So… In order to stave off overbearing boredom, I recently downloaded a copy of a fan game called “Mega Man Perfect Harmony
,” despite the fact the characters all use their Japanese names (“Rockman,” “Blues,” “Dr. Right,” etc.). This game can be played by up to four players at once. Yes, you read right. A four-player co-op Rockman
game. Despite that, however, I’m not going to link to the website. If you want to find the game, you can Google it easily enough. But I warn you… the website a freaking horrible mess that tends to make even good
computers hang. It’s stupid. There’s no reason for it to do that! But I digress…
The game’s story goes as follows: Dr. Wily infects the world with a virus (Mega Man 10) that causes all the robots in the world to go crazy-go-nuts, so Megaman Rockman has to stop it with an anti-virus developed by Dr. Light Right. Unfortunately, the spread of the virus is so large that Rockman can’t possibly stop it alone, so he enlists the help of Protoman Blues. (Rockman 10
again.) Bass Forte also decides to help to prove to Wily once and for all who the strongest robot is (Rockman & Forte
). Tornadoman also decides to tag along, as does Roll wearing a Blues suit (Bob & George
Some of Rock’s other friends and even enemies
decide to lend a hand as well. (unlockable characters) And of course, Dr. Cossack also decides to join the party by creating a bunch of brand new
robots (fan characters?) just for this specific mission. And on top of that, there’s hidden, super-secret characters here or there, which can’t be selected conventionally.
The game plays like your average Rockman
game: Select a stage, run to the side, shoot, run more, shoot more, get to the end boss, beat the end boss, go to the next stage. Instead of getting weapons from the Robot Masters, however, you get abilities — usually for one character or another. Beating one boss, for example, unlocks a poodle for Roll. (Think of the poodle as a girly version of Rush. Because that’s basically what it is.)
There’s also an item shop where you can cash in Bolts/Screws found in-game. The items you can purchase unlock additional moves and abilities for… well, mostly Rock and Blues. Who desperately need the additional moves. I’m not really sure why they need Z-Sabers, though… but it’s not my game. Yes, Rock and Blues use Z-Sabers in this game. They also gain the ability to dash (or rather, slide), which makes travel a bit faster. (It serves no purpose otherwise.)
Now, with all this awesomeness, you’d think the game would be every Rockman
fan’s ultimate fantasy come true. Right? Unfortunately, you’d be pretty far off on that one. Even as of version 0.4, the game is riddled with bugs and quirks that make the game utterly unenjoyable, if not unplayable.
A minor one rears its ugly head right from the start. Maybe it’s just a bug that appears in Windows Vista
, but every time I’ve started the game up, this happens
; the game nestles itself under the Taskbar and reduces the screen resolution to 320 x 240 pixels. Why is it that the game can’t be run in a window? Even running the game at 320 x 240 in a window
would be a major step up from the current arrangement, which screws up any open windows you have open. (Though personally, I’d like to run it at double
the size in a window. That would be nice.)
Another problem I’m experiencing is with the game engine itself. There are so many things wrong with the game engine right now… which is extremely hard to believe, considering it was designed by Blyka
, the man who created both SuperDanny
games as well as numerous other (somewhat less) awesome fan games. The SuperDanny 2
engine in particular was flawless! Whereas this? This is… flawed. (Please Note:
Blyka has nothing to do with this game directly. He just provided a bare-bones version of one of his game engines for the game and nothing more!
The physics on most of the characters seems rather screwy. Being the absolute total data nerd I am, I know that Rockman and related characters have jumped at exactly 48 pixels in height since the very first game. Characters in this game, however, tend to jump much higher. Maybe it’s just how the game was designed, but that tends to throw me off now and then.
The physics engine also doesn’t seem to work for certain objects. Stacked rocks, for example, have a habit of sinking into the ground when hit. I know
this isn’t supposed to happen, but it is. And it’s very
annoying. Apache Joes (Speedman’s stage) also do the same thing if you charge at them, though I think it may be intentional in this case, as they don’t really fly lower otherwise…
Screen transitions are also horrendously bad. Even in the original version of SuperDanny
, the screen transitions were somewhat close to the official Capcom Rockman
games. In SuperDanny 2
, they got even better! Here? They just do random fades and wipes wherever the screen stops. Often times, the player doesn’t even end up where they logically should
, coming from the previous screen. And on that note, trying to jump down into another screen, rather than take a ladder, will most likely end in the player’s death, rather than the logical transition. I remember the Famicom version of Rygar
doing this exact same thing. I was not amused then, and I’m not amused now.
Lastly, the collision detection needs some serious work. Quite often, I ended up getting snagged by the side of platforms or cliffs. Another favorite of mine is the fact Sniper Joe’s shields extend about 8 pixels outward from where they’re standing. Oh, and when you hit an enemy with the Z-Saber, you’re
not supposed to take damage as well! Yet, you do. And on that topic, it’s also possible to cancel your damage invulnerability by simply moving around
, thus causing you to take damage from the same attack over and over and over again! It’s all very annoying and should not happen.
Changing gears a bit, I mentioned this game can be played cooperatively with up to four players. Well, the game was definitely designed with four players in mind, but not in a clever way, like having the players work together to open a door or make a totem pole to reach a really high ladder. No, this game just has a lot of enemies. A lot
of enemies. And a vast majority of them fire so many bullets, or waves of bullets, that it’s literally impossible to dodge them! Granted, the Z-Saber can erase bullets, but that really doesn’t help if you’re playing as a character who doesn’t have one, now does it?
There are also quite a number of areas which require characters who can dash, or who need to be able to double-jump. Again, there’s a couple of characters who don’t come equipped with, or can’t gain access to, these abilities. Very, very poor planning on Rud’s part, if I do say so. Of course, all these problems go away if you find the not-so-hidden secret Zero clone character. Who runs at double speed. And has an air-dash. And can double jump. But has no long-range weaponry.
You may notice that I haven’t really said one good thing about this game so far. Well, that’s because my standards for Rockman
fangames have been set rather… high. Games like SuperDanny 2, Rokko-Chan
, and Mega Man’s Christmas Carol 2
make games like this look like something an over-enthusiastic fan whipped up in
using the default engines.
I will admit, the variety of characters is kind of nice, but some of the unlockable characters, and especially the super secret characters, are either completely useless or utterly ruin the game. And of course, there’s the whole question of “Who gets to be Blues” if you’re playing with two or more players… It’d be nice if there were a way to change characters without losing all your lives, too.
I also want to commend the game designer for adding net-play. It’s rather hit-or-miss at the moment, but it apparently gets the job done.
I’m not really sure what this game is trying to be. I’m not sure the game
knows what it’s trying to be, in fact! But as of right now, it just seems like a decent, but severely flawed attempt to make a truly unique Rockman
fangame. Sure, it stands out from the crowd due to its four-player co-op mode, but that’s about all that sets it apart from any of the dozens of other fangames out there, and it doesn’t even do that