So having gone all the way out to Tokyo to give it a try, what do I think of the title? Well, not much honestly. Which is pretty much what I expected. Everything about the game lived up to what I imagined it being since reports started coming out. And while I'm certainly not taken by it, I can't find it in me to be angry at it since, for what it's supposed to be, it might actually be amusing.
In truth, there is still a lot to Xover that has yet to be shown, making it difficult to wholly judge this game now. It's really surprising how brief the demo was, considering this is such a simple game that's probably coming out by the end of next month.
Anyway, time to go more in depth (on what little we can).
The video above may be brief, but it gives a solid idea of how a stage in Rockman Xover plays. You automatically run forward in a forced scrolling stage, and jump and shoot at the oncoming enemies. In the demonstration stage, this was as simple as it could get, with enemies just sitting in the ground or hovering in midair at the height of OVER-1's jump. You automatically charge your weapon as well, enticing you to wait until the last moment to attack so you can blow through a row of enemies. A graphic appears for hitting chains of enemies (1 Hit, 2 Hit, etc.) but I don't know if there's a bonus for getting chain attacks. Defeated enemies drop life and weapon capsules, as well as cards (presumably "Battle Memory" items).
For the boss battle I didn't get to play, I'm relying on Conrad Zimmerman's fantastic hands-on at Destructoid. When facing bosses, the game becomes a simple turn based RPG system. You and the enemy take turns attacking, and you have a couple different attacks to chose from. You also build up energy from taking damage, allowing you to fire more powerful attacks in return. Presumably, you will be able to summon friends' characters into battle to help you out, or at least do so in another mode.
There is still much left to be revealed, however. There was no sign of how the card-based upgrade system works, briefly shown off in the game's promotional trailer. There was also no look into OVER-1's various forms, also hinted at in said trailer. And of course, there are other modes, such as "Team Battle" and "Master Boss" were not playable in the demonstration. Personally, I imagine the customization aspect of the game may be its true meat and potatoes, while much of the gameplay itself will just be grinding for experience and new cards. But, that really depends on how much depth the customization system has.
If there is anything I can gripe about on Xover, it would be its production value. Granted, I wouldn't expect much being a mobile game and all. But most games for iOS by professional companies tend to look better than this. Perhaps the character animations are so stilted in an attempt to harken back to classic Mega Man visuals, but I think it's more likely that the small production team just doesn't want to create too many sprites. And for a game that's meant to be a crossover for all Mega Man series, it's a shame the enemies all seem to be ported over from the Mega Man X iOS game so far.
As well, I couldn't really hear the audio to the game in all the ruckus of TGS, but according to CAP Kobun, the music and sounds are from previous games; the demo used X1's opening stage and boss battle themes. No indication if there's going to be any other original music like the catchy tune from the trailer, which is also a disappointment.
But as much as the game is underwhelming, I just can't get irate over it. Namely because it's not in my nature, but also because for being a simple mobile game, I think it could be interesting. It's definitely nothing that will satisfy the cravings in dedicated Mega Man fans, but I always expected that. The game is reportedly free to play, so if you already have a supporting iOS device, there's no reason you shouldn't at least try it.
I do get where the anger comes from. This simply isn't the Mega Man game that fans want to see. And heck, I'm with you guys; if I had my way I'd love to see a luxurious new Mega Man game on dedicated game hardware and packed to the brim with content. But I don't think that desiring some imaginary super Mega Man game that Capcom just won't make automatically turns Xover to crap. Xover would still be Xover, regardless of what climate of emotion it were released in.
Rockman Xover will be releasing for iPhone 3GS/4/4S and iPod touch models generation 3 and higher. It is also playable on iPad although its resolution is not designed for iPad. Capcom has confirmed that the game will release in North America and Europe, but have not yet given a time frame.
Many great thanks to Kyle Fyfe, my on-hand cameraman, who braved getting yelled at every time he held up his camera! You were a tremendous asset, Kyle! Also, a shout out to Sensei-Hanzo. It was nice to meet you finally, if only a brief time!
Additional images from 4gamer.net