Game: Mega Man X Street Fighter
Platform: PC (Free!)
Publisher/Developer: Capcom/Zong Hui and A_Rival
Describe This Game in Three Words: Pretty damned mega.
Plot Synopsis: The Blue Bomber celebrates 25 years of making Capcom big old piles of money by having a classic 8-bit adventure where all the robot masters have been replaced by the cast of Street Fighter. There's really no explanation beyond that, but I like to think it's a cutesy version of RoboCop.
Up Up: The first game I ever bought for the NES was the original Mega Man, and though it's been awhile since I've plugged back into the series, it was simply astounding to walk right back into the style. Capcom re-created the original world of the first three Mega Man games absolutely perfectly.
Everything is the same right now to the enemies, but what you really want to know is how does Mega Man stand up against the World Warriors? The 8-bit redesigns maintain all the personality of their 16-bit and beyond original productions, even up to more recent characters like Urien. They retain all their signature moves, but it's funneled through the mechanics of the boss battles we all remember fondly.
Even better, having Mega Man equipped with the Hadouken or Rolento's Mine Sweeper is simply the best of times. You can get much more strategic and clever with the abilities in normal level play than you ever did in the original games. Back then, if you weren't using the leaf shield to get through levels, the weapons mostly stayed in your back pocket until you found the boss who was weak to it. In this crossover, they actually have some damned use in the levels.
Down, Down: There are a couple of later additions to the Mega Man games that didn't make it in that hamper the play. For instance, picking up capsules to restore special weapons does nothing unless that weapon is actually equipped unlike some later games. Also, though energy tanks can be found, they can't be refilled, which makes them just slightly better than pointless sometimes.
The game is old-school Nintendo hard, which isn't intolerable except that it utterly lacks a save feature. It doesn't even feature the much-maligned password system. Don't play it if you haven't cleared at least a couple of hours in your schedule because leaving the game erases all of your progress.
Finally, I found it much more difficult to use the rock-paper-scissors style of making boss battles easier with the proper weapon because it is much less intuitive. Also, I thought it was really clever that I used Urien's reflect ability to have Dhalsim's yoga flame get spit back in his face. The game, apparently, feels that is cheating and doesn't register the damage at all. Things like that make the game feel like it's a little lost in the modern world, where we've all learned to think with portals.
Left, Right, Left, Right: I am never going to be a PC gamer specifically because of the keyboard controls, and I'm not really keen to buy another PC classic game controller just for this game. Still, it's NES layout, and that makes them as easy as they could possibly be. You shouldn't have any trouble.
B, A: The best thing about the game was that it was the first time I really felt like another part of the Capcom universe had to play on Mega Man's level rather than the other way around. Sure, X got to use the hadouken and the shoryuken, but having to remain at perfect health meant you never really got that perfect opportunity to Dragon Punch Sigma in X-2. And Mega Man characters in the MvC series just feel weird. This was seamless, and may open the door for non-fighting crossovers in the future.
Start?: It's free, for Dr. Light's sake. There is no excuse to not at least give it a download. Personally, I'd like to see it licensed on the PSN and maybe given X graphics instead of classic series graphics, but that's just me being petty. Aside from the gross overlook of no save feature, it's as good as you could want.
By the way if you're looking for the guide to the best order to take the stages, it's...
Ryu, Chun-Li, C. Viper, Dhalsim, Blanka, Rose, Rolento, Urien...though I beat Dhalsim first. He has an energy tank in the actual boss battle room.
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