Mod Spotlight: Mega Man 8-Bit DeathmatchBy Kyle Mann | November 20, 2011 | Features | No comments | Share
The great thing about moddable games is they last forever, and there’s seemingly no end to the amazing work the talented community can do with aging technology, even many years after the game has fallen out of the limelight. For instance, this week’s featured mod is Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch, a first-person take on Mega Man’s exploits against his various foes. It’s for the open-source Doom technology as seen in Doom 2, a shooter that came out 17 years ago. It’s incredible that the modding scene has stuck around for so long, and it’s great to see what modder Mike Hill was able to pull off here.
Initially released in November of 2009, the mod has seen updates, bug fixes, and even community mods and tweaks since then, though the core gameplay is still the same: Mega Man fights in arena-based deathmatches against offline bots or humans. The shooting is fast-paced and floaty, and you’ll need to lead your shots with the mostly slow projectiles the game scatters across the map for you to pick up. Offline play amounts to a progression of botmatches rather than a story-based campaign, though the bots are surprisingly fast and agile compared with a lot of enemy AI these days.
The star of the show here is the presentation: all those whose minds are packed with fond memories of playing the old Mega Man games until their thumbs bled will find MM8BDM a delight to experience. From Mega Man-styled tunes to representations of the classic sprites and levels, it’s a first-person museum of Capcom’s franchise. Players can even select one of many different skins, from Mega Man and his pals to the evil masters from all the different vintage games. The gameplay itself even hearkens back to those early days of gaming, as players will grab the shiny white orbs to regain health and must maintain energy for their non-standard weapons.
Of those weapons, many of the classic favorites return, totaling over 60 different powerful guns. Each is fine-tuned to provide various feels and strategies, from the standard Mega Buster to the Needle Cannon and the Atomic Fire. Area-of-effect weapons and rapid fire guns alike make up the staples of Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch gunplay, and are picked up by walking over the appropriate icon lying on the ground in the arenas. There’s an extremely impressive arsenal for map makers to mull over for inclusion in their maps.
The multiplayer of course is where the real action is, and has even more modes and options for various match types. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are just the beginning: there are custom game types, capture-the-flag, last man standing, and variations on all of these. The amount of content there is to play around with is on par with a retail release easily, and doesn’t even include the multiplayer mods and tweaks that the community has released.