The fight for everlasting profits continues

Seems those rumors about Mega Man 9 being in the works could have some sort of substance behind them, as Capcom has registered a multiplatform game by that name with Australia’s equivalent of the ESRB. Or so Mr. Internet tells me.

We have a rocky relationship, Mr. Internet and I. He lies to me a lot, and he’s very emotionally, shall we say, unstable. Prone to blowing up in my face at unexpected moments. But sometimes he’s on the level, and this seems to be one of those cases. The question is, do I want him to be right?

Capcom seems to have about a 50% track record when it comes to reviving old franchises. This is, admittedly, miles beyond nearly any other old-tyme developer who’s still around and kicking, but it still makes for even odds that any supposed ninth chapter of this hoary old series will be a flop. Most people seem to suggest an inexpensive downloadable content-style Mega Man Powered Up offshoot as the ideal model for this endeavor, but I’m not sure I agree. Powered Up was lovely on PSP, but have you ever played it through a PSP-2000’s video out? What is brilliant as a portable game feels awfully clumsy as a console title.

And then there are the new sequels to Commando and 1943, Capcom’s grand experiment with kick-starting old franchises via DLC. They’re competent, but something about them feels a little off. There’s nothing about Wolf of the Battlefield in particular that says, “Hey, this is Commando 3 and not just some random generic top-down shooter!” Of course, Mega Man has enough entrenched, time-encrusted traditions that it’ll be instantly recognizable. Will it be any good, though? Let’s be honest; the original series was well along the downslope of diminishing returns when they stopped churning them out, and if MM9 is as tepid as the past few entries you’ll have to wonder why they even bothered. And maybe that’s the real problem: The longer a series lays buried — ten years, in this case — the better its return needs to be in order to justify exhuming its corpse. I’m not sure Capcom has it in ’em.

I’m sure we’ll learn the (terrible?) truth at E3, or maybe at TGS. If Mega Man turns out to be angry and dreadlocked, I feel fully entitled to clucking in disappointment and maybe even launching an angry tirade at Mr. Internet. Not that it would be his fault, but our abusive relationship goes both ways.

15 thoughts on “The fight for everlasting profits continues

  1. Given their success in reinventing Resident Evil and the level of interest in Street Fighter 4 it feels almost appropriate for Capcom to resuscitate their remaining super-franchise.

    Heh heh, ten years ago everyone complained about Capcom’s constant Mega Man and Street Fighter releases and now people can’t wait to have those series back…

  2. Heh, right on the money Nemo (on both accounts). I’ve never been a huge Mega Man fan – my favorites happen to be Legends and Powered Up – but I am extremely interested to see what’s in store for 9.

  3. Now, will Capcom have the gonads to include a “retro” option, where I can play the game with NES-style graphics? Because in my geek heart of hearts, that’s really what I want. Just transport me to 1987, okay Capcom?

  4. I dunno, man. Given all the billions and billions of spin-offs and miscellaneous Megaman ephemera that have been released pretty much non-stop in the time between now and Megaman 8, it’s sort of hard for me to be super-excited and/or apprehensive about a new reg’ler game. It’s not as though there’s been any sort of Megaman drought, so this just feels like the same ol’ thing, even if it allegedly has some sort of additional cachet.

  5. I’m just curious what exactly seperates Commando from any other top-down shooter series other the original’s particular gameplay mix? And the only thing of that I remember being special was the dedicated grenade button. (every shooter first person or otherwise should have one)

    If someone brought back Iron Tank however….

    Maybe they’ll completely reinvent the Megaman series to be full 3D, then everyone could have their new Legends. Though a superslick 2D Megaman HD could be cool.

  6. For the love of God Capcom, please put MM9 on a Nintendo console. That’s where the fanbase is. Powered Up tanked on PSP as did the re-make of MMX. Mega Man games continue to sell well on the DS. Please don’t screw the long-time Nintendo/Mega Man fans by doing something stupid like making MM9 an XBLA exclusive.

  7. I think MM9 would probably do better if Inafune had nothing at all to do with it. His stupid push to reshape the entire franchise in Zero’s image is doing more harm than good.

    Here’s how to make me happy Capcom:
    1. Commission final chapters that complete and appropriately bridge the stories – MM9, X9, MM Legends 3, and ZX3 – and put Inticreates and the guy who did X8 on them.
    2. Tell Inafune he can begin work on StarForce 3, MM Powered Up Zero Edition, and Maverick Hunter Zero: Rebirth, thus distracting him for months.
    3. Quietly discard his work later and tell him the truth over a beer.

  8. FYI, Senjou no Okami translates as “wolf of the battlefield,” not the other way around. Disregard if the title is actually Okami no Senjou. Now, whether romanized Japanese text titles follow the same capitalization rules as English ones, I’ll leave to you.

  9. “I think MM9 would probably do better if Inafune had nothing at all to do with it. His stupid push to reshape the entire franchise in Zero’s image is doing more harm than good.”

    The Mega Man Network is thataway, my good man.

    Considering the Zero and ZX games are some of the best the franchise has seen since the turn of the decade, I’m inclined to disagree. Also, the series’ worst atrocities, namely X6 and X7, were not on his watch.

    So… yeah, no.

  10. Here’s how to make me happy Capcom: Commission final chapters that complete and appropriately bridge the stories – MM9, X9, MM Legends 3, and ZX3

    That’s the last thing I’ll ever expect the series to do. Gotta keep the avenue open for new sequels, after all.

  11. It occurs to me that paying for the OFLC to rate a game with an extremely misleading title would be a completely unexpected prank.

  12. Perhaps they might add in a Prototype Zero as the main antagonist. And yeah, what is Mega Man without Inafune to back him up?

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