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Worth Playing vol. 10: Mega Man Games

09 Mar

Mega Man Final Smash

A recent pickup of several Mega Man Star Force games has had me thinking about my favorite video game character recently. Mainly, why Super Smash Bros for Wii U, of all things, is arguably the best version of the character we’ve received in the better part of a decade. For a character so prominent in the 90s and early 2000s, it’s a shame we don’t see him around any more. And then I took a look at all the games he’s appeared in and suddenly I’m no longer questioning why we don’t have anymore Mega Man games. There were so many games with Mega Man in them, and many of them so drastically different from one another, we as gamers just couldn’t keep up. But don’t sweat, Blue Bomber fans, I am here to point you in the right direction! There are, believe it or not, several excellent Mega Man games outside of the Classic and X series for you to sink your time into!


Mega Man Soccer

Mega Man Soccer Cover

Game: Mega Man Soccer
Genre: Sports (Soccer)
System: Super Nintendo
Price: ~$55

As absurd as this game sounds, it actually does exist. In typical Dr. Wily fashion, a casual soccer game is interrupted and suddenly the athletes are replaced with Robot Masters from the previous Mega Man games (specifically MM1 through MM4). Dr. Light sends Mega Man to go bust up these shennaigans and before long you’re playing soccer! Perhaps the coolest feature of this otherwise unnoteworthy soccer game is the ability to recruit a defeated Robot Master to join your team, thus allowing you to use their unique powers for yourself! Seeing old 8-bit Robot Masters in 16-bit fashion was a definite treat for long time fans. Sadly though, this game hasn’t seen any form of re-release, meaning if you want to play it you’ll have to fork over a hefty price (or watch a YouTube play through).

Why you should play it:
– It’s a silly enough concept to warrant any fan’s attention
– There are Robot Masters from multiple Mega Man games included
– Somehow the game follows many of the standard mechanics of classic Mega Man games


Street Fighter x Mega Man

Street Fighter x Mega Man Cover

Game: Street Fighter x Mega Man
Genre:  Side Scroller, Action
System: PC
Price: Free! (Download it here!)

Easily one of the coolest things Capcom has ever done with the Mega Man franchise, this game came out back in 2012 and started out as a fan game until Capcom caught wind and decided to help the developer out! Essentially a classic Mega Man game with the Robot Masters replaced with Street Fighter characters, Street Fighter x Mega Man was way better than I think any of us were expecting. Detailed spritework, amazingly authentic Street Fighter abilities for Mega Man to use, and a very different challenge than we’ve seen in other classic Mega Man games made this one stand out (as if it wasn’t a standout on its own). Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Mega Man learned how to throw a Hadouken!

Why you should play it: 
– Do you also like Street Fighter?
– It’s free!
– A well designed, thoughtful, creative entry into both franchises!


Mega Man Xtreme & Mega Man Xtreme 2

Mega Man Xtreme 1 and 2 Cover

Game: Mega Man Xtreme & Mega Man Xtreme 2
Genre: Side Scroller, Action
System: Game Boy Color, Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)
Price: ~$15 (GBC), $5 (3DS)

Keeping in tradition with the classic games appearing in bite sized version on the original Game Boy, The Mega Man X series also had a portable counterpart in the form of Mega Man Xtreme. These games lacked the graphical prowess of the Super NES but they still packed in stages and elements from the console versions. Mega Man Xtreme featured content from Mega Man X and Mega Man X2, while Xtreme 2 had stages and bosses lifted from the first three X games. Usually the second Xtreme is considered the better of the two, but both are available on the 3DS for you to experience for yourself right this very moment!

Why you should play them:
– Mega Man and Zero are chibi-versions of their usual console selves
– Faithful, if not scaled down, version of the classic SNES gamse
– Very obscure entries in the X series that are often forgotten


The entire Mega Man Legends series

Mega Man Legends Art

Games: Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Legends 2, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne
Genre: 3D Action, Adventure, RPG
System: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, PlayStation Network
Price: ~$50 (Legends, PS1), ~$30 (Mega Man 64, N64), ~$90 (Legends 2, PS1), ~$225 (Misadventures, PS1), $10 (Legends, PSN), $6 (Misadventures, PSN)

Easily the most expensive games on this list and among the original PlayStation’s most sought after collector’s items, the Mega Man Legends series is a drastic change of pace for the series and it’s amazing! Ditching the sequenced storytelling and jumping and shooting action and replacing it with a fully explorable 3D world with new faces and upgradeable weapons, the Legends series is something of a cult classic nowadays. With gameplay more akin to a Mario or Zelda game than a Mega Man game, Legends resonated with lots of gamer’s for its different approach to the universe. If you ever thought the Mega Man games were great but were lacking a grand story, these are for you! Sadly though, we likely won’t every see a third game in the series!

Why you should play them:
– They are a trio of truly unique games in the Mega Man franchise
– Introduce the lovable yet diminutive Servbots!
– They’re cheaper than ever (thank god) with the PSN downloadable versions. Legends 2 though…


Mega Man Battle Network series

Games: Mega Man Battle Network 1 – 6, Battle Chip Challenge, Network Transmission
Genre: Action, RPG
System: Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Gamecube
Price: ~$10 – $25 (titles vary)

An entire spinoff series I’ve admittedly not played every game in, but I’m including it here because it’s a pretty damn cool concept. In the world there are Net Navis which you control by jacking them into the internet and having them browse around and do stuff. Eventually you find out someone is corrupting the internet with bad Net Navis and viruses, and you must use your Net Navi MegaMan.EXE (of course) to save the real and digital worlds. The game incorporates Battle Chips which allow you to use abilities to attack and defend foes in grid based combat. It’s distinctly NOT Mega Man, but its’ sculpted a timeline all it’s own that’s worth your time if you if you just want more Mega Man.

Why you should play them:
– A fully fleshed out new world featuring familiar faces and concepts from past Mega Man games
– More storyline than most other games in the franchise
– The art style and re-imagining of Net Navis/Robot Masters is a huge plus


Mega Man: The Power Battle & Mega Man: The Power Fighters

Mega Man the Power Battle Logo

Games: Mega Man: The Power Battle, Mega Man: The Power Fighters
Genre: Arcade, Fighting
System: Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube
Price: ~$12 (part of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection)

Before the Blue Bomber was a staple in the Smash Bros. game, and even before he was included in the Capcom vs. series, he started in his own fighting games. Originally released in arcades and only available on home consoles as part of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, both The Power Battle and The Power Fighters feature the same 1v1 or 2v1 gameplay. You pick between Mega Man, Proto Man, or Bass (and in The Power Fighters Duo) and square up against a variety of Robot Masters from Mega Man 1 through Mega Man 7. Bypassing the stages and instead just pitting you against the Robot Master in a sort of Boss Rush mode, these games are unique in that you can tackle each zone with a buddy or go it solo! Being arcade games they won’t hold you attention very long, and the credits will roll within an hour, but they’re fun diversions from the core games!

Why you should play them:
– Feature excellent, bright visuals!
– Multiplayer action that surprisingly was never further explored in other games
– You can play as someone other than Mega Man! And each character has a set of special moves, too!


Mega Man: Powered Up

Mega Man Powered Up Cut Man

Game: Mega Man: Powered Up
Genre: Side Scroller, Action
System: PlayStation Portable
Price: ~$15

With its cute visual style and updated content from the very first Mega Man, Powered Up is perhaps the closest to the original Mega Man games you’ll see in this list. Sadly the game didn’t sell well enough to produce any more remakes in this same style. That’s unfortunate because not only did Powered Up offer a new visual style and new Robot Masters to conquer, it also featured a level editor mode, a new story mode with added dialogue and cut scenes, extra difficulty options, and the ability to not only play as Proto Man or Roll throughout the whole game, but the ability to play as all eight Robot Masters as well! This is how you do a remake! But it wasn’t how you buy one, apparently…

Why you should play it:
– The definitive version of the very first Mega Man game
– Tons of replay value!
– Playing as the other characters allows for creative and challenge ways to play


Mega Man V

Mega Man V Art

Game: Mega Man V
Genre: Side Scroller, Action
System: Game Boy, Nintendo 3DS (Virtual Console)
Price: ~$90 (Game Boy), $4 (3DS Virtual Console)

Lastly we have Mega Man V on the original Game Boy. While the previous four Mega Man games on the handheld featured Robot Masters and stages inspired by the classic Mega Man games on the NES, Mega Man V has an entirely original storyline with eight unique Robot Masters to battle. Well, not exactly Robot Masters. Instead Mega Man’s battling Stardroids, interstellar robots that … well they’re really just space Robot Masters. Regardless, this last entry in the Game Boy Mega Man library has the best level design, best storyline, and the best bang for your buck! Just like Xtreme and Xtreme 2, I have always felt these games were forgotten by fans of the series, and with the resurgence on the 3DS’ Virtual Console, we can all enjoy their nostalgic offerings at a much nicer price!

Why you should play them:
– The best visuals and gameplay in the Game Boy series
– The only unique game in the entire franchise to release on the Game Boy
– perhaps the best on the go Mega Man outside of emulation!


 

So there you go, and handful of Mega Man games that are wholly worth your time. Perhaps because we haven’t seen him in awhile, or maybe because he’s so liked, some of these games have ridiculous price points even in the resale market. Thankfully most, not all, of them have seen re-release in some form.

If you happen to speak Japanese there are actually a few more games exclusive to that country’s systems featuring Mega Man which I would have placed on this list, including an RPG with Mega Man & Bass, and a Monopoly-like board game! Alas I don’t speak the language well enough to even attempt to play these. *sigh*

What are some of your favorite Mega Man games? Were there any spinoffs or quirky appearances I should have included but didn’t? Let me know!

Laters,
Jsick

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Posted by on 03/09/2016 in Randomness

 

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