On My Mind

A case for buying Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2

Something we have today, but don’t fully appreciate, are good things. There are so many good things around us at most points in the day; our smart phones that give us global connectivity, our online video streaming services with thousands of choices at any given moment, & the streamlining of our online shopping experiences. Some of you keen observers out there probably noticed a theme, good on ya.

But, before we had these, we had dumb phones that could only make phone calls to our families & close friends if we remembered their number off the top of our heads. We had Blockbuster which had maybe 100 videos if you were lucky enough to live near a larger location. We had to go shopping in person and interact with other human beings! And, if we go even farther back…well I wouldn’t know because I’m an ignorant millennial.

The common thread here is that we, as a society, can look back on these and agree that progress is being made overall (but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have setbacks in the middle). The same can be said for this collection. Now, I can hear what you’re thinking already…”But Zach, all of the examples you mentioned are from past to present. The 2nd legacy collection games came out after the 1st”. And to you I say…fine, here. We had pets in the past, then decided Tomogachi was a good idea, then went back to having pets. There. Happy?

Either way, you can go about your day and just enjoy the best of something (Mega Man Legacy Collection 1) and never give it a second thought. But, for those of you budding game designers or gaming historians, taking a look at the bad will give you context for why the good is so good. If we never stop to think why some games are good, we’ll never be able to make proper good games. We’ll just try to mimic the style of certain games (Mighty Number 9) but not recapture what made the original games fantastic in the first place!

So in conclusion, I’m bad at metaphors and you should give this collection a chance if you are at all interested in game design theory.

On My Mind

Speedrunning

Have you ever taken a walk on a road, that you may have walked hundreds of times, in reverse? Or have you ever walked that same road while facing backwards? Probably moreso the former, I’d assume unless you’re incredibly confident.
Now, what the hell am I talking about? Well, strangely enough, I’m talking speed running video games… follow me on this one.
I’ve played MegaMan X probably dozens of times, I may even consider it a tradition to play it once a month. But it wasn’t always this way. Speed running redefined how I can pay games. I’ve always stuck to the engrained rules of the game, never deviating. And that’s fine, for 1 or 2 playthroughs. But what if I want to reengage with an older game in a new way, one that makes the experience fresh again without paying $60 for something that’s close but not enough? Guess I’m screwed right? Wrong.
Speed runners self imposed rules change the dynamic. From disallowing certain items, to restricting whole gameplay strategies, speed runners make old games fresh again. Try playing MegaMan X again, only this time you can only use the not upgraded mega buster. Now we’re talking. The whole game is different but you’re still on the same game you know and love; just like that old path you may have walked hundreds of times before.
So like I’d mentioned in the beginning, if you’re feeling bored with a game you used to love, try walking that path again… backwards.