want to be a kid again so badly. The reality of the situation is, Mega Man 9 is an awesome, awesome game in the same way that Mega Man 2 was an awesome, awesome game. Of course it's hard and unforgiving, but isn't that why we love it? Every game I've played in the last 10 years I've beaten with varying degrees of ease. I still haven't beaten Punch Out! or Zelda for the original NES, and therefore, will always be a kid in some way. Having that hanging over my head lends even more mystique to the Mega Man 9'ish throwbacks of the world. Trying endlessly to make that jump just right without dying was an integral part of my childhood, and despite my complaining, I'll be damned if I didn't squeal a little bit (at least on the inside) at every ball-grating moment of it.
I hate you Mega Man 9, but I also love you, very very much.