Sanity’s Other Side: The Big Blue Elephant in the Room

Whatever you do, do not mention Megaman Legends 3…

So we finally got that Megaman crossover game we all wanted… Right?

Capcom has been getting a lot of hate over the past few years and the announcement of Megaman XOver hasn’t done much to stop the stormy weather. Okay, so what is this game?

Firstly, it’s an iOS/Android “social game”, which isn’t a bad thing inherently. There aren’t enough full-bodied games on our mobile market, that’s always my complaint. The idea is that it brings several incarnations of Megaman (regular, X, .exe, and more) all under one roof in a platformer that has you customize your Rockman to your liking in an RPG fashion and team up with friends to beat big villains across time and space. Sounds good on paper, right?

Well that’s until you see the game. Sadly, the game looks remarkably similar to the infamous “port” of Megaman X released on iOS. With terrible controls, bad gameplay, “sprites” that seem to be made of bad Flash work, and levels that resembled nothing like the original game, it was panned at every angle. There was even a cash shop for the in-game items and a skip-level function.

What went wrong here?

Maybe it’s all still in the repercussions of Inafune’s departure from the company but Megaman, despite being a company mascot has been virtually nonexistent for the past few years. Last I could remember was ZX Advent and Megaman 10. Then the first real outing the guy gets is the [hilarious] appearance in Street Fighter X Tekken which wound up being okay-ish in reception, disregarding the DLC fiasco.

Finally there’s the long laundry list of cancelled projects. Legends 3 was out after being led on for years, the creative Megaman Universe was halted, and for our Korean friends the Rockman Online  crossover MMORPG which united both the classic and X series was lost in the shuffle as well. Any of these could have been a serviceable, no, a more than welcome celebration for the blue bomber’s 25th anniversary. Capcom doesn’t seem to care about Megaman anymore. Okay, not in the fan-emotionally-charged “WHY?! ZOMFG CAPCOM Y U NO CARE?1!” but in that the series isn’t high on their list of priorities when they’re managing other games and hopefully some new hit IPs. Though I would say there are more tactful ways of going about showing that.

To add insult to injury, many other classic games have been celebrating their own anniversaries, platformers as well to be exact. The 20th birthday Kirby compilation is jam packed with Kirby games and has extra challenges too. Sonic Generations has, in tandem with Sonic Colors and at least part of Sonic Unleashed,  restored people’s trust in the blue blur on the home console.

Breakup issues

It’s one thing if Capcom wants to move on from Megaman. These days, fans are always craving a sequel or more of a well-known brand, but sometimes you can’t have the 19th or 25th game. But a poorly playing game such as this is hardly the sendoff I’d want for all those memories I had with X back in the day. I think this is something gamers and consumers have to come to grips with though. If the sequel’s good, it’s good, make it happen, but if you’re bone dry or lost the creative spark I’d rather end on a high note and look to the dev’s new IP than wallow in half-baked insults to a good thing.

Megaman XOver by itself may be mediocre at best by some miracle, but Capcom’s timing and eye on the market couldn’t have been worse. So far things aren’t promising, but I’ll eat my hat if this game is good. It’s almost like Capcom wanted to tell us “Megaman: Over”, but I think the silver lining is that if other series can drag themselves out of a gutter, so can Megaman. Sonic was able to rise up above the likes of Sonic 2006  and Shadow the Hedgehog and now he’s back. Megaman’s turn is around the corner. Join me next time when I grapple with why I only have the power to push others away.

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Inverseman

The Inverseman is an evil overlord from an alternate dimension representing humanity's anti-existence who wound up becoming a modest civil servant.

Inverseman

The Inverseman is an evil overlord from an alternate dimension representing humanity's anti-existence who wound up becoming a modest civil servant.