Sunday, December 30, 2012

Street Fighter X Mega Man Game Review

Well, this is an interesting little treat. Street Fighter X Mega Man is an interesting title as it is a Capcom and fan-made collaboration in honor of Mega Man and Street Fighter’s 25th anniversary. The game originally starting out as Mega Man vs. Street Fighter being made by Seow Zong Hui, Capcom decided to get behind this fan-made game in honor of the 25th anniversary of the two titles. The game was released on the website Capcom Unity FOR FREE. That right there is reason enough to check it out. I can’t help but feel that this is Capcom’s little way of saying sorry for the way they have treated Mega Man and his fan base over the past couple years with the cancelation of Mega Man Legends 3, a Mega Man MMORPG type game, and the slap in the face of putting the bad cover art Mega Man as a character in Capcom X Tekken. But that’s just my speculation. At first, I thought this was some kind of joke or something. I didn’t believe that Capcom was behind this and thought it was just another one of the hundreds of fan mod Mega Man games out there. But that’s enough with the neat little history of this game. How does it play?

STORY: Story… Well… Uh, there isn’t really one at all. While usually I’d flip a table over that, this is made like an NES game and back then story wasn’t all that important. Basically it’s just Mega Man fighting Street Fighter characters and that’s it. The characters that we have are Ryu, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Rolento, Urien, Blanka, Rose, and Crimson Viper along with some of the more evil SF characters acting as later bosses with M. Bison being the game’s Dr. Wily. A silly little cut scene before the title screen would have been nice just to see how crazy a story there could have been to explain how Mega Man found himself in this situation but story has never really been Mega Man’s strong point. Game play is.

GAMEPLAY: If you’re a veteran of Mega Man games you will be pleased that SFXMM has the same tight controls we all know and love from classic MM games. However, I do highly recommend getting a game controller if you do not already have one. Playing a game like this is nearly impossible on a keyboard unless you’re just that hardcore. I bought an NES style USB game controller off Amazon for a few bucks just for this game so I highly recommend doing something similar if you are going to play this. While the game controls just like Mega Man 4 and after with the sliding and chargeable Mega Buster, they did add in two quick weapon select buttons for you to assign. If you’re using a controller like mine, you’ll discover that you do not have enough buttons for the number of commands that it wants assigned. You can double assign commands and you might want to try attaching it to the pause screen if your controller does not have enough buttons.

Aside from the generally classic controls, it has some very cool stage designs appropriate for each level boss. Dhalsim’s level is like a maze set in an Indian castle. C. Viper’s level has elevators to control and big death beams that chase you kind of like the death beams from Quick Man’s stage in Mega Man 2. Blanka has a jungle/water level, Rose’s level has a segment where you fly on Rush and shoot enemies similar to Tengu Man’s stage from MM8. Some of the stages are rather short or easy while others are longer and more difficult. I did notice an odd but not game breaking glitch with items that randomly appear in walls here and there. The boss fights are another difference you’ll find from classic Mega Man games. The boss characters have power bars that fill up as they take damage like in Street Fighter games. When it’s full, the boss can unleash a super attack. The screen even zooms in on them as they strike a pose letting you know they are going to attack. The bosses themselves are pretty tricky for the most part. You might feel a little under powered compared to the Street Fighter characters with their wide array of moves they execute. Just like the stages, some of them are pretty easy once you figure out their pattern like Blanka and Ryu. If a boss beats you without taking any damage, a PERFECT will appear on the screen. I thought that was pretty funny. Of course, after beating a boss you get their power. The power demonstration screen is pretty funny as is shows Mega Man testing his new power on Dan Hibiki.

The last thing I should mention is that this game does have one big flaw: no form of saving whatsoever. I didn’t expect it to be like most modern games where saves are done automatically after each level. That’s fine but there is no password system either. If you grew up with Mega Man, you know it’s always had a password system. I don’t know why there isn’t and trust me you’ll wish there was. It’s not like this is a long game. It’s about the average length of past Mega Man games. You could probably beat it within an hour max but make sure your screen saver is turned off. If it comes on while you’re playing, it’ll make the screen go black and the only way to fix this is to close the program. Not cool. The creator did say he is working on a patch to fix some of these problems in the near future though so that is some good news and for a free game, you can’t complain too much.

GRAPHICS & SOUND: Ah that good old 8-bit look. Gotta love it. The level designs are nice and colorful with some surprisingly detailed backgrounds here and there. There is one stage with a billboard of a rather busty woman on it. Never thought I’d see that in a Mega Man game.. The animations and attacks from Mega Man and the Street Fighter characters are very good for 8-Bit. Ryu and Chun-Li even talk when delivering their signature moves like ‘Hadoken!’ and ‘Tornado Kick!’ but in little squeaky 8-bit voices. Some might not like that but I thought it was cute. Like most Mega Man games, the music rocks. The levels have some awesome remixes of classic Mega Man songs mixed with Street Fighter themes. One problem though: no Guile in the game so no Guile theme. WTF, man?! Oh well, maybe if they make a sequel..

Overall, for a free game that is only 33Mb, this is a nice little treat for Mega Man and Street Fighter fans though more so for MM fans. But make sure to get game controller. It would be nice to see it for download on an actual game console but then it would most likely cost money. Speaking of which, they have started releasing NES Mega Man games on the 3DS for download. If you’re a fan of these two franchises, SFXMM is worth checking out as it was made of us fans. It has some problems but nothing that affects the actual game play and for a game that is free, you can’t really complain too much.

OVERALL: 3.5/5 

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