Capcom has pushed out an update for Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. We don't know the version number, but we have info on what the patch does. This seems to be a minor update, as the only aspect mentioned is a fix for a rare game crash. If more details pop up on this patch, we'll be sure to share them.
Capcom is back with one more special feature on Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. The team once again focuses on Mega Man Zero to give you some helpful tips and tricks for some late game content. Since this is deep into spoiler territory, I'll refrain from sharing actual details here. So long as you don't mind spoilers, you can find the final blog here.
Capcom is giving the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection a lot of love on their blog, featuring fan-art and features to help players out. They're back today with yet another blog that aims to offer some tips and tricks specifically for the first entry in the series, Mega Man Zero. If you need some help making it through the game, hopefully Capcom's suggestions can help!
The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection may have gotten a fancy Sound Box physical release in Japan, but at least the rest of world can now enjoy the soundtracks from those games in an official capacity. Capcom has announced that soundtracks for all four Mega Man Zero games and the two Mega Man ZX games can now be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and Steam.
Capcom is releasing the Mega Man Zero & ZX Sound BOX collection in Japan today. As we've discussed in the past, this package includes 6 CDs, 208 songs, and 454 minutes of music from the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection.There's also a 16 page booklet with illustrations included. You can snag the entire box for ¥8,800.
Capcom's Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection "Community Heroes" contest came to a close awhile ago, and today the winners have been revealed. The artwork above is one of the winning pieces, with the complete rundown including three grand prize winners and seven honorable mentions.
Winning is certainly fun, but Capcom went a step further and included dev team commentary on each of the selected pieces! You can see a gallery of the winners and all dev comments right here.
All the games in the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection provide a sizable challenge, but there's always a bit more to tackle for those who really want to test their skills. If you really want to see what you're made of, you can unlock the hidden stage in Z Chaser and aim for the top time.
That's a wrap on our week of Mega Man features, gang! Sorry to end things on such a sour note (pun DEFINITELY intended), but hopefully you've had fun along the way. We'll be back with the next GN Thought on Monday, so see you then. As always, thanks for reading!
There are certain franchises where I look forward to the soundtracks as much, if not more than the gameplay. Castlevania comes to mind, as does Shantae, along with countless others. Tunes so good that they stick in your head for not months, but years to come. Without a doubt, I would include the Mega Man series in that category. Across the last 11 mainline games, there have been almost too many amazing songs to count, and I continue to listen to those soundtracks to this day.
When Mega Man 11 was announced, my hype was through the roof. As a huge Mega Man fan, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the game. Everything shown in the trailers proved that I would love the game gameplay-wise, which I figured would be the case. The only missing piece of the puzzle was the game's music. You only ever get to hear snippets in trailers, and what I had heard made me hopeful, but I wasn't sold. Unfortunately, I would end up being quite disappointed when I got to hear the soundtrack in full.
A large majority of people seem to be on the same page with Mega Man 11. While the game looks and plays great, the soundtrack is a bit of a letdown. I don't want to say it's a bad soundtrack, but I will say that I find it to be the least interesting of all mainline Mega Man soundtracks for me. I've given the soundtrack multiple listens since I first played through the game, as I wanted to see if it clicked for me. That hasn't been the case no matter how many times I've run through the entire soundtrack.
Of course, now I'm left with the question as to why that is. Why do I, and so many other Mega Man fans find such fault with the Mega Man 11 soundtrack? What is it that makes it stand out as the sore thumb in a series of fantastic music? I've been thinking long and hard about this ever since the game came out, and I've come up with a few potential answers.
The songs aren't memorable
I can't imagine what it's like working on video game music. It much be such a pressure-filled experience far beyond any kind of pressure I've encountered. That's only doubled when working on a long-running, beloved franchise. Can you imagine sitting down to create a soundtrack for an iconic game character that's returning to the gaming scene after a long hiatus?! I think I'd curl up in a ball and die right there!
There's no such thing as sitting down and making a good song. Any composer always has the intention of making something good, but you never know what the end result will be. The composers for Mega Man 11 clearly had plans to create something that matched the much-revered music of previous entries, but their results fell flat.
Mega Man games are known for somewhat short loops of punchy tunes that you're whistling and humming for days on end. What you get in Mega Man 11, for the most part, just doesn't have that vibe. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to the soundtrack, yet I can't remember half the songs in the game. They just aren't engaging enough, and don't have that special something that keeps you wanting more. I actually think I know why that is.
The songs lack energy
There's a reason why Fuse Man's theme was used in multiple Mega Man 11 trailers. Many find it to be the best in the game, and whoever cut trailers at Capcom clearly feels the same way. What is it about Fuse Man's tune that makes it stand so far out from the others? I think it has the energy of classic Mega Man songs before it.
Fuse Man's song is energetic right off the bat, and makes you feel pumped to tackle the level ahead of you. Even better, the energy gets dialed up halfway through the song, and really kicks up that thumping beat. That's the kind of energy you find in the majority of Mega Man songs, and it helps the tune get stuck in your head. It's not just a song that sounds good, it's a song that feels good as well.
Fuse Man's tune also has a ridiculously catchy melody to it. The way the notes jump around make it a blast to listen to. It's also pretty quick as far as loops go, returning you the beginning after just a minute. That's actually on the longer end of the spectrum for Mega Man tunes, but not unheard of. Fuse Man's tune kicks off, grabs your attention, and takes you on a ride. That's what Mega Man music does best!
It sounds very...samey
This one is so hard to explain, and I'm sure I'll catch flak for it. I feel like the vast majority of songs in Mega Man 11 all sound very similar. Sure, there are different melodies in each track, but there's simply not enough variety in how they're presented to make any of them memorable.
This is a difficult point to discuss, as I know people will fire back with songs from Mega Man 1-6, 9, and 10 as examples. Those games all use chiptunes for their soundtracks, and there are indeed a lot of similar noises in those songs. Back in the days of the NES, you only had so much you could do with the audio capabilities of the platform. There were going to be "instruments" used more than once in tunes. It was pretty much unavoidable.
I think the difference is that composers for those titles knew their limits, or in the case of 9 and 10, stayed true to those limits. When you know you only have so many sound fonts to work with, you aim to create songs that sound unique and different within those restrictions. There may be a lot of similar sounds between those retro Mega Man songs, but the final results of those compositions sounds wholly unique. In my honest opinion, while I do recognize the same sounds being used in multiple classic Mega Man songs, I've never felt those tracks to sound similar.
With Mega Man 11, you get the same instrument driving the melody in almost every song. I'll never forget slowly realizing that as I played through for the first time. Each song has a generic beat to it, and the melody is driven by the same synth sound over and over...and over. Now I don't have the actual answer as to why this was done, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was somewhat of an homage to the classic games.
The composers knew the tunes of classic Mega Man games, which are dominated by chiptunes. Chiptunes can certainly sound the same as far as base instruments go. I really think the composers might have seen that limitation and wanted to pay tribute to it through the use of a singular instrument for the melodies in Mega Man 11. Perhaps they felt it was a way to respect the classics, and also offer a unifying feel for this adventure. In my opinion, it ends up making the bulk of the soundtrack sound like a singular long song.
I always feel bad when I criticize something, especially music. I have such respect and admiration for those who create music, as I find it to be an amazing craft. It's not something everyone can do, and every song is beautiful to someone out there. With that said, I'm also 100% honest with my feelings on games in all aspects. It's important to share how I truly feel, but I aim to do so in a respectful way. Hopefully that's come across in this feature.
Mega Man 11's soundtrack doesn't do it for me, and I can't tell you how sad that makes me. I was really, really looking forward to the soundtrack, and I find it to be the weakest part of the game. There's some tracks in there I enjoy, but by and large, it's a pass for me. I know this isn't a new or revolutionary discussion when it comes to Mega Man 11, but it's still one I wanted to share my two cents on.
Mega Man 12 will definitely come around, and there's no doubt that Capcom has heard the pushback on the game's soundtrack. I would imagine they'll work extra hard to ensure Mega Man 12 has the toe-tapping tunes fans expect. I look forward to that moment, and I can't wait to write a gushing feature about it. Until then, I'll keep enjoying the various Mega Man soundtracks as I work...just with fewer songs from 11.
We're coming up on the end of our Mega Man week. Just one feature left from here on out! I've been thinking about today's feature all week, and hopefully it helps conjure up some ideas for you as well. As always, thanks for reading!
There have only been 11 mainline Mega Man games since the series' inception in 1987. Within those 11 installments, there has been very little change to core mechanics, especially in recent years. We saw a slide added in for Mega Man 3, the ability to charge up your Mega Buster in 4, and then some other superfluous stuff along the way. Outside of that, its been business as usual for the Blue Bomber.
As I've said in other features this week, I love core gameplay of Mega Man. To be honest, I can't get enough of it! There's just something about the experience that always leaves me wanting more. With that said, I would have no problem if Capcom wanted to spice things up with some changes. I'm talking about changes that fundamentally mix things up, rather than something like a new character or different weapon.
While I'm certainly not in any position to offer up good gameplay ideas for Mega Man, I still have some thoughts I'd like to toss out there. These could be some fun ways to change up Mega Man's formula and make for a unique twist on the experience.
Robot Master numbers
For the bulk of Mega Man games, the Blue Bomber takes on 8 robot master stages. I don't know why Capcom settled on 8 as the go-to number, but they certainly have stuck to that for the bulk of the series. Wouldn't it be nice to see Capcom play with that a bit?
Adding in more robot masters might not be the answer, but I'd certainly welcome it. A longer Mega Man game with 12 robot masters sounds like heaven to me. What a surprise that would be as well! You take out the first 8 and then learn that there's actually 4 more robot masters waiting in all-new stages. I know seeing something like that would put a smile on my face!
I'm also okay with Capcom pulling back on the amount of robot masters, as long as they extend the stages themselves. Give us 6 robot masters and stages double the length. Through in a few more mid-bosses along the way, and it could really help liven up the experience. I'm sure it would make things more challenging as well, and I'm always down for more challenge in a Mega Man game.
There have been a couple Mega Man games that add in secret paths or few choices for your road ahead, but I'd love to see Capcom really expand on the idea. Throwing in multiple paths into every stage would add a ton to the replay value of any Mega Man game, and could be a great way to have things play out differently for each player.
Don't make branching stages that give you a different way to get to the same ending. A branching path could have new enemies, items you won't get on other paths, mid-bosses that differ, and even robot master battles that are unique. Instead of meeting a robot master in his usual chamber, perhaps you take him on at the top of a building. Wherever you fight them could lead to new hazzards, and new battle mechanics. All it takes is a couple tweaks to make things feel completely different.
One of Mega Man's core features is gaining an ability from a robot master that you've defeated. Checking out all the new weapons is a blast, but sometimes it would be fun to force the player into a specific challenge with a locked-in weapon.
Capcom could enable a system that makes certain Wily stages into a situation where you can only use one or two weapons. Something in Wily's security system disables most of your weapons, but you're left with a couple of the attacks you've picked up from robot masters on the way. Really make players use those weapons in interesting ways, pushing the limits of what's possible.
Dropping the robot master rematch
Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, every Mega Man game has a moment where you enter a room that has you battle every single robot master for a second time. Its become a thing in Mega Man games, and players are always expecting it. With that said, I don't think this battle is anything fans really look forward to. It's just a second fight in a room that's usually much blander than where you first battled. Yes, there's challenge in making it through all 8 robot masters with a single health tank, but e-Tanks do away with any of that challenge.
While it might be considered sacrilege to some, why not do away with the robot master rematch altogether? Perhaps we could get a special stage where the fallen robot masters come together to build some sort of ultimate machine out of the body parts they have left. How about a run through Wily's facility where he built the robot masters, and you have to fight your way past prototypes of the robot masters and experiments that didn't make the cut? I think it's great to pay respect to the robot masters late in the game, but taking them all on again in the exact same battle isn't the most exciting.
Those are just some of my ideas for how you can switch up the core Mega Man experience, some of which I think could lead to a really different feel. Do you have any ideas for how to change things up for the better?
I know I'm going to get crap for this one, but boy, have I been looking forward to writing it. I'm really looking forward to your input on this one!
I believe a good soundtrack can elevate a game to a whole new level. There's something about the marriage of music and gameplay that speaks to me on a really deep level. When I hear a tune that gets my toes tapping and matches the on-screen action, I start feeling euphoric. A game's soundtrack can heighten anything/everything a game has to offer.
While I absolutely love the gameplay of Mega Man, I might love the music even more. By and large, the mainline Mega Man games have some of the best music found in gaming. There are so many absolutely fantastic tunes that get stuck in your head and stay there for years. I still sing/hum some of these tracks on a weekly basis! The music is just that good.
I'm intimately familiar with the Mega Man soundtracks (1-11), and I thought it would be fun to go through each game and pick my favorite tune from each one. Instead, it turned out to be a torturous experience where I felt like I was choosing between my children! There are so many songs that really, REALLY make me smile, but I did my best to whittle each game down to the best tune...in my opinion. I fudged things a bit and included an honorable mention for a few, but overall, the tracks embedded below are my picks for the best song in each game.
Mega Man 1 - Dr. Wily Stage 1
Mega Man's debut outing has some fun and memorable songs in it, but you can tell it was the first time out for all involved. The tracks are a bit simple, and rather short by series standards. It was a beginning to something great, and certainly showed the promise of the series ahead.
I have to give the nod to Dr. Wily Stage 1 in Mega Man 1, as it feels like the most complicated tune in the mix. It also has an appropriate weight to it for the mission you're about to take on. It has a foreboding feel, which makes perfect sense, as you're about to step into the lair of Dr. Wily for the first time.
Mega Man 2 - Dr. Wily Stage 1
Mega Man 2 REALLY dialed up the soundtrack to 11. To be honest, Mega Man 2's soundtrack could still be argued as the best soundtrack in the mainline series to this day. Every track in this game is an absolute audio feast. There's really not a bad song in the entire game.
Once again, I have to pick Dr. Wily Stage 1 as my favorite track in the game. This one was really difficult, as there are so many other insanely good songs in this soundtrack. Still, Dr. Wily 1 takes what was put forth in the previous game and tweaks it to feel even more intense. The tempo has been picked up, it feels like a huge battle is ahead, and you're ready to show Wily what's up.
Mega Man 3 - Dr. Wily Stage 2
Following up Mega Man 2 with its unbelievable soundtrack was an insurmountable task. Mega Man 3 certainly has a good to great soundtrack, but it just can't match the heights of what came before it. It almost feels like the composers knew they had an impossible mission in front of them, but they gave it their best.
Dr. Wily Stage 2 does a good job of bringing about a serious feeling to your mission. While Dr. Wily Stage 1 is a strong start on your path through Wily's castle, it's Stage 2 that plays up the danger waiting ahead. There's a bit of a sullen tone to this track, which I really appreciate.
Mega Man 4 - Cossack Fortress 2
Once again, Mega Man 4 has an enjoyable soundtrack, but it fails to meet the lofty heights of Mega Man 2. Still, there are plenty of great tracks in here. They just have a different feel from other songs in the series, and aren't quite as fleshed out as I'd like. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just not the best the series has.
Cossack Fortress 2 has a lot in common with Dr. Wily Stage 2 from Mega Man 3. There's a slightly sad tone to part of the track, but it gives way to a much peppier and toe-tapping track. While not as crazy and energetic as other tracks, I really appreciate the mood this one sets.
Mega Man 5 - Napalm Man
It's hard to talk about Mega Man soundtracks without sounding like I'm coming down hard on them. I think Mega Man 5 is filled with fun and enjoyable tunes, but with that said, I feel it's a considerable step down from the previous entries. It just doesn't have the excitement I'm looking for in Mega Man games. Impressive for any other NES franchise at the time, but not up to snuff with what the series has brought to the table.
Napalm Man's theme, once it gets past the 5 second intro, is a really slick and enjoyable track. That main melody is really catchy, and shifts around in a way that you don't usually hear in Mega Man games. The second half of the track is more standard Mega Man fare, but it's still not afraid to dance around a bit. Definitely a standout for the game.
Mega Man 6 - Mr. X's Fortress
I'm sad to say that Mega Man 6 might be my least favorite soundtrack in the whole series. I say might because there's one other game that gives it a run for its money, which we'll get to later. It's clear that Mega Man was finishing up its run on the NES, and not a lot of care was put into the soundtrack overall. Not bad, but not all that great either.
Mr. X's Fortress is a song that feels like it came from prior Mega Man games. I find it to be leagues beyond the other tracks in the game. The strong melody flowing throughout really carries the whole tune, and once again, we get a bit of that dissonant feeling that really sells a track for me. I constantly find myself whistling/humming the opening moments of this tune, as it's just so damn good.
Mega Man 7 - Dr. Wily 1
Mega Man makes the jump to the SNES, and it does it in style. This is a real return to form for the Mega Man series when it comes to audio. In my opinion, this is one of the best Mega Man soundtracks. There's really not a bad tune in the entire lineup. There might be a few that are a bit too "whimsical," but that's a minor complaint. Such a great soundtrack, and underrated by many in my opinion.
Dr. Wily 1 is a really, really enjoyable track. Those opening moments with the twinkling sounds that build into the bass, followed by that screeching guitar-like sound...it's magical. More than almost any other track in the series, Dr. Wily 1 does an amazing job of telling a story as it plays out. You feel like the song builds with you as you make your way into Wily's castle, and then it really opens up when you see the craziness inside.
Mega Man 8 - Tengu Man (Saturn version)
Mega Man 8 might have the most unique soundtrack out of all the mainline Mega Man games. It really does some different stuff, and gives you a lot of tunes that might sound out of place for a Mega Man game if you heard them on their own. With that said, the soundtrack just works, and helps give the whole adventure a different feel. Another one of my favorites, as I really appreciate the decision to try something new.
Mega Man 8 on the Saturn had a different tune for Tengu Man than the PS1 version, and I think it ends up being the best song in the game. There are plenty of other fantastic tunes, but there's something about the complicated drum line, midi horn, and tempo of the track that gets my blood pumping. It still has a bit of the soft feeling that other tracks in this game have, which only adds to the flavor. Really love the sound of this one.
Mega Man 9 - Wily Stage 1
If any game in the Mega Man series is going to give Mega Man 2 a run for its money in the soundtrack department, it's Mega Man 9. Dear lord, this soundtrack is unbelievable from start to finish. It's honestly so good that I don't know if I like 9 or 2 better! So many ridiculously memorable tracks in this one.
Dr. Wily 1 in Mega Man 9 could very well be one of my favorite chiptune tracks period. There's not a damn thing I don't enjoy about this one. A quick tempo, a melody that is intense and moody, and it perfectly fits the action. This song is so good that it gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it. An instant classic, without a double.
Honorable Mention: Endless Stage - This song almost won out over Wily 1, but it just barely missed the spot. A different feel from everything else in the game, but boy is it good. A really slick and sneaky track.
Mega Man 10 - Wily Stage 1
Mega Man 10 had the same job that Mega Man 3 did. It had to follow up the near-perfect soundtrack that came before it. When I first heard Mega Man 10's soundtrack, I came away slightly disappointed. After multiple listens, I now have an appreciation for the tunes in this game. Not as good as 9 or 2, but no slouch!
Wily Stage 1 doesn't feel too much like the other Wily Stage tracks in the series. It feels like it could be a level stage for any of the robot masters in the game. That said, it's definitely a banger, as the kids say. That moment later in the song where the track really opens up and the high notes are hit is absolutely awesome. Really takes the song to a new level.
Honorable Mention: Wily Stage 5 - Again, this song almost took home the win. A much different approach from other songs in this game, but it's beautifully crafted. I love how it molds in the song from the opening scene, and includes the "beep beep" noise that acts as a mayday of sorts. A seriously smart tune.
Mega Man 11 - Fuse Man
I love Mega Man 11 in terms of gameplay and level design. I unfortunately do not love its soundtrack. To be painfully honest, it might be my least favorite in the series, or at least the most disappointing. We're going to dive into this soundtrack in detail later this week, so I'll leave my reasoning for being upset for that feature.
There's a reason why Mega Man 11's promo videos used Fuse Man's song as background music. I think it's the best song in the game hands-down. It has the energy I'm looking for, it gets a bit experimental in the middle, and it's a tune you have trouble getting out of your head. Whoever came up with this tune was no doubt inspired by great songs of Mega Man's past for this one.
Honorable Mention: Menu Music - Okay, this song is a real bop. So great for a menu song that I feel it's almost wasted! There's so much to it that people usually don't hear as they click passed the menu quickly. It definitely deserves some more recognition, as it's fantastic.
Those are my picks for the best song in each Mega Man game! I'm sure my choices will rile a few people up, and that's totally fine. The important thing to remember is that my word isn't gospel! I didn't give right or wrong answers...I just gave honest ones. I'd love to hear what tracks you love in each game, and let me know what you think of this list!