Mega Man: Powered Up – “Omega Dance” October 2011 – December 2011 Engine: (Construction Set)
The Mega Man: Powered Up levels was a project I worked on independently of Guildhall. I wanted to demonstrate more of my 2D work and skill, and so utilized old, pre-production maps from Love Me and modified them to work with Powered Up’s built in Construction engine. I consider the two levels to work as a pair: Easing in acts as a tutorial stage with a short, simple layout and easy platforming, while Omega Dance is much harder and designed for more experienced Mega Man players. There is no story behind the levels, gameplay was my only consideration.
Since the game is PSP only, and I could not find a way to feed the game into a computer or better monitor, the screenshots are a bit faded and blurry due to being captured with an external camera. Please excuse the fine lack of detail.
Just past the half-way point of the stage, the stage splits into two mutually exclusive sections. The top section leads to long moving platform ride over a hallway of death spikes. Along the way, the player must deal with Bladers, flying enemies that dive bomb Mega Man as they approach, and occasional blocks that push Mega Man off if he does not jump them.
The Construction Set allows the designer to control what character the player can choose, and what weapons Mega Man will have as well. Only the Rolling Cutter weapon can destroy these blocks, which serves two purposes. First, the player has to discover his special weapons to proceed, and second, this helps the upcoming puzzle synchronize its parts, as otherwise damage is impossible to avoid.
The Rolling Cutter blocks were placed to help sync up this obstacle. Fire falls in a set pattern from each dispenser in the ceiling. Each column alternates, so columns 1-3-5 are near perfectly synced and 2-4 fall together. Proper timing allows Mega Man to rush to the end and slide into the gap, avoiding all damage in a thrilling sequence.
The HotHead enemy throws down Tackle Fires in an arc, and is well protected by Bomb Blocks. To avoid taking damage while fighting, Mega Man can toss a Hyper Bomb into the gap in the middle of the block formation. I placed the grates in the background to help the player find the best spot to toss the bomb and destroy them in one shot.
The pendulum in the middle of the room starts out immobile, but when Mega Man shoots it it begins to swing back and forth, its arc increasing with each shot. Mega Man must use the pendulum to cross the spikes to continue onwards.
The beginning of the stage introduces a number of the enemies types in safe, obstacle free terrain. Here, Mega Man engages the Sniper Joe. The Joe normally guards itself with a shield when it is not jumping or firing. The single block elevation, though, allows Mega Man to stand safely below the Joe's shots and engage at on his terms, either jumping and firing during openings or fighting on the same platform.
Vanishing blocks are a staple of the Mega Man series – they always appear in a set pattern that usually takes some watching, or trial and error to discover. Though perhaps a bit insulting to veterans of the series, I included background grates here to at least help indicate where the blocks will appear. This helps introduce the obstacle, so later versions of it can bypass the helpful indicators and return to full difficulty.
On the lower of the split past the half-way point is a long chain of vanish blocks over a pit of spikes and bottomless pits. This room requires near constant movement to clear, and the trust that the next block will appear where you need it. Hesitation and caution are the player's enemies here.
A shot of the game's Construction set. Not all its pieces and variations are available for use at the start, the player must find paks that expand its options in the main game. Once you have them though, much of what the original developers can make players can as well. The editor breaks its parts into physical stage elements, enemies, traps or puzzle objects, and collectibles and power ups. Here, I am placing blocks at the mid-stage split paths.
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