Mega Man Powered Up ReviewCain Dornan
Capcom has been on a bit of a classic rampage as of late, with its key target being Sonys shiny PlayStation Portable. The renowned Japanese developer and publisher has been busying themselves with releasing remakes and ports of classic games that we all remember playing as kids, either on the classic home console system or down at the local arcade. One of their most recent focuses has been the long-standing Mega Man series, which has seen the original Mega Man X for the SNES receiving a overhaul for the PSP in the form of Maverick Hunter X. Now, Capcom has opted to support this recent release with a remake of the very first Mega Man title, a game that was first played, enjoyed and then screamed at in pure frustration back in the 1980s.
Fast forwarding time almost two decades later, and weve moved past the days of the basic-looking 2D games that, if you squinted hard enough, you could just make out the appearance of a small little moving figure on-screen. Mega Man Powered Up is both a remake and a port of sorts, as it allows you to not only play through a completely revamped and further expanded version of the NES classic, but also experience the original game in all its glory in a slightly-edited port of the original game.
But the fun, excitement and memories dont end there. Powered Up also comes packaged complete with a simple level editor and a brand-new challenge mode, which sees you participating in ever-increasingly difficult missions as you attempt to achieve the required goal before the time runs out. These challenge events range greatly in difficult; from a standard and straightforward fare that lasts a few mere seconds through to the more annoyingly difficult events that almost seem impossible to complete. The more determined gamer will find several hours of gameplay from this mode alone, which is quite commendable when considering that this mode is only really intended to compliment the core port and remake that pose as the key source of gameplay life.
Taking a look at the revamped version of Mega Man, fans will instantly notice the new changes that Capcom has made. In addition to sporting a completely new visual appeal, which sees the characters and environments taking on a more cute appeal, the mode also offers a total of eight different bosses to battle against, which sees two brand-new ones that the original did not feature. Classic favorites, such as Cutman, Gutsman, Iceman and Bombman make a return, with a total of two new bosses making a grand entrance. Theres now Oilman and Timeman to add to the mix, which both sport their own unique abilities like the rest of the troublesome bosses. Oilman, for example, can shoot oil from his arm cannon, which allows him to trip-over enemies or use the oil as a type of board to surf across the level. Timeman, on the other hand, can slow down time, enabling him to instead bypass enemies rather than actually defeating them. The two new characters are essentially the same as all the other bosses, but offer some alternative moves that are unique to their name and appearance.
Furthermore, you can now play as each of the eight different boss robots. Once you complete their stage, you are able to play through each of the different stages as the boss, making full use of all his unique powers in doing so. While its certainly not a revolutionary concept, its an interesting new addition that may grab the interest of those gamers who have always wanted to play as someone other than Mega Man.
The new revamped version also allows you to determine what difficulty you will play each individual mission at, with the ability to set it to either Easy, Medium or Hard difficulties. Making the game slightly more easier and less frustrating is the addition of save points, which prevents you from being forced to play through the entire game in a single sitting. The new version also offers more of a storyline than what the original had, with a brief cutscene opening the game that gives you a general idea for why the robots are all going crazy. It seems a mad scientist by the name of Dr. Wily has decided to take over the world, and has chosen to begin his quest for world domination by hijacking a group of robots to perform his evil bidding. Being the good robot that you are, you taken it upon your metal shoulders to locate each of the rampaging robots and return them back to their original, do-good state. To do this, youll need to play through each of the boss stages and then defeat them at the end, which usually involves doing little more than repeatedly firing at them while dodging their attacks.
And for the more creative ones out there, the Construction mode, which allows you to create your very own custom levels, will certainly offer plenty of lifespan for those who are into the whole create-your-own-something scene. The stage creation mode is fairly straightforward, guiding you through much of the creation process by separating the construction material into separate packs, with each pack containing different construction objects and enemies that you can place within each stage. Once youve finished creating and play testing your new stage, you can then save the stage to your PSPs memory card for later play, or even upload it to the games own sever for sharing with fellow gamers around the world. Using this online connectivity, you can also retrieve stages or items that other players have created. The Construction mode is a solid offering that offers more abilities and functions than what we originally expected.
Powered Ups presentation has taken on a more childish theme than its original counterpart; incorporating simple and colourful visuals that are further enforced with the games lighthearted musical score. The voice acting is also presented in a similar fashion, with each of the characters offering an adorable appearance and personality. While some gamers may be put-off with the childish theme, for the most part, it suits the game almost perfectly.
Regardless of whether you are a long-time or recent fan of the blue-clad robotic hero, Mega Man Powered Up is an enjoyable and addictive 2D platformer the successfully re-creates a timeless classic for the PSP. The new additions, coupled with the inclusion of the original, makes this a worthwhile purchase for any Mega Man fan.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.