It’s 2015. Mega Man hasn’t seen an “official” release since Street Fighter X Mega Man in 2012 and that game was originally a fan-made title, eventually published by Capcom. Other than that Capcom has been quiet on the Mega Man front. His spiritual successor, Mighty No. 9, is slated for release in April of 2015, but the blue bomber has been seemingly laid to rest.
Keiji Inafune is one of video gaming’s greatest developers. While working for Capcom he gave us Mega Man, Onimusha, and Dead Rising. Ever since Inafune left Capcom a few years ago all Mega Man projects have been cancelled or shelved. While he did show up in Super Smash Bros. last year, it’s not what we as gamers deserve. We NEED more Mega Man! Here are some reasons I drummed up.
The World Needs The Retro Explosion to Continue
If you’ve paid any attention to video games over the past five years, retro is BACK! Games don’t always have to look the part, but the 2D and 2.5D games have enjoyed quite the resurgence. Mario has gone back to 2D, as has Donkey Kong. Releases like Shantae and Guacamelee have showcased that even great NEW games can still look like classic games. Lastly, Shovel Knight was a strong contender for GOTY both in this publication, as well as other gaming outlets all over the world. There is still a lot of things that can be done with 8-bit and/or 2D style graphics, and Mega Man should reap those rewards! Mega Man often is labeled as a series for its time, it worked in the 80s and 90s but wouldn’t work by today’s standards. That’s why he should just be left to continue in the retro. 8-Bit graphics work (see Mega Man 9 & 10) but I also think that he could use a nice modern overhaul, as seen in Donkey Kong Country Returns or New Super Mario Bros. With more 2D games coming out over the next few years, it shouldn’t be a stretch to give Mega Man back his sweet, electronic groove.
Mascots Bring a Sense of Fun and Joy to the World
Sonic, Mario, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, all still have games coming out each year. Though some are awful (Sonic Boom), there are still some great games hanging in there with the best of them! Sonic Generations is a great example of how Mega Man can work. Kids still clamor over Sonic and Pokemon. I thought Sonic was long gone until I started talking with some of my younger cousins who eat, sleep, and dream hedgehogs. There’s a relevance for mascots today, and with the growth of cartoons like Sonic Boom and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, these characters can easily cross into other mediums. I used to LOVE the old Mega Man cartoon so much that I would wake up extra early on Saturdays to watch it. I think kids today would absolutely tune in to see the Blue Bomber in action, especially if he looked more like he’s supposed to: Big head, little body, blaster master. While the mascots were dead for a while, the retro boom helped bring them back AND create new mascots (see: Shovel Knight). There is a joyous nostalgia and perennial innocence to these characters, they’re what the world needs when many other aspects feel so grim.
We Need Good Gameplay
What makes classic Mario games so good? Tight gameplay that is both deep and rewarding. These games are still great today. They still manage to feel fresh wile being decades old. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time in this new year sitting down and relearning the greatness from Mega Man. Whether it’s Mega Man or Mega Man X3 these games are timeless. While MMX7 and X8 took some major risks that didn’t quite hit, the classic gameplay is still incredibly sound. With the combination of the retro-splosion and the accessibility of games on a magnitude of platforms this already great gameplay can be easily expanded upon. I want good and new Mega Man games on my phone, 3DS, and all major consoles. Mighty No. 9 is a great “spiritual successor” but it’s still not the Mega Man we deserve.
He’s Back in the Spotlight in Super Smash Bros
We can no longer say that Mega Man is a forgotten character! Smash Bros. brought the Blue Bomber back to us and we need to hang onto him. I hope that he doesn’t fade into obscurity and that Nintendo continues to use him in future installments of their amazing fighting series. Commonly Mega Man had been shot down because he was a relic, something that worked very well in the late 1980s and 1990s and young kids don’t know Mega Man from a Power Ranger (if they know a Power Ranger). I think that Nintendo has been optimal in bringing back Capcom’s prodigal son. Nintendo has pushed Rock and friends quite a bit over the past year. It could have to do with him being in Smash Bros. or even that he spent most of his formative years on Nintendo consoles. That being said if Nintendo supports Mega Man then so should we! More Mega Man games please?
The World Needs Fun
I’m sick of looking at Game of the Year posts and continuously seeing super-serious and grim games. 2014 did spice things up a bit with Hearthstone, Shovel Knight, and Bayonetta 2, but why should it stop there? In the end gaming is about fun and we need Mega Man style fun. We DESERVE Mega Man fun like we may have had during his hayday. Future generations can sit down and play Mega Man and they have every right to. Epic RPGs, realistic shooters, and mature action games are great, but I think we need some blaster time. Just get those thumbs ready!
I love Mega Man and all of his games. I’m also super excited for Mighty No. 9 as its essentially a new Mega Man game from his creator. I just think that we’re owed some new stuff from the Blue Bomber, he’s earned his spot in videogame history and I hope that he retains some level of fandom. We can’t forget about the little blue robot who could.