It's no secret that Capcom's relationship with its former mascot has been strained of late. All public conflicts aside, the company promised to do something for the character for his 25th birthday.
The Street Fighter X Mega Man fan game was a good start, but most were expecting something more. Something more than Xbox Live Avatars. Something more than a limited-edition statue. The fans have gone all out for Mega Man this year, while Capcom has been relatively motionless.
It's not too late for Capcom to announce something big for the old, blue man-boy. Here are six suggestions to help get them started.
6) Mega Man 1-10 + PS1 anime game + fan games collection
Mega Man collections have been done in the past, though there have been a lot of new games released in the series since the last one. If Capcom were to throw all ten O.G. Mega Man games, the never-released-outside-of-Japan Super Adventure Rockman and all the recently released fan games and you'd have some cause for excitement.
Rumor has it that Capcom never released Super Adventure Rockman in the U.S. and Europe is because Inafune hated that Roll dies in one of its endings. While having him out of company certainly hasn't been good for Mega Man overall, this may be the one thing about the situation that works to Mega Man fans' favor. As for the fan games, the release of Street Fighter X Mega Man was such a huge hit that following that trend would to good things. Putting them all together on consoles would send a clear message that the company is still working to please fans.
5) Make Mega Man the 5th Ultra Street Fighter 4 character
This one would be more of an apology than anything else, which is what a lot of Mega Man fans want. While I loved Bad Box Art Mega Man's inclusion in Street Fighter X Tekken, many took it as a slap in the face. To put the "real" Mega Man in a big name title like Ultra Street Fighter 4 would definitely make some waves, especially after the Mega-snub of every Mega Man for Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
Some Street Fighter loyalists would be sure to complain that original Mega Man wouldn't fit in the Street Fighter world. They would just have to accept that sometimes their game about a green electric man named Jimmy and the blue muscle robot with a yin yang symbol for a tummy gets a little weird sometimes.
4) Announce a 16bit style Mega Man X9 by D Pad Studios
I bumped into him at PAX a few months ago and asked him if he'd be willing to make Mega Man X9 for Capcom. I don't remember his exact response, but it was something like, "Yeah, I would make it. I'd make sure it was amazing." I believe him.
While it wouldn't be an exact hit on target to make a Mega Man X game for Mega Man's birthday, it's pretty close. If Capcom and D Pad studios wanted to make it a bullseye, they could make Mega Man X9 the game that explains the jump from the O.G. series to the X games. People have been asking for that for ages. Better give it to them quick before fan interest dwindles to zero.
3) Release the Mega Man Legends 3 demo
A lot of the entries on this list would involve a fair amount of money and effort to put together. By all reports, this one would not. The demo for Mega Man Legends 3 was nearly complete a few years ago. It was reportedly pretty fun. Fans and non-fans alike want to see for themselves exactly how fun it was.
I don't think Capcom understood how big of a slap in the face it was to cancel Mega Man Legends 3 before releasing the demo. If they had put the demo out, charged $5 for it, and then said, "Sorry guys, it doesn't look like this game is going to happen. Not enough interest," they would have had a pretty decent out. Ditching the project before fans even had a chance to put their money where their mouth is was an un-erasable mistake. Releasing the demo now wouldn't change the past, but it would be better than nothing. Its not like Capcom fans haven't proven that they'll put their money where their mouth is.
2) Make Mighty No. 9 a Mega Man game
I have the feeling Capcom had something fairly big planned for Mega Man this year, but Comcept announcing Mighty No. 9 ended up making whatever their plans were look bad. Just about everything I've come up with on this list pales in comparison to Mighty No. 9. It is essentially the re-invention of Mega Man for this generation that fans have been waiting for, directed by one of the series' original creators. You can't top that.
If you can't top 'em, join 'em. Inafune has said that if Capcom were to make the best deal to Comcept, that they would work with them on publishing Mighty No. 9. While the Kickstarter made millions, millions is not a ton of money for a multi-platform release. Capcom could swoop in, throw Comcept a few million, change the name of the game to Mega Man: Mighty No. 9, and then take their hands completely off of the project. For Mega Man fans, it would be like Mommy and Daddy getting remarried a few years after an ugly divorce. For everyone else, it would make for a potentially bigger, better, more marketable game. It's hard to find a loser in that scenario.
1) Make an actual Mega Man
It's 20XX right? Where are the Mega Mans, guys? Where is my Mega Mans?
As nice as all of the entries on this list are, there are some Mega Man fans that are are so brutally, deeply, savagely angry at Capcom for what they've done (and haven't done) with the character in the past few years that next to nothing could ever turn their frowns upside down. The one thing that may change their mind? An actual Mega Man, as a gift to each and every fan of the series.
My advice? Take the Nao-U and make it a Mega Man. The art direction is already there. It'll just cost them a few million dollars. That's probably nothing compared to all the money they've already lost in consumer goodwill since Inafune's departure.
So give me a Mega Man, please.