Happy 23rd, Mega Man!

Though it's been the 17th in Japan for sometime now, Mega Man is officially 23 today. Culturally, I guess there's nothing real significant about age 23, but this 23rd year for Mega Man has been anything but dull. First, the games. Even though they seem like such a long time ago, we did get a couple this year. Mega Man 10, the retro followup to Mega Man 9, came out back in March boasting even more content and features. As well, Mega Man Zero Collection hit in May, delivering a great package of games at a value price.

But perhaps more than than the games was the merchandise we got. This was a tough year not to spend money! UDON Entertainment released a slew of long-awaited localizations: Mega Man Megamix and Mega Man ZX, and just recently announced Mega Man Tribute. Bandai brought out a collection of Rockman mini-figures, and Kotobukiya started their line of high-quality Rockman model kits. Not to mention there's much more coming the following year; more from UDON, Kotobukiya, Archie and Jazwares, just to name a few!

And then there were the announcements. First we got the enigmatic reveal for Mega Man Universe, which came to light as a DIY Mega Man side scroller based on Mega Man 2. In recent months, however, there's been a complete blackout and information. What could be going on with this one?

Perhaps because it got overshadowed by one of the biggest Mega Man announcements since Mega Man 9 (I'd reckon to say bigger than that): Mega Man Legends 3. A game fans have passionately waited a decade for. And what's more, the fans get a hand in the development too! For many it's a literal dream come true...

...Only to be followed up by the departure of Keiji Inafune. Hardly a month after announcing Legends 3, a game he claimed he always wanted to make, Inafune resigned from Capcom citing uncertainty with his place in the company. Many were shocked, and it's left some speculation in how Capcom will continue to handle Mega Man.

Ah, and let's not forget Rockman Online. Even though it's a game we may never get here, it astounded fans with its sheer amount of Mega Man content and mythos rolled up together. I do feel Capcom could stand to take a page from this approach!

All-in-all, this has definitely been a memorable year Mega Man, with some large highs and large lows. But as we usher in 2011, we continue to look forward to what Mega Man has to offer.

Incidentally, today is also the 17th anniversary of Mega Man X, tomorrow will be the 13th anniversary of Mega Man Legends, and a few days ago was the 4th anniversary of Mega Man Star Force. Time sure flies, doesn't it?