Street Fighter x Mega Man Review
What do you get for the hero that’s done everything? Mega Man, one of gaming’s most iconic characters, has starred in more than 100 titles since he first hit the scene 25 years ago. Capcom, determined to set the blue bomber out on yet another adventure, has enlisted the help of the World Warriors for his latest game, Street Fighter X Mega Man. Is this free anniversary present worth keeping, or does it have all the personality of a re-gift?
In order to completely capture the essence of the series, Street Fighter X Mega Man channels the spirit of the original six Mega Man titles that originally debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the late 80s and early 90s. 8-bit graphics and eight boss masters are the name of the game here, complete with the Mega Buster-charging and weapon-stealing mechanics that put the series on the map.
So how does the Street Fighter portion hold up in Street Fighter X Mega Man? Not so well. Each robot master has been replaced with a “trademark” character from the fighting game’s rich history, but some of the inclusions and omissions come off as odd. Why include Ryu but not Ken? Urien instead of Guile? C. Viper over Zangief? While each battle is rife with Perfects, Super Arts, and dramatic close-ups, more fan favorites would be welcome.
Of course to battle any of these baddies, you’ll have to get to them first. Street Fighter X Mega Man also packs a fair amount of platforming before each fight. Loosely based off of each characters’ country of origin, these stages are sadly missing the charm of Mega Man’s regular outings. The branching paths, secrets (save for a very clever one), and challenge is nowhere to be found, making each journey to the boss feel more like a straightforward jaunt instead of a worthwhile expedition. Thankfully, each stage is over in less than five minutes, but the simple left-to-right layout will have even the most die hard fan clamoring for a “Boss Rush” mode.
Sadly, the more you play Street Fighter X Mega Man, the more the chinks in the armor come to light. The lack of a save function is practically unacceptable in this day and age, especially when considering that the original Nintendo games had a password function. Typos are commonplace (“Tropical Hazzard”), as is the occasional glitch. None of these problems ruin the game outright, but they quickly add up and keep the game from the upper echelons of greatness. While it is true that Street Fighter X Mega Man was originally a fan-made game made by die hard fan Seow Zong Hui, more time in QA would no doubt have helped alleviate these problems and given it a coat of much needed polish.
Street Fighter X Mega Man might not be the comeback fans were looking for, but it beats some of the blue bomber’s more…embarrassing entries by a mile. Here’s to another 25 years and another 100 entries in the series. A crossover retro-revival that tries to combine two worlds…with mixed results