Now for a game that isn’t a “social RPG” with a DLC cash shop.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, Capcom’s real tribute for Megaman’s 25th anniversary is here, by giving their full backing to Singaporean doujinshi programmer Seow Zhong Hui so he could create Street Fighter X Mega Man. So is this independent fan game good enough to be a “real Megaman title?” Let’s find out.
First off, I should mention that this game is not for your Wii/PS3/360/NES, it’s for the PC and it’s absolutely free. Because it’s for a PC, I recommend connecting a 360/PS3 controller or using a USB pad of your own for a better feel, or if you’re a stickler for authenticity, snag a retro pad to USB converter and plug in some NES controllers.
So the excuse plot befitting of classic Megaman is that good old Rock has creamed just about everyone but then some new challengers appear, eight fighters from Street Fighter decide to give the blue bomber a run for his money. The game is very stylish with appropriate mixes of the character themes, nice character sprites, and many of little things like the VS presentation. One personal favorite is that when you get a new weapon, Megaman tests it out on series punching bag, Dan Hibiki, in a training room. By the way, there are secret codes and easter eggs everywhere. On the pause screen, hold the Jump button and then press up, down, down, down. You will thank me. (You can undo the code by entering it again too.)
Levels are all right, sometimes a bit short, and not like Mega Man 2 caliber, but they’re very in-line with the series style of level design. Items are a bit more lenient than classic standards, but that’s not really a strike against. Some levels are great and some fall a bit flat, but they’re a means to an end, the one-on-one boss battles. Bosses aren’t like robot masters, the fighters have a super meter, which after being filled will cue a small cut in and unleash a mighty super. Very stylish.
Yes, the game is nice and all but there’s one thing that nags me to no end. There is no way to save, you have to rush this game like Mega Man 1 in one sitting. They don’t even give you a password system either. Not having a way to save is almost criminal these days. The other nitpick is that sometimes Megaman feels a bit stiff as you’re shooting, jumping, charging, and whatnot.
Barring the lack of a save feature, this game is quite nice, but it seems as if Capcom did next to nothing to help Seow Zhong Hui and the OST composer Luke Esquivel. Perhaps I’m wrong, but at it’s heart this is a doujinshi game, not a commercial one with a budget the size of a motion movie, but you can tell that there is a lot of heart and soul in it. You could also get cynical and claim Capcom has literally abandoned Megaman with this move, but I like to look on the positives and say that Megaman’s fanbase is starting to take things into their own hands. Look at Touhou or My Little Pony, fabulous series and franchises that encourage a doujin culture. If that means Capcom takes a backseat so great doujinshi games can come out (and for free, no less) so be it.
Street Fighter X Mega Man is a labor of love far better than Capcom’s treatment of their own mascot. If you can put up with a few hiccups, and if you totally dig doujinshi games, you’ll get a kick out of it. Join me next time when I lobby for Reploid interests in Congress.