My relationship with Capcom is kind of like that of one might have with a girlfriend they hate, but is great in bed: 90% of the time they treat you like shit and expect you to put up with it, but when you make nice? Man you can have a good time.
For the past few years now, I have been developing a growing resentment and spite for Capcom because of their shitty business practices, ruining of classic titles, and their constant desire to withhold content from their games for later DLC all the while leaving it on the disc. It infuriates me to no end. But I still patronize their products because despite what I feel about their business, they still produce all of the titles I know and love: Street Fighter, Dead Rising, Mega Man, Resident Evil, and so forth.
But nobody really seems to get the brunt of Capcom’s shitty attitude like Mega man fans seem to. They are a loyal lot who wish to be appeased. They champion the blue bomber and anxiously await games like Mega Man Legends 3, but instead Capcom seems more content to give them the middle finger by saying its the fans fault the game was cancelled, not including him in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, or giving them the fat dopey bad box are Mega man from the first game in Streetfighter X Tekken. (I thought that was awesome, btw)
[q via=”@dertek”]how exactly do you want people to be “more involved?” Do you want us to make the game for you?[/q]
[q via=”CapcomEuro”]well yes that’s the point of the Dev rooms.[/q]
But every so often, Capcom will get a twinge of guilt and actually do the right thing for once. In addition to Street fighter having its 25th anniversary, so is Mega man. A group of passionate fans created a fan made game to celebrate 25 years of the blue bomber, in an incredibly interesting crossover called Street Fighter X Mega man. Instead of Capcom doing what I would have expected (sue these kids for all they have then sell the game for 20 bucks on XB Live) they promoted its creation, helped polish up, and released the game for free on the Capcom Unity page. I got the chance to sit down with it this morning and I’d like to give you my first impressions.
As you can clearly tell, the game takes after is traditional NES roots much like the newer editions of Mega Man 8,9, and 10 have been. I’m merely a console scrub so trying to play the game on my keyboard wasn’t happening, I plugged in my USB pad and got to work. No intro cut scene or tortured story nonsense, you just jump right into the character select screen. The 8 Bosses featured in this game are old standbys Ryu, Chun Li, Blanka and Dhalsim, Rose and Rolento from the Alpha series, Urien from 3rd strike, and C.Viper from 4. Since usually you can get hints from who’s weak to who from their names, finding weak points was kinda of random. I decided to start with Chun Li thinking her special would be strong against C.Viper.
The levels were well designed without feeling like a crazy Rom-Hack. All of the stages have some kind of iconic flare to the character they represent, such as Ryu’s classic Street Fighter 2 wooden moonlit stage. Its controls feel much like the traditional Mega Man games do, but without any of the Mega Man X convention. So you can slide and charge your x-buster, but there is no wall jumping. But that was fine with me. It felt exactly like it should: Classic Mega Man.
But where does Street Fighter’s influence come in? Well, the chiptune music blends in well as some of the traditional Mega Man music mashes up with Street Fighter themes. Each character has a fun chiptune remix of their iconic music (Ryu’s and Chun-Li’s were exceptional). All of the robots designed in each of the stages have some tangential relation to the character mainly from the country or organization (like C.Vipers S.I.N) they originate from, but where the strongest influence of Street Fighter takes hold is in the spectacular boss fights.
They start off as the traditional Mega Man boss fights do with the character dropping, but as their life bar rises you’ll notice they have an additional bar right next to it. When the fight starts, you quickly learn that they have ALL of their Street Fighter specials right from the start. My fight with Chun-li went south very quickly because she was slinging fireballs, using the spinning bird kick, her “dragon punch” anti-air kick, and of course her rapid fire lightning kick. So I died twice right off just trying to learn her attack patterns.
But as the fight progressed. I noticed that the the other bar was slowly rising. I didn’t think anything of it at first but when I tried to close in for the kill, the screen zoomed on the boss as they struck a pose, and unleashed one of their EX specials on me. It kicked my ass, but I couldn’t help but think that it was cool as hell that they worked in so many elements from the Street Fighter series. When you win the fight, you practice the new move by beating up a sprite version of Dan, which I thought was a nice little touch as well.
I only got to play a few levels (Ryu, Chun-li, C.Viper) so I don’t know the pattern to beat everyone yet, but I’m willing to bet some of the boss characters are going to make an appearance. So I’m gonna stop talking about it so I can play it some more, and you should too. Capcom just released it today and you can find it for free at the Capcom Unity page. Its a solid play and worth the time of any Mega Man fan. Take Capcom’s good graces while you can, because were more likely to see a Darkstalkers before we get Mega Man Legends 3.