March 23, 2005


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Mega Man Powered Up

Mega Man has quite the storied history. While its earliest incarnations are the stuff of gaming legend (sepcifically Mega Man 1 and 2) its latter entries (the almost two dozen sequels on various platforms) have either been increasingly tired retreads of the Mega Man format (Mega Man 3-6, Mega Man X 1-3, etc...) or bizzare diversions into non-platform genres (the pokemon-ish Mega Man Battle Network, and the lametastic Mega Man Legends RPG).

For a while I gave up on the series, content to let it die and occasionally dip into a nostaglic run though the 2-D gauntlet of Elec-Man and Cut-Man’s levels via XBOX emulation. And occasionally download the metal remix of a few Mega Man tunes by various video game cover bands (as well as the epic prog-metal concept band The Protomen,, who tell the story of Mega Man in metal rock glory).

Thankfully Capcom never gave up. And at long last they delivered a title worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of great Mega titles. There is a catch, though. Powered Up is a graphic overhaul of the original 1987 Mega Man. The game has been redrawn in 3-D (although game play remains assuredly 2-D) and a “Whoa mama!” amount of extras has been added to the already stellar original.

We get special challenge stages, hordes of unlockable content, a pair of new stages and bosses, the ability to play as the bosses and, most impressively, a level editor.

This last bit deserves special note. Capcom delivered a complete and elegant 2-D level editor. You can rework your favorite stages, create new challenges from scratch and, best of all, swap and share them online. Finally we can punish our thumbs by ratcheting up the difficulty level to 11. Thanks a ton.

One suggestion? Next go around, and yes please make a Mega Man Powered Up 2, include a boss editor as well - that’s the treat that Mega fans have dreamed up since we first started faking illnesses to get more game time. A

— Glenn Given.