The Mega Man Network's Interview with Keiji Inafune

Signing Mega Man 2!

Signing Mega Man 2!

As we mentioned a few days back, The Mega Man Network was able to schedule an interview with "the Father of Mega Man," Keiji Inafune, following his hugely popular panel at PAX Prime. We picked a number of questions that readers submitted, along with several questions about his new project,Mighty No. 9.   We alternated questions with Ryan King of 100,000 Strong For Bringing Back Mega Man Legends 3 as best we could, and sometimes we wound up combining our questions and posing various questions as follow-ups to each other's inquiries. The transcript below has some questions that were asked out of order, but we grouped them together in a more logical manner for the site.

Another huge thank you to Mark MacDonald of 8-4 Ltd. for helping to facilitate this exclusive interview, Ben Judd for being an amazing translator and all around cool guy, and of course, a huge thank you to the one and only Inafune for deliberately reaching out to the fans a whole day earlier than the interview sessions he will be holding with the larger gaming websites.

Read on to find out a juicy (non-)tidbit of Mega Man 9, how Mighty No. 9 will change the Japanese gaming industry, and his thoughts on bridging the gap between the Classic and series!

The Mega Man Network: My first question is kind of strange, we know a lot of Mega Man characters were named after musical terms. Was the character "Rush" named after the Canadian progressive rock band, Rush?

Keiji Inafune:  Actually, for Rush, there was a game Rush 'n' Crash that Capcom had made earlier that I liked a lot. For the name "Rush," there was not necessarily a musical reference.

TMMN: We know you are sort of limited in what you can talk about in terms of your work with Capcom, but do you know what the last secret of Mega Man 9 is, and if you do, could you tell us?

KI: Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what what that is. Even if I did, I wouldn't be able to talk about it because it was during my time at Capcom, but honestly I do not know what you are talking about.

TMMN: What was a concept you wish you had pursued in a Mega Man game but never had a chance? Were such concepts going to be included in the PSP remake series and/or will they find a place in Mighty No. 9?

KI: For Mighty No. 9, we are still in the conceptual phases. There are still a lot of questions that are still out there, and we are right now searching for the answers. Obviously, if it gets funded, then we'll get the chance to find those answers and delve and make something great. It can be said, without going into any specific game feature, that there's lots of things that I wanted to do in the Mega Man titles and did not necessarily get the chance, that now, with Mighty No. 9 and with fan support, I would love to put in as much as I can.

TMMN: Do you think production of Mega Man Legends 3 could be revived once there is some change at Capcom?

KI: *laughs* Unfortunately, you'll have to ask that of Capcom that question because it is their intellectual property. So whether they choose to use it or not use it, that is completely up to them. But so long as they have the rights to the IP, the potential for them to turn back and use the IP will always be there. I certainly would not say it is zero.

TMMN: Did you know or were you part of a long-ago decision for Mega Man to be included in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS?

KI: No, I had nothing to do with that at all, I learned about it at E3 with everyone else. When I saw it I thought "Oh, well that's great!" I'm a big fan of Smash Bros., and I'm happy that I saw that.

TMMN: What would you say was the greatest triumph and the greatest disappointment of your career?

KI: The thing that I am most proud of, my biggest triumph, would be when I first became head of R&D at Capcom. Capcom was not in a good place, and I was able to come up with some good ideas and some good games, basically make some key changes in the company to turn it around. Turning around a company, a publisher of that size, making it go from down to up is a major deal, so I'm very proud I was able to do that.

As far as areas in which I have failed, I've got tons of failures under my belt, no doubt about it. The one that is probably the biggest would have to be when I left Capcom. That last day, leaving the company-- there were a lot of memories, feelings that came with it. It wasn't of course, 100% according to plan, but having it end was probably something that did not happen the way I wanted it to, and that will be something that stays with me.

Comcept logo

Comcept logo

TMMN: It has been several years since you've left Capcom to form Comcept, partially due to what you called the "salaryman problem." How do you combat such complacency at Comcept?

KI: So, there is no 100% perfect solution to the "salaryman problem." What I have adopted as a method is to, on a weekly basis, have a team meeting and basically I share what my thoughts are. I share what I feel ought to be how they should feel about game design, how much they should love the projects they are working on and hopefully through my teachings it will lessen that issue. Of course, there will be some people that are too busy to attend these meetings and naturally may follow in that same problem. I would like to think that the time and energy I spend will help reduce that problem from happening.

TMMN: While Capcom may have issues with the "salaryman problem", would you be opposed to Capcom giving the Mega Man intellectual property to an outside team with a good track record, like WayForward?

KI: Whether you choose to take your IP and give it to an outsourced developer or not, it really comes down to the company, the publisher's, the IP owner's strategy. Now there are lots of different ways to think about production and development, but I would hope that if they were considering outsourcing Mega Man to another developer, like WayForward, I hope that they would pursue proper due diligence, and find out during the due diligence first and foremost if the love is there or not, because you'll know if the team is just doing it for money, or if they are doing it if they love it and you will be able to tell in the final product.

TMMN: In many games, there are hints of how the various Mega Man series link together. Was there a plan to link the various series more explicitly and/or permanently end a series for storyline purposes? [Note: GMOTM had a very similar question about the nature of Classic and X, and the answer to that is included as well. --Ed.]

KI: The Classic and X series are in the same world, just a few hundred years apart. There are many small tie-ups, such as we know that Zero was built by Dr. Wily, so you already know that the two series are tied together. Those are two series that stand on their own, and when you see a lot of cross-ups, something that people often say is "Oh, I'd really like to see Superman and Batman, or I'd like to see Aliens vs. Predator," and it is something in its very simplest form is a tie-up that people come up with.

But I think, as a creator, that if you feel the need to crossover your series that are not particularly related with the backstory and put them together in the same game, then you are kind of mixing things in a blender and that is pretty much the writing on the wall that you are jumping the shark [Warning: TV Tropes link. --Ed.]. Even if I stayed at Capcom, I would not have pursued such a crossover where you would play as X characters in a Classic series or vice versa. That would mean the brand would be dead to me.

TMMN: Was it frustrating to have to compromise on your visions for characters and games in the Mega Man series? Such as what you were discussing today about Zero not being the main character of the X series, how was it having some other design decisions made and influenced by higher-ups at Capcom? And how did you deal with such frustration?

KI: At the time... a truly mature creator is someone who realizes that you cannot always get what you want. You really have to pick your battles, but that you have to have your heart in the right place. Back then, my heart was in the right place; I wanted to do what was right for Capcom. So that would mean sometimes I would fight against upper management when they were doing something bad for Capcom, whether they knew it or not, and sometimes that would mean I would listen to them, even if it was not how I personally felt, if I thought that was going to be good for Capcom. So again, when you are a mature creator you sometimes push for things that are important and sometimes you are open to doing something that you would not have otherwise thought because it is better for the whole.

TMMN: Were some concepts that you originally intended to include in Mega Man 3, such as the Rush Drill and other concepts, going to find themselves in a PSP remake? Will such concepts find themselves in Mighty No. 9, or were they more centric to just MM3 or Mega Man as a whole?

KI: Yeah, back then, I was a different creator. I have gained a lot of experience and wisdom from the past several years and that sort of concept would fit games back then and would have made sense. But for something nowadays, it would not necessarily fit, so what I want to do with Mighty No. 9 is do something new and innovative that fits that sort of style of game.

TMMN: Across the various series, a huge number of characters were created. Which was your favorite character? [Note: GMOTM asked first about a Robot Master, we followed up with any character. --Ed.]

KI: That would have to be the first character I designed from the ground up, and that would be Elec Man. It's sort of the first person you fall in love with, and when it comes to the first boss you design you know it's something you'll never forget, and it becomes a part of you.

I guess if I had to open it up, if you would say any character in any of the series, it would have to be Zero, as I said today at the event. Actually, before I let Inti Creates create a game with Zero in it, I never let anyone at Capcom touch Zero's design at all. I was always the only person that could redesign or adjust or work with that character, so that's how much, how protective I was with this character I created.

TMMN: The Classic Mega Man series (and to some extent, the X series) is essentially run, jump, and shoot. Over time, you and your teams added new concepts incrementally, such as the slide, Rush, the shop, versatile weapons, etc. Eventually, you reduced the number of these concepts. How did you decide on which concepts to still include in the more recent installments?

KI: These are really two different kinds of questions. In terms of the charged shot and slide, we felt that Mega Man 1 and 2 were very pure in terms of the movement and controlling the character, the spacing and where you would be. Because you did not have these other tools at your command, you really had to control the character very well. You could not rely on the additional damage that the charged shot would do, you could not rely on being able to slide out of a situation. So it really made you rely on your base instincts like Mega Man 1 and 2 did, and that's what they wanted to focus on with Mega Man 9, to go back to the basics. In terms of the shop, if you consider what current gaming trends are, this would fit certainly with a retro-style game like Mega Man 9, which is why they made that choice.

TMMN: And the reduction in items in favor of weapons with dual uses?

KI: Yes, pretty much again we wanted to go back to the purest roots of what Mega Man was. And it wasn't about bells and whistles, even though the Rush stuff was not too much, the idea was to go back to what Mega Man 1 was, back to the roots and there wasn't anything like that. You just had the basic Master Weapons and a normal buster and there was no sliding or anything like that.

TMMN: During the development of Mega Man 9 and 10, were there any discussions about restarting the X series? And speaking of series development, some that think that Mega Man & Bass has some signs of being its own sub-series, was that ever an idea?

KI: We're getting into an area where I cannot answer. That does not mean there's some big conspiracy behind it, it just means that this was my previous job and I'll able to speak much more about my current work than things in the past.

We can do it!

We can do it!

TMMN: Switching gears, what do you believe will be the greatest difference between the Mega Man series and Mighty No. 9? If you had to pick one concept or a few concepts, should we be expecting to be wildly different between the two?

KI: This will probably not be the answer you were thinking, but for me, what makes Mighty No. 9 so different from Mega Man is while we did elicit boss designs and contests like that with fans for Mega Man, we have never really, ground-up made the game with fans. So what makes Mighty No. 9 unique is that he is your Mighty No. 9, he is the fans' Mighty No. 9. The fans are making it together, and that is not something that Mega Man has.

TMMN: What is it like to work with a lot of experienced team members who were there for some of the original games, such as Manami Matsumae (the music composer of Mega Man 1) and members of the IntiCreates team in making Mighty No. 9

KI: Honestly, being able to work with these classic members that I have worked with twenty years ago, being able to do that again is like putting on a comfortable old pair of shoes. It is really nice, they are able to bring the kind of nostalgic feeling of working together when we were younger, when everything was new and fresh and there is this sort of support that goes on between the older members of the team, so it is good to have that.

TMMN: And what do you hope to achieve with this game and with Comcept in general, especially in relation to the gaming industry in Japan?

KI: In terms of what this means and what I want people to take away from this, certainly the game industry, for me and for Japanese developers, they don't really know about Kickstarter. It is not something that is super-popular in Japan, but it is something they should know and take notice of, because it allows creators a lot more opportunities to make content that they know their fans will love. In an ideal situation, Kickstarter will get more and more popular in Japan, independent creators will take more and more chances, they will be able to get the money they need to create the experiences that their fans and gamers really want to play. That will create more game content, more game content that gamers want and more than what is available right now. There is a lot that can be created if this becomes more popular in Japan.

Mighty No. 9 fan art from rnn.

Once again, The Mega Man Network would like to thank Mark MacDonald of 8-4 Ltd. for setting up this interview, Ben Judd for translating, and Keiji Inafune, and his entire crew from Comcept for being gracious hosts. And thanks to all the readers for submitting so many great questions! And yes, maybe next time we'll ask if "Beck" is a reference to the musician. Stay tuned to TMMN to find out how you could get equipped with a copy of Mega Man 2 signed by Keiji Inafune.

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James is a features contributor for The Mega Man Network. He is now back in the United States. Sometimes he updates his Tumblr.

The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mega Man Network.

Taking It to the Xtremes: Capcom Bringing Remaining Mega Man Game Boy Games to Virtual Console

ec30aee21e161e3a6405b4c3878cf662 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.

Ripot's Round-Up - 7/8/13

RipotHere we are again, with another big blast of items from the numerous tips that you, the readers of The Mega Man Network, have so graciously sent to us over the past while. Sorry if some of these are a bit late, as we usually only have so much time in the day to write up and run stories, but we definitely want to get through everything! So, without further ado, here's a veritable potpourri of Mega Man tidbits for you to sink your titanium teeth into! And as before, these start with the oldest items first, and we're going to try to work ever-closer to the present, when we'll finally be caught up!

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What do you get when you cross Capcom's Mega Man with Capcom's Monster Hunter? According to a tip from GeminiSparkSP, it looks like you get Capcom's Gaist Crusher:

In the story, Gaimetal, a metal ore with high amounts of pure energy, was discovered 50,000 meters (160,000 feet) underground in 2047, and mining began all around the world. However, Gaist, metallic lifeforms whose bodies are entirely encrusted with Gaimetal, emerged in 2055 and began attacking people. In 2064, Rekka, Hayato, Kurama, and Siren are among those who suit up in Gaist Gear and battle over 100 varieties of Gaist creatures.

According to Anime News Network, it sounds like this is Capcom's next big multimedia push, as Gaist Crusher not only has a Nintendo 3DS game slated for this winter, but also anime, manga, a Bandai toy line, and more as part of their "Capcom Kids" project.

Solidifying the connection a little more, GeminiSparkSP notes that the game is rumored to use the engine from the now-abandoned Mega Man Legends 3.

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Marvel and Capcom have a long and celebrated history together, and this month, Marvel will be celebrating that relationship with this variant cover of Avengers A.I's first issue:

avengers-ai-cover

Click to enlarge.

Thanks to Ivan Alino for the tip, and the link to Robot 6's story.

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Linkfreak131 lives up to her name by sending us a link to some sort of French cartoon called "Metaman."

"This isn't directly Mega Man related," she notes, "but I found this short on Vimeo that, as you can clearly tell, was heavily inspired by it called 'Meta Man'. It's extremely beautiful. Check it out, and I think you'll definitely be able to see where they pulled their inspiration of Mega Man, and a bunch other stuff."

While the logo is unquestionably similar to Mega Man's, that's more or less where the resemblance ends for me, though I can see inspiration from Sentai and Metal Hero-style shows from Japan, while the villain looks familiar... though I can't quite put my finger on it. Oh, and my toy Rhino truck from M.A.S.K. could totally do the same thing this one did with the grill.

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I know what you're thinking: "Three items already, and none of them really involve Mega Man." Well, fret no longer!

We don't really have enough music tips for another TMMN Jukebox yet, so I'm just going to go ahead and run this "Dr. Wily Stage Acapella" here:

Thanks for the tip, Megamanlover2.0!

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Like Mega Man webcomics? Then you might like this recommendation from Saero Novace called "To Defeat Them All (or alternatively "I Can't Defeat Anyone"), a tale of two brothers out to defeat the myriad foes of the Mega Man series. Currently, they seem to up to Skull Man in Mega Man 4, and they update every other day (the odd-numbered ones).

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Here's a pair of teaser posters I missed for Last Laff's upcoming Mega Man X fan film web series:

megamanxwebseriesposter2megamanxwebseriesposter

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In a blast from the past (last year is technically the past), Erik the Red sends us a "Rockman Style" dance video:

Made in a program called "MikuMikuDance," Erik wonders if anyone is up to the task of downloading the models and having the characters dance to some actual Mega Man music. Are you?

On a side note: While this wasn't bad, I still prefer the Transformers version by far:

oDKuQ

Despite running The Mega Man Network, I hope it's not difficult to see why.

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Looking for new ideas for Mega Man games? By way of MegaTuga's e-mail, here's a video detailing five from NickonAquaMagna2. Note: It's about 39 minutes long, hence why we didn't embed it here.

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Remember the "Mega Man 25th Anniversary" fan game being created by industry professionals that we told you about last year? As it turns out, Polygon posted an article about it earlier this year. Thanks for the tip, er, Rockman!

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The Brotherhood of Gaming has been reviewing Archie's "Worlds Collide" crossover between Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic Universe. They sent us their review of part 3 a while back, which you can see here:

As for the rest, here are parts 4, 5, 6, and 4, 9 (sorry, couldn't find 7 and 8). Plus, in case you missed them, here are part 1 and part 2.

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Also from The Brotherhood of Gaming, but instead sent to us by WS_Andrew, is a 33-minute speed run of the first NES Mega Man game. "I don't watch many speed runs," he tells us, "but this was still no doubt one of the best I've ever seen. It was a completely perfect run-through - no damage and no deaths."

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A while back, we put out the call for your Mega Man tattoos, and only one person answered: Longtime Mega Man fan and fan artist Maqqy96, who got a tattoo of Zero on her shoulder:

maqqyzerotattoo

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And finally, we have a short animation set to a Rockman X drama track which pits X against Sting Chameleon, Flame Mammoth, and Vile. And for those concerned, unlike the last one, this one uses more original animation.

Thanks for the tip, David Palleres!

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And that's enough for tonight. Hopefully next time, we'll get everything else we missed, and we thank you for your patience.

Also, thanks to everyone who submitted a tip, and remember to submit your own to the.mega.man.network[at]gmail.com, or just use this handy form! If it's time-sensitive (an eBay auction, a special event, etc.), be sure to note it as "urgent" or "time sensitive."

And don't forget to follow us on The Mega Man Network's Rock Tumblr for more frequent updates of nifty pics and other little tidbits involving the Blue Bomber!

Thank you, and goodnight!

Project X Zone Now Available in NA; New Demos Coming to Europe; Art Winners Announced

projectxzonecontestJust a quick note we missed yesterday is that Project X Zone was released for the Nintendo 3DS in North America yesterday. Meanwhile, Europe is on track to receive it on July 5th. In the meantime, the European Nintendo 3DS eShop will play host to a second demo, “Dark Hours,” which is scheduled for June 27. According to a tip from Magnet_Man, this one features X and Zero in action. Word is that North America will also get the demo, but we've been unable to locate any information as to when, though it could also come tomorrow, June 27th.

Finally, if you remember the art contest for the game that Capcom Unity was holding, the winners have been selected! You can find those here, while honorable mentions-- such as the excellent Heihachi x Wily pic by Dwayne G. seen at right-- can be found here.

Rockman Zero Telos Comes Alive in This Animated Video (Update x2)

This video from earlier in the year somehow managed to fly under our radar, but thanks to a tip from elparra via The Mega Man Network's Rock Tumblr, we have it here for your enjoyment today.

The sound from the video above is taken from the first drama track of Japan's Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero Telos album, and adds in some fitting footage from the Mega Man X series' cutscenes, the Japanese commercials for the Rockman Zero games, and more to create a more visually engaging interpretation of the narrative to sum up the conclusion of the Elf Wars and the sealing of Zero.

The video's creator, Jam Zx on YouTube, is working on a second video which features the battle between Zero and Copy X. In the meantime, a "Nightmare of Zero" AMV has been uploaded to his account, and you can find it here.

Update: At the request of those whose works had been pilfered and used without permission nor credit given, we elected to remove the video and links to the creator's channel and other works. The issue has since been resolved, and credit will be given to the artists whose works were used.

A Chance for Female Mega Man Characters from D-Arts?

pxz_irisDon't go getting your hopes up, but Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA recently posted the following on their Facebook: "The reception for Sailor Moon gives us great confidence for females from other series. More girls? MOAR GIRLS! Power up for tomorrow night and the Nex (sic) 3 weeks!"

Do note the part about females "from other series." Whether this means they might be more receptive to females in current series, such as Mega Man/Rockman and Power Rangers/Super Sentai, or just mean bringing on new series with a female focus, we can't be entirely sure. Nonetheless, action figures of female characters have a reputation for being a difficult sell in the west, so hopefully this bodes well for future prospects such as the recently-teased Iris.

Get a Glimpse of the Expanded Content of MM25: Mega Man and Mega Man X Official Complete Works

08f961ab787ed3ebe1dc3d1136da627a Wow, when it rains, it pours-- especially with Mega Man news. In this case, amidst everything else we've had to say on MM25: Mega Man and Mega Man X Official Complete Works, Brelston at Capcom Unity has posted four images of the book's new expanded contents.

Above is our choice for most interesting, but there's plenty more to see: Designs from Mega Man 9, art from Mega Man 10, and illustrations from newer crossovers such as Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, and Project X Zone await; just click here to see the rest!

Calling All Artists! Win a Copy of Project X Zone Limited Edition with Capcom Unity!

132db1827f7d7f1995ecb43404f896c3 We're just over a month away from the release of Project X Zone for the Nintendo 3DS, featuring a crossover of characters from Namco Bandai, SEGA, and Capcom, including Mega Man X, Zero, Vile, Iris, Tron Bonne, and of course, the Servbots who follow her to and fro. If you're the artistic type, then you can have a shot (or two) at winning the Limited Edition of the game, thanks to Capcom Unity.

"What would Dante look like wearing Jin Kazama's outfit? Or Jill dressed as Ulala from Space Channel 5? Well, if you can answer that question for us, then we've got a super cool prize pack with your name on it!"

The idea is to dress Capcom characters as those hailing from the other two companies as part of the crossover, and submitting up to two different pieces of fan art to contest@capcom.com before 9pm PST on Friday, May 31st, 2013. Three winners will be chosen to win the Limited Edition of the game, which features limited edition packaging, a soundtrack, a mini-poster, and a mini-artbook (as per the image above).

The contest is only open to residents of North America, with the full list of rules available here. And, they note, you can probably expect to see the winning work plastered all across the X Zone trinity's network of social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as Capcom Unity itself.

Source: Capcom Unity

Project X Zone Finally Gets North American Release Date

1364861590-pxzheroim-large At long last, the wait is over: Project X Zone has a North American release date. Now a new wait begins!

The last we heard about it, the game was slated for a release sometime in the summer of 2013. But now, Namco Bandai Games has posted a page for the title which gives us an exact release date: June 25th, 2013.

Of curious note is the tab marked "retailers" on the page, as it only lists Amazon.com and GameStop as carrying the game. Given that other titles show a wider range of stores, we are left to wonder whether this will only be a limited release (and if it will even make it to Canada). More info on that as we get it.

Thanks for the tip, Magnet Man and WetCircle!

Is This the Way to Build the Perfect Mega Man X?

mmxspecificationsThe Mega Man X series is an interesting specimen, as some would argue that Capcom created a perfect game on the very first try, and the series has been all downhill from there. Conversely, many others have their own favorites from latter entries-- even Mega Man X7, which if nothing else is the odd Mega Man out just for its 3D gameplay. Assuming you have loftier aspirations for the series than "just make the first one again," then how would you set about creating the ideal-- the "perfect" Mega Man X game? This is a question pondered over at GameInformer.com, and they have provided their answer here. Throughout this piece, they cherry-pick which games they think had the best examples of X's armor upgrades, Zero, level structure, Mavericks, weapons, and graphic style... as well as some harsh words for Axl and "what not to do" basically being summed up as "Mega Man X7."

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments!

Thanks for the tip, Sinclair!

Update on Mega Man X Fan Film

vilehelmetzerohelmet Last year, we brought you word of a Mega Man X fan film being produced by a group called Last Laff Productions. More recently, we've received an update from Director/Producer Carlos Soto, who asked us to share with you a peek at the helmets for Vile and Zero, which you can see above next to their D-Arts counterparts (click to enlarge).

In addition, these props are rigged to light up! Check the video below to see X and Zero's helmets and Zero's armor glowing in the dark. We bet that will also be extra-handy for extra-safety when Halloween comes around!

Mega Man Makes Lists of Greatest Sidekicks & Awesome Plot Twists

die-wily Wow, it seems like Mega Man sure is showing up on varying lists lately.

Okay, so Mega Man didn't technically make the list of greatest sidekicks-- rather, two characters from Mega Man (i.e. the franchise) did, just to get that out of the way. Both Rush and Zero are on Dorkly's list, which you can find here, and was apparently voted on by readers. And for those ready to raise issue with Zero's inclusion, just be sure to read the entry first.

The other instance is Mega Man 7 appearing on Topless Robot's 7 Awesome Videogame Plot Twists That Were Never Followed Up On. Of course, as we all know, Mega Man could probably fill that list by itself, but it's still cool to see sites beyond our circle remembering moments like this and including them.

So give both a look and feel free to discuss in the comments. Oh, and do note that both sites tend to feature language, themes, etc. which might be NSFW, though these two articles seem relatively safe.

Game Boy Advance Announced for Wii U Virtual Console

MMGBA During today's Nintendo Direct, company president Satoru Iwata revealed to those watching that not only would the Wii U be receiving a Virtual Console service this Spring, but that it would also include the Game Boy Advance, whose library of games has not even been available to the Nintendo 3DS eShop (save for a handful for those part of the Ambassador Program, of course).

Naturally, this made us perk up, as the Game Boy Advance heralded a renaissance (as Heat Man put it) of sorts for the Mega Man franchise throughout the early aughts. Granted, one could argue that it was this same renaissance which has left Capcom out of sorts regarding how to take the franchise forward and reluctant to introduce yet another new series under the Mega Man brand. In spite of that, however, you can't argue that we didn't get some good games regardless!

(This is the part where some of you [you know who you are] will lament the GBA output of the franchise in the comments. Sure, have at it.)

In 2001, the Blue Bomber was reborn for the internet age in Mega Man Battle Network, one of the franchise's most popular iterations to date. Spanning multiple forms of media as MegaMan NT Warrior, this series introduced a lot of new fans to the franchise through its alternate-universe reimagining of many of the franchise's most popular robotic characters as NetNavis who fought with the aid of NetOps and Battle Chips across cyberspace.

Though there were a few odd releases for other platforms, such as Mega Man Network Transmission for the GameCube, the main bulk of the series was released on the Game Boy Advance. In addition to the first two Mega Man Battle Network games, each subsequent numbered title came with two Pokemon-styled color-coded releases through its sixth and final installment. Beyond those ten releases, there was Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, a card-battling game of sorts which took place between the third and fourth installments.

Incidentally, one aspect of the Battle Network series' popularity was the ability to battle other players of the game as well, and find out whose Battle Chip folder was superior. Details are all but nonexistent thus far regarding the Wii U Virtual Console's Game Boy Advance feature, so we don't know whether this will somehow be retained.

In any case, the Battle Network games have not seen any sort of re-release in the West (save for the lone two-in-one Battle Network 5: Double Team DS), so fans of the series may have something to look forward to here.

For those who preferred Mega Man's platforming roots, the four Mega Man Zero games provided a significant-- and arguably punishing-- challenge for fans of the franchise. Meant to pick up where Mega Man X5 was to have originally left off, the series follows Zero in a future beyond the X series and a cataclysmic Elf War spoken of in legend. As Zero helps a Reploid Resistance in their fight to survive against the oppressive city-state of Neo Arcadia, he employs a variety of weapons, abilities, and Cyber Elves over the course of the series.

Incidentally, the desire to own these four entries might have been stifled somewhat by the release of Mega Man Zero Collection for the Nintendo DS. In addition to containing all four games on one game card, the collection also features an Easy Mode for those who love the story and characters, yet fight the difficulty too daunting.

Speaking of challenging, the last Game Boy Advance release of the Mega Man franchise came in the only Western version of Rockman & Forte, here called Mega Man & Bass. With the self-proclaimed monarch of robot-kind, King, taking over the castle and forces of Dr. Wily, Mega Man and his rival Bass must "team up" in order to stop the new menace.

Granted, the two don't really "team up" any more than X and Zero did in Mega Man X4; that is to say, you pick one or the other, and you're stuck with them throughout the game, for better or for worse. For some, the Super Famicom version has proven to be one of the most challenging of the original series, something which isn't helped by the designers merely cropping away a significant portion of the screen for the Game Boy Advance version.

Of course, none of these titles have been announced; we're only laying out for you here the significance of the Game Boy Advance Virtual Console to the Mega Man series, as that platform yielded perhaps more Mega Man titles than any other during its tenure.

And purchasing them again won't be without its benefits; Iwata spoke of new features to be implemented into Virtual Console games on the Wii U, which we're guessing applies to the GBA library as well. These include Miiverse community functionality, save states, and the ability to play off-TV on the Wii U GamePad.

With all of that said, are you looking forward to the Game Boy Advance arriving on the Wii U Virtual Console? And if so, which games are you most looking forward to playing? Any old favorites, or perhaps one you've never had the chance to try? Tell us in the comments!

Project X Zone is Westward Bound

project_x_zone1-620x397 By way of Operation Rainfall, we've just received word from a Crunchyroll report that Project X Zone is indeed making its way to Nintendo 3DS owners in the West during the Summer of 2013. The announcement came during a Namco Bandai press event, where they also announced the PlayStation Network-exclusive One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 and Tekken Card Tournament, plus a "big announcement" to come on February 4th.

No other details are available at this time, but who plans to pick this one up when it hits our shores?

Have a Word with Mega Man X

tumblr_mduotvPIqJ1qzo008o1_500by Razorsaw They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, what does that say about a picture that's made of words? Josh Mirman has brought multiple characters to life through the use of "typography" style art, which you can see at his blog, Very Wordy Drawings.

That said, you may remember Josh bringing Mega Man and Proto Man to life via typography. Well, now he's done three of the heavy hitters of the Mega Man X series: X, Zero, and their nemesis Vile! We have to say, these three Reploids are looking rather sharp!

If you want to purchase Josh's designs as prints or as t-shirts, details can be found in the blog post itself! Special thanks to Josh himself for bringing this to our attention.

Watch X Kick Ass and Take Names in this Fan Movie

Those who think X was getting a little too "wussy" in his later games may want to take a look at this. In honor of Mega Man's 25th anniversary, Shane Newville brings us this amazingly made short animation of the Maverick Hunter getting down to business and rescuing his friend Zero. With how much X ordinarily shoots at things from afar, I bet you never expected he was a black belt in trashing punks!

Thanks to Mugen Wing (and everyone else!) for the tip!

Mega Man X3 Composer Plays Zero/Blizzard Buffalo Medley on Piano

We aren't sure whether there was any particular reason behind the posting of this video, but Kinuyo Yamashita, composer for Mega Man X3, recently posted a video to YouTube of herself playing a medley of Zero and Blizzard Buffalo's theme from the game on piano. Enjoy!

Thanks for the tip, Omar!

Rumor: Project X Zone is Westward Bound

TSSZ News is reporting that Nintendo has confirmed at a recent press event in Spain that the game no one (relatively speaking) thought had any chance of leaving Japan is doing just that. As seen in the picture at right (click to enlarge), Project X Zone-- the crossover title featuring characters from SEGA, Namco Bandai, and Capcom, including X, Zero, Iris, Vile, and Tron Bonne-- is slated for a European release in 2013. While no other details were given, this seems to make it that much more likely a North American release is also in the cards. And if it isn't, at least it will have some form of localization for those bold enough to purchase a European Nintendo 3DS to play the game as an import.

Edit: After WilyNumber13's comment, marking this as a rumor might be the safer bet. However, it's one we're inclined to believe at the moment.

Source: Vicio Juegos, TSSZ News