Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mega Man 10

Being on parental leave, I got some time to myself to play Mega Man 10. It’s pretty cool. And I ate a Mentos mint while I played it, for some nostalgic value – I first ate Mentos the Christmas I got Mega Man 3, the coolest game ever. The weapons in 10 are pretty creative. It’s not quite as cool as Mega Man 9 – it doesn’t have any really catchy songs, and some of the levels are just hard without being super cool. I actually liked the castle stages though, and the final battles were pretty reasonable. (I checked the Internet for strategies so I wouldn’t have to keep playing the re-fight-all-the-guys level over and over, but it wasn’t too complicated.)

Mega Man games are among the coolest ever, but there’s a lot of variation among them. The chart below shows just how much:


Note that I ranked 5 and 10 about the same. 10 has maybe better weapons (since 5 has a lot of forward-firing ones, and the Water Wave is pretty lame), and a better castle (not to mention a shorter one). Specifically, the boss battles are more interesting. But Mega Man 5 does have more nifty music than 10, and I like its robot masters better. So it evens out.

I also noted a couple of similarities between this game and Mega Man X, which would have been the name on this game’s title screen if they had stuck with Roman numerals. (Note that some of these also apply to Mega Man 6, which was developed concurrently with Mega Man X.)

  • The Robot Master intro music (after the Stage Select screen) is the same as the music in Mega Man X (which is slightly different from the tune in Mega Man 2 and 4).
  • In the intro screen, the Robot Master starts out as a silhouette before appearing fully in the center of the screen.
  • When you beat a Robot Master, the “got weapon” screen demos the use of the weapon.
  • The game’s plot (such as it is) involves robots being infected by a virus and turning evil.

(And speaking of plot, as insipid as it is, it’s actually less annoying than the plot in Mega Man 9. I make it a habit of ignoring Mega Man plots to the maximum extent possible.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I’m trying to get back into keeping a journal. I was writing about the church callings I’ve had, and an excerpt about the whole Scouting thing seemed relevant here (as much as anything does):

Nature is cool. It’s beautiful. It’s relaxing. It’s fascinating and inspiring to learn about and observe. But it is also subversive. You can enjoy nature for a few hours, but before long you have to eat. You need to find restroom facilities. And eventually you need to sleep and stay warm. If you have to stay in nature as you deal with these issues, a disturbing thing happens to you: you start to become part of nature. It affects what you eat. It affects how you smell. Things like what socks you’re wearing and how long your facial hair is and what you’ve touched since you last encountered hand soap start to demand your attention. In short, you sort of start to resemble an animal. Now, maybe that’s an overstatement. Lots of people like “roughing it.” But I don’t.

Of course, that’s totally unreasonable. Most people in the world’s history have never had the luxury of running water or food options to begin with, so there’s no reason why I should feel like they’re necessities. And of course there is lots of value in Scout activities beyond just being outside. So I’m not trying to use my aversion to lack of running water to get out of or discourage campouts. I’m just saying that I don’t appreciate nature’s tendency to try to assimilate me whenever I start to get close to it. I’ll have to keep my guard up.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blissful Ignorance

My daughter was watching Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus <shudder>. Barbie’s character makes a comment that is so stupid that it warrants mention here:
Cloud Queen: [A Wand of Light] isn’t found; it’s built.
Annika: How?
Cloud Queen: From a measure of courage, a ring of love, and a gem of ice lit by hope’s eternal flame.
Annika: That’s only three things! We can do it!
In order to visit Saturn, all I need is an unlimited power source, a warp drive system, and shield generator. That’s only three things! I can do it!