Well, Would You Look at That?

Click to enlarge.

We haven't taken an exact tally, but according to Kotaku, this is one fan's collection of every (physically released) Mega Man game, all together at once. Well, Rockman, technically; we don't see anything with the Western version of the brand in the pile.

Heck, there are even what appear to be some arcade boards in there!

How does your collection compare? We have to confess; our own collections are probably shy by one or two of these.

Thanks for the tip, Riot.EXE!

Mega Man Star Force Turns 5 Today, Let's Look Back

Not unlike a comet that flares up in the sky as it makes its approach towards the sun along its orbit, today marks the fifth anniversary of the Mega Man Star Force series, which first released in Japan on December 14th, 2006.

Truth be told, I don't expect too many to pay homage to this series. It was definitely an "out there" kind of production. Its theme and formula was very similar to the successful Battle Network series. But whereas Battle Network was set in a world recognizable to our own, and rife with characters and elements borrowed from classic Mega Man, Star Force was set in a future where people wore puffy space pants and made whatever they wanted out of radio waves. Furthermore, aside from the titular hero, the game felt like it had virtually no relation to previous Mega Man series, including the very Battle Network it piggybacked off of. Ultimately, I believe it was a series that many people had a hard time connecting with, besides devoted Battle Network fans and total newcomers.

That all being said, Mega Man Star Force did get off to a good start. Releasing in three varieties right off the bat, it seemed a little like overkill. But the game's sales would approach a million worldwide, nearly matching sales of Battle Network 4. It also had a very charming story about a boy coming out of his shell, both socially and as a hero. I also really liked the interactions between Geo and Omega-Xis. Whereas Lan and Hub of Battle Network were brothers and typically very chummy, the timid Geo and gruff Mega had more of a personality disparity, with Mega often pushing Geo into awkward situations. I would have liked to see more of this.

Star Force 2, however, was where things took a slip. The game did a little more than half as well as the first. I attribute this to how much the game seemed to toss away elements from the first. After having made new friends and strengthened relationships, Geo seldom interacts with those people this time. Sonia, who wanted to get away from the stress and burden of her musical career, became a commercial sell out. And what few Battle Network elements the first game had, such as Navis and going in machines, were stripped away too.

The last formal game in the series, Star Force 3, would go on to fix a lot of these issues, but it was too little too late. Rather unfortunate, because this was the game where the series finally pulled up its pants and got to work. A very fun and engaging story, interesting characters and villains, and lots of new features expanded the battle system. But with the amount of disinterest that would be allowed to settle, this title sold the weakest of the three entries.

Geo and Mega would make their last stand in the Japan exclusive Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star. Advertised as an exciting crossover between Battle Network and Star Force, it was ultimately just a port of the original Battle Network with an additional Star Force themed scenario shoved near the end of the game.

Despite the efforts put into, Star Force fell away rather quietly. Nevertheless, there are still those who appreciate it. To this day I occasionally see banter on 2channel with people hoping for a Star Force 4. For myself, while I can see the demerits in Star Force, and the things that didn't allow the series to catch on, I still appreciate the fun I had with it.

[audio:http://www.themmnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/1-01-RnR1-Shooting-Star.mp3|titles=1-01 - RnR1 - Shooting Star]
Play us out, Shooting Star.

In Baltimore This Weekend: OtaRockman at Otakon

This weekend in Baltimore, Maryland, from Friday, July 30th to Sunday, August 1st, will be Otakon. And what has become a part of the annual Otakon experience for many a Mega Man/Rockman fan is the gathering of like-minded individuals known affectionately as "OtaRockman." Each year, a fans tend to converge for cosplay photos and Mega Man gaming tournaments, with the time and place usually to be determined at the show (as Otakon tends to keep a rather fluid schedule; it's usually held behind or near the Starbucks kiosk at the main entrance). This year, the gathering begins at 11am on Saturday.

In previous years, Mega Man Battle Network games were the order of the day for tournaments, but host Terra Stardroid has decided to shake things up this year with a Mega Man 9 tournament in which you see how far you can go in Endless Mode within five minutes.

And yes, there will be trophies for the victors... or at least, there should be, if all goes according to plan. For your chance to be a champion, be at the OtaRockman gathering at noon on Saturday.

On Saturday at 8pm in Panel 6 (Hilton Key Ballroom 1-6) (date/location may be subject to change) will be the panel "The Anime & Manga Realm of Mega Man," hosted by myself, Tabby, Terra Stardroid, Robo Nanya, and Ryouko of Rockman.EXE Online:

For the past two years our focused group of Mega Man lovers have presented comprehensive panels at Otakon, all about our famous blue bomber. This year, we have dedicated ourselves to bringing forth all the facts and interesting tidbits about the adaptations of Mega Man into both the manga and anime forms. Several of them never made it to our shores, so we're sure you'll experience something new and exciting! As always, we'll also be doing our raffle for some unbelievable prizes. Don't miss it!

We even got a "Best Panel Award" (and the photograph you see at right) from Ending B, so give it a shot if you're in the area this weekend!

What unbelievable prizes will there be? Suffice to say that we once again have the support of our friends Matt Moylan and UDON Entertainment and JGonzo of Capcom Unity, but beyond that? It's a surprise!

And if you'd like to make plans for meeting with others at the event, we have a forum thread dedicated to that right here.

What If... Mega Man Star Force Was an NES Game?

Capcom has shown quite a bit of interest in the retro side of Mega Man as of late. Mega Man 9 and 10 in 8-bit style, a DS collection of the four Mega Man Zero titles which ran through the first half of the last decade, and even a time traveling trip by the Star Force MegaMan to visit his Battle Network counterpart. Ah, yes, Mega Man Star Force... it's been a while since we've heard anything from that particular branch of the franchise, but it has apparently not been forgotten by Tarbo-san (linked blog is in Japanese). Three months were spent working on the following introduction sequence, which takes Geo back in a different way, though one Capcom has been making a bit of use of recently.

Watch, as the opening story of the first Ryuusei no Rockman/Mega Man Star Force game is re-created in the style of this Mega Man's NES-originated ancestor:

While there aren't many grievances here with the gameplay of the Star Force games (other than some of the higher encounter rates), the prospect of an 8-bit platforming version is certainly enticing. But how would it play? Better than Transmission did, hopefully!

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Summer of Mega Man Star Force 3 Contest! Win Star Force 3 and More!

gloriousprizesYepper, it's that time randomly selected again! Time for another Mega Man Network contest! Because why work for your love when we can simply buy it, like some kind of simple commodity. And you can WIN BIG! This time around, Tabby has insisted we do an artwork contest again, and none of us likes to see Tabby upset (she's scary). And with both Mega Man Star Force 3 around the corner, as well as summer, what better festivity than whittling potatoes to look like Zero's head! I'm kidding, it's a summer themed Mega Man Star Force artwork contest.

You have big chances of winning, because in this contest there will be a total of THREE winners, with the first place grand prize being a copy of Mega Man Star Force 3, the Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works art book, and a Star Force 3 mini poster! That is just cool beans!

So, check out the official contest rules and regulations. Make good note of them! Then get started on your beuaitful artistic entries! You have until June 30th, plenty of time for now but nor for long! Get crackin'!

RnROCW: The look you've been waiting for

Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works is out. People are buying it. And if you've been wanting to check out what the book holds, we've got some exclusive photos of the contents to show you. The book is pretty standard as far as the Official Complete Works series goes. It may be understandable why, when the book was first announced, it was tentatively named Ryuusei no Rockman 3 Official Complete Works - pretty much the first two thirds of the book are dedicated to that one title. Numerous pages are devoted to not just showing artwork, but slices of various levels of detail of that artwork. There's also plenty of unused stuff, such as Pirate and Angel Tribe forms.

But, you're probably just impatient for the goods. Below are 12 photographs from the book. Don't want to get too in depth for people planning on buying the book, and since Star Force 3 still isn't out yet, but I managed to still get some pretty cool contents. Enjoy!

Anime Insider Closes with Mega Man Cover

Earlier today, I discovered some sad news as I made my usual daily round to Topless Robot (no, there isn't any hardcore Roll or Alia action... under normal circumstances, anyway). It seems that the longtime Wizard publication, Anime Insider magazine, has unceremoniously seen its last issue published, with the editorial staff laid off. It is the end of an era, albeit a modest one, lasting about eight years. You can read more about it here, and leave your own thoughts as well as read those of others. So, why am I mentioning this here? As it happens, the final issue has a slightly ironic twist: To the best of my knowledge, Mega Man has never graced the cover of Anime Insider, not even with MegaMan NT Warrior. And yet, on the final issue's cover is none other than Geo Stelar's MegaMan from Ryuusei no Rockman 3. The blurb for the accompanying story is as follows:

GAME FACE 2009 is gonna be a busy year for anime gamers, so here’s a cheat sheet to get you safely through it and to the hottest games on the horizon. By Matt Hawkins

We had seen previous rumors of an online resurgence for the NT Warrior and Star Force anime series earlier this month. With any luck, this may shed a little more light on the subject.

We'll keep an eye out for the issue, and report any findings. In the meantime, how often does Mega Man grace a magazine cover any more? You might want to grab this one for collectability's sake. You can learn more about the issue at Wizard's website.

A little look at RnR Official Complete Works

After having just put up preorders yesterday, Capcom's Ryuusei no Rockman 3 site now has a page for the Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works book. While only a small preview, this should give a pretty good idea of what's to fill the book's 170+ pages. The detail is pretty amazing. rnrocwpreview

Very sweet. Additionally there's also a page for another Capcom book releasing at the same time, the Ryuusei no Rockman 3 Ultimate Guide: Battle Block Box. This book will cover all of Ryuusei no Rockman 3's secrets and such. The book also comes with a Noised Card for the game's final boss.

RnR Official Complete Works cover revealed

rnrocwRyuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works is coming soon. Coming the end of this month! While it may not be your favorite series, it's still exciting to have another huge book full of Mega Man artwork. Capcom of Japan's online store e-Capcom has unvealed the cover of the book on their preorder page, featuring snazzy artwork of the Black Ace form from the upcoming Mega Man Star Force 3. Import shops like Play-Asia ought to be getting preorders soon as well, so you can do more than just look at the cover, you can HAVE it. We'll definitely entice you with pictures once it's out, so be sure to check by in early April.

Rumor: Return of MegaMan NT Warrior & Star Force Anime Online

Recently, I lamented my inability to see the Mega Man Star Force anime, as a result of it being confined to the US-only and now-defunct Toonami Jetstream website, with the DVDs only being available in Europe's Region 2. However, it seems that there may still be hope for people like me, who would love the opportunity to see this and more of NT Warrior, as the following news comes in from Viz Media's appearance at Wondercon:

"Just got back from Wondercon, my last stop was at Viz's booth were they talked adding an assortment of licensed anime to Cartoon Network video such as Naruto, MAR, and suprise...Megaman Nt Warrior/ Star force! An official annoucnement is suppose to be coming soon, they didnt specify a date when the video service would launch." -- 102b, to Protodude's Rockman Corner

Of course, whether or not this only means the episodes that have already aired previously, such as MegaMan NT Warrior, MegaMan NT Warrior Axess, and Mega Man Star Force's first season, or further episodes from Rockman.EXE Stream and Beast, or later seasons of Ryuusei no Rockman will be aired remains unknown.

At the very least, this seems to indicate that Viz has not forgotten the property, and will hopefully capitalize on it with some new DVD releases. Combination subbed/dubbed DVDs might be a bit much to hope for, but who knows? At least hope is alive.

Ryuusei no Rockman Official Complete Works details

A Japanese online shop has some details about the forthcoming Ryuusei no Rockman (Mega Man Star Force) Official Complete Works. Most important, it has a specified release day of April 1st (hopefully not a joke). It will be 176 pages and A4 format, the same jumbo size as the OCW books for Zero and R20, and cost ¥2100 (a little over $23 US with the current exchange). As for the contents, it's pretty much what you can imagine: loads of official and conceptual artwork. This includes never-before-seen created specifically for the book. There will also be plenty of staff comments. I'm certainly looking forward to this book! News Credit: Gyroman Black

Capcom reports sales sluggish, RnR3 met expectations

Capcom of Japan released its earnings report for the third quarter of the financial year, and things aren't pretty, but they aren't bleak either. Net sales dropped 8.6 percent from last year, while net income dropped 95% from this same time last year. Capcom stated the reason for the decline is not having any flagship titles releasing during the quarter, such as the upcoming Street Fighter IV and Resident Evil 5. Another cause naturally is the current worldwide economic situation. Besides this, however, sales of Ryuusei no Rockman 3 in Japan apparently met expectations, despite being lower than the previous two series entries. Doom and gloom has been pronounced by some followers of the series previously, but if Capcom is satisfied with the number of sales then that's the important thing. After all, sales numbers alone don't give us the big picture on the success of a game.

News Credit: Kotaku and NeoGAF

RnR3: Amazing Wave Battles

As you may know, the Winter '09 World Hobby Fair has been going on in Japan, and Capcom has been there hosting Wave Battle tournaments for Ryuusei no Rockman 3 (Mega Man Star Force 3). You can catch the action for some of the top battles at Capcom's website. So far they have videos of battles from the Osaka and Tokyo conventions, with Nagoya and Fukuoka coming in the next couple of weekends. And let me tell you, these kids are pretty good. Just be warned that the videos may contain mild spoilers for Star Force 3, since they go all out with many of the special attacks. Think you could beat these guys?