Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Megalegs (Atari emulator and non)
When you play one of the classic games with the three lives paradigm, like Centipede or Pac-Man, is it just me or do you ever notice that you seem to do well on the first life, then really blow it on the second and third lives? Man, does that seem to happen to me a lot. Of course, with Megalegs, it's way way harder to get to those extra lives unlike on Centipede or Millipede. There's a totally different points structure in Megalegs. Things are worth a lot fewer points, to say the least. For example, with Centipede, you can shoot twelve scorpions and boom! Extra life. Of course, in Megalegs, there are turtles instead of scorpions, and I believe they are worth 150 points a pop. Now, if I've done my math correctly, that's... 66.66667 turtles! How do you get a fraction of a turtle? Doesn't make any sense! They do poison only half of the mushroom sometimes, on the other hand.
Other differences: the fleas fall pretty much nonstop in Megalegs. Sometimes in Centipede, they let up, don't they? Unless it's the Atari 8-bit version of Centipede, of course. Fleas are only worth 25 points, so again, you've got your work cut out for you. Now, as in Centipede, the fleas lay the occasional new mushroom. Let's just skip that extra chapter of the book on the Birds and the Bees for now. Here's another difference from Centipede and definitely Millipede: if the fleas reach the maximum number of mushrooms on the screen, they stop... kinda creepy, dontcha think? The playing field has now become a bar with a maximum occupancy! Why didn't we listen to the Luddites?
One other difference between Megalegs and Centipede is that, once the megalegs hits the bottom of the screen, nothing happens. In Centipede, new centipede heads start appearing from offscreen. They spared us the indignity of that extra burden in Megalegs. Kinda neat!
Then, of course, there's the spiders. Reminds me of having to do the jump rope in grade school. You gotta time it just right when you jump into the Ellipsoid of Death. Never did get good at that. Of course, the "spiders" in Megalegs have much more predictable movements. And yet, they still get me a lot. I guess my fate in life is to fall prey to one psychopath or sociopath or another. Maybe the video games help stave off that fate. I know that video games are going to be cruel to me, but I can at least control the extent of the cruelty sometimes!
Now, if I were a really smart player, I'd just stay on level 1 and shoot everything while it's nice and slow, but I just can't operate that way. Can't. Can't do it. I need progress. Which brings us to the sound effects of Megalegs. I never really thought about it before, but there's no crunch or crash or explosion sounds, unlike Centipede and Millipede! What's THAT all about? Guess it's starting to bother me now! Also, I noticed that sometimes after you shoot a poisoned mushroom, the space where it was is still poisoned, so when the megalegs hits it, then down to the bottom right away it comes. Sloppy programming, Dubno. Sloppy programming.
Okay, I think that that's all the witty and perceptive observations I had about Megalegs. Back to Candy Crunch, as my brother calls it!