Rockman Xover First Impressions - Yeah, It Sucks

Well, here we are. The most infamous Mega Man game ever made is now out in Japan. The level of hatred this title has accrued is practically viscous. And yet, even now with the released game in my hands, I can't bring myself to hate it, or hate Capcom for making it. I mean come on, it's a game. Maybe it's just me, but even as huge of a Mega Man fan as I am, I just feel like, if I'm gonna take the energy to hate something, it's gonna be something more important than this.

But I'm also going to tell you like it is. And Rockman Xover is really nothing special. But you knew that already. We all expected as much. In honesty, the game's gameplay and design is passably amusing. What really bogs it down, however, are the glitches and other oddities I've ran into. And moreover than that, dealing with switching my iPad between two regions has been seven times more frustrating than anything this game has thrown at me.

The top video is my first 20 minutes with the game. I do apologize about the sound quality; the recording device was actually recording from the iPad's mic and not the game's direct audio. Fortunately I more or less kept quiet (though see if you find the one spot where I react to the game's "variety" in stages, hehehe).

Once you've watched that, you can press on to see my additional details and gripes about the game. We're going down the rabbit hole, and there's no coming back.

So as you know, the game is free to play, meaning that you can always try it out without any risk if you have a corresponding iOS device (and I won't mince words here: if you buy an iOS device to play this game, you are an idiot). So what does cost money? As it turns out, Rockman Xover has two currency systems. The first is zenny, which is earned from every enemy you beat. But there is also a currency called "crest" (kuresuto... yeah I dunno), which you can only gain by purchasing in real money. Crest can be bought in quantities ranging from ¥85 to ¥5,700.

Crest is used to buy premium Battle Memory cards, as well as assist items such as E-Tanks, P-Tanks and Rescue Calls. Zenny, meanwhile, can be used to buy standard Battle Memory, or items that you can gift to friends. These items will also be gifted to you the more days you play the game.

The gameplay itself is largely the same as the small bit we showed you before. Funnily enough, they even threw in a tutorial, just in case the concepts of jumping and shooting are mystifying to you. Curiously, the progress meter that was on the bottom of the screen is now gone. Enemies will drop Battle Memory cards and usually one map piece per stage. Annoyingly, the game gets paused every time you pick one of these it up so it can show it to you. As easy as the gameplay is, it can throw you off if you grab a card while trying to jump. Enemies also drop items to refill your EP and PP.

EP and PP themselves are another kind of currency, in a sense. You spend EP to play quests and PP to play team battles. EP and PP refill over time, but enemies tend to drop refill items enough that running out never became an issue. Furthermore, when you level up you can points you can spend to increase your EP, as well as the cost allotment for carrying Battle Memory cards.

The stages themselves have been pretty underwhelming so far. In fact, they've all been the same stage! Every stage in World 1 is the same city background, with the same music and same two enemies (Raybit and Batton Bone from MMX). No matter what boss you pick in the world, it's always the same stage. The bosses themselves are pretty uninteresting; even elementally themed characters like Flame Mammoth and Spark Mandrill just jump on you or punch you every turn. Of course, the bosses so far are all Lv. 1; they may gain new attacks as they become stronger. Bosses also have their own Battle Memory cards, though I have yet to see them put to use. Beating a boss wins you an armor piece on top of the XP and zenny and such.

The "auto" button is also gone, it appears. However, before boss battles, the game will ask if you want the battle to play automatically or not. Since boss battles are basically back and forth slap fights, I'm guessing this feature is here to speed along what is otherwise an inevitable outcome, depending on your stats.

You can also have the game automatically chose the most optimal Battle Memory cards to put in your deck, which I personally find preferable. Looking over the sea of cards you'll quickly accumulate and comparing their various stats can be time consuming. I'm also not sure if there's any way to sell or otherwise discard cards you don't want. You can also spend zenny to power up your cards.

In spite of everything, there are some things I like about the game. It definitely, even if just a little, has a certain sort of... "charm" to it. Despite being a very simplistic game with little effort put into presentation, you do get the feeling that the creators had some interesting ideas. I really do like the idea of a Mega Man card game with cards based on all the enemies and support characters from all the series. Also, I can't help myself, I really do like OVER-1's design. It's a clean, balanced design that combines attributes from various series. I even like his silly furry boa.

It also is mildly fun to play through and see what kinds of cards you get. Even when I'm tired of jumping and shooting, I still want to press forward a little and see what else I can get. After all, that is the appeal to these kinds of games. Capcom is really banking that you'll cash in on some crest to get nice cards. I might, considering that I was forced to buy an iTunes card to even register a Japanese account in the first place. *muffled curses*

But, let's get to the bad. And oh yeah, all the social RPG and death of Mega Man stuff aside, there is quite a bit of bad. Primarily, the game is pretty glitchy and has major issues with its account system.

So, in the first bit I played (video above), I didn't run into any problems. However, after hassling with getting the video footage off of my iPad, when I tried to run the game again it just didn't want to work. The screen would blink for a moment, as if trying to load the program, then it went right back to the home screen. I have no idea if this was an error that occurred from switching my iPad account between regions or what, but in the end I had to delete and re-download the game to make it work.

And that's where problem number two comes in. There is, so far as I can tell, no way to recover a game account. In fact, when I made my original account I didn't even make a password for it. There is the option to link your account with Twitter or FaceBook, but I didn't since, honestly, I don't care. So after reinstalling, I was forced to make a new account, with my original just floating out somewhere in the void. I'm thankful that I didn't use any special item cards from magazines, because those would have certainly been burned. My new account is now linked to Twitter (which, so far as I know, does nothing). I guess if I ever have to reinstall the game again, I'll see if that helps in recovering the account.

Additionally, I've run into some crashes and such while playing the game, which is pretty unusual for something running on iOS. I don't know if my WiFi connection is bad, or maybe the servers for the game are just overactive right now, but there have been a number of instances where the game just stops loading, or pulls up a 500 error internet page. Other times the game just shuts down randomly in mid-play. I really can't find any trigger to it, though I suspect it's due to a weak connection. Thankfully, your quest progress is saved (each quest is composed of four to five stage segements), otherwise every crash would mean wasted EP.

I've yet to try out any of the other features, such as the team battles and Master Boss. I kind of want to get the ropes better before venturing into the social stuff, although I have had a few random people send me friend requests (between each stage you are shown three random players whose profiles you can browse).

And that's pretty much it. Long story short, a mildly charming time waster that doesn't even come close to satisfying a core Mega Man fan. And although you might say that the game is intended for other audiences, the content is inserted with Mega Man fans in mind, for sure. For people who don't like or don't know about Mega Man, I'm not sure what appeal this game would have next to the 300 other games that are the same thing.

And I've written more about this game than anyone has any right to. Interesting idea, Capcom, but please give me a real Mega Man game to review next time! ;)