CAPCOM’s putting out some new Mega Man stuff. They seem to release this kind of stuff at somewhat frequent intervals. Folders, buttons, keyrings, stickers and other stuff for the Mega Man fans, almost like telling the fans that It’s OK, we’re still making this cheap shit for you to buy and give us money. The last few times CAPCOM did this I did get a keyring or two for myself, and even thou I’m a sucker when I could have stained glass style keyrings, I’ll just give this one a pass. Unless I have a chance to get that Hideki Ishikawa Roll. I won’t lie with this one; Ishikawa’s illustrations are one of the best things that have happened to Mega Man in visual department next to Hitoshi Ariga’s Mix comics
One thing we notice when we observe with this next round of Mega Man stuff is that CAPCOM’s once again pushing the 8-bit graphics pretty harshly, and some of the design on the files are atrocious, especially with Mega Man X dashing and Mega Man Battle Network ones with lifted graphics and mostly black colour, not to mention that jumping Mega Man against a blue bakcground. Previously they at least used previous illustrations, but these are just awful and lazy, something we could just throw together in Paint and order from a Chinese merchant. Nobody is paying good money to CAPCOM to deliver something we could do just as well. They need to make it a step or three better.
The keyrings on the other hand are peculiar things. The 8-bit acrylic ones feature, as you’d expect, both Mega Man and Proto Man in their masturbatory 8-bit dot sprite glory, but CAPCOM has gone their way to make new dot graphics to both X and Zero. And of course they needed to use Zero from the Zero-series, because that closes the aforementioned masturbatory circle.
But enough with the slander. The point why I’m coming down on CAPCOM on these cheap and lazy merch is simply because we’ve been getting nothing but merch for years now. We can take this, roughly speaking, either as sort of message from CAPCOM that they haven’t forgotten about the Mega Man fans, or as something that’s basically a slap against the fans’ collective faces. If this year’s merch was on par of previous years’ stuff, I’d gladly put down an euro or twenty for some of these, but that isn’t the case here.
Secondly, CAPCOM doesn’t have a fallback game anymore. If Square-Enix ends in a pickle where they need to bring in hard cash, they have few games that they call fall on because they know they will sell to the fans and outside the fandom really damn fast. Final Fantasy VII is one of those fallback games as was Chrono Trigger. Perhaps a new Mega Man game could have been something like that few years back, but not anymore. Resident Evil won’t carry that either, Breath of Fire has transformed into another game altogether and Street Fighter IV has been milked, not to mention that nobody trusts CAPCOM after the whole Street Fighter X Tekken DLC debacle and I can’t fault them. Darkstalkers was never popular enough to rake in the big bucks, and MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3 has gained rather disastrous infamy. I doubt Disney will want to have much to do with CAPCOM on the long run. They have their own plans. Perhaps CAPCOM could do some dealings with SEGA to bring Street Fighter VS Virtua Fighter or similar. Or Archie VS CAPCOM.
It’s kind of awkward for me to say that CAPCOM should go all out with Mega Man when I admi that there’s enough Mega Man games and stuff out there already. That’s why it needs to be said straight and clean; CAPCOM needs to stop this cocktease they’ve been up to for a long time now and decide whether or not they want to continue with the franchise as a whole, or just let its blood drip down drop at a time.
There is hope, that much I have to agree. Despite how little merch there is, despite the quality of it and everything else, Mega Man is still out there. Archie’s comics are damn good and do justice to the series, even thou cross-overing Classic and X in X’s first outing is a bad idea and has already been done before, Mega Man has some level of presence. It’s not nearly as strong as it used to be. What CAPCOM and the fans didn’t learn from Mega Man Battle Network and its success in Japan is that Mega Man has always been for kids. It’s not supposed to be dark, bleak, and massively depressing like the Zero series, but the tone doesn’t need to be dumbed down.
I remember this video being distributed on the ‘net in 2001 and 2002 in various sites, and this what Mega Man’s customers were when they first got their hands on the games. Mega Man isn’t about being ultra-hard action platforming, it’s about good games that everybody can enjoy.
Even the original Rockman TV commercial makes it clear that this is a game that children will enjoy. There’s an interesting thing you can spot from the Japanese TV commercials; up until Mega Man 3 they keep using that the game and the characters have been POWERED UP. It’s like the advertising knows that there’s very little powered up in the games after the first three. Not even the Mega Man 6 commercial says anything powering up despite the Rush Armour gimmick present.
What could CAPCOM hope to bring into Mega Man games that hasn’t already been there? The answer might just be that they need to think outside the box and see what worked, and then make those best games in the series absolutely obsolete by making a better game. Sound stupidly simple and easy thing to say, but why make a simple concept like Mega Man game anymore complex than people already have made them to be?