Posted by: zsaberlink | March 8, 2010

Is it time for a new Mega Man series?

With the recent release of Mega Man 10 and the success of it and its downloadable predecssor, Mega Man 9, fans seem quite pleased with the Mega Man series. The idea of making an 8-bit game seemed almost ludicrous more than 2 years ago. However, these two titles have gone to show that good gameplay and level design can make gamers truly enjoy a classic series all over again. However, even with the resurgence of the classic Mega Man series, I believe it will soon be time for a new Mega Man series.  If so, what direction could they take?

Mega Man Anniversary Picture

Mega Man’s many incarnations

First, I think it’s important to understand Mega Man, his series, and their current states. Mega Man has been Capcom’s lovable mascot for over 20 years now. He has spawned many series including the classic, X, Legends, Zero, Battle Network, Star Force, and ZX series. Capcom has been also known for milking its Mega Man series, and as such there’s a large quantity of Mega Man games out there. Now you may be thinking, “He has over 6 series. Why would you need more?”

Now if you look at the series closely, there have really only been 3 types of Mega Man games. The classic, X, Zero, and ZX series have all been essentially been an evolution of the original series’ gameplay. Each time Capcom wanted to change the gameplay in a significant way, a new Mega Man series was started that had a relatively separate and new plot. While I’ll admit the changes in the X series made the series feel quite a bit different than the gameplay of the original, it was much harder to differentiate the Zero and ZX series from entries of the previous series. Secondly, we have the Legends series, which was Capcom’s first attempt to take Mega Man into 3D. However, it’s been over 10 years since the last game in the series came out, and thus it’s currently on hiatus. Finally, we have the Battle Network and Star Force series, which take Mega Man into grid-based battles using “battle chips” and add exploration in an isometric world. Of these series, currently the revived classic, ZX, and Star Force series are the only ones being produced. The latter two, however, haven’t had a sequel since 2007 and 2008 respectively. Unfortunately, as with any of the Mega Man series, I believe the novelty of the revived classic series will slowly fade away, and Capcom will eventually cease production of these downloadable classic titles. So, what options does Capcom have to take Mega Man in a new direction?

Use of the Wii Remote?

The first and probably most obvious direction is to take Mega Man to 3D. While this was done in the Mega Man Legends series, which I have unfortunately not played, I’m sure that new technology would enable a huge advancement in a 3D Mega Man adventure. From what I’ve seen of Mega Man Legends and Mega Man Legends 2, their biggest problem seems to be the camera of the two games. The game unfortunately requires the player to adjust the camera very frequently in order to navigate the towns and fight enemies around Mega Man. The camera itself could be controlled using a new control scheme, like the Wii remote’s pointing capabilities or possibly the upcoming Natal and Arc. Classic controls, like two analog sticks, could also be used to help camera control. I believe Capcom has two main options in terms of taking Mega Man to 3D.

Mega Man Legends

First, it could revive the Mega Man Legends series. With this, it would have to expand on the plot it used in the earlier games, but can update the gameplay experience to meet modern expectations of 3D games. In addition to fixing the camera, it would certainly be possible to add more gameplay elements in order to change up the series.  The advantage of this approach would be that there is already a fanbase for the series and more people are familiar with its name. The disadvantages, however, are the fact that they have to respect the story of the previous entries in the series, and probably build on top of the basic concepts used in the Legends series.

Capcom’s second choice would be start an entirely new Mega Man series for his new adventure to 3D. Mega Man himself already is quite well-known, so it may make it easier to establish a fan base for this new 3D series. The biggest advantage of this approach is that the developers would have complete freedom in how the games would play and how the storyline progresses. In addition, there would be less expectations for the game compared to being Mega Man Legends 3.

Mega Man’s 2.5D future?

Capcom could also take Mega Man into a couple other different realms. First, Capcom could create a Mega Man series focused on a multiplayer experience, like a multiplayer platformer. Capcom would have to be careful with its implementation, but after looking at New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I believe it would be possible. Secondly, Mega Man could take a pseudo-3D approach as shown in this video.  This would be an interesting concept, and I’m sure Capcom could take this idea and develop it further. Finally, Capcom could surprise us by taking Mega Man in an entirely new direction that I haven’t mentioned. Mega Man could enter different genres, like his experimental venture into the RPG realm (Mega Man X: Command Mission). I’m sure Inafune and others at Capcom have thought about the future of Mega Man just as I have, and may have had very different ideas than my own. I’m sure Mega Man fans around the globe wonder at what directions the blue bomber will take in the future, and only time will tell.

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Responses

  1. […] Article here addthis_pub = 'cortjezter'; addthis_hide_embed = false; addthis_options = 'delicious, digg, email, facebook, google, live, myspace, slashdot, stumbleupon, twitter'; Permalink […]

  2. […] Is it time for a new Mega Man series? I love the Mega Man franchise (proper), and I’ll never get enough of it. As long as there are more Mega Man/Mega Man X/Mega Man Zero/Mega Man ZX games, I can continue on being a happy gamer. With that said, is it time for the blue bomber to get a new expansion? Should there be yet another version of Mega Man introduced to gamers, or should Capcom focus on making sequels for the brands they have? Article here […]

  3. i love this character i grew up playin the legends game i couldn’t remember the name of the game but it was 3d on a ps1 type system once i saw the picture and name i knew that was it i will say i hate the newer incarnations of megaman ya know the red ones i haven’t even played any of the other games after legends i knew capcom would mess it up like every other company they too wanted to changes things. to try and make it better well all it did was turn everyone that played him,grew up on him,away.because after all these years it just isn’t the same anymore even the new young kids know that.megaman was a cool lovable character that can turn his left or right arm (dont remember) to a gun blaster now hes not even a he anymore some red long blonde girl i think. come on capcom its blue mega man not red mega girl it isnt the same change isn’t always best so no it isn’t time for a new crappy incarnation unless they bring the original blue one back then sure even ill play it but it has to stay that way plain and simple STOP FREAKIN CHANGING MEGAMAN!!!


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