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 Mega Man Franchise

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PostSubject: Mega Man Franchise   Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:11 am

I see no thread for Capcom's neglected stepchild here so I make one!

I was never particularly fond of the classic Mega Man series for several reasons, among them being how ridiculously difficult they are. The only classic I've played that I found fun was Mega Man V, for the Gameboy, also known as "the one where he shoots his arm off"

One day I was browsing an emulator site, looking for something new and I came upon two things, a Mega Man soccer game, and a trilogy of games called Mega Man X. I had no idea what the latter was, so I decided to try it.

I was pleasantly surprised. The ability to dash (instead of that dinky little slide classic Mega does) and the ability to cling/jump walls makes a world of difference in my mind. It makes combat much more interesting than just slowly walking around, shooting and sliding under the opponent. And no more Rush Coil! 

Back in my younger days I would have praised the darker story line of the X series, but now I just pay attention to the game-play on that one. I finally ended up purchasing that game along with the next five in the series via the Collection compilation for the Gamecube.

Mega Man Zero, the sequel to the X series, was one of the earlier Gameboy Advance titles I remember having and I... didn't hate it. It was frustratingly difficult, gives you a system of power-ups that it punishes you for using and Zero starts having to learn how to swing his saber twice and charge his buster by using them a certain amount of times. The story is also muuuuch darker than the X series, now playing as the role of the rebels fighting for survival, instead of being the rebel hunters.

Mega Man Battle Network came into my life at around the time Pokemon Fire Red released, when the Pokemon craze was starting to die out (at least in my corner of the world). These were the most strange, as they had a lot of rpg elements, but the battle system was real time moving around on a 3x3 grid launching attacks that are issued via cards basically. Mega Man is now a computer program who travels through the internet, fighting viruses with the aid of his human partner sending him power-ups on what is basically a Digivice. This was around the time the Sonic X anime came out. Seems to be a thing to pair up video game mascots with a human kid.

In 2006 I picked up a game called Mega Man ZX at a Gamestop. It was basically Digimon Spirit Evolution but with Mega Man characters. You play as a human (maybe? I think they're part robot in this one) who "Mega-Merge" with artifacts shaped like the heads of characters from the Zero series. It's also a direct sequel to that series with life becoming less dark and gritty thanks to the resolution of that work's conflicts. This one was less frustrating, but also less interesting. 

I got lucky. It turns out that Model X (which lets you transform into Mega Man X's form, and is later replaced by the combination of X and Zero's forms known as Model ZX) becomes unusable after becoming Model ZX, but can be unlocked if you beat the game with both playable characters. I bought a pre-owned copy that already had this requirement fulfilled, and wasn't any the wiser.

The Battle Network franchise eventually got its own sequel by the name of Mega Man Star Force. Whereas the BN series dealt with the internet, this one is all about radio waves. There's still a bit of internetting here and there, going into the systems of electronic devices, but this time the main human kid is doing it himself. Our protagonist, Geo Stellar, meets a blue cyber-beast.... thing called Omega-Xis, and they're able to merge into this game's version of Mega Man, kind of a super hero secret identity deal going on.

Story-wise this was the most bland Mega Man game, this series was the most bland by far, particularly in the characters department. Two of the best friends for example are defined entirely by basic traits. The big guy, Bud, Never shuts up about food, and Zack the stereotypical nerd is always taking about databases and whatnot.

But this is the series that has Luna! 

You can guess why I like her.

I never played Mega Man Legends, so I don't have much to say about that other than I pity those who were looking forward to Legends 3.
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