RETRO REVIEW: Mega Man 8 (PS1)

Friday, May 16th, 2014

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Mega Man 8 | Box
Title Mega Man 8
Developer Capcom
Publisher Capcom
Release Date February 28, 1997
Genre Action Platformer
Platform Ps1, Ps2, Sega Saturn
Age Rating K-A(E)

Back in 1997/8 my brother and I finally got our hands on the excellent Sony PlayStation. There were two games we ended up renting and eventually purchasing. The first one being Mortal Kombat Trilogy, which was cool, but the real star of the show in my eyes was the other game Mega Man 8.

Mega Man 8 | Title
Just looking at the title screen brings me back to my childhood.

Mega Man 8 was the first new game (I’m not counting Wily Wars or the Game Gear game) in the classic series to make the jump on a non Nintendo system. In fact it was originally going to Nintendo’s direct rival at the time: SEGA. However Sony, trying to make their mark in the gaming industry, apparently asked Capcom to release a version of Mega Man 8 on the PlayStation. It was a good thing they did, otherwise this game probably would not have sold as well as it did.

Mega Man 8 | Tomahawk
This intro is so cool!

You start up the game and you notice that the game is not 8 bit ZOMGAWD WHY? Also what is the deal with Dr. Light? He sounds like a drunk Elmer Fudd. COME ON GAME DESIGNERS WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Anime cut scenes? I thought this was Mega Man not Happy Weeaboo Fun Time! What was going on at Capcom in 1996? Jump, Jump Slide Slide? More like Dumb, Dumb, Lame, Lame!!! Mega Man gets a motorcycle what is this, Akira!? Capcom, what were you smoking? When I call Rush he just comes in and falls asleep. JUST LIKE ME WHEN I PLAY THIS GAME! Is Mega Man a guy or girl? Make up your mind game designers!

Mega Man 8 | Bass
Mega Man Y u no 8-bit?

The above paragraph sums up most reviews I have read and seen for this game. Seriously people, we get it, Mega Man 8 is not 8-bit, you hate the voices and you can’t get past 2 stages in the game. Now if you bothered to look at what else is in the game, you would find that Mega Man 8 is a solid entry in the series. If you came here expecting a rant on the voice acting or how Mega Man 8 was not 8-bit, this is NOT the review you are looking for. The only thing I will say about the voice acting is that it sounds like Tengu Man, one of this game’s Robot Masters says: “I don’t drink Red Bull” when he is defeated, and that is pretty funny. Moving on:

Mega Man 8 | Tengu Encounter
Hold my Red Bull!

The story of Mega Man 8 goes as follows: Two robots are fighting in outer space and crash on Earth. One of the robots has what is known as the “Evil Energy” which Dr. Wily is trying to get his hands on it so he can rule the world. Mega Man is out to stop Dr. Wily once again and retrieve the Evil Energy from him. There is fan speculation that this so called “Evil Energy” would later become the Sigma Virus in the Mega Man X series. This has not been confirmed by Capcom, so for now I will just label it as fan fiction.

Mega Man 8 | Roll
It is fanfiction, like this wincestful pairing….

After the cool animated opening, you play an introductory level to get you used to the mechanics. As you will probably notice, the game looks really good. The sprite work is fantastic! Mega Man and enemies are very well animated with plenty of delicious frames in their animations. Mega Man 8 uses slightly darker colors than Mega Man 7, so the game is not quite as bright as that one was, but I think this change was for the better. Another improvement is that the levels are much larger to accommodate how tall the sprites are, something that the previous game could have done a better job at. Some people claim that Mega Man ‘Feels weird’ and is slower in this game, I think this is just people getting used to the larger levels.

Mega Man 8 | Clown Man
The levels are so busy and lively!

After you move Mega Man around a bit, you are introduced to the Mega Ball. The Mega Ball can either be the most useless weapon in the game, or an incredibly useful tool that can allow you to break the game in many different ways. Mega Man creates a little ball and he can kick it in different directions or even use it as a rush coil-esque tool to help you jump higher. Mega Man 8 is also the first game in the series where you can actually swim! Unfortunately, I felt this ability, while nice, was very underused in the game.

Mega Man 8 | Swim
Mario has been doing this since 1985, get with the times Mega!

After you finish the level and find the remains of Duo, a mysterious extraterrestrial robot, you are brought to the boss selection screen. It is super colorful and looks like a dance floor to me. This is also the first game in the series that lets you replay the intro level. Like in Mega Man 7, you can only select four robot masters initially, and once you complete the mid stage, you will have access to the other side of the world and the other Robot Masters. This makes the game much more story driven, and as a result, more linear. One upside is that it makes it easier for first time players to find a starting point. Unlike Mega Man 7 there is no password to enable all 8 from the get-go, so you are going to have to deal with it.

Mega Man 8 | Stage Select

Speaking of the robot masters, they are a very wacky bunch this time. You have examples like Grenade Man who laughs and giggles as you attack him and Clown Man who screams for his mom in the middle of the fight. There is even a weird glitch in the anniversary collection where Sword man and Search man have high pitched voices during your second encounter with them….. I don’t know if my copy of the game is messed up but it is something weird that always seems to occur.

Mega Man 8 | Collapse
This building is collapsing and Mega Man is standing there bashing his head against a wall….

As a kid, I used to think Tengu was supposed to somehow be short for ‘tangle’ (I was a very ‘interesting’ boy). It did not help that when you use his weapon on Clown man, he does in fact get tangled up. When I got older, I learned that a Tengu is actually a creature of Japanese folklore with a long nose. Tengu written as 天狗 literally translates to ‘heavenly dog’. In other words, a tangled dog of the heavens with a nose rivaling Pinocchio! In the Japanese version, he has an attack where he yells “Kamikaze”. This was changed in the English version to “Kamaitachi”, which is a Japanese word referring to a supernatural monster that can slice things up with the power of the wind. This is an especially interesting case of localization, as the name in the translated version makes more sense in context.

Mega Man 8 | Weapon Get
At least his weapon is in English!

More Mega on Page 2 ->

About Justin Guillou

Justin joined Operation Rainfall after visiting the site numerous times and reading the articles on Xenoblade Chronicles. He enjoys searching for and collecting some of the more obscure video games out there.

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  • chris

    You make it sound like the people who complain about the voice acting are being unreasonable. This is one of my favorite games in the classic series, that said the voice acting is bad, flat out bad, like “makes RE1 look good” bad. Hell, they actually leave in voice samples where Light’s actor flubbed his lines. It certainly doesn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the game because the gameplay is rock solid, but it’s still an element of the game, one that is most certainly a valid criticism.

    • Pyrotek85

      Kinda wonder why they didn’t just make them voiceless subtitled cutscenes if they’re going to do such a sloppy job on dubbing.

    • smacd

      Keep in mind that this was a PS1 game. Voice acting in games wasn’t really common yet, not til the PS2 era. They didn’t put much effort into it at the time for various reasons- cost and effort, and the fact that no one considered it important yet because it was still a novelty. By today’s standards, its probably not good (I’d have to replay to see what I think), but by the standards of the day its a different story.

    • Pyrotek85

      Oh I’m aware of that, but some games have voice acting that just seems a little cheesy nowadays, and some is outright bad, even relative to that era. Mega Man 8 leans more towards the latter. You always have to judge a game by the standards of the time, whether it’s graphics, audio, and especially game play.

    • smacd

      I’m not trying to excuse it, but seriously were there any games in the PS1 era with “good” voice acting? Because I can’t recall any.

    • Pyrotek85

      Off the top of my head I thought the Mega Man Legends games were decent, obviously a bit funny nowadays. Which actually came soon after Mega Man 8 so you can see that they did improve.

    • Justin Guillou

      Chris, voice acting is a valid criticism. My problem however, is that I have read and seen way too many reviews for Mega Man 8 where many of the really cool aspects and elements of the game are not even mentioned because the reviewer decided to spend a majority of the review ranting on the voice acting. I think THAT is unreasonable. There is so much more to discuss about this game than just the voice acting. You say it is one of your favorites in the classic series, so I’m sure you will agree with that.

    • Thanatos2k

      Voice acting in this is so bad it’s classic, like Star Ocean 2. When they re-released Star Ocean 2 and redubbed everything so the voice acting went from legendarily bad to mediocre it made the game WORSE as a result!

  • Vinicius

    I love this game. The only things I hate about this game were the snowboard and Aquaman. This reminds me, I need to get a copy of Annyversary collection so I can play it again.

  • dude

    loved this game. for me personally 2, 3 and 8 are my favorites in the classic series. i agree with the writer that i wish a new megaman game was made that was in the mold of number 8. it really was pushing the series forward and i think it did it excellently. just improve the voice acting(which sucked though had its charm and was normal for the time period) and you are set.

  • Ryu & Ken: Mission Complete

    I’m playing through 8 right now. I disagree. The bosses and stages are really empty. The snowboarding stages are hard as heck, but they were interesting. I agree with you, more water levels! I found most of the stages to be colorful, but really uninteresting. Rush implementation was ugly and not really fun. The upgrades were mostly pointless. The music just wasn’t good. This game is worse than mn9 (I liked MN9. Weird stages and goofy bosses. Great 8-bit OST). Megaman 8 is just not that much fun. It’s still miles better than the last of us.

  • Josua

    Hi, I eventually play this game so I like it a lot. I always wanted to know if there is an anniverssary collector’s for PSX because i’ve seen the cover to say this title in it. Is this a different version like the Saturn’s one? I wa understood this one has the bonus mode for the psx.