I feel like I was specifically targeted. Like, Capcom wanted me to talk about a video game they were hyping up. They didn’t tell me directly, but they got me at my soft spot.
It would not normally be a big deal, except that the game they decided to announce was guaranteed to get a response from me.
Mega Man 11. On the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Capcom’s been on my shit list recently. They got on the list with the questionable, no stupid, things they did to Street Fighter V and Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. Digital Crack buddy Punisher actually bought the Collector’s Edition of the latter game. He was seduced by the Infinity Stones they were packing in. He received Infinity Cadbury Crème Eggs instead. Fuck you, Capcom!
…but I’m listening. Mega Man 11, you say?
The mainline Mega Man is my absolute favorite video game series. Final Fantasy is second and at times they’re neck-and-neck. That feeling, of course, is out of nostalgia. I played the hell out of entries in both series. And I’ve all but written them both off as a relic of my history. Final Fantasy XV restored some of my faith in that series. Will Mega Man 11 do the same?
I have no idea. Since Capcom is handling it, I’m not optimistic.
The Mega Man series has been in a weird state of flux for well over two decades. After six games on the NES, they tried taking the original vibe and upgrading it for a new era on the SNES. That was Mega Man 7, and it had mixed reviews. I was on the negative side back then, though I wanted to love it.
Capcom then split off to new series like the Mega Man X series for the SNES, and the Game Boy spin-offs based on the Japanese Rockman World series. The former took the classic Mega Man formula and amped it up to one trillion. The latter took the fun from the NES series and made it mobile. I was into both of them, but they weren’t proper Mega Man games as I knew them. Both were eventually run into the ground. Other spin-off series emerged, and the mainline series was a forgotten asset.
I wouldn’t get the next canonical entry until Mega Man 8 on the Sony PlayStation and SEGA Saturn. It received another graphical update and tried to add FMV to flesh out the story, anime-style. It is now infamous for those absolutely cringe-inducing FMV sequences. To this day, it hurts to hear Dr. Light talk about “Doctor Wahwee” like he’s Elmer Fudd’s cousin. But somehow, I irrationally love that game, despite its cringe factor.
Mega Man 9 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 reverted the series back to its 8-bit NES roots, and it rocked. Mega Man 10 tried to replicate its predecessor’s style on the same platforms and stumbled. Since then, Capcom has refused to release a proper game in its mainline series.
Why? Because FUCK Capcom! That’s why.
Capcom has had numerous chances to keep Mega Man alive in the minds of fans. For fuck’s sake, there are over 120 titles in Capcom’s library that featured the titular character. Some of them were silly, like Mega Man Soccer on the SNES. Some, like Mega Man 64, have devoted cult fans. And some games, like Mega Man X7, are shit bags laced with piss.
But Capcom has refused to give a shit about Mega Man. Yes, he’s popped up in the Marvel vs Capcom series. Mega Man X and Zero even popped up in Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. But the essence of what made the Mega Man games has been ignored by Capcom. They absolutely refused to revisit that series. That pisses me off.
It was that refusal that prompted former Capcom employee Keiji Inafune to start a Kickstarter campaign for what he called the spiritual successor to Mega Man. His project, Mighty No. 9, went on to raise almost $4 million. When the game came out in 2016, it was a mere shell of what was expected. But the fact that enough people wanted another Mega Man game was apparent to even Capcom.
At some point, Capcom decided they needed to grab a piece of that pie. In conjunction with the eponymous Blue Bomber’s 30th Anniversary, Capcom decided to announce the release of Mega Man 11 for the Xbox One and PS4. They even released a trailer for the game, one that acknowledged the series’ mainline past while showing its evolution into present-day’s graphical standards.
Thankfully, the game is still a 2D run-and-gun platformer. It looks like it maintains many of the series’ hallmarks. I saw robot powers, themed level enemies, and 3D-ish renditions of 2D sprites. I thought the game looked really nice. Taking the traditional Mega Man style and prettying up the visuals will work with me.
Which is a shame, because I trust Capcom and its motivations as far as I can throw them. And lately, I can’t throw much of anything worth a shit!
Again, FUCK CAPCOM!
Still, I gotta admit that I’m intrigued. The Mega Man 11 trailer sure looked nice.
All of the things I love about the mainline series seems to be present. Mega Man 11 is still a run-and-gun platformer, and a lot of the gameplay cues are still present from the OG series. If anything, Mega Man is more expressive when he attacks.
The thing I focused on most was how he used a special attack. He had one where he dropped three stone blocks. His attack animation changed to account for the difference in attack. I’m only guessing that all special attacks will have similar expressive animations.
That’s nothing new. There were somewhat similar animations in Mega Man 8, and I enjoyed them there as well. But like I said, I irrationally love that game. Not many did. Three console generations later, I would expect them to take it to the next level.
Will Mega Man 11 scratch the itch that devotees of the Blue Bomber have desired for years? We won’t know until the game releases in 2018. I’m not going to stress about it; I still have tons of Mega Man games to tide me over. Still, it’s nice to see Capcom throw old-school dorks like me a bone.
But still…FUCK Capcom! I’m gonna be sore at you bastards until Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition drops, and I’ll probably stay sore because of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite.
…but I’m listening.