According to Polygon and their Famitsu team, Sakurai made Mega Man to be 8-bit Mega Man in Smash Bros. in order to present the character. What he fails to realize that he didn’t make a presentation of the character, but the game mechanics that work on NES Mega Man games. See, he sees that expressionless Mega Man that is rigid and of ‘unrealistic proportions’ as he puts it present Mega Man as a character best. So, he is making a character that we’re used to see making expressions in official artwork (and in later games as soon as the graphics department allowed) expressionless and just takes the gameplay and calls that character?
I call humongous amounts of bullshit on this.
We’re going to get back to that, but now I to talk about why he doesn’t know Marvel Vs CAPCOM. He keeps saying that he doesn’t want his Mega Man to punch and kick and then still gives him the Uppercut. See, MvC is what some people would classify as a tournament fighter as opposed to Smash Bros. party fighter. Party fighters can have completely free range of rules as long as people would be enjoying themselves. Tournament fighters usually stick to a very rigid set of rules that is needed to follow and characters are build and balanced around that. As such, of course Mega Man would punch and kick in a game where every-single-other character punches and kicks. Then we check his Special Moves and hello what we have here! He has his sliding from Mega Man 3, Mega Buster is given to a normal attack button, he can call Eddy for Special Weapons like Tornado Hold, he can summon Rush and turn him into a Drill Tank, he can call Beat to help in plane form and can become Hyper Mega Man, a Mazinger Z/ Mega Man hybrid. So no, Mega Man does not just punch and kick. The use of Special Weapons, especially Tornado Hold, is vital. I wonder if Sakurai just forgets that CAPCOM fighting games have more than basic moves. He might as well say that Godzilla only breathes fire when it’s actually nuclear blasts, and Godzilla does bite, claw, body slams, tail whips and flies as well.
So, let’s get back to original bit, the presentation.
“It’s all in an effort to present the character.”
Don’t bullshit me, Sakurai. I want you, the reader, to realize how stupid this is and I’m going to repeat myself here again; presenting character does equal presenting the game play of the game character appears in. If he sees that the Variable Weapon System is the most defining character of Mega Man, then why haven’t we seen that? Does he think that powers define characters like twelve year old Naruto fans think? If so, then make the player able to defeat the other players, and with every defeated foe Mega Man would gain this character’s power to the end of the match. But that’s just silly and unbalanced, so we could make it so that as player defeats other characters, he could choose what four Special Weapons he uses from hem. But that’s funny, that would take effort and would make Mega Man completely unique character that player would need to work more on. It’s not like they could just add customization option to all characters with unique properties to balance things out, right?
How does Final Fantasy VII’s gameplay represent Cloud Strife? None, that’s how. Otherwise all FFVII characters would have the exact same presentation.
If Sakurai wanted to present Mega Man rather NES games, he would have approached Mega Man almost completely different. I agree that the best way to use his Special Weapons is to give him pre-set weapons from across the series. After all, he should be able to use Robot Master weapons only. However, Mega Man expressing character even in the NES games. Look at Rockman’s title screen and you see him smiling. Mega Man 2 ending shows him melancholic after Wily’s defeat, and leaves his helmet on a field. Rockman 3 sees him determined in the title screen, and in the ending he looks up to the sky, puzzled by Proto Man. Mega Man 4 starts with introduction where we see Rock’s transformation from household robot to a super fighting robot and his through this his sense for justice. Mega Man 5 gives a worried Mega Man as Dr. Light is kidnapped. Mega Man 6 doesn’t have anything outside the norm because the game’s not that good anyway, but Mega Man 7 gives more angry Mega Man, and 8 just blows the damn lid off and gives us every range of emotion the comics, guides and manuals have been telling us for the last ten years at that time. Are you saying that what presents Mega Man as a character best is how he PLAYS in the NES games? If you are, then please in the name all that is holy stop working and go to local Super Tamade! and as for a job there.
Sakurai, do you see that strange thing on their face that we call an expression? Mega Man has loads of it. It’s in the eyes and subtle changes how he smiles of frowns. He isn’t realistic in any of these, he is cartoony like the Mighty Atom/ Astro Boy. He has changed through the years in appearance and yet he has the character. What you are presenting in Smash Bros. is not character of Mega Man, but how technical game play of NES Mega Man functions in Smash Bros. setting. If you’re saying that game play is his character, then his character is that of the player and how he chooses to play him. This doesn’t just apply to Mega Man then, it applies to every game ever, where the player is directly controlling the character. The player decides that the playable avatar’s character is now timid and careful and doesn’t want to move as he plays the game like that by using the game play, or he could go guns blazing and killing the ever living shit of everything ever everywhere.
When we speak about game play, Mega Man’s most unique trait, as a game, is still the freedom you have in choosing the stages. Boss Weapons are secondary. Neither of these are traits of Mega Man but the games he is in. The most unique trait in Mega Man is that he was designed to be an ordinary household robot, but decided to abandon his safe life and transform himself into a literal war machine. He made a decision that changed his life to that of constant danger in order to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves, to defeat those like him who are a threat to the world. He won’t give up and he won’t lose because he has something to protect. He has changed his body for that purpose, and even defeated a solar god when he had no chances of doing so.
I know I say that for a game only game play matters and I stick to that. However, that does not mean I ignore everything around the game play. The game play is always most important, and everything else should further elevate the game play experience. Manuals used to be part of the game play, especially on PCs, and broadened on aspects what games themselves couldn’t. Even in those NES manuals we learned a lot of Mega Man, and original Mega Man’s ending sums his character rather well; Mega Man, quite literally, fights for everlasting peace.
How is that presented in Smash Bros.?