Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Gritty Mega Man X First Person Shooter That Almost Was

Ready for today's crazy news story? What you see above is a concept pitch for a Mega Man X first person shooter, dubbed Maverick Hunter. The game was in development at Armature Studio back in 2010. Polygon has a huge scoop on the title, including a handful of videos and details. Hit the link and check it it out.

"Codenamed Maverick Hunter, the first-person shooter had the blessing of Mega Man's creator and a talented team tasked with attracting a new generation of fans. But the departure of Keiji Inafune likely killed the most interesting take on the 25-year-old character to date.
Mega Man's foray into the first-person shooter genre looked, at least on paper, like a formula for success. One of a handful of collaborations with Western developers kicked off by Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, the Mega Man first-person shooter was in development at Austin-based Armature Studio, the promising developer founded by Metroid Prime's creators. The new Mega Man would have been redesigned by the concept artist responsible for adapting Iron Man's armor for Marvel's successful film franchise. Thematically, the game would have built upon the mythology of Mega Man X, a series that was a darker, more mature spin-off of the cuter, classic Mega Man franchise.
The game would have stayed true to core Mega Man X gameplay concepts, re-imagining his X-Buster arm cannon, his dash and his ability to appropriate the special powers of his fallen enemies. Platforming elements, including X's wall jump, and classic Mega Man X characters would have been re-imagined in new ways."

As it turns out, Armature and Capcom planned to produce an entire TRILOGY of games, culminating in a complete protagonist switch. In the third game, players would assume the role of Zero, forced to take down Mega Man X who had grown ridiculously powerful and intelligent over the course of the trilogy.

Personally speaking, Maverick Hunter presented some interesting ideas. I really, really like the potential of first person platforming/shooting (a la Metroid Prime). Cosmetically, however, I think it needed to be more grounded in the source material. A bit too far removed from the Mega Man X we know and love.

Seriously, read the full Polygon report. Afterwards, drop your impressions in the comments.



    Holy shit, this is the biggest indicator that Capcom has NO IDEA what to do with the franchise.


  2. @2nd Anon: Fun fact. This was cancelled BEFORE Keiji left. So who had no idea is actually very vague here.

    Also it probably got axed because these guys did the same thing with Prime. They had no sense of direction, and it's clear by the overall plot of the trilogy and the design of this that they really had no clue where to go with this. If anything THANK Capcom for cancelling.

  3. Capcom actually made the right call in choosing not to continue this, this is Bomberman: Act Zero levels of jarring like something someone would make as a parody instead of a legitimate idea.

  4. Honestly, if it were completed (in some parallel universe where CAPCOM didn't cancel it), I don't think it would have sold well [initially], for the main reason that it wouldn't feel "Megaman-esque" enough, much like the early criticisms of Legends (and look at how much better fans are treating that series now).

    That said, this [obviously satirical] article is much more amusing, given that this actual project was secretly conceived AND cancelled way back in 2010.

    "Capcom Accidentally Reveals They Have Cancelled 8 Mega Man Games in the Past Year (2012)"

  5. Yeah no. I'm glad that this was canned.

  6. I like the idea of reinventing Mega Man, but this wasn't cutting it at the time they killed it.

    I too want to see what Nintendo would do with the franchise.

  7. I could see a Megaman FPS working, but it's have to stay true to the spirit and gameplay of the original games.

    This is way too grimdark, even for an X game. And a machine gun buster takes the charge element out of the equation.

    Now maybe, if they made a game like Metroid Prime...

  8. Honestly, I'm a little disappointed with the fact that it wasn't made. On one hand, while the redesigns are neat (I rather like some), I like the X series to have a dark story while still having not-so nitty-gritty looking places. On the other hand, this was done by the guys who did the Prime series, so I think it would've been really coolio and would play extremely well. I'd would still have gotten it and more than likely enjoyed it, but I would've enjoyed it more had it kept the old designs to some degree.

    The megaman fanbase has a knee-jerk reaction to anything that steps out of the norm, though, so it would've sold poorly because the fandom hates trying new things. Look how long it took for Legends to get popular.

  9. @Anons 2-3:

    Actually, not vague at all: it was Inafune himself.

    So the truth is, the man that drove Megaman after its initial creation, who has said that most of his work was Meh, and favored Zero over Megaman so far as to derail the series some, etc., had a hand in this FPS that CLEARLY strays from the timeless brevity and themes of the Megaman story. Now, to what extent Capcom pushed for an FPS or Inafune was legitimately on the wrong track, we may never know...

    I mean, these are fun ideas, but there's no market.

  10. Now that I think about it, this might be why Sven came out and said 'No I'd rather not consider a FPS nor Metroid Prime reboot of the franchise.' It's because of this! *mind blown*

  11. Wow, you sure this isn't some twisted super late April Fools?

  12. OH, YES! YES! YES!

    This is the best Megaman related news I've heard in quite some time.

    I absolutely love this for two reasons:

    A.) This is the worst idea for a Megaman game in the long, sad history of Capcom. And they wisely scrapped it as they should have.

    B.) This gives everyone who ever questioned my disliking for Legends, Battle Network, Starforce, Zero and ZX a chance to see things from my point of view.

    When I look at this horrible abomination of mankind, I recognize that it was cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned spin-offs. Only bad things can come from messing with the very precise chemistry that makes the Megaman/SNES X games so great. And, no, it has nothing to do with the characters or the story. GAMEPLAY! FREAKING GAMEPLAY, PEOPLE! The lifeblood of a game, the kind that allows it to endure for 25 years, stems from it's gameplay.

    For all I know, this would-be game's story could have been boner-inspiring for every Legends 3 advocate in the world, and I'm betting this preemptive glance at the game makes them want to puke in their shoes. But if they got to play it and experience the story unfolding, their opinions would do a complete 180° even if their opinions on the gameplay remained unchanged.

    The story itself would, in their eyes, be enough to redeem a total piece of trash game. And from a gaming perspective that's totally flawed reasoning.

    And now I have this to serve as the ultimate trump card when one of these clowns gets his panties in a bunch at my besmirching their cherished Mega Spawns.

    Thank you, Capcom. I feel so vindicated!

  13. I agree with Protodude. On paper, reading a text description, it sounds so awesome in terms of its concept. Then I watched the video.

    "F*@#! Not Mega Man."

    The aesthetic is completely and entirely wrong. I'd have probably hated this game more than XOver had it come out in that form. I don't just mean the visuals, either, I mean the entire "feel" of it. The audio, the weapon mechanics, it's all generic FPS-y and not at all stand-out to anyone, let alone a Mega Man fan.

  14. @Rockman Craze

    ...Jesus, dude...Take a chill pill.

  15. @Rockman Craze: Get out. Just get out. Nobody likes fans like you.

  16. Well, at least now we know what Inafune meant when he said that, "The next X series game will not be X9".

    @Rockman Craze:

    Get over yourself, Professor Megaman.

  17. Oh.

    Is that all, then?

    I'll just go kill myself now.

    ...but seriously, this would've been effing amazing, like the finest of fanfictions come to life. I hate Capcom so much.

  18. I'm glad that this was cancelled. This doesn't even look like Mega Man X in the slightest. I really don't like it when companies try to re-imagine franchises in this way. MMX might be a more mature series in the franchise, but that doesn't mean it has to be presented like this. Not to mention, I can't foresee how an official FPS MM title could work. So yes, glad that this was canned.

  19. So can we stop pretending the cancellations weren't because Inafune left? This one flat out admits that was the case.

  20. This was prototype footage, 8 months in development. Taking that into consideration, I'm sure they would've polished it some more, MAYBE made it resemble MMX more (after all, look at the prototype for Metroid Prime and then the final game). You guys are too quick to criticize.

  21. FPS? Just add an optional first person/third person view change to Mega Man Legends 3. Problem solved.
    A FPS would work quite well with any series, but a darker Mega Man? No. Just no. I'd rather see a FPS where you use Akuma firing Hadokens on Red Arremers than a darker Mega Man.

  22. inb4 Still better than Xover.

  23. Gotta give the people who made this some credit. Those graphics look pretty good! Unfortunately, that look and style doesn't fit for a game like this. This is just TOO dark, even for a series like this. I also hate the idea of a FPS, so I am glad this game was canned.

    @Rockman Craze

    Uh... okay?

  24. Even when a game gets a reboot, the main characters usually look the same with little to no changes. Take a look at Nintendo: Metroid Prime? Same Samus from other Metroid games. Paper Mario? It is a Mario made of paper. How many Links exist in The Legend of Zelda? (Zelda changes are subtle. And that's not counting ALTERNATE identities/forms like a ninja, a pirate, and a ghost possessing an armor). What if Nintendo decided to do a Metroid game where Samus is a robot with jaws and wings bigger than Ridley or a game where Kirby and Dedede are humans?

    As for Capcom, lets see... Mega Man Universe was basically Mega Man's version of Toon Link. They did quite well with the Mega Man Battle Network series. But DmC (Devil May Cry)... No comment. Same for this FPS

  25. On another note, dear god that character design for X simply doesn't work. It looks like the artist simply took his design for the live-action Iron Man, painted it blue, and gave him the head of a BayFormer.

  26. Still has more in common with Mega Man, and looks better in terms of gameplay than the shitty Mega Man Legends series.

  27. Looks like just every other generic shooter out there, horrible! even xover looks better than this crap! What were you thinking Inafking!!!!

  28. @WTFman
    "even xover looks better than this crap!"

    Careful, them's likely to be fighting words on this here fan site.

    "What were you thinking Inafking!!!!

    I guess you could say Inafune was out of his Inaf*king mind.

  29. Mmm, since we have heard that the 3rd megaman legend game was planned ages ago and that was the base for Lost Planet... maybe this was something of a continuation of that very same idea ? Well.... if it comes to gameplay i wouldnt mind something like Prototype where you can travel quickly from one place to another.

  30. I am not absolutely against a Mega Man FPS. But what they showed comes off like a meta military shooter. I say that not insulting the whole genre or using the genre as an insult. They seriously demoed this concept arming X with a submachine gun, grenades, and a rocket launcher.

    Mega Man has a very strong association with divergent weapons. I think that would need to transferred into any shooter conceptualized with the IP. So... not a 2-gun game. Instead like older shooters with 6-10 functionally different weapons; Unreal Tournament, Duke Nukem 3D, or just about any Doom or Quake clone. Or I guess MM8BDM

  31. To be honest, this doesn't look like Mega Man at all...its almost like they've stole every elements from Metroid Prime. But good thing they've canceled the project. I wouldn't even wanna pull out my wallet for such game that'll become a total rip off.

    @Rockman Craze
    Get the hell out here and never come back again.

  32. Mixed opinions. On one hand, I would love for MMX to receive a "Prime" game, even if it's done as a reboot. In fact, a mature MM game in general sounds appealing.

    On the other hand, it's still an extremely risky endeavor that could hurt the brand really badly. We wouldn't want an Other M. Or a DmC. lol

    inb4 "but Other M is good"

  33. He has no face...

    He has... No FACE.

  34. @Soultrigger

    But Other M really is good. I played it and loved it. Even though Samus' character was not portrayed right, Other M is still a good game.

  35. Am I the only one who sees this, when I look at this FPS MegaMan X?


    And in all honesty, as someone who loved the Prime games, as well as classic style FPS games that this game was described to be similar to, I think it would have been fun to an extent.

    Maybe not "win over the entire fanbase" fun, but "this would sell very well if Capcom did proper marketing campaigns and promotion, as well as the core gameplay being well made" kind of fun.

    Oh well, guess this franchise is still doomed at this point for those who aren't just interested in plastic stuff. (No offense to the figure lovers, such as myself, but it's honestly getting annoying at how much merchandise is coming out, with absolutely no real word on a game)



    MegaMan X's face is visible in one of the later clips where his armor changes and such.

  36. Truth hurts. Doesn't it, kids?

  37. Be forewarned: Wall of Text incoming:
    There are actually 5 "trailers" for this game on Dwarmin's channel. Having watched them all, my opinion of this game that never was and never will be is...not as harsh as it initially was.
    The Metroid Prime games proved that FPS games can be fun and diverse. With a little more tweaking, this...I think this could have had potential.

    This is not to say I don't have my gripes about this-I do. Namely the character and the story. X has ALWAYS been opposed to violence, and in the trailers I saw...I didn't get that same feeling. Moreover, the notion that X goes insane with power and Zero has to put him down does not sit well with me at all.
    Long story short, I'm not opposed to the idea of a MMX FPS. They just need to tweak a few things, like:
    1). Ditch the bit about X going crazy.
    2). Give X a more readily visible Human face. (It looks almost like a hologram in one of the trailers...)
    3). The ability to freely switch from 1st Person to 3rd Person views.
    4). The inclusion of Zero AND Axl as playable characters. Hate all you want. I'm an Axl fan-girl and proud of it. Besides, Axl's play style practically screams FPS.

    And, there's my 2 cents on the matter. Overall, I think the concept had a lot of potential. As to my feelings, they're rather mixed. A part of me is a bit bummed, but the other is rather relieved. It's a strange feeling...

  38. His face, his face.

    They ruined his face.

    ...No seriously. The character design hurts me. X looks more like a member of the Pantheon from MMZ than he does himself. The whole faceless thing does not work. Like, at all.

    I kind of don't want to know what they were going to do with Zero's character model. Do not want.

    Stick to something resembling the actual characters, Capcom. I wasn't thrilled with what you did with them in the Zero series, but at least the characters still had their go'ram faces and were still discernible as themselves and did not look like the unholy lovebabies of Iron Man and Cyclops.

  39. This game should have been a new iteration first of all. It should not have been a character we know to be peaceful and against fighting(X). I understand it's a reimagining, but you REALLY picked the wrong incarnation for this take. A darker Megaman iteration with new characters not inspired from older series would have been better. You aren't hindered by the past, allowing new designs and personalities to emerge, and people wouldn't be as touchy about how you treated them.

    Now about the developers... While they may have worked on Prime, that's not necessarily a good thing. Horror stories are now surfacing that Retro may have gone a little off track before Nintendo intervened. Plus... Miyamoto was involved with the development for Prime. You can't really deny that if Miyamoto is involved, the game will be at least a 7. So no, I don't think 'Oh they were part of Retro and worked on Prime' means it would have been a good game. Also all these guys have done is the Vita port for Metal Gear Solid HD collection. That's it. What's the team at Retro done since they left? Prime Trilogy, Donkey Kong Country Returns, they were called in to do tracks for Mario Kart 7, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, and an untitled Wii U game that is 'a project everyone wants us to do."' and currently are one of the few studios Miyamoto would willingly give Zelda to. Armature's 'rep' isn't as great as those that are actually still at Retro.

    The gameplay... I'm seeing finisher moves, and I, like others, are getting a real Other M vibe here. I saw the X-buster fire a rocket, telling me they pretty much slapped it onto the Prime Engine. I see a very distinct double jump happening in the 3rd video(SPACE JUMP). I'm seeing a machine gun blaster and reliance on weapons outside of the armcannon. I don't see Wall-Jump, I don't see dashing outside of finishers, I don't see clever level design, and I don't see real platforming in the prototype, just basic FPS. I'm not seeing Megaman here. I'm seeing a hybrid of Prime, Other M, and generic FPS with the Megaman name slapped on.

    The fact that Keiji was responsible for this gives me enough reason to believe this game had a much bigger role in the whole state Megaman is in. Personally, for me, it makes me question the quality of Universe and Legends 3.

  40. Check the other videos guys. He HAS a face, it's just not visible with the armor.

  41. I first saw this post without watching the video and also thought it was a good idea. But when i looked at the video i was like "ummm where's the arm cannon? Where are the special weapons? Why does x look nothing like himself?" It would be a lot better if it actually looked like a megaman game.


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