Some idiot took a look at the Megaman series and thought, "Yeah, this is fun, but this whole Megaman thing would be a whole lot better without all this Megaman."
And somehow, against all common sense and the immutable rules of the natural universe as we know it, he was right.
In Limelight, there's no earnest blue-helmeted hero in sight. Instead, you play as the Robot Masters, who have set about beating the bolts out of one another because it gets pretty damn boring waiting in their little gated boss-rooms while Megaman misses the same jump 15 times in a row. And while playing as the villains is already a pretty sweet concept, the developers have taken it one step further.
Quick: What's the best part of a Megaman game? Yep: Using the bosses' powers against them. Nothing is more satisfying than losing to Guts Man a dozen times, only to come back to his stage equipped with the only power he's weak against -- Taco Bell -- and whale the bastard into dust within seconds. And that's the true genius of Limelight: the creative ways the powers interact with the enemies and environments. But it's not just limited to boss fights:
We're this close to seeing if Megaman could beat Luigi in a fight.
Throughout the levels, you'll find novel uses for each robot's unique power -- cutting the ropes that hold up platforms, freezing obstacles to jump over them, powering machinery with electricity -- and that's just in the first one. In the sequel to Limelight, which is twice as long, you can freely switch characters at any time -- yes, that means even in the middle of a boss fight. Watch your back, Ant Man: We've got Sun Man and Magnifying Glass Man on retainer.
What was the number one impossible wet dream of every child who grew up in the '90s? No, not Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (although she's a close second). The correct answer is actually Mushroom Kingdom Fusion:
Mushroom Kingdom Fusion is every single old-school video game rolled into a giant, self-replenishing curry of pixelated awesomeness. The stages are stolen from every game the designers could lay their hands on, and we don't mean that lightly:
We want to see Kirby try to eat that foot.
Is that Kirby in Final Fantasy? Tails in Q-Bert? Mario in ... Minesweeper?! We'd make a joke about Sub-Zero in Ice Climbers, but that actually seems pretty tame compared to the madness Mushroom Kingdom Fusion is already sporting.
This is by no means a complete list of characters, either. Don't like who you see above? No problem: You can play as Link, Megaman, Sonic, Tingle -- whoever your favorite character is, they're playable. Because even if they're not included by default, you can go steal a sprite sheet and upload them right into the game. Boom: Leisure Suit Larry's adventures through Dracula's Castle.
There are all sorts of power-ups, too, ranging from a greatest-hits-style collection from every game made in the '80s and '90s to bizarre new ones never seen before. For instance, the Guile Suit:
And the third guy from the right is either Solid Snake or Scarface.
Still, before you get too excited, we should mention that this is the only "unfinished" game on this list. But that's only because they're still adding new stages, characters, and power-ups, and they likely have no intention of ever stopping.
Call us when you can cast Meteo on the dog from Duck Hunt; we will drown your families in our money.
Follow Jacopo on Twitter to learn more about his upcoming book, The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy!
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