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Hacked Rom Reviews!

Afro Man!
-a rom hack of "Megaman" for the NES-
review by: Dr. Boogie

I've only been reviewing rom hacks for a short while, and already, I have seen quite far into the dark depths of the rom hacker's mind. To know that there are people out that that are able, and indeed eager, to sully some of the best Nintendo games out there is unsettling to say the least. And you, the humble reader, have seen the many directions that the rom hacker will take in profaning a classic game from your childhood; time and time again, you've seen drug paraphernalia and the word, "fuck," pop up in places that you would never expect them to appear. You've seen Megaman with a penis, you've seen a mountain of ass, and you've seen Wilford Brimley rise and fall... and rise again.

In this case, however, pornography and Metamucil shills are not part of the prevailing theme. This time around, folks, I bring to the stage a game that stands as a strong candidate for Ugliest Rom Hack Ever. I won't go ahead and call it the ugliest because if an uglier one does come along (and one will, you can count on it.), I'll have to come up with another title to bestow upon it, and creativity is not my forte.

Without further adieu I present…

Ah, excellent work, Will.

I must admit that I felt a little trepidation at the sight of "Afro Man" framed within a white ziggurat, but lord knows I've seen worse, so I continued…

I feel like a kid in a candy store... full of licorice.

This is why game companies hire artists to provide the artwork for their games, rather than simply letting an elementary school full of liberated lab monkeys flail at a piece of paper with crayons. To think that Will B went that extra mile, deciding that just stamping a few crudely drawn rom hack clichés all over his hack was not enough, rather he thought he should go ahead and turn the bosses into amorphous blobs and carve their faces up like crappy, 8-bit jack-o-lanterns, it really makes a statement. That statement: KILL ME!!!

Well then, let's check it out:

*twitch twitch*

This is your reward for not being put off by the hideous title screen, or just the knowledge that this is indeed a rom hack. Megaman must be rolling over in his grave. Our hero, Afroman, has a pair of slick sunglasses and a big 'fro. Plus, this new, more virulent strain of Megaman has a nasty facial tick instead of the usual blink, and a pistol instead of an arm cannon. Well, I suppose "pistol" is a little grandiose term for a black stick of chewing gum coming out of the stump where his hand should be.

What power this Afroman must wield...

What I found most peculiar about Afroman, moreso than the twitching and his deformed arm weapon, was the fact that his gun shoots an assortment of different bullets. Most of the time, Afroman's grotesque prosthetic spews out a sliver of white, but it fires a bunch of unidentifiable projectiles on a few occasions. A few dozen occasions. Alright, forget what I said before. His gun shoots all sorts of crap, and there's no way to tell, scene-by-scene, what kind of bullet it will launch. What the hell are these things? A couple of them are sort of like bullets, but then you've got a little grid, a yin yang, a playing card, and a wad of something. God only knows what goes on with the inner workings of the Afroman.

Now, from the stage select picture, some of you might be wondering just what the hell the monster Will B has done to the beloved Megaman boss characters you so fondly remember from your own days of trying to figure out why the world's most advanced robot hero can't bend his arm a little while he shoots. Well, take a look at this:

Top: Gemini Man, Hard Man, Magnet Man, Needle Man.
Bottom: Shadow Man, Snake Man, Spark Man, Top Man.

Not a one of them has escaped the wrath of the tyrant, Will B, and his copy of MS Paint. I personally think that Top Man got the worst of it, for while Hard Man has been transformed into a tangerine, and while Magnet Man has been made very punk, indeed, by his Anarchy hat from Hot Topic, Top Man has been replaced by an understudy dressed like an 8-bit thug with a pair of knives and an afro to rival that of our hero. A 'fro that he uses as a weapon, no less. Still, it's a suitable punishment for being one of the lamest Megaman villains to date.

While I'm on the topic of bosses and their new fashions, I'd like to expound a little on Shadow Man and his all black look. I initially thought that Will B had lost interest in making new boss outfits and decided to just make him all black, but then, I went to fight him on his own turf (Shadow Man, that is. I wish I could fight Will B on his own turf):

He really should take off the sunglasses.

Picture above is the arena in which you Fight Shadow Man, and believe it or not, Shadow Man is also pictured above. You know, as if fighting the guy with Top Man's shitty special attack (A flying pirouette, in case you were wondering), now I get to spin around in the dark like an idiot and hope that I collide with him before he shaves off my killer 'do with his 1337 ninja skills. Thank you, Will B.

Oh, but there is an even better example than Shadow Man's unfair advantage:

God, I hate you, Top Man.

Behold! The new Top Man stage! Man, Will B hates Top Man than anyone I've ever seen before. Not that I blame him. Too bad he had to go and alienate himself from all the epileptics that wanted to play his hack. And this is the last time I'll rip on Top Man (Who is to Megaman villains what Aquaman is to Superheroes), but still, why did the original Top Man stage have a bunch of plants and such under glass? I mean, everyone else had a stage that more or less reflected their particular abilities, like Snake Man's reptilian stage and Spark Man's fancy electric stage. Instead, all Top Man has are a couple of flying tops near the end, and a fat guy that fires tops out of his stomach. What a total loser!

Ahem. Now that that's off my chest…

The truth isn't out there. Gemini Man, what are you smoking?

Just look at what he's done to poor Gemini Man's stage. It used to be such a wonderful place filled with flashing blocks of god knows what and giant frog eggs that would hatch and loose a smiling tadpole at you. Now, Will B has taken it upon himself to sully the night sky by slapping the Spanish pronoun, "yo," amidst the stars, and putting an abbreviated version of his name on the flashing blocks of mystery. Alack! Such hubris! And putting yo (Which is, "I," for those of you that don't habla español. Huh huh) in the sky. The Latin American Anti-Defamation League will be all over that poor sap.

At this point, I really wanted to stop playing Afroman. It seemed impossible that any one person would shovel so much bad artwork into a single hack, and even now, after seeing it firsthand, I try to convince myself that it was just an illusion; that Megaman is still wearing his trademark helmet and thousand mile stare. But no, the truth is that someone did all this, and perhaps our entire society is doomed.

Even Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, the competing geriatric geniuses of robot men, were not spared:

Dr. "Double-Chin" Light. Get that forehead under control, mister!

I have to admit, without their beards, they look much younger. It looks like they've both cast aside their lab coats in favor of "business casual" wear, although I can't tell if Dr. Wily is wearing all black, or if his clothes are simply invisible. It is in that respect that Will B really makes his audience think.

That about does it for this sorry piece of electronic frottage. In lieu of witty closing remarks, I leave you with a shot of more Afroman than any screen should hold at one time:

Dear God, no!!!

And a glimpse at Afroman's fake ID.

Ah, the story of my life.

Swim! Swim for freedom!!!
Dr. Boogie

You too can play Afro Man!



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