Friday, April 16, 2010

Mega Man Franchise Moving Backwards

I was never a big fan of Mega Man games.  They always seemed frustratingly difficult.  Mega Man's standard weapon is underpowered.  You often need to fire at an advancing opponent and retreat since you can't stop it in time.  I realize that there needs to be a challenge, and that you shouldn't be able to simply overwhelm enemies with firepower.  But I like it when games give you a character that feels powerful, even when enemies are more powerful.  Mega Man has always felt weak.  The weapons you get from bosses all have limited ammunition, so you generally can't use them much since they need to be conserved for boss fights.  Many of them are fairly useless except for against specific bosses.  I like powerful weapons with plentiful ammo.  The limits of Mega Man's weapons take most of the enjoyment away from them.

Still, it's a classic game franchise that I would like to see remade properly on modern consoles.  A modern day 2D Mega Man that's HD, widescreen, has cool lightning effects, 3D backgrounds, and all the bells and whistles that come with modern games could be very compelling.  They could just take Mega Man 1 or 2, enhance it in those ways, and that would be fine with me.  But Capcom found it easier to release this:

That's a screen from Mega Man 10, recently released for XBox and PS3.  Now, it's obvious that Capcom is trying (and succeeding, for some) to appeal to gamers who enjoy old school games.  I'm glad they're trying, because those games are a lot of fun.  But, why not give us the same 2D, 8-bit action done with all of the advantages and power of modern consoles?  They did it with Bionic Commando, why can't Mega Man get the same treatment?

Am I the only one that thinks it's absurd that a Mega Man game released today doesn't look at good as Mega Man games released over 10 years ago?:

The screens above are from the games Mega Man & Bass and  Mega Man: The Power Battle.  Shouldn't the graphics of Mega Man 10 be at least as good as the graphics of those games?  If you think the old school gamers would be upset that it doesn't look like the Mega Man that they remember, read the glowing reviews of Bionic Commando:Rearmed.  Fans of the original, like myself, consider it the best possible way of paying homage to and re-creating the experience of playing the NES game.

Yes, the reviewers at IGN gave Mega Man 10 a good score, and I'm sure that Mega Man fans will enjoy it.  I'm sure it's a good game.  But come on, we didn't buy our XBox 360s and Playstation 3s to emulate NES games.  Let's have higher standards for our remakes, and maybe we'll get a Mega Man that looks like this:

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