From fandom to Community Manager and back again.Read More
Following appearances from Samus Aran of Metroid, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Isabelle and Mr. Resetti from Animal Crossing, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Taiko Drum Master, it seems Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is becoming Capcom's newest point of convergence for popular characters. So who else is joining in (sort of)?Read More
When it comes to the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, Capcom's approached the platform in a rather peculiar manner. After releasing Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge there some time ago, the company instead opted to begin releasing the Blue Bomber's NES library to the service as a way of celebrating his 25th anniversary. Which would be all well and good, save for the fact that we've had approximately six (give or take) other chances to get those same games already-- most of those within the past ten years. But what about the rest of the often overlooked, underplayed, but still beloved Game Boy entries?
At last, we have our answer. On Capcom Unity today, Brett Elston revealed that they are now moving forward with bringing the rest of the Blue Bomber's black-and-white battles to the service in both North America (he said "U.S.", but we're assuming he meant Canada, too) and Europe.
This is a great piece of news, as Mega Man V remains one of the coolest oddball (used in the most affectionate way possible) games in the series. Instead of Robot Masters, Mega Man fights Stardroids, and instead of a typical Mega Buster charged shot, he has a Mega Arm projectile attack (similar to the MM6/7 Rush upgrade). It's a very clever entry that's been hard to legitimately play for years, so pick it up!
Mega Man IV is equally impressive, combining aspects of the NES Mega Man 4/5 to create one new experience. I daresay it's the best of the NES mimics (I, II and III also mix enemies and bosses from the NES) and well worth a look.
For some, that might be enough, but as it turns out, there's more still as both of the gawdawfully-named Mega Man Xtreme titles are also coming to ensure that ridiculous pun never, ever dies. Of the duo, Brelston notes "Xtreme 2 is particularly interesting, with its playable Zero and DNA souls / parts system." Name aside, the latter game is definitely worth checking out for those who could use a Mega Man X fix, as it shakes things up considerably when compared to its predecessor.
The only downside to this news is that there are no release dates set yet, but those should be along in the coming weeks.
Capcom Unity has just announced that the limited edition 25th anniversary statue of Mega Man first shown at PAX East is now available for pre-order in the Capcom Store. "This was originally announced as a SDCC 2013 exclusive," notes Community Manager Brett Elston, "but the reaction was so strong we're opening the floodgates early and giving you all access months ahead of time! Take note, however - this pre-order extends only through April 25!"
The $99.95 statue is 10 inches on a 6-inch diameter base, and features USB-powered LED lights on the base, helmet, and Mega Buster. Each one is individually numbered as part of its limited availability as a Capcom Store Exclusive.
"[T]his was a labor of love between community and licensing," Elston said "and we're super happy to see it out in the wild. Along with the MM25 pin (which was a big hit during PAX, about 1000 handed out!) and the other news from the panel, this is how we aim to kick things off for the Blue Bomber's 25th - which, yes, was in December, but we're planning activity all year."
Click here if you would like to pre-order, or just check out some different pics of the statue, including some of it lit up! Do note, however, that "Images shown are not of the final product and are subject to change".
Update: Slag everything but the statue for the next two paragraphs-- Joystiq clarifies that apparently "Capcom has clarified Elston's comments, saying that a new Mega Man game has not been confirmed. The company is having "ongoing discussions about Mega Man," but it "won't announce anything until something is ready." Well, it was nice for the under hours that it lasted. Original Story: Those who believed have had their faith rewarded. Those who said it would never happen are eating crow. And whether it will be any good or not remains to be seen.
No clue was given that what would be announced by Capcom at PAX East would be anything but the usual sort of game announcements we're used to-- something new in the fighting realm, or perhaps something difficult to distinguish from so much else of what's on the market. But at the convention's World of Capcom panel, Capcom Unity community manager Brett Elston not only revealed a new light-up Mega Man statue (seen at right) to commemorate the Blue Bomber's 25th anniversary, but revealed that a new Mega Man game is indeed in the works... though they aren't quite ready to officially announce it just yet.
In other news, Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 5 come to the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console on April 25th and May 16th, respectively. Plus, on an unrelated note, there is a remastered version of Disney's DuckTales for the NES coming, complete with the cartoon's original voices.
Okay, so this one is a little late in coming. When Capcom revealed the trailer for Street Fighter X Mega Man, we noticed there were a lot of questions and a lot of confusion surrounding the anniversary release. To help alleviate this, we went around and gathered as many of the most frequently-asked and burning inquiries we could find about the game, and brought them before Capcom in the hopes of delivering to you the ultimate Street Fighter X Mega Man FAQ.
The only problem? Well, the game was released right as we were headed into the heavy holiday vacation season, and things got sidetracked-- that is, until now. Thanks to Senior Community Manager Brett "Brelston" Elston, we have answers to 16 down-right fierce questions that the community (these all came from you guys around the web; we're just along for the ride this time) have posed.
1) Is this really an official Capcom product, or just a fan game?
BE: It's true that Zong Hui began work on this game years ago as a passion project. But due to schoolwork and other obligations, it took years to even get a few bosses done, so when he approached Christian at EVO this year, our partnership made timely completion of the project possible. Zong Hui and his small team collaborated with us at Capcom USA, making this a true merging of fan game and official title. It's not the first time the Mega Man series has gone outside Capcom as well; Inti Creates largely handled MM9 and 10, as well as the entire Zero/ZX series. This is just another partnership with a team - just so happens they're "civilians," haha.
2) Did Capcom have anything to do with this besides buying it?
BE: As mentioned elsewhere, we provided financial assistance, as well as ongoing feedback regarding bosses, gameplay and other issues. Given the tight dev window, we know there are a few rough edges left, even with a dozen people looking at this. To that end, we can say we're working on a V2 that will release soon and hopefully address some of those known issues. It's not adding content, but we've been reading responses and can "tighten up" a few things before the end of the year.
3) Another NES-style game? Will Capcom ever move away from this and show some effort?
BE: I'd object to the word "effort," but the point is taken - we've done the 8-bit approach three times now, and even as someone with NES Mega Man coursing though his veins I'm eager to see something fresh. That gets into the whole "What's Next?" discussion that Christian has mentioned before... we're constantly talking about this brand and its future. Can't say what the future is, but know there IS a future.
4) Is this really how you plan to end Mega Man's 25th anniversary?
BE: Like we've said, this is the start. Japan led up to December, while in the US we had so much Street Fighter 25th Anniversary activity we had to focus on that. With that concluded (spectacularly, if I may toot our Grand Finals horn for a moment), we can kick off MM25 with SFxMM, the Avatar outfits, the 3DS ports and so on, and then come back in 2013 with more fun stuff. We're not done.
5) Why is it "Street Fighter X Mega Man?" Wasn't it originally "Mega Man X Street Fighter" before you got a hold of it? You're just trying to push more Street Fighter on us over Mega Man!
BE: There's no one major reason for the change, but rather a few small things that added up. One, we liked the idea of beginning with SF leading into MM, as that's how the anniversaries play out. Also, ending with "Mega Man" feels like it puts more emphasis on him, as it's the last thing you say when discussing the (literal) title.
6) Is this game canon to the Mega Man series? / Is this the official explanation for Dr. Light’s inclusion of the Hadouken & Shoryuken upgrades for X?
BE: Not canon, not explaining the MMX Street Fighter moves (which were in the same fun spirit as SFxMM).
7) Mega Man must obey the First Law of Robotics! So why can he just go around shooting people? / Is Mega Man fighting SF robots? I don't want to kill Chun Li!
BE: Again, it's not meant to sit and think about the "why," it's just a fun token, a special present for fans as we head into MM25. But for the sake of argument, the ending of Mega Man 7 sure blurs the line as to how far Mega Man can be pushed before harming a human :P
8) Can I use a controller instead of my keyboard?
BE: Of course, though trying to use virtual controllers can introduce problems. We’ve heard some reports of issues with certain controllers, and we hope to address some of that with the upcoming V2 of SFxMM, which is set to come out later this month. It's not adding content, but should address a handful of performance issues.
9) Why is this PC-only? Why aren't you releasing it for Mac, Steam, XBLA, etc.?
BE: PC is the easiest way to deliver a free game. Open platforms are made for this. Bringing it elsewhere requires all sorts of approvals, submissions and so on, which affect price and timing. Furthermore, once it's out for free, how many would buy the same game on a console when it's identical? Could we add more stuff and charge for a different take on SFxMM? Possibly, but there are no plans at this time.
10) Is this all we're getting for Mega Man's 25th anniversary? Do you expect this to "make things right?"
BE: There's no denying the hard year Mega Man fans have had. As a lifelong fan myself, I feel it too, but do hope SFxMM scratches the itch. It's not meant to be the best Mega Man game of all time, to make everything completely cool with the community, but rather a chance to elevate a fan effort in celebration of both franchises turning 25. I believe it succeeds on that front, and that Zong Hui made a super fun (to play and to see) product.
11) Will Capcom be doing this again with other fan games, like that Mega Man 25th anniversary game or "Mega Man X Corrupted"?
BE: As Christian's said before, SFxMM was a very organic process, and an extremely special case. It does open the door to some interesting conversations, but right now there are no further, similar plans.
12) You said that how many times the game is downloaded could affect the direction of the franchise; can you explain how? What if I want to support Mega Man/a particular MM series, but don't want more 8-bit Mega Man? And you're not going to just take this as a show of support for Street Fighter and ignore Mega Man instead, are you?
BE: The traffic to Capcom Unity on 12/17 was insane. Broke the site. That's a pretty clear sign of interest in the character and brand. But the many different versions of Mega Man get back to that "What's Next?" question; there were so many SKUs coming out rapid-fire, doing different things and hitting a similar (but slightly different) audience that it's extremely hard to make a modern Mega Man plan that addresses everything and everyone. The 8-bit gimmick is nice, and that sprite is iconic and never going away, but I'd also speculate that's not all we want to do in the future.
13) Will the special moves be performed like Street Fighter moves (i.e. D, DF, F+Attack for Hadouken)?
BE: The boss weapons are triggered like normal MM weapons, but there's one SF-style move that people have discovered...
14) Does this mean we can get a Street Fighter x Mega Man crossover comic from Archie?
BE: Considering Sonic and Mega Man are meeting in 2013, surely Ryu meeting Mega Man could happen too. But nothing on the Archie front at the moment, that I'm aware of.
15) Why is it free? There has to be some sort of catch.
BE: I suppose the only catch is you can accidentally hit ESC and close the program, haha (and yeah, that's something we're looking at for V2)
16) Is this the best we're going to get for Mega Man's 25th anniversary?
BE: When we say we've concluded MM25, that'll be for you guys to decide ;)
Thanks to Brett Elston for taking the time to answer these questions! Feel free to discuss what's been said here in the comments below.
Our next guest stepping off from the train of Mega Man memories has a name you all ought to be familiar with these days. Brett Elston, aka Brelston, one of the community managers from Capcom Unity. And Brett is a man whose love for Mega Man, I think it's safe to say, precedes him. He's been one of the driving forces behind Capcom's Mega Man related events and the 25th anniversary celebration. Also, he beat the Wily Capsule in Mega Man 7 without using any Tanks, and I think that's pretty awesome. But on top of doing all that cool stuff, Brett also took the time to answer our stable of questions. So we'll let the man have at it!
What are some notable memories you've had getting into, and otherwise playing Mega Man? Alternatively, what ways has Mega Man factored into your work?
My very first memory of Mega Man was renting the original game, probably around 1988 or so, and immediately loving it. The large, personable sprite, the amazing music, the weight put into the bosses (that opening splash with their name, their taunting pose etc was so cool, really sold the experience) all made me an instant fan. But for the longest time - who knows how long, time distortion is pretty intense when you're young - I had no idea you could switch weapons. I just played the game as standard MM with no clue as to his real power. Then one day I accidentally dropped the controller, which, on its tumble down, bumped the start button and the d-pad. Now, I knew pressing start brought up a menu, but never gave it much thought (I was seven, c'mon); that accidental tap of the d-pad moved the cursor down one notch, highlighting Bomb Man's power. Unpause, holy crap I'm green, holy crap I throw bombs, oh my god this is even cooler than I thought! This captivated my mind for years, and not long after I was making up my own stories about Mega Man, including a handful of "books" I made in 3rd grade; I've been able to hang onto one of them since 1990, cleverly titled (and spelled) "The Destrucshun."
This stuck with me forever, well into my adult years and time as a games journalist. While writing editorial content, I handled a massive MM retrospective, constant posts about the li'l guy, I even got to reveal Mega Man 9 to the world alongside Nintendo Power back in 2008. This all led to me coming to Capcom, and now I spend all day writing emails about him, haha.
What is your sentiment on the current standing of Mega Man, and what do you want to see for the future?
Not an easy question to answer, obviously. Just four, five years ago we had constant product releases featuring multiple iterations of the character. Then most of 2011-2012, not much to share at all. Both ends of the spectrum. SFxMM helps us get back on track, and I hope every fan, whether new, lapsed, angry, elated, whatever - downloads the game and gives it a try. It's a fantastic start to the anniversary.
What is your all time favorite Mega Man game (don't worry if you can't narrow it down to just one!).
Gotta go with the lame, easy answer of Mega Man 2. Back at GamesRadar, we finally got around to writing a Top 100 Games list and I absolutely insisted Mega Man 2 make the cut. If you're going to represent 2D action games with one title, I cannot fathom a better example. The pacing, the length, the design, the music, everything is spot on and perfect. There's a reason it's the go-to answer and one of the most popular games of all time.
Capcom Unity has just announced that before the year is over, the Xbox 360 Avatar Marketplace is going to be receiving a new batch of items based on Mega Man! In addition to a Mega Buster or Mega Man helmet, you can also purchase a full Blue Bomber costume, or one of the other Robot Masters from the original game: Bomb Man, Cut Man, Ice Man, Guts Man, Fire Man, and Elec Man.
Prices have yet to be announced, but for a look at all the pics, check out Brelston's post on Capcom Unity here.
Following this past weekend's reveal of Street Fighter X Mega Man and the subsequent article from IGN, Destructoid has gone on the offensive by delivering a one-two punch of features about the upcoming clash between the World Warriors and the Blue Bomber. The first article is a hands-on preview which reveals all sorts of tantalizing tidbits about the game. Among the info disclosed are who Mega Man will face, how the levels are set up, the return of the Charge Shot and slide, and what role Dan will play in the title. There's also a fun bit explaining how Street Fighter's Super Moves are implemented, and how strategy in this game is not unlike what you would use in Street Fighter IV.
The other piece explores how this project came to be in the first place, and offers a bit of hope for what is to come in the year ahead. "In my head, we were in the middle of our 25th anniversary celebration of Street Fighter," Capcom USA Vice President Christian Svensson explained. "We had started planning the Mega Man stuff a couple of months earlier, but we didn't have a good opener."
In addition, "There were four levels available at the time," Senior Community Manager Brett "Brelston" Elston said of his first time playing. "I played through and I only got maybe halfway through the first stage I played, which was Blanka at the time, and even halfway through I was just like, this is great. It feels right, the philosophy of the level design is right. The physics, the jumping -- everything feels just like it should. I immediately said go for it."
The article gets into more detail, explaining Capcom's part in the project, the length of time it took to make it happen, and even why you should make sure you download it from Capcom themselves, rather than some other source. "I would argue that if anything," Svensson says, "if we get a million downloads of [Street Fighter X Mega Man], and certainly I think that's the floor I hope to see -- it's free, it should hopefully do more than that! -- that just helps raise awareness for the brand across the board and creates fertile ground for things to happen regardless of which direction that it kind of comes in."
And for those wondering why it's being offered for free?
The shaky grounds of the Mega Man franchise over the last two years is one of the main reasons the crossover title will be free. "We would hope this is, on our end could sort of make good [to fans]," Brett explained. "Making it free, making it available to as many people as possible, helps us get back on the right track with the brand. This is just the beginning of the 25th anniversary of Mega Man, this isn't the end-all, be-all that we have to say. We're hoping the free status of the game shows that we're listening and that we care. We want to get this character, this brand, back alive."
There's plenty more to the article, so be sure to check it out!
Capcom caused quite a stir with the announcement of Street Fighter X Mega Man, the free-to-download PC game designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of both respective franchises, and right on top of things is IGN, who discuss with Capcom Senior Vice President Christian Svensson and Senior Community Manager Brett Elston the details surrounding the development of the title, more titles on Virtual Console, and their other work with Mega Man after Cancellation Day last year. Right off the bat, Svensson gets down to what the feelings were around the office following the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3, which itself was preceded by the cancellation of their other big Blue Bomber title of the time, Mega Man Universe:
"After the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 and Universe, there was a cooling down period where even discussing the prospect of a Mega Man title was difficult. The wounds were still fresh for us (just as they were for fans). We’re at a point now where it’s not as painful and constructive discussions are happening again."
The article goes on to explain the problem Capcom ran into with oversaturating the market with Mega Man games, and on how the Street Fighter X Mega Man project came about:
This new 'cross' entry is a fascinating project, as it's not even something Capcom sought out. At EVO 2012, SF X Mega Man developer Seow Zong Hui approached Svensson, brandishing a laptop with a couple demo levels operational. Sensing an opportunity to do something special, Svensson quickly assembled a few key Mega Man fans from the Capcom office, including senior community manager Brett Elston, as a sanity check, to make sure what Zong Hui had developed was as good as it seemed. It was, and Capcom brought in some of its resources to assist in the game's development.
As for why the game is only available as a PC download, there are a few reasons, though they express the possibility of a console release at a later date:
The selection of the PC as the distribution platform was fairly simple considering Zong Hui was not a licensed console developer. The implications and costs associated with attempting to arrange that would be incredibly steep, and Capcom was eager to keep this project free for fans. Svensson admits that it might be possible to release the game on other open platforms, but focusing on just one was necessary to make the December 17 launch.
Looking beyond the anniversary tie-in, the off-again, on-again subject of a robot reboot came up. In addition to Svensson's thoughts on the matter of dealing with the background of a seven-series franchise, Elston added, "If you’re worried about an overly gritty “M” rated, third person cover-based shooter, don’t be."
For more of Svensson's thoughts on working with Hui on the game and Mega Man's future, check out the full article over at IGN.
Two is better than one. That's just science! So we're giving you a show with double the hosts and double the guests. While Heat Man and myself (Main Finger) fight for ultimate podcast host supremacy, returning guest Greg Moore and newcomer (both to the show and the company) Brett Elston must battle to the death to find out who is the biggest Mega Man fan at Capcom Unity.
After the standard interview, Heat Man decides to put Brett to the test with a pop quiz of mega proportions. We then talk about Heat's adventures at Tamashi Nation and his journey to get the comic version of the X figure along with other wacky Japan adventures that may or may not involve Maid Cafés. Speaking of Japan, we spend some time admiring the effort of Rockman fans building up a community and talk about Rockman Unity. To top it all off, we discuss the logistics of trollin'.
All this and more on our double Capcom employee infused, Mega quizzical podcast: Capcom vs. Capcom.