Mary Rose Cook's notebook

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Mega Man Classic vs Mega Man X

Sequelitis - Mega Man Classic vs. Mega Man X - YouTube

Partly about how Mega Man teaches its mechanics. Sometimes, it exposes the player to a new thing in a safe environment and then lets them practice in a dangerous environment. Sometimes, it exposes the player to something where their normal tactics don’t work, but builds in time for them to recover and learn the right tactic. Sometimes, as with the wall jumping, it lets the player “accidentally” trigger a new action and immediately gives them a reason to try and do it again.

Partly about how Mega Man makes the player’s motivations the same as the player character’s: get more powerful weapons and defeat the boss that hurt them. It does this by a) making the powerups of the fictional game world meaningfully fun to the player and b) making the player suffer the same shameful defeat as the character. This means that the player doesn’t have to empathise with the character to care about the game. Or, maybe, it brings out the empathy.