Zero regrets

Apparently Capcom is compiling the Mega Man Zero tetralogy (call it a “quadrilogy” and I explode your face) into a DS cartridge. No U.S. release is yet confirmed, but honestly now. Why wouldn’t they? Capcom likes money, especially easy money.

I’m pretty happy about this news, because I sold off my Zero games about a year ago. I enjoyed the series, or at least I did when it wasn’t punishing me for having the audacity to make use of its play mechanics, but then I noticed they were selling for stupid amounts of money on eBay. So, I decided to brave up and put a theory I have to the test: There’s no sense in hanging on old games in a successful series by a major publisher, because eventually they will show up again — often in a better format than they appeared the first time.*

Gaming has finally reached the point where it has its own sense of history, and old games are like old albums. There’s money to be made in dredging up back catalog material, because there’ll always be people who loved those games the first time around and a steady influx of new fans who started in with a franchise at a later chapter and are curious about the older works. Admittedly, the Zero games aren’t quite old enough to be historical curios for new fans, but everything else is true enough.

So, I’m pretty happy about this turn of events, because I’ll probably enjoy the Zero games a lot playing it on those big ol’ DSI XL screens. And, because I do love being right. Especially when I’m right with a decent net gain.

* Note: Except for EarthBound.

21 thoughts on “Zero regrets

  1. Finally getting a chance to play this series with a better control scheme is a serious godsend. Trying to play Megaman Zero 4 after getting used to the ZX games was quite difficult.

  2. Actually, it’s only the second game that punishes you for using its gameplay mechanics. If you use a lot of cyber-elves in the first one you kill your chance at getting a high rating, true, but since the rating didn’t actually do anything it didn’t really matter. In the second game they made it so that you could only get certain abilities by finishing levels with a high rating, which made verything a pain in the ass.

    By the third game they’d tweaked the cyber-elf system a bit so things weren’t so bad.

  3. I think I’ll end up rebuying these games on DS just so I can map the dash to the A button (Megaman X style) instead of the shoulder button.

  4. Now this is a DS Mega Man release I can get behind. I’ll definitely pick this up when it hits, especially since I’d rather have them on one DS card than on four GBA carts. Those things are getting harder to find at GameStop, anyway.

  5. Mega Man Zero 4 was the only one I’ve been able to play because they had it at my local Best Buy, so I’m definitely looking forward to being able to try out all the other games as well. I’m hoping this comes stateside.

    Pity about Earthbound though.

  6. Please, Capcom, take out the A/S ranking requirement for the EX skills/etc. in 2 and 3. That was a pain.

  7. Frankly, I don’t really know why anyone would want to go back to A button dashing. I always remap the controls in the X games now, because the Zero series showed me the light. No more “claw” just to charge weapons and dash easily.

    I’m excited about this collection, if only because it will mean playing these games on the DS with shoot and jumped mapped to Y and B, respectively. It feels awkward playing the GBA releases on the DS because of the layout of the A and B buttons.

  8. Regulus gets it. Still, even though I’m likely to keep the controls as they always were, I’m looking forward to this release.

  9. They can have my PS1 copies of Megaman Legends 1 & 2 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne when they pry them from my casket… or offer me obscene amounts of money.

  10. Yeah, there’s some exceptions to this premise. Anything by Atlus or that was published in the U.S. by Working Designs (except Lunar) is going to stay rare because even if Atlus reached the level of success needed to justify it, there’s too many obscure little gems to really keep track of, and with Working Designs, the copyrights get too ugly.

    And then yeah, there’s the stuff that’s not in demand from the publisher perspective, but tell that to eBay.

  11. I am no gaming guru, but I practiced and practiced Zero 2 until I could get through most stages with an S rating. The new abilities weren’t particularly useful, but I am kind of proud of my gumption there – I think it adds to my gamer cred.

    My biggest complaint with the series was the need to feed the cyber-elves – leading to grinding, especially in the first game. Still, they’re fantastic games that are challenging, and reward the work to get good at them with a feeling of intense bad-assery. What’s more, the story never goes off the rails like the X series did, and it’s given an ending that you can be assured is a genuine ending. When I heard that inticreates was in charge of Megaman 9, I knew it was in good hands. I wish they could be given charge of the X series – if the worst you can complain about in a game (especially a MEGAMAN game), you’re in a pretty envious situation.

  12. Well, IntiCreates is made of MMX series vets. Presumably the ones who were grossed out by the thought of going 3D.

  13. The only games I can think of holding onto these days are the few licensed games that may never appear on Virtual Console (Batman for NES comes to mind). There are always new games to play, and chances are a sequel, remake, or spiritual successor will come out by the next time I feel the urge to play a similar game. And if not I can always hop on eBay and it will probably still be cheaper than if I just kept every game I’ve ever owned just in case I started feeling a little nostalgic.

  14. EARTHBOUND?! *rends his garments like a Biblical father who has just heard his son was killed*

  15. Indeed there is not only money but “retro” interest in bringing back old games and old albums. Heck, Gentle Giant put out the 7 albums they have legal access to for a 3rd time this year (this time with a vinyl re-release for maximum sales).

  16. @Guy With No Name: It’s worth noting that a lot more went into Earthbound’s localization than other games given the year (1995) and all the changes that had to be made to lessen the chance of lawsuits. Considering the effort put into it just to end up with low sales, and the additional effort that would be required to change or get rights to various songs due to plagiarizing issues easier to notice in these Internet days, it’s no wonder Nintendo’s unwilling to take another risk with it.

    Of course, its time of release didn’t help, either. People were falling in love with the Gourad-shaded triangle-composed boxes of early 3D graphics on the PlayStation and Saturn, and Nintendo releases a game with unshaded (but colorful) 2D that borrows from the Dragon Quest school of battle design and comes packaged with its own strategy guide. =/

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