Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Fight For Everlasting Peace, Waged Through Chess

Chess really isn't my cup of tea, but even I think this is pretty rad. Ben Howard of the tenacious Fizzman Industries, produced a hand-crafted Mega Man chess set with all of your favorite classic series characters. You'll be able to check out this bad-boy in person at MAGFest X:



The game divides the classic series cast into two factions: the good side and the bad side. Dr. Light and Mega Man are the king and queen respectively; as are Dr. Wily and Bass. Roll and Kalinka fill the boots of the bishop, Rush and Treble take on the role of nights, Beat and Batton the rooks, and Eddie and Metools charge to battle as pawns. Quite an interesting twist on the classic strategy game -- it's certainly left a wry smile on my face!

Chess aficionados will be happy to know you can request a commission from Fizzman Industries by filling out an order form here. Not sure how long Ben will offer these particular sculpts, so act quickly!

Check out Ben's website for more pics of the Mega Man chess set as well as his other video game character sculptures.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Rockman & Forte Manga Translation Project Kicks Off

When it comes to translated Rockman manga, there's no better friend than UDON Entertainment. Thanks to UDON, English speaking fans worldwide have be been able to enjoy a bevy of comics from Hitoshi Ariga's Megamix series, to Shin Ogino's Mega Man ZX adaptation.

But in spite of their consistent track record, UDON has yet to revisit twenty-something years worth of untranslated material. Shigeto Ikehara, Yoshinori Iwamoto, and Koji Izuki's works, to name a few. There's an entire backlog waiting to be translated -- so much so it could take years to cover it all! Fortunately, that's where the fans come in.

Manga translation group Rockman Tanjou are gearing up to help lighten UDON's load a bit -- taking it upon themselves to translate Koji Izuki's Rockman & Forte manga. The prologue and first chapter have been officially uploaded for everyone's viewing pleasure, available to download at Tanjou's official blog. The translation sticks closely to the source material, retaining the original Japanese names and vulgarity. Other chapters will be released in due course.

Over-the-top action interspersed with wacky shenanigans make Izuki's Rockman & Forte a non-stop thrill ride. Any classic series fan will dig this stuff, and for fans of Hitoshi Ariga, it's a must read. Click the above and check it out!

Source: The Mega Man Network

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Indie Flash Game 'Rokko Chan' Is An Absolute Delight (Updated)

As we bid good riddance to a rather disappointing year, indie developer King dashes onto the scene to end 2011 on a great note. The Japanese team has delivered an authentic and ridiculously enchanting Mega Man parody called Rokko Chan, a free to play Flash game.

Rokko Chan is a parody in every sense of the word. Players take on the role of the titular Rokko, a female robot created by Dr. Sane, who ventures forth to put a stop to the evil ambitions of Dr. Mad. You'll do battle with six robot villains, each with a -man motif, charge through gaping corridors, hop across vanishing platforms, and catch yourself from a spikey doom by the skin of your teeth. Rokko Chan is the hardcore Mega Man game you've been craving all year long.

Although 8-bit styled in presentation, Rokko Chan successfully integrates classic and a smidgen of X gameplay into a polished package. The game even pools mechanics from other classic platformers, like Super Castlevania IV's famous rotating room. There's a boatload of other unexpected surprises, but giving them away would dishonor the experience.

Rokko Chan is nothing short of charming. King has successfully produced a platformer that rivals the official games. It's essentially Mega Man 11 in spirit. There's a lot more to be said, but really, it's better if you give the game a spin yourself. Click here to play it now!

UPDATE: Reader Kirak took the liberty of ripping and compiling the game's soundtrack in its entirety. Download it here! Enjoy!

Rockman X2 Lands On Japanese Virtual Console

Still not sure about North America, but in Japan today you can boot up your Wii, head to the Wii Shop Channel, and purchase Rockman X2 for 800 Wii Points. Capcom even whipped up a special trailer for the occasion:


Still no word on a North American release (or Europe, for that matter). However, we do tend to get releases after Japan, so we'll probably expect something to surface in early 2012. Doubtful X2 will hit this week, but you never know.

Thanks for the tip, Josh!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jin Saotome Unleashes Custom Mega Man Action Figure

We’ve seen some pretty cool action figures and models over here at Rockman Corner, and today adds one more to the mix. Master action figure customizer Jin Saotome is back at the Mega Man scene again, and this time, he’s rolled out a new, wicked reinterpretation of the Blue Bomber himself.



Pieces are coming from every which-way to assemble this 6'' scale masterpiece, as per usual. An Armored Avenger Titanium Man figure makes up the body, a DC Direct Flashpoint Cyborg for the arms and legs, and the head is borrowed from a Cloud Strife figure, fitted with an original helmet mold. The Mega Buster is the icing on the cake: comes with two interchangeable magnetic attachments -- a fully charged blast and an electric shield -- borrowed from a Doctor Doom figure. Very cool!

If you like what you see, you'll be happy to know the figure is currently up for auction on Jin’s eBay store. It is described thusly:

"Dark are the foretold days of Future Past, where giant robots roam desolate city ruins once home to a sprawling populace. But this future is not yet set and a hero arrives in a beam of light to make sure it never comes to pass! Megaman, the blue bomber himself is here to save the day in Marvel legends 6" scale! This rockin' Rockman has been hand-painted with deep shading, bright highlights, realistic armor effects, metallic sheens, and amazingly intricate detail which will really make him stand out in your Marvel Legends collection."

You can find the auction here; and much like previous Mega Man customs, is quickly skyrocketing in price. With six days left to bid, one can only image what the final price tag will be. Best of luck collectors!

Source: Tomopop

Saturday, December 24, 2011

That One Time Mega Man Saved Christmas

Of the tens of thousands video games released in the last 30-odd years, there aren't too many Christmas-themed games out there, compared to other genres, anyway. But among those released, shines an obscure little game starring everyone's favorite blue robot: Mega Man's Rocket Christmas.


A holiday spin on another equally obscure mobile title, Rockman Space Rescue, Rocket Christmas is exactly what it sounds like. Players take to the skies as Rockman to deliver gifts to all the good girls and boys, using inertia to move about. You'll have to navigate a series of twists and turns to reach the kiddos -- but act quickly, because your jet pack won't last forever! But you need not fret; simply locate a stray Christmas cake, and your fuel will replenish. Yes; Mega Man's rocket is powered by Christmas cake. A tastier alternative to fossil fuels.

When the required number of gifts have been delivered, you'll have to make your way to the exit point, where a platform waits to extract you. And, really, that's all there is to it. Rocket Christmas is a rare Dr. Wily-free game, so the plot is pretty much left open to interpretation. Why is Mega Man delivering presents in place of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas? Why is the rocket powered by cake? Where are all the parents?! Ambiguity at its finest.

Capcom ended distribution of the game some years back, but that doesn't mean you still can't play it. The Mechanical Maniacs hosts a download of Rocket Christmas in .jar format. You'll need a Java platform or emulator to play, of course. It's surprisingly fun, albeit a bit sluggish from time to time. Well worth a play if you're into bizarre Mega Man games.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rockman Online Has A New Navigator

With so many returning characters from both the classic and X series, one wonders if there's enough room in Rockman Online for some originality. Fortunately there is.

Neo Wiz Games has lifted the veil on a newly announced character named Irene (pictured); a Navigator who will oversee the player's progress. Irene's introduction comes way of a special Christmas message from the Neo Wiz staff, wishing fans a merry Christmas (and a Happy New Year). Speculation indicates Neo Wiz will give Irene a proper introduction in a future post, where her involvement in Rockman Online will be explained in greater detail.

Navigators sport a new look in this era, laced in Tron-esque lights and panels, among other changes. So far, the characters have only appeared in SD form. Irene will be joining the likes of Alia and Layer in Rockman Online, two returning Navigators from the X series. Command Mission's Nana is also expected to return, though Neo Wiz have yet to officially recognize her.

This is probably the last Rockman Online update for 2011. Well, no I take that back: we have an English translation of the third fan Q&A session coming along.  But in terms of new info about the game itself, I think it's a wrap. Well, there's always 2012.

Thanks for the tip, Amunshen!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Maverick Hunter X, Mega Man 4 Half-Off on PSN (Updated)

Capcom's holiday PlayStation Network sale is in full swing! With Christmas around the corner, Capcom has decided to team with Sony to celebrate by offering discounts on two digital Mega Man titles (among other games).

From now through January 10th, you can nab Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X and Mega Man 4 at half-off: Maverick Hunter for $4.99, Mega Man 4 for $2.99. Two great games for under $15, who can resist? Not a bad deal if you’re missing any of these.

Mind you, Mega Man 4 is Complete Works version of the NES classic, sold in its unadulterated Japanese form. As such, navigating menus can be a little tricky from time to time. Fortunately, that's what this handy guide is for. Use it whenever necessary!

If Mega Man isn't your thing (why are you here?), you'll be happy to know virtually every digital Capcom game is on sale. From Breath of Fire 4 to Street Fighter 3 Online, there's a little something for everyone this season.

Head on over to Capcom Unity for the complete list!

Update: Prices have yet to be discounted as of this writing. However, the PlayStation Store is currently undergoing maintenance. The issue may be rectified soon. Check back often!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Revamped Mega Man X Hits App Store Today

Well, this is a surprise. Preempting a release in Japan, the revamped Mega Man X iPhone port is now available on the New Zealand App store. What's more, according to Pocket Gamer, Mega Man X will hit North America and Europe later this evening! To keep your appetites whet till then, here's some footage of the game in action...



The iPhone port boasts optimized graphics, leaderboards, two new difficulty levels (easy and normal) and 80 challenges for the seasoned gamer. Additionally, Capcom has implemented a "shop" option where players can purchase Heart Tanks, Armor Parts and Sub Tanks. Arranged music (assumingly, the Maverick Hunter X soundtrack) can be purchased as well. Jump to 6:15 in the video above for shopping footage.

It's a little unsettling that you now have the option to pay for armor upgrades and the like with real money. Heck, you can even fork over $3.99 to buy everything in one fell swoop! Yeah, I don't quite see the point either. EDIT: Fortunately, you can still find the items in-game. This has been confirmed by our Japanese correspondent Amunshen.

UPDATE: Bit of a weird situation going on in Japan right now. The game has been removed from the App store due to a nasty bug where customers are receiving a demo version in lieu of the full game. However, Japan is the only affected region thus far. Here's hoping things will work out sooner rather than later.

The game will retail for £2.99 / $3.99 in Europe and North America respectively when it releases later tonight.

Hit the jump for more info...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The "Green Biker Dude" Gets His Own Game

Many acts of great bravery were performed by the Maverick Hunters during the Great War, but none more admirable than the Green Biker Dude's selfless charge into battle. Green Biker Dude's brief but heroic moment in Mega Man X2 has garnered a considerable following in way of fan-art and musical tributes. But fangames? Well, he finally got his due.


Here we have the aptly titled "Green Biker Dude" by Blyka, a side-scrolling fan-game starring GBD in his own PC adventure. Set before the events of Mega Man X2, players take on the role of GBD as they hone their wheelie skills for battle:

"Challenge the main "story" mode, blasting enemies for score as you race hard to the finish of the four tracks, ending with a boss battle and the tragic story of Green Biker Dude. Brush up on your racing skills in Time Attack mode, where you leave behind score and enemies and race hard for the best possible time. Submit your highest score and best times to the Global Records to compete with players around the world, or battle and chase with a friend locally in VS mode. "

If you like what you see, you can download the game at Blyka's Door. The GBD devoted will no doubt get a kick out of this.

Thanks for the heads up, Blyka!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Capcom Looking to Develop Rockman Pachinko

Having tackled practically every genre under the sun, Rockman may be headed to the uncharted waters of pachislot. According to a report from 100,000 Strong (via Yahoo! Japan), Capcom are seeking out programmers to help develop pachinko games based off of Rockman, and a number of other popular properties:

 “Capcom is now looking to hire an experienced game programmer under a one year contract. We want to make a fun electronic slot machine using characters such as Mega Man, Ryu, and Zombies. Once hired, you will be in charge of this project from planning to completion.”

In Japan, it’s pretty common for video games licenses to spurn off into pachinko territory.  I'm actually surprised its taken this long for a Rockman pachislot to come around! But, Rockman is no stranger to the arcade/gambling scene in Japan. The Blue Bomber previously starred in a fast and frantic pinball game, and a highly obscure Rockman X3-themed roulette machine some years back.

Today's pachinko machines are more than just cabinets for spinning metal balls. New machines large LCD displays and surround sound to keep players engaged in an immerse experience. I'm sure Capcom has some interesting ideas up their sleeves to make the whole experience very "Rockmany."

More news on this story as it comes!

Cover and Solicitation For Mega Man #12

New solicitation and cover artwork for Archie’s Mega Man #12 is live, which intends to cap off the Mega Man 2-inspired story arc, "The Return of Dr. Wily." The cover, alone, is enough to make anyone want this issue instantly! But alas, we have to wait until March 2012. 

"This is it, the grand finale of “The Return Of Dr. Wily!” Dr. Wily has hidden himself in his latest fortress and surrounded himself with killer robots as he plots his counter-attack. 

Can Mega Man breach the defenses and stop the mad scientist in time? Maybe not alone — but the Original Robot Masters have got his back! It’s all-out robot warfare in the explosive conclusion!" ---- 32 pages, $2.99.

Well fancy that... the cover art is a reinterpretation of the European Mega Man 2 packaging! Quite the improvement, wouldn't you say?  And really, Dr. Wily’s “Seal of Disapproval” is just the icing on the cake. Splendid work on behalf of Patrick 'Spaz' Spaziante!

Credit: The Mega Man Network via Comics Continuum

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy 24th Anniversary, Mega Man!

It's the wee morning hours of December 17th in Japan right now, so it's official: our beloved Mega Man / Rockman has turned 24-years-old. Hard to believe it's been really that long since A.K and Keiji Inafune first introduced us to the Blue Bomber. Time certainly flies, doesn't it?

  
The year 2011 wasn't a particularly good one for the blue boy. Things started off just fine, yes; but within the span of four months, everything went kaput. Development of Mega Man Universe ceased in late March, followed by the inexplicable cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 in July. The latter really struck a chord. But in its wake arose the most ambitious Mega Man fan-campaign yet, uniting fans across the world toward a common goal. “Get Me off the Moon” has since grown into a paragon of perseverance, and I sincerely hope their efforts will pay off.

But not all has been doom and gloom. From what has been an abysmal year for Mega Man games come the remarkable efforts on behalf of Archie Comics, UDON Entertainment, Kotobukiya and Bandai. These partners have done an admirable job at keeping Mega Man alive in their respective forms, be it comics or plastic. From comics and graphic novels to action figures and model kits, this was a tough year not to spend money!

The road ahead is... well, uncertain. I really wish more could be said about stuff to look forward to. Yeah, there will always be a steady flow of merchandise in the future. But the games? It's all up in the air right now. I cling to the hope that something worthwhile is in the works for the franchise's 25th anniversary. Something has to happen on that front.

All-in-all, this has definitely been a memorable year for all the wrong reasons. BUT, I am confident that things will straighten out. The Blue Bomber is too iconic a character and brand to disappear into thin air. And we, the fans, are too passionate to let that happen.

 To better days ahead, my friends.

What Are the Chances of Mega Man 9 & 10 Going Retail?

Yesterday, Capcom announced the Xbox 360 exclusive Capcom Digital Collection, which bundles eight XBLA games on a single disc including 1942: Joint Strike and Super Street Fighter II, among others. Fantastic idea.... just one problem: no Mega Man.

Inexplicably omitted from the collection, the Blue Bomber's finest digital titles; Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10. Naturally, the news has caused a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. You know, the usual "Capcom has abandoned Mega Man!!111" spiel.

But all is not entirely a lost cause. In a recent post at the Ask Capcom forums, Christian Svensson fielded a question on whether one could expect a disc-based Mega Man 9/10 bundle in the future. His reply:

"Just two games, probably not. We'll see how the first compilation does and if it hits expectations, maybe we'll take a stab at a 2nd one that could potentially include those others (and some other stuff too)."

It's not a stretch to imagine a hypothetical Capcom Digital Collection Volume 2. After all, the current collection is missing out on Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and Bionic Commando: Rearmed. Throw Mega Man 9 and 10 in the mix, and you've got yourself a mighty fine product

So where do you sit with all of this? Would you like to see Mega Man 9/10 finally receive a disc release and fill that void on your Mega Man shelf? Sound off in the comments! More info on the Digital Collection can be found at Capcom Unity.

Thanks for the tip, Jimb0!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mega Man Star Force Reaches Fifth Anniversary

Had it not been for a few vocal tipsters, this would have totally slipped my radar. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Mega Man Star Force! The first game in the series, spanning across three versions, released in Japan on December 14th, 2006. Goodness time certainly flies! It feels like just yesterday the original teaser trailer hit the web:


Mega Man Star Force began life under the tentative title of "Rebirth of Rockman ZN." The ZN project aimed to succeed the Battle Network series, concurrently ushering in the franchise's 20th anniversary. It wasn't until the summer of 2006 that the game was officially dubbed Ryuusei no Rockman (Shooting Star Rockman). That winter, Pegasus, Leo and Dragon versions blasted to store shelves in Japan. In total, the games collectively moved 593,675 units by the end of 2007.

Although things seemed like they were off to a good start, the series never quite found its footing financially. Beginning with Star Force 2, sales entered a death spiral.

Failing to meet projections, SF2 would go on to sell far less than its predecessor. By 2008, both version sold a meager 291,962 units combined. SF2's lackluster performance spelled the end for numerous cross-media ventures. In fact, Star Force 3 marked the first time in a little under a decade a "network timeline" game was not accompanied with an televised animated series or toy line. Star Force's financial viability reached an all time low.

Star Force 3 would go on to sell the worst of the lot -- Black Ace and Red Joker, in total, sold 174,426 copies by year's end. What's really sad about that is the game actually met Capcom's projected forecast.  Capcom had little faith in Star Force 3 from the get-go!

In the end, Star Force couldn't hold a candle to the success that was Mega Man Battle Network; a brand that kept Capcom fed and happy for nearly ten years. Operate Shooting Star did little for the ailing series. Failing to live up to its potential (a crossover between Battle Network and Star Force), the game was met with negative criticism from fans of both series. Sales were ultimately lackluster.

It's hard to say what the future holds for the network timeline. Despite its shortcomings, there exists a truly passionate fanbase for this particular series. So long as the fan voice is there, there's always a chance for something like Star Force 4 or true crossover.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

iOS Mega Man X Feels Good, No Current Plans For Console Port

As awesome as a revamped Mega Man X port sounds, not everyone is entirely sold on the product.

Capcom has tried Mega Man on iOS before with Mega Man 2. It was, for lack of a better word, abysmal.  The less-than-stellar touch controls failed to conform to MM2's pinpoint accuracy. Mega Man X requires just as, if not more precision in terms of jumping and combat; it's no wonder the upcoming iOS version has some fans worried.

However, these issues may be a thing of the past. Two Capcom staffers, Christian Svensson and Brett Elston, have stepped up to the plate to assure fans things control just fine.

"Having played through a build of this last week, let me say that I had no difficulty doing things that I thought I wouldn't be able to do on a touch device," writes Svensson. "It feels good."  Elston, meanwhile, took to Twitter to share a similar experience. "I can't comment on its availability, but I can say it handles much better than the mobile MM2 I played many years ago :)"

Speaking of availability, there's been a moderate demand for the game to make the jump over to home consoles. Unfortunately, those plans aren't in the cards right now. Christian Svensson adds, "I do understand people would like to see this on other platforms. That's not currently the plan but we'll see what happens."

We'll have to make do with the iOS version for now, but you never know. Mega Man X is slated to hit the Japanese App Store sometime this month. Pricing and any release outside of Japan aren't yet confirmed, but we'll certainly be keeping our fingers crossed for news soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Another Sun" Singer Publicly Supports Legends 3 Revival

Morishita Reika, who sung the theme song for the original Rockman DASH, has come out and publicly pledged her support for the tenacious efforts to reinstate Mega Man Legends 3. Word comes from her official blog, translated by Team Legends:

"As everyone might know, "Another Sun", which is my 7th single, was also the theme song for "Rockman DASH." I heard that this song and "Anata no kaze ga fuku kara" ("Your wind is blowing"), which was the subtrack for that single, have been supported by a lot of DASH fans. They even went so far as to refer to it as a godly song! So I thought, "Wow, were those songs really that powerful?" I've just recently become aware of it.

Another thing I recently noticed was that "Rockman DASH3" was axed just before its release! Oh my, that is so sad! Capcom, I wanted to work with you together again~
I wish for them to release DASH3 so that I can tie-up my business composing a reprise for "Another Sun" and "Your Wind Is Blowing."

Naturally, Reika's opinion is already being met with open arms by the Get Me Off the Moon masses.

And for the record, Reika is not the super secret supporter I've been teasing on my Twitter. That news is still forthcoming. When? I can't say. Nonetheless, it's something to look forward to. Keep your expectations in check and I think you'll end up pleasantly surprised.

Source: Get Me Off the Moon

Bizarre Mega Man Cartoon Soundtracks Analyzed

Music is an intricate component to the Mega Man franchise. The convergence of different sounds and instruments has produced some of the most memorable soundtracks in gaming history.

Ruby-Spear certainly took that to heart when setting out to adapt the series for animation; their efforts culminating in a generally interesting musical score (with a rad theme song to boot). Unfortunately, the score never quite got the album treatment it deserved.

Destructoid's Tony Ponce takes us on a trip back to the 90's to explore the insanely offbeat Mega Man cartoon albums that, essentially, have very little in common with the show. The soundtracks, both released in 1996, were a dumping ground of Mega Man-inspired thrash songs, tasteless hip-hop, and amateur metal bands. Today, the soundtracks are a great commentary on record labels trying to cash in on a popular name.

Posted on the Offbeat Hall of Fame you'll find a detailed analysis on both disks, along with (gulp) samples. The contents are just so bizarre, trippy even, that I'm almost certain Capcom/Ruby-Spears regrets ever licensing it.

Those brave enough to learn more can head on down to the Offbeat Hall of Fame.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Amazon Discounts Mega Man Star Force DVD Set

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift for the Mega Man Star Force fan in your life? If you don't mind Viz Media's handiwork, and have have a region-free DVD player or live in the UK, then this deal is for you!

Amazon UK are selling new copies of the Mega Man Star Force DVD box set at a ridiculous low price of £4.97 (roughly $7.75). What's more, third party seller 666 Media are reportedly selling the set even lower. How's £1.95 ($1.38) sound? Not a bad deal at all, especially if you were holding out for a price drop.

For those not in the know, Viz's Star Force dub was only released on DVD in Europe. The box set contains all thirteen dubbed episodes that aired on the now-defunct Toonami Jetstream service. No Japanese voice track here, I'm afraid. For one reason or another, Manga Entertainment opted not to include a Japanese voice track for this release.

If that doesn't bother you, it couldn't hurt to look into this reasonably priced set. Stock is limited, so nab it while you can. Click the above links to order!

Thanks for the tip, Tim!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Revamped Rockman X Blasting To iOS This Month (Updated)

Capcom Japan has announced that the original Rockman X will be available on iPhone later this month. The "powered up" iOS version will sport optimized graphics, touch controls and an all-new ranking mode via Game Center.



Pricing and release date specifics are forthcoming. What's more, there's no news yet on a western release. The game is currently penned exclusively for Japan. Naturally, I'll update you on the situation should word surface. UPDATE: According to Andrisang, the game will have 80 challenges to conquer. It remains to be seen if this is a new game mode or achievements.

Interesting news, to say nothing of unexpected. But to be perfectly honest, I shudder at the thought of playing X1 with a touch-based UI. It's one of those games that pretty much requires force-feedback. Throwing your controller in frustration is one thing, but throwing your phone is far worse! Let's just hope things are a bit more touch-friendly than the less-than-stellar iOS port of Mega Man 2.

Graphically, things look pretty spiffy. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something seems a little... off?

Source: Famitsu App

Mega Man Remains A Key Brand, Says Capcom

Over at Game Informer, a new interview has been posted with Christian “Sven” Svensson, Capcom's VP of strategic planning and business development. Among topics, he discusses the present status of the Mega Man franchise, which as you no doubt know, has seen better days. His words are a bit reassuring, to say the least:

Game Informer: Mega Man has played an important role in Capcom’s catalogue for many years, but recently he’s been missing in action. Is the mascot’s absence part of a larger plan to refocus at Capcom?

Svensson: Change has been a constant during my six years at Capcom (vastly for the positive) but I want to be crystal clear on this point. Mega Man is a key brand for Capcom and will remain so. I don’t have any products we’ve announced publicly that I can point to and say “see, I told you” but there are “top men” (“top men”? “Yes, top men”) within Capcom thinking about the future of the brand and where it’s going. We will have official announcements in due course.


=============


You'll find some more Mega Man talk on page 2.

The only thing we can be certain of is that Capcom is indeed analyzing and evaluating a roadmap for Mega Man. In spite of the many mishaps of 2011, it sounds like they're being proactive right now.

When these announcements will be made remains to be seen. However, something tells me that after the implosion of Universe and Legends 3, Capcom won't be saying anything until things are primed and ready. All we can do now is continue to be patient.

Source: GoNintendo

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Mega Man Swag On The Way

Great Eastern Entertainment are once again prepping another round of new officially licensed Mega Man products. The latest bounty isn't due out until March 30, 2012, but distributors are already prepping pre-orders. Have a look:




First up: a fleece Proto Man helmet cap. Who didn't see this coming? Complements the plush buster/fleece Mega Man cap perfectly. The shades are a nice addition, although the positioning has me thinking they've been relegated to a forehead warmer. UPDATE: As reader MegaMac pointed out, you can make out a netted see-through material on the shades. Looks like they do go over your eyes!

Moving along: Extend your love of the Blue Bomber to your shoulders with the Mega Man Powered Up back pack -- an ideal accessory for lugging around GE's other assorted Mega Man goodies on the way.  Finally, we have some small trinkets: stickers and magnet sets. Not much to say about these guys, really. Powered Up certainly seems to be a popular choice for GE... and who can blame them? Cute sells.

Again, everything seen above will ship to specialty retailers in late March, per request. You can't order these items normal means (for the time being), but you can request a local retailer to stock up on them. Click on the above links for instructions.

That's all from Great Eastern for now. I imagine more goodies will be revealed in the coming months. GE are on a roll with no sign of slowing down!

Happy 20th Anniversay, Rockman 4!

One of my personal favorites turned 20-years-old today. Rockman 4 blasted onto store shelves in Japan on December 6th, 1991.

Fans are split on where they stand with Mega Man 4. Some love it to pieces, others despise it.  The love/hate relationship is rooted in MM4's gameplay; an attempt to push the franchise's gameplay into new territory. This ambition, alone, would go on to create a rift in the fanbase. You came out of Mega Man 4 either embracing the changes, or left with a bad taste in your mouth.

The presence of the Charge Shot in particular seems to be the instigator -- to some, it's an excellent addition to the tried-and-true gameplay. To others, it was a game breaker; an anomaly that disrupted a formula that wasn't broken to begin with. And then there's the wide range of diverse opinions about level design, Robot Masters, weapons and plot. It goes on and on, really.

Again, you either love it or hate it. Truly, I fall into the former. To me, MM4 pushed the boundaries -- tried some new things and, for the most part, succeeded.

At its core, Mega Man 4 offers enough variation from its predecessors to be unique. Familiar challenges boasted some new twists, the story (initially) threw us for a loop, menu screens were streamlined and slick, and two sets of solid castle stages helped make MM 4 into one of the longer adventures. Oh, and the music. Yummy stuff. Most of the tunes are diverse and fairly catchy.  To this day, I often find myself finger or foot tapping to the beats.

While not my all-time favorite Mega Man game, Mega Man 4 does rank highly on my list. By no means is it perfect -- some aspects could have used some extra polish, but as a whole, Mega Man 4 stands proud as the underdog. And hey, I think we can all appreciate MM4 for introducing us to Eddie -- that lovable walking suitcase.

So take some time today to reflect on Mega Man 4. Of course, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Toast, Mega Man! For Everlasting Peace!

Toasters aren't usually very exciting to look at, but all it takes is one creative person to turn a run-of-the-mill kitchen appliance into an awesome work of art. John MacInnis, a student of Industrial Design at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, is just that person. Lo and behold, the Mega Man toaster:



"For this project we needed to pick a cartoon/video game character and create a toaster specifically for them," writes MacInnis. "I chose my all time favorite character, Mega Man."

Mind you, this isn't a real working toaster -- it's a conceptual design made from "half renshape, half love." But who are we kidding? Working or not, this is a pretty cool concept! It has "do want" written all over it.

Fund it, Capcom.

More of John's work viewable at Coroflot

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mega Man #1 Seeing Special Edition Reprint For Free Comic Book Day

This year, Free Comic Book Day falls on May 5th, 2012, and Archie will be participating with a special edition of Mega Man issue #1: Let the Games Begin! The free issue sports an all-new colorized cover, featuring artwork by Chad Thomas.

The prospect of a free issue allows new readers a chance to test the waters, all the while giving collectors another reason to repurchase issue #1. Smart move on Archie's part. What's particularly neat about all this is the bragging rights; out of hundreds if not thousands of comics, Mega Man #1 was chosen to represent FCBD, under the Gold sponsorship, no less.

“We had a record amount of entries from publishers this year with more than forty-five different titles”, says FCBD spokesperson Leslie Jackson. “Retailers on the committee had a tough time deciding on which titles to choose for Gold sponsorship, but we’re sure fans will be pleased with the line-up for next year.”

It's quite an honor to see Mega Man thrown into this honorable tradition, especially when you take a look at the other participating FCBD brand-name titles from Star Wars and Transformers, to The Simpsons and Peanuts. Our blue boy's in the big leagues now!

Those interested, you can find a complete list of all FCBD comics in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ preview catalog, sold at all comic book shops on December 28.

Source: Comic Culture

The Legendary TOM-PON Talks Nicknames

Staying on top of those fun-filled interviews between Ucchy-san and Capcom’s Naoya Tomita? If so, you'll be happy to know the latest installment in the ongoing video series is live. This time around, the legendarily TOM-PON talks about Rockman staff nicknames -- not just his own, but even Inafune's former "Inafking" callsign. Be sure to enable Closed Captioning on the video to see the subtitles.

 

You can find more TOM-PON interviews on Capcom Unity!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rockman X4 Mobile: Zero Version Dated

Mobile phony savvy fans won't have to wait too long to play as Zero in Rockman X4 mobile. According to our friend overseas, CapKobun, Zero version will blast its way onto the Capcom Party service on January 5th, 2012.

For those not in the know, Capcom will be porting Rockman X4 to mobile phones, splitting the game in two parts. Rockman X's storyline (X Version) debuted earlier today, which also comes with an all-new network based ranking mode.

X4 mobile is being being touted as Capcom's highest quality cellphone game yet, with authentic gameplay and sound. I've little doubt the sound will be top-notch, but gameplay? I dunno. Those screenshots have me wincing. I think "Rockman X4: Claustrophobic Version" is a more suitable name for this particular product.

But hey, who knows. Maybe this will turn out to be a solid on-the-go port. If all goes well, Rockman X5 mobile is pretty much a done deal.. Not sure if the whole splitting the game in two will work there...