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.
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!
Kamiya has said countless times in recent weeks that he wants to work on Viewtiful Joe 3. He has also said that it can't happen without Capcom's blessing. In an interview with NWR, Kamiya once again said what needs to happen in order to bring that sequel to fruition. It looks like Kamiya is really turning to the fans to help make his dream a reality.
(These comments come from Kamiya, but were interpreted by a translator) He said maybe if enough people actually reach out to them and propose it, it might happen. He alone cannot do it. So, if you guys rally people up and get them together he would love to do it.
Seems like it's time for someone to get the ball rolling on a campaign. A catchy hashtag, a movement on social media, and email campaign, and so on. Anyone care to take up the mantle?!
Inti Creates created 4 different Mega Man Zero games, and then they transitioned over to the Mega Man ZX series. What caused the design change going forward? In an interview with Mega Man ZX character designer and scenario writer Makoto Yabe, we find out that Inti Creates wasn't even sure which direction Capcom would want to go in, so they tried to split the difference.
Actually, at first it wasn’t decided whether we would make Mega Man Zero 5 or the brand-new Mega Man ZX. And so, the project discussion period between Capcom and Inti Creates took a long time. ...Inti Creates’ president [Takuya] Aizu’s opinion was to ask me to “make it so that it could go either way.”
While the retail version of DuckTales Remastered for Wii U can still be found out in the wild, the Wii U eShop version disappeared on Aug. 9th, 2019. The same went for all digital storefronts, as the downloadable version of the game was delisted. You don't have to be sad about missing out anymore though, as the game has now returned!
Capcom has announced that DuckTales Remastered is once again available on all the digital storefronts that it originally appeared on, including the Wii U eShop. A Switch port of the game would certainly be lovely, but this is definitely better than nothing. If you need a refresher on the game, you can check out Capcom's blog here.
Shinsuke Kodama, a dev at Capcom who worked on both the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Mega Man Star Force franchises, has announced his departure from the company. Kodama shared this message via Twitter.
“It’s a personal matter, but I left Capcom at the end of February to pursue a new challenge. That being the case, I would like to continue to support the Ace Attorney series from the outside!”
Kodama was involved with the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy release on Switch, was the planning lead on Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken (The Great Ace Attorney), a game designer on Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Mega Man Star Force: Dragon, Leo, and Pegasus, as well as a scenario writer for Mega Man Star Force 2: Zerker X Ninja and Zerker X Saurian, and Mega Man Star Force 3: Black Ace and Red Joker.
One of the greatest action games of the PS2 era arrives on Switch! Capcom delivers the goods with an extra multiplayer mode and a Freestyle combat option - but can it fix all the issues present in the HD Collection before it, and on PC? Tom gives it a full tech workout to find out.
In order to get people ready for Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection, Capcom has put together a special video that explains what Mega Man Zero is all about in just 100 seconds. So far they've relased a Japanese version of this video, but hopefully we get an English version soon.
Set before the events of the original Devil May Cry, this action classic sees Dante facing off against his twin brother, Vergil, who has designs on unlocking a gate to the demonic realm, to which Dante himself holds the key... Featuring selectable combat styles such as Swordmaster and Gunslinger, Devil May Cry 3 brings an extra level of strategy to the series' renowned stylish gameplay.