Capcom selling Mega Man 9 with minimal effort and maximum fanfare

With each day and subsequent disappointment, I am getting less and less excited for Mega Man 9.

To clear vernacular discrepancies, I feel there is a distinction between “excitement” and “anticipation.” For example, I was excited when I first saw Super Mario Galaxy. I felt the same way about the original Metroid Prime. These games brought classic franchises back to life in a relevant, natural and genuine way. Instead of attempting to duplicate former glories, they nodded to the past and made organic progressions.

For gamers, geeks and otaku, they were worth being excited about.

Conversely, I anticipate things like my morning bagel and recent WiiWare release lists. These are things I look forward to, certainly, but there is nothing exciting about their lackluster ordinariness.

Mega Man 9 falls into that category, and it breaks my heart.

I don’t mean to fart in the glee-flavored Kool-Aid the Internet has been chugging since Nintendo Power revealed Mega Man 9. For years, I have been a celebrated admiral in the “Hey Capcom, stop ruining the Mega Man legacy and bring back the Blue Bomber” brigade.

Many of my childhood weekends were spent with rented copies of Mega Man games. I have always been entranced by the perfect mixture of charm and difficulty the Mega Man series provides, and I have even applauded Capcom for the creation of the character himself; Mega Man is one of the most well-designed, endearing and memorable characters in gaming history.

But like most fans, I have since sat by and watched Capcom piss all over Mega Man’s shiny blue helmet, clinging to hopes the company would one day zip its fly and bring him back to the masses.

And finally, it has. As we’ve been raving about on Infendo for days, Mega Man 9 is coming to WiiWare this fall with a modest price tag of $10.00, and IGN posted this exclusive trailer yesterday:

There is no denying it; the trailer is fantastic. It is the kind of video that makes gamers’ arm hairs stand tall and pulses quicken. It ruthlessly and wholly plays the nostalgia angle by reminding viewers of the past only to present something that calls itself “new,” but you know, that is precisely the issue I’ve taken with Mega Man 9.

The game’s mere announcement made waiting through more than ten years’ worth of criminally inferior spin-off series worth it, and for a while, I was ecstatic. I felt like a little kid again, and it was an exhilarating, genuine kind of feeling. But once that logic-numbing shot of nostalgia wore off, I realized the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the return of one of gaming’s biggest icons.

For starters, Mega Man 9 is ugly.

Save your rhetoric-heavy defenses. It may be “attractive” for an 8-bit game, but the Super NES and subsequent game consoles improved upon the graphics capabilities of the NES for a reason. I still play and adore my library of NES classics, but there is simply no denying their characters, environments and presentations lack the color, life and expression afforded by more powerful modern consoles.

They were good for their time, but so were telegraphs and horse-drawn wagons, and no one drives down the highway in those anymore except the Amish folk. Do you want to be Amish?

Conversely, the above clip showcases gameplay from the most recent Mega Man game, the eleven-year-old Mega Man 8. The difference between this footage and the Mega Man 9 trailer is simply too obvious to ignore. Mega Man 8’s colorful and vibrant graphics not only make the game more visually appealing, but they also bring the inherently charming Mega Man character to life. From his movements to his animations, this visual aesthetic is a much better fit for the series and its larger-than-life characters than Mega Man 9’s purposefully pixelated mess of 8-bit retroness for the sake of retroness.

I know Nintendo has been slipping mickeys for quite some time convincing people of the contrary, but graphics are important. They are extremely important, in fact, and single-shade backgrounds, big pixels and flat colors should be relics of the cartridge-era. It is a pity that Capcom has resurrected them for the purpose of nostalgia.

And the graphics are not the only cause of my skepticism regarding the wave of Mega Man 9 enthusiasm that has swept us off our feet. Capcom has also reportedly stripped Mega Man’s move set, removing his famous charge shot and sliding abilities for Mega Man 9. In an interview with GamesRadar, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune called these gameplay mechanics “fancy moves that are unnecessary.”

When did stripping a character’s abilities for the sake of nostalgia and simplicity become something to praise? In fact, isn’t Nintendo being overtly criticized for simplifying gameplay mechanics? Inafune’s points are appreciated, but the underlying fact is as simple as the retrofit controls he has aimed for:

Drain away the nostalgia keeping Mega Man 9 afloat, and you’re left with a shriveled game that would, if it featured any other mascot or title, almost certainly be panned as shallow and featureless.

I have been shocked at how easily Capcom has been given a free pass from gamers on their design decisions for Mega Man 9. Maybe I’m a jaded pessimist, but when I read statements like this from Capcom’s Seth Killian, I can’t help but call blatant PR shenanigans:

“Rather than looking for specific thoughts from fans, I’d have to say this game ITSELF is basically fan-driven. It’s pretty clear that without the kind of deep fan love for Mega Man, and Capcom’s respect for those feelings, an idea this crazy would have just been laughed out of the room.”

It would have been laughed out of the room because it is a stupid idea, and because of that, it should have been. Only for Capcom, crapping out a quick Mega Man NES game isn’t a stupid idea at all.

Let’s be honest about the business model at work here. Capcom is spending next to nothing on the short development of Mega Man 9, yet massive sales and profits are practically inevitable. Teary-eyed rhetoric aside, the reality is simple: one of the most proven and financially capable developers on the planet has decided to further cash-in on one of its biggest franchises by committing minimal financial and development assets. With all due respect to readers who do, those who believe Capcom’s decision to make a cheap NES game in 2008 was based on genuine fan interest are being taken for a ride.

And really, there’s nothing wrong with that. The game will likely be fun, after all, and it will probably be one of WiiWare’s marquee titles. At the very least, it provides hope for the future and suggests Capcom understands what fans have been pleading for for years.

But that is not good enough. Not for me. We have been waiting eleven years for something more. Mega Man deserves more, and I refuse to praise Capcom for taking what I feel is a lazy approach to one of the most exciting games of the year. There are thousands of dudes who could say it is their choice to sleep until noon, do nothing all day and fill their bank accounts with unemployment compensation, but no one praises them. Instead, we make Lifetime movies about how worthless they are.

Why should Capcom be any different?

For years, Mega Man 9 has played out in my dreams, but in a vastly different form. I expected it to be breathtaking. I envisioned a gorgeous 2D shooter/platformer with beautiful visuals, two-player cooperative play, points scoring, online leaderboards and more. I thought it would be something worthy of the pedigree, something new, something that made Mega Man relevant again. After all, Mega Man has enormous potential to be brought back to the peak of gaming prominence as something more than just a relic.

But I never expected a new Mega Man game to be a mere carbon copy of Mega Man 2 with new enemies and levels. We have waited too long to receive so little. I didn’t want that, and I’m starting to realize…nostalgia be damned, I don’t think I do want that.

This is no revival. Capcom is merely throwing fans a bone, and after we have chased our tails in excitement, barked Capcom’s praises and chewed on it for a while, I fear we’ll wonder where the meat is.

76 Responses to Capcom selling Mega Man 9 with minimal effort and maximum fanfare

  1. Ageman20XX says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only fan who feels that way. Word for word your article sums up my thoughs and emotions exactly, and I know there are countless more like me who feel the same. MegaMan 9 is actually turning out to be a huge disappointment. 🙁

    -Age

  2. jd says:

    the second video demonstrates clearly why mega man 8 was the last of the series. boring as hell.

    go back and play mega man 2 and 3 and remember.

    i agree that they should leave the slide in.

  3. Probst says:

    Maybe Capcom is working on Mega Man 10 in all secrecy and this is just a release to divert attention (while at the same time pleasing longtime fans)? Either way I’ll be buying Mega Man 9 fully aware that it cost next to nothing for Capcom to release. But then again I never played the old Mega Man games, my first and only was the one for the old Game Boy.

  4. elmer says:

    You know what else? Nintendo did the exact same thing but the right way. For years people clamored for a 2D Super Mario Bros. designed for a new generation. Well in 2006 we got it. New Super Mario Bros. on the DS was exactly the game people had been asking for. A new 2D game (more or less) with the same play mechanics and stylistic trappings, but lovingly recreated to leverage the sensible advances of the generations past and meticulous care and attention. It was glorious. Mega Man 9 is equivalent to Nintendo releasing “The Lost Levels” as a new game in 2008. Sure we’d get it, and sure it would be great, but it’s just not the “new old” I would have been looking for, and certainly wouldn’t portray the effort I’d expect for a legendary icon.

    You know the worst part? One of the Capcom employees working on SFIV said NSMB was their inspiration for turning back to the classics. You know, the game everyone but Nintendo is getting. Including the PC. I bet the same bastard said “hey, let’s go back to megaman as well – oh but this one’s on Wii, so it doesn’t matter as much – they buy all our Capcom dross”.

  5. Hunter says:

    I have to respectfully disagree. In an interview it was stated that the intent was to recognize how people have latched onto pixel art. The creator looked at all the NES shirts being sold and decided to go retro. In fairness this could be a way of masking the ease of developing this. I don’t think this is the case as some critics apparently claim that the newer graphics on MegaMan games have actually damaged the gameplay. Looking at your video a good chunk of that became a scrolling shooter as opposed to the platforming action game I recognize as MegaMan. Maybe I am less jaded, but I think this may be more of a reaction to poor reviews of later MM games. Just a devil’s advocate approach.

  6. Dustin says:

    This is pretty funny to me. Are we the same camp that says graphics don’t equal game play and then when a new 8 bit styled game is on its way suddenly graphics matter? I think MM9 looks just fine for what it is.

  7. Protector one says:

    Scru Megaman 9, that Megaman 8 looks hawt! I need to be hooked up to some of that shite!

  8. Juja says:

    Wow, you’re a little negative nancy, aren’t you? Megaman 9 is gonna be really inexpensive, most likely fun as hell, and so far, the music sounds awesome.

    I can see where you’re coming from, but certainly Megaman 9 won’t hurt the franchise. I mean, after 20 Battle Network games, or however many they made, Megaman 9 is gonna be a nice change. Also, as Probst said, maybe they are working on a secret Megaman 10 or something else we don’t know about. If so, we can only hope it turns out to be a brilliant reinvention like Metroid Prime, and hopefully not something like Bomberman Act Zero.

  9. Tankooni says:

    mega man 8 look bad in my eyes and it was boring and annoying
    i miss the old 8 bit style mega man i havent play any since that with the exception of the first 6 X series games
    who cares if Capcom is doin it for cheap money it looks like it should b an awsome game and i hope more games like this are released in the future

  10. Eric says:

    Sorry, I really can’t get on board with this. The cynicism meter’s just reading a little too high. Don’t get me wrong, some healthy skepticism is a fine thing to have, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody claim that selling a full-sized new game for $10 was a money-grubbing move. And watching the trailer, at least for me, makes it clear that the programmers and artists who made this have great affection for the series.

    While certainly the cost and effort needed to produce an 8-bit style game have drastically reduced over the last 20 years, they haven’t dropped to nothing. Level design is still an incredibly tricky thing (evidenced all the more by the many poor Mega Man games that have happened since the ones we remember so fondly), so if the new Mega Man has good level design, that means someone worked hard to do it. Ditto music composition. Ditto the design of new bosses and enemies, both graphically and gameplay-wise. And $10 is an incredibly reasonable price. I would happily pay $10 for, say, a new 8-bit style Zelda game with new dungeons, or a new 8-bit style Mario game with new worlds to play, assuming they were well designed. Making the aesthetic choice to visually look like an old system doesn’t bother me at all, assuming they still use the power of the new system to design a good game. (Witness Zelda Four Swords, which looked like a SNES game but did things the SNES could never have done.)

    And two of your statements in the same paragraph blatantly contradict each other. (1) “those who believe Capcom’s decision to make a cheap NES game in 2008 was based on genuine fan interest are being taken for a ride.” (2) “massive sales and profits are practically inevitable”. If the genuine fan interest did not exist, the potential for massive sales and profits would not either. They’re not developing this game on a whim, they’re developing it for an eager audience who has been asking for precisely this.

    Finally, I’m surprised you’re not supporting this at least a little bit just based on what it means for WiiWare. Assuming, again, that the title is as well-developed as it looks, it could draw tons of people into buying WiiWare who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered. It’ll be an inexpensive, probably small-sized Grade A game that almost everyone will want to get, either because of their own nostalgia or because of word-of-mouth. A rising tide raises all ships, so this could be a very good thing for WiiWare as a whole.

    I can understand wishing we were getting more, but I don’t see much merit to claiming that what we ARE getting is in any way bad.

  11. Josh says:

    The graphics aren’t even good for an 8-bit game. Mega Man 6 for example had much better graphics. I thought we would get the 8-bit style, but supercharged with more sprites on screen and beautiful artwork. I’m looking for more than Mega Man 2.5

  12. deepthought says:

    yeah… i wondered why it was 8-bit graphics, but that was cool- most of the mega man games i played were 8-bit.

    But no slide or charge shot? Very strange indeed! As someone who really latched onto the series around mega man 4, this is a loss.

    i was thinking about this like contra 4- it was basically an homage to the great days of contra 3, with level design stolen from contra, and enemies stolen from aliens (naturally- I wouldn’t have it any other way!). But it took the best parts of the old games and left the rest.

    I’m guessing the wii would be the platform to own this on though, cause the 360 d-pad is crap. and at least it’s cheap!

  13. deepthought says:

    oh, and and cheers for not supporting a game just based on how it affects nintendo’s business position!

  14. Jack says:

    Since when is taking a huge risk considered lazy? In an era when graphics and story reign supreme, this title goes against the grain, and people will reward Capcom for the decision. I also think Eric’s comment above is worth a read, if people haven’t already.

    And besides, this title’s been spearheaded more by Inafune than Capcom, and I imagine many developers, unable to speak quite as freely as he has, feel exactly the same way.

    The cynicism is quite high here — Methinks thou doth protest too much!

    PS: “I still play and adore my library of NES classics, but there is simply no denying their characters, environments and presentations lack the color, life and expression afforded by more powerful modern consoles.” That’s an apples and oranges argument, if ever I saw one. If it’s true, then we shouldn’t be playing chess or checkers? Scrabble?

  15. RoyalRook says:

    Forget about Mega Man. It’s like Sonic, time has passed the franchise on so long ago. And Mega Man has always being boring, hey, I remember the game from way back, I loved the colors, but I played much better platformers than Mega Man. I am still looking for time to play some more of “my life as a king,” so I will pass on this “mega man.”
    P.S. Have you ever finished all the old mega man game yet? The X, Zero, ZX spin offs? I thought so. And yea, they are miraculous compares to the old mega mans. I am not joking, Capcom is milkcom.

  16. nil says:

    I am a longtime Mega Man fan. I started with the X series on the SNES and followed MM into the Zero series on GBA and then to the DS as ZX. Due to my love of the blue bomber, I bought the Mega Man Collection on the Gamecube and played all of the main series games. The NES games had a magical quality to them that many of the other series lacked. Sure, the early X games stood alongside the NES MM games at the top of the heap, but the fact that the NES games created the basis for the later games speaks strongly about their quality and design.

    I am glad that Capcom is returning to the 8-bit look. Would 16-bit have been better? Yes, but the 8-bit has a charm of its own. I applaud Capcom for actually taking a chance for once and doing something that challenges the common view of the industry. I am sick to death of brown and green games with realistic graphics. When I see the bright colors of MM9, I feel happy. When I think about the game using a D-pad and 2 buttons, I smile because I know the challenge will be in the design not the controller.

    Many gamers have complained about the later MM games, so it seems natural for Inafune to return to the roots of the series. For that, I applaud him.

  17. Matt says:

    “Save your rhetoric-heavy defenses.”

    I will. I’ll save a lot of time and effort by just calling you an idiot.
    Minimal effort? Laughable. The fact that you think it’s EASY to
    make a new NES game in this day and age proves how naive you are.
    Init Creates worked their asses off on this new Mega Man game, and game’s sales will soon attest to this.

    In other words, read Malstrom’s articles on this subject: http://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/ and weep as your traditional views of gaming crumble.

  18. Carlos says:

    Graphics can enhance gameplay, but the aren’t that important.
    And sometimes, great graphics doesn’t mean colorful, or photorealistic, or 3d, or 2d, or 8bit, 32 bit.. the best graphics are intended to create an atmosphere for the gameplay… so 8bit pixels are the BEST graphics for such an amazing 2d game.

    I dont see this as a retro game, is more like “back to the roots” game.
    There will be another megaman with colorful graphics and a moveset mapped to every 6 button available on the controller… and there will be someone blaming capcom for doing such game, and then in 100 years they will be doing another 8bits “style” game.. and then..

    That is life.

  19. Joltman says:

    Lol – you think Mega Man 8 is GOOD? Blargh. Horrible game.

    While I do think it kind of sucks how they are taking away his slide, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they’re bringing back the original 8-bit Mega Man, the best of em all.

    Oh, by the way, that trailer is completely wrong – Mega Man 9 is EXCLUSIVE to WiiWare. No other platforms.

  20. paq says:

    Less is more.

    Why not just wait until the game comes out and see for ourselves then..? By the way, that music is awesome. Can’t wait to hear more.

  21. ResidentialEvil says:

    I applaud you Derek for at the very least having the guts to write an article like this on a site like this. Reading it I figured some of the wolves would be out against you, and mostly I was right.

    Your article sums up pretty well why I’m not dancing in the streets and praising all that’s holy that we’re getting this game. I see it more as gimmick more than I see anything else. I don’t see this as taking some huge risk either; how is it a risk to put out a cheap 8-bit game on a console where users have gobbled up 8 bit downloads? If they had to charge $20 for the game, I might agree it’s a risk, but at $10, no way.

  22. Jack says:

    @ResidentialEvil: Let me clarify.

    It’s a risk. Inafune and his comrades in arms are using development time and money to create an 8-bit game in an era that highly discourages–even insultingly criticizes–such an approach. If it fails, he will suffer for it.

    Therefore, I fail to see how this course of action is NOT a risk.

  23. -_Q says:

    Woah woah woah, I agree with you for the most part about all this but why was the example of greatness MEGA MAN 8?

    I bought the Mega Man Collection for my GC and almost threw up when playing that abomination! Mega Man’s run looked idiotic, sound effects were cheesy and horrible, the graphics were silly (in a bad way) and Mega Man yelling “Power Shot!” in the world’s worst boychoir soprano is just too much for any living creature to handle with out a little ‘massive damage’ to the cerebrum.

    I put down the controller, pulled out my Super Nintendo, fired up MEGA MAN X and just absorbed the goodness until all recollection of 8 was washed out of my subconscious.

    Incredible music,
    Incredible gameplay,
    Incredible graphics,
    Incredible everything,

    Mega Man X is AMAZING! 8 was boring as heck and cheesier than a microwave covered with splattered Velveeta. The old Mega Man games play well but look incredible dated! See where I’m going with this?

    MAKE A GREAT MEGA MAN GAME, CAPCOM. Sheesh.

    Unique and interesting levels, fantastic gameplay, sweet weapons, awesome bosses, great music– how is this that hard?

  24. -_Q says:

    I applaud Capcom for daring to do this, and I think it gives “modern” retro-style gaming some hope for the future, but it’s a shame they didn’t just make an Amazing game rather than a Nostalgic game.

  25. ResidentialEvil says:

    @Jack – Maybe, but HOW much development time and money are we talking here? There’s no way it’s the same scale as a PS3/360 or even a Wii exclusive game. Again, they’re only charging $10 for it. As far him “suffering”, even if it 100% tanked (which is very unlikely) I fail to see some kind of huge punishment to him for this not catching on. Seeing as how Wii owners have been eating up the 8-bit nostalgia on the VC, I still don’t see this is as that much of a risk.

    @Joltman – actually, you’re the one that’s wrong. The game is going to be on the PSN and XBL, unless you think IGN is wrong too.

    http://wii.ign.com/articles/888/888041p1.html

  26. peshue says:

    “Since when is taking a huge risk considered lazy?”

    No, this isn’t taking a huge risk at all, not even close. This is a carefully calculated risk, weighed against the huge mountainous gobs of money they’ll likely make off of it the risk is incredibly minimal. There’s no shortage of similar games made by 1 person or a small group of people and given away for free that look and play just as good as an old megaman. The rationalization that capcom is taking a huge risk to satisfy all the long time mega man fans is total horseshit, have you played la maluna, cave story, N, etc. they’re all totally free, totally original and really damn good, did I mention they’re totally free?
    It’ll be nice for capcom to quite playing with new stuff all the time in mega man and just make good levels again, but really, the only things they even need to put much effort into for this game are level design and music.

  27. Eric says:

    Do we know for sure that MM9 is WiiWare exclusive? I had thought (and hoped) that this was true, but then assumed that this trailer [which I also assumed was made entirely by Capcom, who ought to know what’s what] proved that theory wrong.

  28. Eric says:

    (above comment is a response to Joltman, btw)

  29. Derek says:

    Eric: IGN confirmed Mega Man 9 is coming to PS3 and 360.

  30. Eric says:

    Okay. Kind of a shame, but only because it would be nice to have it driving WiiWare specifically – XBox Live certainly doesn’t need any help. 😉 On the whole, it’s probably a good thing that the game will get out to as many people as possible.

  31. Joltman says:

    Well, I guess they just updated that yesterday – all of the time I had been keeping tabs on Mega Man 9, it seemed like it would only be released for WiiWare, and no other consoles.

  32. Jack says:

    @Res Evil: The mistake being made here, and it’s a somewhat acceptable mistake given the current status quo thirst for huge game budgets, visuals and movie-like stories, is that people are assuming this is no sweat off Capcom’s back. Has anyone here developed a 2-bit game, let alone an 8-bit one? Sure, the sprites are simper, and the background repeat like an old cartoon, but that’s carelessly ignoring the skill that goes into designing a great game. Period!

    8-bit or not, good games require good talent. You can bet Inafune and his staff are putting their all into this game. His comments, and the screens and vids I’ve seen so far, appear to confirm this belief.

    On a related note, XKCD, one of the finest webcomics out there, is done with stick figures. It’s the content that drives traffic to that site, not the visuals. Is XKCD’s effort any less of one than Penny Arcade, simply because he uses black and white, and minimalist characters? I only ask because that’s the exact same dynamic that’s taking shape here in this thread. It’s as if 8-bit games are automatically “lazy” for no other reason than they’re 8-bit.

    This is actually a page right out of the Art of War. While everyone expects a behemoth like Capcom to pump out Resident Evil-type mega affairs every year, they threw everyone a curve by putting the same development intensity behind an 8-bit, 2D platformer. Good on them, they’re going to make bank for it. And they’ll deserve every penny.

  33. Mick says:

    I haven’t read the rest of the comments and I might be on my own but I’m happy about this and hope that more new NES games are made. Call me an old fart caught up in nostalgia but I would be glad to pay $10.00 a pop for brand new nes games and prefer it over the SNES. Obviously the SNES has better graphics and features but for nostalgia’s sake I went back and played old NES games a lot more then SNES games and would love to see more of them made. Never was a big fan of Mega Man, But I would love to see more NES Ninja Gaidens, Double Dragons, Castlevanias, etc!

  34. Jack says:

    @Mick: I agree. And, who knows, with the rising popularity of WiiWare and the established success of Virtual Console, who’s to say that completely new versions — not remakes — of our old favorites aren’t on their way, just like MM9?

    These would be inexpensive, quick to download titles of established brands. Again, its not the graphics that are the important thing with these hypothetical titles, it’s the content, replay value and enjoyability of it all. These games could also be “beamed” to your DS, thanks to their small size.

  35. HyperSonic says:

    After watching both Mega Man 8 and the trailer of MM 9, I can see the disappointment. Hopefully, Capcom will give us something else soon.

  36. ResidentialEvil says:

    “This is actually a page right out of the Art of War. While everyone expects a behemoth like Capcom to pump out Resident Evil-type mega affairs every year, they threw everyone a curve by putting the same development intensity behind an 8-bit, 2D platformer. Good on them, they’re going to make bank for it. And they’ll deserve every penny.”

    Ok well, you say they are taking a huge risk, then say they are going to make bank for it. So that leads back to peshue’s post that this in fact no risk at all, that this is a very calculated move on Capcom’s part. You don’t think Capcom figured out they’d make bank before they greenlit this?

    So again I say, how is this a huge risk?

  37. Jack says:

    Semantics. It’s a risk regardless of my opinion, which is exactly what that comment was. My OPINION is that as a result of this RISK, they will make lots of MONEY.

    Clear?

    Edited: Besides, to say there’s no risk would unfairly ignore Derek’s post, which is what we’re currently commenting on. His negative reaction to MM9 means there’s no risk? Surely you jest

  38. God, that video of Mega Man 8 is absolutely horrible looking. You think that’s more visually appealing than Mega Man 9? The 8-bit look of Mega Man 9 is leaps and bounds better than that. Mega Man 8 is visually disgusting.

  39. Derek says:

    Sir Kochalka: It’s different strokes for different folks.

    Mega Man 8 looks gorgeous, IMO. Mega Man 9 looks…old, tired, insert whatever unflattering synonym you’d like. The most relevant game characters are the ones who progressed; I wanted Mega Man to join that group, not retread old ground and become a parody of himself.

    But hey, to each to their own. I respect and understand why people are freaking out over Mega Man 9. Believe me, I’d like to, myself. I don’t appreciate being called an “idiot” for having an opinion contrary to the popular one, but hey, I expected it.

  40. Luigifan14 says:

    I think the article writer is full of it. But hey, it’s his opinion and in this world of choice I wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter what anybody says, I’m getting this title. It just looks so fun. I like the NES feel they’re going for.

  41. waltermh says:

    jack and the people supporting MM9 are right. one comment that was made needs to be repeated. Graphics/Art style, create the atmasphere for the game.

    Inafune specifically created the art style based on megaman 2 because he loved those old games, and that graphic style is still loved today. MM2 still being one of the most loved MM games, he wanted to create a game in that style to keep with the feel of one of the most loved MM games to date.

    The detractors are completely missing the point. Its not about what you like, its about there being a place for this game in the world. Its about at least some fans wanting this game. Its about Inafune wanting this game. Its about this game not hurting the MM franchise, and only adding to it.

    Why do you detractors act like this is some slap in the face just because it doesnt please you as much as it does us?
    Why should it be no risk when this is completely out of left field for any major publisher, and even most minor publishers. This game has a fan following, but how big is it? Us fans think its large, but for you to say capcom thinks like us is putting our opinions in their minds.
    Inafune knows theres a fan following, worthy enough to give this a try. that doesnt assume no risk, that assumes the risk is worth the reward.
    No company wants to make a game that they figure will lose them money, but even a calculated risk is still a risk, as 8-bit pixel art is obviously a turn off to a great many people, as is shown by dereks rant.

  42. Eric says:

    Well, I wasn’t the one who called you an idiot, Derek, but I think that was a response to your apparent assertion that this is basically a throwaway project that doesn’t require any effort being done as a cash-in (which, as I expounded at length, is a position I find very hard to justify), not your aesthetic preferences (which I disagree with but obviously are totally subjective).

  43. peshue says:

    But where’s the risk Jack? Even the people that aren’t to excited about the style are at least happy that it’s a tried and true formula, no one’s doubting whether it will be a good game or not. It’s a low cost, high return situation, that’s practically the definition of low risk.

  44. ResidentialEvil says:

    What peshue said.

    I didn’t say there wasn’t any risk at all. Every project could be considered a risk in some form or another. But it was specifically said this was a “huge risk”, when it’s pretty obvious to me that this is definitely low risk. Low risk does not equal huge risk, and that is not a matter of semantics.

    And given the majority of reactions have been negative to Derek’s negative opinion, I’d say that points more to the “low risk” area.

  45. Drahken says:

    I’ve got to admit that taking out the slide and charge shot is pretty shitty. But other than that, I disagree with you. You use Mega Man 8 as a foil to 9’s “degeneration”. To me it felt more like a Mega Man X than a Mega Man. Not that X was bad. It just isn’t the same as the classic series. Plus, you throw in those R-Type shooter segments. And classic Mega Man has that traditional tricky difficulty factor. X is really quite easy. And the only “difficult” part in the 8 is those goddamn sledding segments, and that’s only because they’re frustratingly poorly designed. Sure that clip you showed of 8 looks nice, but to be fair and show that game as a whole, you also have to show this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlWNi2zH16E

  46. Not all risks are financial. The risk could be one of reputation, or an artistic risk, or critical risk or something of that nature. There’s at least one videogame critic who responded basically with disgust, which proves that it was in fact a critical risk they took.

  47. LordToker says:

    I think some people are either over analyzing an 8-bit game or expect too much for ten bucks. I still say this is a promising premise for those who can see it for what it’s worth. It’s a new retro game in the memory of what we loved. You’ll either buy it or not, but your rain on our parade makes no difference we came with umbrellas.

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  49. Cyber Fox says:

    I would like to state that graphics don’t make the game, the gameplay does

    I understand went through a spiaraling downfall for a while now with games like X, Battle Network and Star Force but, MM9 seems to be a decnet comeback of a neglected member of the Mega Man franchise (namely, The original series)

    You gamers these days are very spoiled since the days of Xbox and PS2 with thoughts like 3-D Bouncy Boobie Girls FTW! and stuff like that

    Games like Space Invaders Extreme and the Katamari series proves that you don’t need fancy graphics to make a great game, gameplay is way more important than graphics

    Have an open mind and get MM9 and enjoy it as is!

    Please note: Gamers here in the US are often more arrogant as those of the animation goers here in the US whom selfishly shunned good imported shows like The Raccoons and The Wombles

  50. Run line 10 says:

    WOW man All I got to say is this post is a little too fan boyish for me. I know you are a nintendo fan but the game coming to the other systems mean nothing to me and I’m still looking forward to it.

    The problem with your video is that was not a real mega man game and for some reason it seems like some one else made that game. I have the art books and I love their new designs but that stage and that style of mega is more like a metal slug rip off than a real mega man game. That one video by it self represents why mega man fell off. The old games have a much more geeky look which fits the game play better. If you like the look of it you may also like this game.

    Also who cares about the business model as long as this is a good mega man game. If this beats out mega man 2 then great but if not I’m sure it will be very close.

    It will be interesting to see how this game sells on all consoles. I mean this post is really fishy right after we hear about the other versions. Before it was a great idea to bring hardcore gamers to the Wii in many nintendo fan’s eyes. I just wondering who is going to get this for a PS3 or xbox with the state of those controllers.

  51. siavm says:

    This is a download game. If it was a retail release capcom would have been very cruel, but this is a download game.

  52. ResidentialEvil says:

    “Not all risks are financial. The risk could be one of reputation, or an artistic risk, or critical risk or something of that nature. There’s at least one videogame critic who responded basically with disgust, which proves that it was in fact a critical risk they took.”

    That’s pretty weak; because at least one responded negatively proves it’s a critical risk? By that measure there have been way more critical/huge risks that have been taken that we thought before. I’m definitely not buying this one, simply because the positive press has far outweighed any negative press.

    Even still, I’m not seeing some big reputation risk. Capcom has been churning out great games for almost 30 years now, across various platforms. They’ve already had a reputation of milking things to death (see. Street Fighter II) and they’ve seemed to survive that pretty well.

  53. mykie says:

    While it’s nice to see a counter view to popular opinion, I really think this article is contrary for the sake of being contrary. It smacks of the attitude of people who hate bands because they “sold out and went mainstream.”

    Ignoring many of the editing tricks that can easily be done on the Wii today, there were a few effects that simply wouldn’t be possibly on the 8-bit NES without massive flicker and slowdown. Even the colors are richer and more vibrant. I predict that we’ll see many elements in MM9 that couldn’t be done on the NES, and not even notice because they’re so commonplace today. I’m thinking large sprites.

  54. Killer says:

    Well, I have The First Mega Man 4 Ps2. 8-bit as always. It rules! And 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 + arcade Mega Man Games that wern’t released in the USA!

  55. dlindema says:

    Derek, congrats on having stones the size of watermelons for posting your opinion, especially this opinion. I will however fully disagree. From the reports thus far, apparently there are 50 new enemy types in the game, meaning some effort went into it.

    I also see this as a really cool sort of ‘developer’s exam’ for Inafune and crew. They can’t rely on graphical flair to cover up bad gameplay (though I suppose your counter would be that they are in fact using graphical flair…in a different sense). I will play the game as a quest to discover if Capcom still has the chops to make a great game. I expect the graphics to receive backlash–especially in this day and age–but my hope is that the pure gameplay will rock the gaming world’s collective casbah.

    Also, I’ve heard rumblings of multiple playthrough’s ala, game+ modes where you can buy abilities from Dr. Light and use them. So, if you want all of those later abilities (charge shot, slide, etc.) I think they’ll all be in the game. This is evidenced by reports of spots that look to be slide-through able, yet the development team denying the slide ability to be in the initial game.

    Don’t be down on the game yet, yet.

  56. Andrew G. says:

    I’m afraid I’m going to play the broken record and disagree with you on this one. I think your article is actually pretty insulting, to be honest. I, for one, appreciate the heavy fan service being given to us by Capcom. I much prefer the 8-bit classic Mega Man titles to the ugly, marshmallowy MM7 or the terribly bland, poorly made MM8.

    I do agree with some points, however, but I look at them in different perspectives:

    1) Capcom does indeed know that MM9, in this form, will sell well. They have put very little time, money, and effort into a simple product that, because of a loyal fanbase, will prove to be financially successful, no questions asked. But is Nintendo any different? They’ve been doing this same thing all along with the Wii: make products that are considerably cheaper and have shorter development cycles than other current-gen efforts. Make sure these games retain good, solid gameplay with very familiar, revered characters that are sure to sell the game in droves. Super Mario Galaxy wouldn’t have sold half as well, despite its obvious quality and fun, if it featured an unknown character. Look at Okami, a game similar to Zelda (and published by Capcom, no less, who probably realizes the risk thanks to this game tanking not once, but twice, in sales despite the amazing amount of effort and creativity pumped into it). Zelda obviously did better.

    My point is, if a company can create a cost-effective product that is guaranteed to sell, they will. It’s smart business. It makes even more sense, too, to put this game on the downloadable content services of each system; a disc-based title would have been overkill.

    2) I’m a little miffed that sliding and charging appear to have been removed. However, don’t forget that this game uses the “Light’s Lab” model that allows players to use collected currency of some kind to buy abilities and items (I believe it was GamesRadar that revealed this, if I’m not mistaken – perhaps IGN, I don’t remember). The report, too, is that some areas are simply too small to walk under but could surely be slid under.

    And honestly, the lack of features in the early games is what made them so much more difficult than the rest. It’s the lack of charging and sliding that have prevented me from beating the first two titles. That’s right, I’ve never beat either of them. And I hope MM9 proves to be a challenge, too.

    Anyway, you knew what you were doing when you posted this article. Mykie put it perfectly. Shame on you.

  57. RoyalRook says:

    Nil said:
    I am a longtime Mega Man fan. I started with the X series on the SNES and followed MM into the Zero series on GBA and then to the DS as ZX. Due to my love of the blue bomber, I bought the Mega Man Collection on the Gamecube and played all of the main series games. The NES games had a magical quality to them that many of the other series lacked. Sure, the early X games stood alongside the NES MM games at the top of the heap, but the fact that the NES games created the basis for the later games speaks strongly about their quality and design.

    I am glad that Capcom is returning to the 8-bit look. Would 16-bit have been better? Yes, but the 8-bit has a charm of its own. I applaud Capcom for actually taking a chance for once and doing something that challenges the common view of the industry. I am sick to death of brown and green games with realistic graphics. When I see the bright colors of MM9, I feel happy. When I think about the game using a D-pad and 2 buttons, I smile because I know the challenge will be in the design not the controller.

    Many gamers have complained about the later MM games, so it seems natural for Inafune to return to the roots of the series. For that, I applaud him.

    I sorry man, but I have to officially declare you are gay. If you have played that much mega man, and still want to play more NES like graphic and cheap, probably hurried Mega Man 9, then I don’t know what to say, man. LOL

  58. RoyalRook says:

    Andrew G said:
    And honestly, the lack of features in the early games is what made them so much more difficult than the rest. It’s the lack of charging and sliding that have prevented me from beating the first two titles. That’s right, I’ve never beat either of them. And I hope MM9 proves to be a challenge, too.

    Anyway, you knew what you were doing when you posted this article. Mykie put it perfectly. Shame on you.

    OMG, do you want to play no DI jump Mega Man? What about fatal sudden death Mega Man? DO YOU want to play shot-limited Mega Man? What about black and white Mega Man? Well DO YOU? B/c I honestly can’t say that.

  59. Luigifan14 says:

    I’m not sure how calling someone out on their sexuality is a mature of discussing your opinion. And I don’t even understand what you’re getting at in your second post.

  60. Myst says:

    I think it’s a great idea. Giving us some classic retro gaming today whilst keeping the original look since that enables them to experiment.

    I would be disappointed if it where a such that it was this instead of a full “modern game” but I do believe that this is just something extra.
    I’m a little bit worried about the number of games count which Capcom seems to be using instead of budget when it comes to how much should be distributed to each console.

  61. deepthought says:

    hehe- Derek, you knew what you were getting into when your article wasn’t fan service. way to stick to your guns. there’s nothing shameful in expressing disappointment; and i can’t imagine your article diminishing the game for others (which confuses me as to why some need to tell you it wont diminish it for them- as if that were your agenda)

    also, the amish comment was hilarious.

    (ok- it doesn’t really confuse me. it’s easy for readers here to confuse the proselytizing ideologues with those who just have opinions. and since so many people are told their OPINION is wrong, they’re naive, they’re same sex oriented, or some other malarky- some people will definitely become aggressively defensive of their view. but keep the opinions coming, whether we agree with them or not.) cheers.

  62. EdEN says:

    Ok, raise of hands, how many of those commenting on this article were born before 1980?

    I¿m very happy with Megaman 9 being 1,000 Wii points since I’ll be getting a sequel to one of my favorite 8-bit franchises with no slowdown or flicker and this will encourage other developers to basically give us what we want (New 2D Castlevania and 2D Metroid) as well as speed up the release of old favorites on VC (the NES Megamans for those that don’t own the originals or the GC collection, Castlevania 3 (Japanese version with the extra sounds if you will, charge me the 100 points import).

  63. Luigifan14 says:

    I was born in 1991 and I still don’t see a problem with this. (I grew up N64+, but got into classic games during the gamecube)

  64. Soup says:

    I was born in 1982, so the flipping platforms from Guts Man were basically the bane of my existence for my childhood.

    I think it’s a little too soon to be making predictions about Capcom’s intentions. There’s something to be said for simplifying graphics to bring more focus on the gameplay/level design. One has to admit that people _have_ been clamoring for more retro stuff. Now, whether Capcom _should_ have cashed in on said nostalgia? That’s the real question here.

  65. RoyalRook says:

    How many main Zelda games are out there? Mario Bros. only goes for 4 (and that’s counting the “New” Super Mario Bros.) Mega Man, on the other hand, even when you thrown out all of the spin offs, are going to the ninth game. I think that speaks quality of this (water downed) series for itself.
    And oh yea, forget about Capcom’s nostalgia love BS. I lost counts of the times that have to put up with Capcom’s “nostalgia” angle. Don’t we already have power up? Haven’t I endure enough of the same heat man in the battle network series? Now they are trying to do it all over again, and you are deciding whether to bend over backward or forward?

  66. Ageman20XX says:

    I read this article last night, and I must say I kind of expected this when I woke up.

    The people who are commenting right now (mostly) are the people who would eat anything Capcom throws down their throat ANYWAY, so of course they’re gonna come in here and have a little comment-crusade (like that’ll change anyone’s mind anyway…).

    Most people who feel the same way as me, the article author, and a few commentors here, should’t be wasting their time commenting. Don’t know why I am – most of you are thick-headed anyway and believe anything Inafune tells you. Seriously. I could give countless examples of how this is lazy, but far too many people skim comments anyway so I wont waste my time.

    Actuallu…..for those who do read comments, let’s take a look at some stuff.

    Super Mario Bros 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J31klTM6q78
    Even for a NES title, this game looked pretty damn good. Look at how much colour is on the screen at one? I can count up at at least 6 or 7 colours on screen at once. And this is a classic NES game.

    Super Mario Advance 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYpWDoSiF44
    This is the same damn game as above. The gameplay hasn’t been tweaked, no integrity was lost, the “fun” factor is still there. The graphics are not 3D, but still gorgeous. Look at the damn backgrounds! They’re fantastic! Look how beautiful Nintendo was able to make a classic NES game with a slight paint job. The fun or retro feel you’re all whining about wasn’t touched at ALL, and it looks fantastic. You can tell they put a lot of polish on this one.

    What’s that you say? Graphics like THAT aren’t possible on the NES, you crazy fool!!! To this I say – it’s not a NES game. It’s a WiiWare game. They can do whatever the hell they want… Examples?

    Zelda : Four Swords Adventures
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJxLvrsnwBg&feature=related
    Take note especially of the effects added to the game. It’s primarily a 32-bit sprite-based game on Gamecube hardware. All characters, items, environments, etc. are sprites. They are pixelated like a retro game – but Nintendo actually uses the extra system power to add nice, subtle effects like smoke, sparkles and the like. This is an extreme, mind you, and I’m not saying Capcom should use 32-bit graphics etc. – but they could have at LEAST used SOME of the Wii’s power for added presentation… This trailer shows NOTHING.

    And lastly, for those who are “purists” or whatever you wanna call yourself, I have one more example that you should take a look at. You all keep whining about MegaMan 8 and the tiniest of things….I’d like to say “shut up already”, but I wont. No matter how attractive the game looked in my eyes, I’ll lower myself to your “8-bit only FTW” attitude.

    MegaMan 6 (NES)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIBcpowkU3A
    Above, is MegaMan 6 for the NES. The last NES MegaMan game released way back. You don’t even have to watch the whole video – the first 30 seconds alone get my point across. Look at the backgrounds. Look at the beautiful shading the NES was capable of. The backgrounds looked fantastic, actually. Sure, Mega himself is still the same sprite, but you can see how much effort went into making this one of the best looking of the NES MegaMan games. You can’t deny it – it’s a job well done and gameplay aside, I feel MegaMan 6 was the highpoint of the serious presentation-wise. That being said – look at the MegaMan 9 trailer again… At most a see maybe 3 or 4 colours on screen at once when we KNOW that the NES can do more. Things are barely shaded in MegaMan 9, when we KNOW they can be.

    I’m not gonna go on, because most of the raving fanboys are gonna miss the point anyway, but I just want you to know what Capcom COULD have done while still being retro – and they didn’t. They decided to maximize profit, minimize effort. 🙁

    -Age

  67. Krist says:

    Though it’s not as bad, I feel the same about the ‘new’ chrono trigger game… Nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake.

  68. J_man86 says:

    I couldn’t agree less. I love 8-bit graphics, and have been waiting a long time for a developer to realize that graphics don’t make the game. The Lengend of Zelda is probly by favorite game of all time, not because it has amazing graphics, but because it’s fun. If all I wanted to do was look at the graphics, I would go watch Toy Story for the 100th time. When I play a game, I just want it to be fun. Period.

  69. Krist says:

    Actually chrono trigger DS is far worse, ’cause at least we’re getting a new game with megaman 9.

    Anyway, a lot of commenters here seem to be missing that this seems to be -purely- about nostalgia, objectively speaking, megaman 9 is a step backward, not forward. Sure enough developers put effort in level design and music, but there’s nothing in there to truly progress the series….. so I think people calling capcom lazy for making this game is more than understandable.

  70. Derek says:

    Jack: We should still play chess, but the pieces don’t have to be carved from stone anymore. We have better and prettier ways of making chessboards these days. Apparently, Capcom employees like chiseling their car tires, too.

    mykie: I assure you, this article was fueled by nothing but genuine disappointment. I hold the Mega Man series near to my heart. This article was not, as you say, written as “contrary for the sake of being contrary.” Although you are right about one thing; I do hate when bands sell out.

    deepthought: I knew my armor would be tested with this one, and I figured it would hit a nerve. But someone needed to say it; clearly, a substantial number of people share my disappointment.

    siavm: The means of distribution is irrelevant. Whether it was downloaded, bought at Wal-Mart or beamed through space, there is still justifiable reasons to be disappointed with Capcom’s decision.

    Krist: Thanks for understanding. At least with Chrono Trigger, though, it gives people a chance to play a classic game without spending the crazy prices it fetches on eBay these days. Chrono Trigger remade for the DS, though it is a mere port, still serves a purpose somewhat.

  71. LordToker says:

    @derek

    actually some of the finest chest sets today are made of stone and precious metals detailed in the pain staking tradition of craftsmen and are prettier than plastic pieces sold by hasbro or milton bradley. just because there are newer ways to make things doesn’t make them better. however i do agree with your right to say how you feel and if you were disappointed with the title no one can change that and if it pisses people off too bad. people have different tastes or expectations, so we can agree to disagree.

    @ ageman

    i would only by this because the formula resembles what i loved as a kid. so yeah there is nostalgia factored in, but i don’t just buy anything capcom shoves down my throat. the only other game in my library from capcom in years and years was zack & wiki, which was also a fine title.

    @ eden

    finally i don’t think you have to be born before 1980 to enjoy this title, but it definitely helps. being born right on the verge (1979) the original mega man titles will be how i always remember the little blue bomber, so it does make sense we are the targeted audiendes not 12 year olds who are hopped up on monsters and beating hookers senseless. there are a lot of us who will buy this game, so it makes perfect sense for capcom to give fans what they want at a good price. it also doesn’t mean they are going to limit the franchise re-invention to 8-bit titles or even make anymore ever again.

  72. jd says:

    “…chess, but the pieces don’t have to be carved from stone anymore. We have better and prettier ways of making chessboards these days. Apparently, Capcom employees like chiseling their car tires, too.”

    This comment makes it crystal clear to me that you don’t understand the fundamental principle of gaming: gameplay = fun. nothing else matters.
    you can play chess on a grid you draw yourself with letters on little squares of paper. it is just as fun; you should try it sometime. the beauty of chess is the phenomenally deep strategy in the game. it has absolutely NOTHING to do with what the pieces are made of or how they look.

    that comment along with your bigoted slam on the amish (i’m sure they’re plenty happy and healthy without modern technology, thanks very much… they live that way for a reason, they’re not idiots) are a flashing neon sign showing me just whose articles to ignore in the future. cheers.

  73. Derek says:

    Bigoted slam of the Amish? I live in Pennsylvania, dude. Have a sense of humor.

  74. Irma Payseur says:

    Hello this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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