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Friday, September 13, 2013

Mega Man, Capcom and an Outraged Fanbase

The Mega Man franchise has been treated with, how shall we say, less than admirable care over the past few years regarding video games. Oh sure, he's got a fantastic comic book thanks to the fine folks at Archie Comics and he's got topnotch marketing in merchandise like toys, figures and the like. But when it comes to gaming, the medium where the character was birthed? The Blue Bomber has certainly seen better days. Capcom's poor treatment of the franchise has understandably earned them the disdain of his legions of fans.

It isn't just the lack of love Capcom has been showing Mega Man that's gotten them on gamer's bad side, although that is a large part of where the hate comes from. The third party has made a slew of awful releases like Resident Evil 6, hopped on the DLC band wagon, and had the gull to charge players for content that was already on a game they payed for in Street Fighter X Tekken. The gist of it? Capcom is sucking hard and with the recent announcement to keep forcing more DLC down our throats due to all their failures, I don't think things are going to turn around anytime soon.

The spiritual successor to Mega Man.

Yet, fans continue to shout to the rooftops for a new Mega Man game from Capcom. It's what they've been most vocal about over the last few years. And it seems those loud roars have been heard and the answered but maybe not in the way we were all expecting.

Co-creator Keiji Inafunae and his crew at comcept launched a Kickstarter for a project called Mighty No. 9. Beck (Might No. 9's real name) may not be called Rock but the reassemble to Mega Man is undeniable. Beck can attain the weapons of his enemies, just like Mega Man but he also has the ability to transform, something our pal Rock cannot do. Differences aside, Mighty No. 9 is very much a spiritual successor to Mega Man. In just two days, the initial Kickstarter goal was met and Mighty No. 9 was officially green lit. Not only that, but other stretch goals are still being met with over $2 million being raised from fans as of this writing. Does Capcom need further proof that demand for Mega Man exists?

As annoyed as I am with Capcom right now and their current business practices, I don't hate the company, nor do I wish for them to go down in flames. Wishing for a game company to go out of business is not doing this industry any favors. At the same time, I don't think a Mega Man game from the company is something that we need right now.

"Whoa, hold up, Reg! Capcom has been screwing Mega Man over for years! A Mega Man game is what we want!"

The first Classic 2D Mega Man game to be
done outside of 8-bits.

Yeah, I get that, believe me. You've made that message loud and clear. But stop and think for a second. Capcom is currently putting out crappy products and is shoving DLC soap down our throats. Also, take into account the number of people that have since left Capcom. Everyone working on Might No. 9 at comcept had a hand in the development on the Mega Man games at one point or another. None of those people are at Capcom anymore and God only knows how many others are no longer there. I'm not saying Inafunae has to make Mega Man in order for us to have a good game. The feeling I'm getting from Capcom is that the reason they haven't released a new Mega Man game is because the talent needed to do that may not currently be at the company. Do you really want a Mega Man from a sub par company just so you can have an official Blue Bomber game? I know I don't.

Like Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8 takes heat
for not being an 8-bit game. Which, quite
frankly, is pretty freaking dumb.

I greatly enjoy the 8-bit Mega Man games but I think they are keeping Mega Man in a sandbox, or at least a lot of his fans are by craving 8-bit style Mega Man titles. I was as excited as anyone when Mega Man 9 was announced and I liked the game, but my biggest complaint with it was that it felt like it was trying to be another Mega Man 2. I know that's Inafunae and a lot of fan's favorite Mega Man game but if I want another Mega Man 2 expeirice, I'll fire up that game. Heck, even a lot of the jingles in Mega Man 9 came straight from Mega Man 2. Mega Man 10 was more enjoyable for me because the addition of Proto Man and Bass made it feel like was taking more steps forward. Charged shots, sliding, dashing, rapid fire. Forgive me for enjoying the new material the sequels brought to the classic series. OK, so Proto Man was in Mega Man 9 but he really seemed like an afterthought in that game.

Much as I enjoyed Mega Man 9 and even more so, Mega Man 10, these games sent the message that Classic Mega Man belongs in 8-bit, or at least, that's what a lot of fans seem to think. Mega Man 7 and 8 are two of my favorite Mega Man games but they both get a lot of hate, largely because they aren't 8-bit games. I've even heard some people go as far as to say that they didn't feel like they were true sequels because they weren't done in 8-bit. I enjoy 2D Mario games, but I'm very thankful that Shigeru Miyamoto took him out of that box and into three dimensions. We never would have gotten Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy if Mario only moved left and right.

If WayForward did this for DuckTales, just
think of what they could do with Mega Man

I'm not saying Classic Mega Man should move into 3D. However, I do think that it's time that he stepped out of his 8-bit comfort zone. I'd love to play a 2D Mega Man game with glorious HD visuals. Look at what WayForward did with DuckTales, an NES classic that was developed by Capcom. Now there's an idea. If Capcom is incapable of making a Mega Man game, put in some capable hands. I'd love to see what WayForward could do with the Blue Bomber. And a soundtrack by Jake Kaufman? Tell me who wouldn't want that.

I could not be happier for comcept and Mighty No. 9. They have my money and my support. But I'd still like to see Mega Man back in action and I know other fans want the same. I can't pretend to know everything that's going on inside the confines of Capcom but one thing that even a blind person can see is that things are definitely not kosher. But I don't quite buy the notion that Capcom hates Mega Man because they keep pimping out that comic book and a ton of merchandise. I want a new Mega Man as badly as the next fan, but I won't settle for one from a company that can't get it's act together on the games front with so many of it's other properties and neither should you.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I hated 7 and 8, but I liked the first three X games.