Friday, June 14, 2019

Cancelled Mega Man Star Force 4 Concept Art and Story Details

What you see up there is concept artwork from a title that, until today, you had no idea almost existed: Mega Man Star Force 4. It’s not fan-art. It’s not a fake. It’s the real deal.

This illustration (drawn by none other than Shinsuke Komaki) from the cancelled fourth entry in the Star Force saga was supplied to Rockman Corner by an extremely reliable source – our old friend “The Shadow” (click the link for a refresher). According to our source, Mega Man Star Force 4 entered production roughly 10-years-ago, sometime between 2009 and 2010. Unfortunately, coupled with poor sales of Rockman EXE: Operate Shooting Star (>60,000 units) and lower-than-expected sales of Mega Man Star Force 3 one year prior (between 174,426 ~ 210,000 units in Japan), Capcom ultimately closed the book on Mega Man Star Force 4 halfway in development.

To the best of our source's recollection, Mega Man Star Force 4 aimed to be more tonally "mature" than previous entries to attract an older demographic. It would have starred a slightly older, more hardened Geo Stellar (redesigned with new clothes and a new Visualizer) and a brand-new character named Kazuma (pictured on the left). Kazuma was a genius hacker and a direct descendant of Lan Hikari's family. The general premise of the game involved Geo and Kazuma crossing paths and becoming outlaw hackers. The dynamic duo would eventually be sought by the Satella Police. Reward for their capture was a hefty 8,000,000 Zenny a piece.

"Hacking" was intended to be the theme or gimmick of Star Force 4, comparable to Star Force 3's "Noise". How hacking would have contributed to gameplay, among other things, is beyond our source's recollection. It was a long time ago.

And that, really, is all we have to share on this ill-fated project for today. It took me a little while to wrap my brain around it but there it is: Star Force 4 was almost, almost a thing. It wasn't just a concept; it was in active development. From Mega Man Universe to Mega Man Legends 3, you can go about your day knowing that Star Force 4 now exists in that grand ether where all other cancelled Mega Man projects go. And hey, maybe one day Capcom will revisit it. The Mega Man franchise is in far better condition than it was back in the early 2010s. The "dark era" is over. You never know what the future may bring.

For now, though, let us dream and wonder about what nearly was. And, please, whip up some cool fan-art while you’re at it.

Rockman EXE Music to be Played at the Latest Japan Game Music Orchestra Concert

The Japan Game Music Orchestra (JAGMO) will be holding a double concert called "Doppel Symphony -Progressive & Nostalgic-" on June, 29th at the Grand Hall of Shinjuku Cultural Center in Tokyo. Among the games represented, music from the Rockman EXE will be part of the performances.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mega Man: The Wily Wars Sega Genesis Mini Gameplay (Featuring Kenny Omega)

If there were any doubts that Mega Man: The Wily Wars will be running at a silky-smooth 60Hz on the Sega Genisis/Mega Drive Mini, allow this clip from Geoff Keighley's E3 2019 show speak for itself. Geoff is joined by wrestler Kenny Omega, who is a huge Mega Man fan and avid video game player (his passion is part of his act, so to speak).

So what do you think? Will you be picking up one of these rad boys on September 19th? I'm not the *biggest* 16-bit era Sega fan out there, but I can't pass the chance up to grab – what is undoubtedly – the definitive version of The Wily Wars ever released in an official capacity.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

New Images of Those Creepy Mega Man and Proto Man Statues (Zero, Too!)

Ron English's unique Mega Man and Proto Man "grin statues" made have resurfaced at Capcom's E3 2019 booth. And this time, they brought a new friend...

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Officially-Licensed Rockman EXE Goods Announced

GraffArt have partnered with Capcom to announce a new series of goods based on the Rockman EXE series. Products planned include acrylic standees, pins, badges, leather keychains, and a spiffy iPhone case.

These products are expected to go on sale at the end of the month. They will be sold through a number of retailers both online and in-store throughout Japan. If any of these items tickle your fancy, you might want to keep a close watch on Ami Ami. They'll pretty good about loading up on these sort of things.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Today is the 10th Annual "Rockman Day"

Happy Rockman Day, everyone! It's the tenth one, believe it or not. If you have no idea what I'm talking about or need a refresher why today is considered to be special among fans, read all about it here.

To make a long story short, though, in Japanese "roku" is 6 and "ku/kyuu" is 9 and together they form "rokku". "'Rokku' Man", get it? This trend of making numbers into words is why the number 69 is often associated with Rockman (the Support Car's plate, for example). Today is also the day that the events of Rockman 2 take place.

As per tradition, fans all over the world are celebrating the day with commemorative fan-art. The piece above comes to us from none other than Hitoshi Ariga, Rockman-super fan and author/illustrator of Rockman Megamix. Hit the jump below to see more fan-art!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Rockman X 25th Anniversary Ensemble Album Track List Announced

GMSTORE announced today the results of the poll they conducted for the creation of a Rockman X 25th Anniversary Ensemble Album. People that purchased the Rockman X1 and Rockman X2 Band/Piano albums had the chance to vote for their favorite songs from Rockman X1 to Rockman X8, Rockman X Command Mission and Irregular Hunter X.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

New Rockman X Giga Mission Information – Story, Characters, Armor

Today, Bandai have shared new details about the upcoming Rockman X Giga Mission trading card series. As the successor to 2018's popular Rockman X 25th Anniversary Memorial Carddass series, Giga Mission (and its accompanying one-shot manga) aim to provide fans with an alternate take on the events between Rockman X5 and Rockman X6.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Collector's Corner Vol. 01: Rockman X Mega Mission Jumbo Carddass

Released back in 1995, this set of nine "Jumbo Carddass" cards provide a little bit of supplemental information and new artwork to first Rockman X Mega Mission Carddass series that were also released in the same year. Here's your best look yet at these nostalgic treasures...

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Mega Man X Replica Z-Buster Listing Has Appeared at GameStop

The first of what will likely be many Mega Man X products from Jakks Pacific just appeared on GameStop's site. It's a replica Z-Buster! Much like previous Buster replica products, this one will feature lights and sound effects. It's expected to ship on September 20th for a cool $79.99. Pre-order it here!

And yes; that's the best image I have of it for now. I'll update this post when a better one bubbles to the surface. Stay tuned!

Thanks for the tip, Robert and Jordan!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Kotobukiya to Reveal the Third Rockman X Model Kit at Summer Wonder Festival 2019

Today, Kotobukiya's blog updated with some very tantalizing information that they shared during the show Shizuoka Hobby Show earlier this month. It flew under our radar then but, now that it's online, we've got the detail.

Machine Learning Remasters Mega Man X4 and Mega Man 8 Cutscenes in Full 1080p

If you were a little bummed out about the quality of Mega Man X4 and Mega Man 8's animated cutscenes in Mega Man X Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, then you really need to see this.

A one VJ Ravenlight has used machine learning AI to "remaster" the opening cutscenes from Mega Man X4 and Mega Man 8 in full 1080p, extracted from their original 320x240 source. You can watch X4's HD intro above (Japanese version here) and Mega Man 8's (Rockman 8 ver. only for now) right here.

Mind you, these aren't *perfect* conversions. It's next to impossible to truly remaster these cutscenes without access to the original film or cels. Nevertheless, it's true: these cutscenes have never looked this good in any official capacity.

VJ Ravenlight has informed me that he's currently working on 1080p versions of every animated cutscene from EVERY PlayStation-era Mega Man game (MM8, X4X6). These videos will be posted to his YouTube channel in the near future.

All in all, this is some real admirable work. I can't wait to see what comes next!