Words by Mega Ran | Intro by David C. Obenour
Mega Ran has more songs about Mega Man than most other artists can boast of their entire catalogue. The 130 songs have earned him a 2019 Guinness World Record for the most songs to reference a videogame franchise and an undisputed title as the coolest nerd out there. Traveling the globe and playing to just as diverse of audiences, he has performed at music festivals, gaming conventions, pro wrestling bouts and maybe even at your local comic book shop too.
Teaming up with fellow nerdcore legend, MC Lars (who we featured last week), the two have a new album, The Dewey Decibel System on Horris Records / Random Beats, out on June 7. Here’s what Mega Ran is currently interested in.
While on this past tour, between driving shifts I just started playing Baba Is You, an indie puzzle game on Nintendo Switch that doesn’t boast top-notch graphics or orchestral score, but is quite simply the best puzzle game I’ve played in years. The game was designed and scored by one person, Arvi “Hempuli” Teikari, and finds fun in the seemingly simple concept of rule adherence. Sound confusing? Probably.
Baba begins with a simple puzzle. Stage one starts with a white sheep-like character — baba — and a yellow flag – the finish point. They are separated by three rocks sitting between stones. Also on the stage are its rules: Baba Is You, Flag Is Win, Wall Is Stop, Rock Is Push.
The premise isn’t immediately noticeable. But the best thing is that you can choose to change the rules written on the stage to complete the puzzle another way entirely. Of course, the first level is pretty easy, but later stages really test the brain power and patience, making me thankful for the rewind feature that they let you utilize to replay the previous move.
I’m probably not doing a great job explaining it, and that’s okay because it’s not as much the game, but the concept behind it that makes it so outstanding. I can’t remember a game being this challenging yet rewarding in a long time. Fans of the Dark Souls games probably know the feeling well, but I don’t play those. Similarly to how we ride roller coasters and scream for our lives during the ride, then ask to go again once it’s over, the adrenaline rush of surviving and besting something that was once so daunting and scary is what makes Baba Is You so special.
With it’s charismatic design aesthetic and challenge level, the game tosses aside your assumptions like nothing I’ve seen before it, and with over 200 puzzles, I’ll be playing it for a long time.