In the future 20XX, humanity are living with the services of industrial humanoid robots. One mad scientist by the name of Dr. Wily steals 8 robots from Dr. Light with his plan to rule the world. One of Light's robots, Mega, volunteers to be changed into a fighting robot to stop Wily. Now named Mega Man and given abilities to take the powers away from defeated robots, he sets out on his mission to stop Wily. -summary
Capcom is one company with the notorious reputation to constantly milk the hell out of their more popular franchises through re-releases and sequels. In the case of Mega Man, they churned out another sequel in what sometimes seemed like every month, as well as a new variation which seemed like every year. Now they have the remakes down to a science. In the case of remakes and reboots; it's all good as far as I'm concerned though, as long as they're actually making some type of improvement on the original, which brings me to their 2006 title for the PSP Mega Man Powered Up.
Following up Mega Man Maverick Hunter X ( a remake of Mega Man X) which was released the previous year. Powered Up is a remake of the original NES classic, and just like Capcom's remake of Resident Evil, it improves on the original a great deal. Mega Man Powered Up remains completely faithful to its predecessor maintaining that hard as nails difficulty with an updated look, loads of extras, plus the original NES version with the same visual look of this game. Capcom got ill with this release from top to bottom, and in my mind, this is one game that belongs in your PSP collection.
Nothing has changed in the initial game play. Powered Up is a side scroller that follows the little Blue Bomber as he shoots and jumps through 8 stages containing various obstacles and enemies, with a boss battle at the end of each stage. When these stages are finished, next you have additional stages to complete on your way to the final boss battle. Of course, this has been standard practice in the world of gaming for decades. The thing that always set Mega Man apart from everything else, is that the player can choose which stages to attack first, as well as gain the bosses abilities after defeating them in each of these stages. Mega Man will be able to perform the bosses attacks, and unlike many games out there that bombards the character with a vast assortment of weapons, where some of them will even be forgotten since there's no real use for them; this game forces every weapon to find some type of use. The coolest feature for these weapons is being able to use them against the bosses. The weapons damage all the bosses in some way, but there's one specific weapon that causes serious damage to specific characters, which makes the fights with them so much easier. For example, after defeating one of the robots by the name of Ice Man, his ice weapon causes great damage when used on Fire Man resulting in an easy win, while against Guts Man, the damage isn't so great. It's possible to beat the bosses with Mega Man's standard firearm, but learning which weapon heavily effects the bosses can give you an edge in these battles. It's similar to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Plus some of the weapons make getting through stages a little less difficult.
The stages themselves can be very difficult at times. There are plenty of opportunities to fall to your death due to moving and disappearing platforms, along with taking small to heavy damage trying to overcome the various obstacles; such as geysers of lava shooting into the air and falling victim to enemy fire as well as their rush attacks. The AI keeps you on your toes for sure, and you will suffer plenty of defeats learning these stages.
Mega Man Powered Up features two modes; New Style and Old Style. New Style is the actual remake of the original that features different variations of the original stages along with two new robot bosses, Oil Man and Time Man, with the latter being heavily influenced by Flash Man of Mega Man 2. The stages are still based on the robots personalities; Fireman and Iceman's stages clearly resemble their namesakes. There are also changes made to the main game as well, for example, Cut Man's blade weapon no longer destroys Elec Man in two hits, in fact, it barely has an effect on him. Therefore, fans of the original will have to rethink their strategy all over again, and this adds to the already challenging game play, and believe me, this game is hard.
The bosses can actually be unlocked and become playable, but only if you beat them with your regular weapon; fighting Elec Man and Fireman like that can be very tough. Playing as the bosses delivers an interesting gaming experience. Some of them can be very fun to play, while others like Bomb Man for example is just frustrating. They also retain their level of balance in the main game as well. In the case of Fire Man, you can own Oil Man in record time plus crash through his stage with relative ease, and when going through his own stage, Fire Man is pretty much invulnerable as most fire attacks have no effect on him at all. While it's the opposite in going after Ice Man. During his stage, should Fire Man fall in water at anytime then he loses his flame plus his projectile attack. You will need to find a fire source to re-ignite his flame. On top of this, he's no match for Ice Man at all, and he will be killed very quickly. This becomes an issue with all of the bosses should you use them. In addition to choosing the bosses, Mega Man takes their place as a villain and he battles you with his X-Buster Cannon and slide move, which can make him very difficult to fight, in the case of using Cut Man, nearly impossible to beat.
Old Style features the original NES game only with the Mega Man Powered Up visual make over on a smaller scale, to present that old school feel for the nostalgic gamer. Every thing is basically the way a hardcore fan remembered it all the way to the bosses weaknesses. Therefore, you can use that same strategy you already have down to a science. Now I'm not sure if it's just me, but this game feels harder than the NES version and that says a lot right there, because that game was hard as hell.
Mega Man Powered Up will definitely appeal to the hardcore gamers as well as even beginners. Before selecting the stages you can choose the difficulty setting: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Easy is well, way too easy and presents like no challenge. There are actually blocks which can prevent you from falling to your death. To include, the boss battles are much easier because they stun very easily. I actually recommend using this mode to unlock them. Normal is a different story and it's everything the way it should be with no blocks to prevent your death, and bosses only stun to the weapons their weak too. Make no mistake, Normal mode is no cake walk at all and you will get beat up quite often. Hard takes things to the next level and the bosses can't be stunned at all. This setting is clearly for masters. The difficulty is probably one of the biggest flaws though. People who aren't into hard games will grow frustrated here, especially in the later stages after the robots have been beaten. Outside of this, I can't think of any issues with the game play that bothered me. The story mode features very small cut scenes but nothing that is really relevant to the overall plot. Your only mission is to beat the robots and Dr. Wily, which can probably take about 2 hours if you have everything down.
I think there's been a huge improvement since the NES version here. Mega Man and the bosses perform very well and all of the functions are responsive. It was pretty easy to make those razor thin jumps, and the only time I died was either due to mis-timing or a lack of patience. You can select the weapons in the heat of battle with the two shoulder buttons, which eliminates having to hit the select button to visit the weapons screen.
I'm about 90% satisfied with the visual make over. The backgrounds are vibrant with some nice detail in some stages. Fire Man's stage has this red background with lava-filled boilers, and lava-geysers in the foreground. The stage does a good job describing the bosses character, Guts Man Construction stage looks pretty cool too, with a big crane in the background appearing to be clearing out debris. I think the 3D look is very nice and it works well for the animated characters. The character designs are animated with some fluid movements. Mega Man flinches in pain when hit with an attack, and he becomes visually fatigued when low on life. Now, I didn't play this game during its initial release and this is where 5% of my dislike comes from. Even as an anime fan, there are two art styles I really don't like, and they are Nekomimi and Chibi, this game uses the latter which displays this child-like appearance for the game creating this all too cute look. I know this is the way Akira Kitamura originally wanted to portray the character, but this just isn't to my taste. The other 5% comes in the slow down when there's too much taking place on the screen. I find this problem to be quite weird, because it's not like this game uses a very complex design. I'm sure there's a technical explanation for it though that goes completely over my head.
The near cutesy soundtrack is a revamped version of the of the original that fits with the look of the game. Some of these music scores I enjoy a lot, with Elec Man, Guts Man, and Fire Man's stages coming to mind. The BGM has a light hearted and fun feel to them. Capcom also decided to add voice overs, in this new generation of games I'll always find that to be a welcomed addition, but I really don't care for Mega Man's innocent, child like voice, and Fire Man's wild cowboy accent grates on my nerves. While on the other hand, I actually like Elec Man's arrogance. The sound effects are good with a clear distinction between the weapon blasts; the ice attacks sounds totally different from fire attacks. And when Mega Man is hit by electrical blast from various obstacles, it definitely sounds like it hurts.
This is the area where the game really shines. During some areas you will see items that are impossible to get for Mega Man. Don't even waste your time trying to get them, because they're for the bosses when you play through with them. Cut Man has a double jump to reach some of them, while Bomb Man, etc, will have to blast through a wall or something. There are also 100 missions in the challenge mode made up of either boss rushes or just getting from point A to B. This unlocks other things in the game, most notably, another playable character named Proto Man, who is very fun to play with. Also, through out the game you will be able to pick up pieces for the "Construction" mode. This mode allows you to create your own stages and play other folks stages using the MMweb through the PSP's Wi-Fi. I haven't played this part in years. I do remember there being some creative stages out there at one point. Not too sure what it could be like in the here and now.
I don't know how true this is, but I heard that all of these things can just be downloaded now. I got mine by playing through so I could get my cash worth. In any case, like Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, Mega Man Powered Up, albeit somewhat unnecessary, was a remake done right. It improved over the original in all possible areas and the only problem I can think of is the difficulty. Personally, the choice in art style bothers me, still, it's among the better games for the PSP. Of course, if you're a Mega Man fan who missed it then you should give it a try. I also recommend it to gamers seeking a good challenge, you will find it here.
Pros: - Fantastic update, lots of replay value
Cons: -Difficulty for some, Art style still hasn't grown on me
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Serious gamer and hardcore comic reader.
Currently in my Nintendo Wii U:
Currently … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
The original Mega Man, which was originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, undergoes a complete transformation in Mega Man Powered Up. A totally redesigned look and feel, combined with a wealth of new gameplay options, provides an entirely new gameplay experience. In Mega Man Powered Up, a near future sees advances in science that have helped Dr. Light and his fellow researchers develop humanoid robots designed to improve quality of life for mankind. All is harmonious until an evil scientist named Dr. Wily takes control of several robots in his quest to take over the planet. With Dr. Light's help, a household helper robot named Mega Man embarks on a mission to restore peace to the world. Complete voice acting for all cut scenes draws players even further into the adventure Totally redesigned level structure Every level features modified map structures as well as varied item locations New tricks for getting past obstacles have been implemented Even those who have played the original game can experience a fresh challenge, however a game mode featuring the configurations from the original version is also included as an option All new cut scenes before boss battles Intuitive level editor option allows endless possibilities Players can design their own stages creating challenges that are only limited by their own imagination Customize everything from enemy and object placement to music Collect item packs from the main game to unlock more objects for even more ...