So, Capcom wasn’t kidding when they planned to publish a fan’s Street Fighter X Mega Man project as a free download for Mega’s 25th anniversary (the original Mega Man was released in Japan on this date way back in 1987, and the first Street Fighter’s 25th happened a bit earlier this year). Considering how much crap the Blue Bomber’s had to go through over the past two years (promising projects getting cancelled, mediocre iOS games taking their place, and that whole silliness with Street Fighter X Tekken), fans like myself were starting to wonder if there’d be any good Mega Man-related news.
Just before going to work, I hit the Capcom-Unity website to try it out. At about 34 MB, it’s not a terribly large file, but it took me several minutes to download (possibly because of high server load). It’s just like most of the standard games from the “Classic” series, but instead of the usual eight Robot Masters at the end, Mega Man takes on eight of the more popular characters from across the Street Fighter universe – Ryu, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Blanka, Rose, Rolento, Urien, and Crimson Viper. The levels are modeled closely to look like each fighter’s stage (Ryu’s level takes place inside a mountain and is filled with fire-shooting enemies; Rolento’s takes place on a construction site and has lots of mechanical enemies, including the familiar helmet-wearing Metools, etc.), and the tunes are a mix of that fighter’s theme and one of the Robot Masters.
At the end of each stage, you face off against the fighter you selected as if it were a standard boss battle. Each fighter retains his/her own set of moves from their games, along with a super attack that triggers once their Revenge Gauge (shown right next to their life meter) is filled. Winning each fight, of course, nets you a move out of their arsenal, from the obvious (Ryu’s Hadoken, Chun-Li’s Lightning Kick, etc.) to the not-so-obvious (Blanka’s watermelon-based Tropical Hazard, which is used a lot like the Mega Ball from Mega Man 8). Evidently, each character is weak against a certain fighter’s attack, but I’ve yet to figure out which one is which, as I’ve only beaten four stages so far.
There is one big caveat, though: your progress through the game isn’t saved, so you’ll have to be good enough to finish the game in a single sitting (though you do still get unlimited continues). It’s something of a letdown, since every game from the second one onward at least had a way to let you pick up where you left off after a bit of a break. If you’re not dissuaded by that, then the decent challenge level and the great renditions of the Street Fighter stages and music should be enough to keep you coming back. Go ahead and download it…Mega Man needs all the support he can get these days.