That little blue robot’s sure come a long way. He’s been a lab assistant, a reluctant warrior, a treasure hunter, and even a computer program. He’s faced foes from Dr. Wily to Dr. Doom. He’s spanned over 40 games on nearly every major gaming console since the late 1980s, and even some of his pals have gotten their own games as a result. You’d think he’d be ready for retirement, but oh no, Mega Man’s still got plenty of life left in his circuits.
So where does Capcom’s beloved franchise go from here? The original series is getting a small shot in the arm this spring, with the release of Mega Man Anniversary Collection. There’s rumors that a similar collection will follow for the Mega Man X series, but we shall see. Like I’ve said before, what fans really want is Mega Man 9, especially if it bridged the gap between the original series and the X series. Capcom’s made no mention of this, and I have a feeling it may never come to pass. We’ll just have to see how well the Anniversary Collection sells. We won’t even begin to talk about the horrible action figures from Jazwares…ugh.
Speaking of X, there’s already talk of a possible Mega Man X8. Unfortunately, it’s going to follow the same 3D model as X7, which was messy. Hopefully they’ll fix the goddamn camera this time around! There’s absolutely NO excuse for not having an option to automatically make the camera face forward! While we’re at it, no more of this “unlocking” Mega Man X bullshit. If it’s an X game, X should be the main character from the get-go, not Zero or some new guy they literally just introduced! At least we’ve got Mega Man X Command Mission to look forward to. That game will mark X’s first foray into the world of RPGs; not only that, it’ll be the first MM RPG that’s not a separate series! To make things more interesting, MMXCM will be more of a “classic” RPG, where you actually have a party of characters doing battle, rather than just one (i.e., Mega Man Battle Network).
Then there’s the whole matter of Mega Man Legends 3, which rivals Mega Man 9 for the title of “most wanted MM game.” The Legends team was assigned a new project a few years back, and the fruit of that project was Mega Man Battle Network. The Legends series doesn’t seem to be forgotten, though; interview snippets here and there hint that Capcom’s not quite done with Rock, Tron, Data, and all the rest. Plus, Mega Man Legends 2 did end on quite a cliffhanger; c’mon, Capcom, give us one more game, so we can at least bring Mega Man back to Earth!
Regardless of how the other games fare, Mega Man Battle Network seems to be unstoppable. I’ve already spoken about its insurmountable popularity in Japan, but MegaMan.EXE’s got quite a following stateside, too. Four games so far, with two more due in 2004. Not bad, considering the series is less than three years old. Even though we got f*cked in the ass as far as the anime is concerned, let’s pray that we’ll get some figurines or something to take away that sting. There’s plenty of Robot Masters left to make EXE versions out of, so I think we’ll see piles and piles of MMBN games before Capcom moves on to something else.
Finally, I think we can expect a Mega Man Zero 3 next year, given the monster cliffhanger at the end of Mega Man Zero 2. There’s still much to explain, and with many of the game’s enemies still alive, Zero will never be short on foes.
So where does Mega Man fit into the grand scheme of things? In a world of mindless FPS clones, GTA clones, and other assorted drivel, it’s nice to know there’s still some quality gaming to be had. He’s had his stumbling blocks, but Mega Man rarely lets us down. He’s got a rabid fanbase in the US, albeit some are sick f*cks who make Mega Man fanzine-porn. I’m not kidding. The worst are the lifeless fangirls who for some odd reason have made Mega Man X and Zero “gay.” The whole concept is ludicrous in and of itself: gays are homosexual, right? Robots can’t be homosexual, since they’re not any type of sexual to begin with! You need to be biological in nature, not mechanical. Sheesh. Apparently, the whole gay video game character thing is much more far-reaching (with Cloud and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII being a popular “couple” in that regard), but come on, these are just robots. Leave the mythos alone, and get a life.
Now then…quit reading this, and go play some Mega Man games!