So this happened over the weekend:
Now, let's go back for a minute to 2010, to my reaction to Capcom's last official mainstream installment of the Mega Man series: "Because I'm a hopeless Mega Man fanatic, and because I wanted to write a truly comprehensive review of Mega Man 10, I made it a point to play the game into the ground—at this point, I hope it stays buried there a while." I left the game with the satisfaction of having blown stuff up real good, and with the disappointment of my favorite video game franchise heading off in a direction more appealing to hip, young gamers and people who hated everything after Mega Man 3.
Part of me is looking forward to this new game, assuming it's not some sort of belated April Fools' gag—it appears that whoever's responsible knows what makes a Mega Man game fun, and loves Street Fighter enough to pull off a worthy crossover.
The other part of me is saying, "Really? This is how we're celebrating Mega Man's 25th anniversary—with another Street Fighter game?"
In other words, I don't really care. Or, at least, I've given up on caring.
Capcom announced Mega Man Universe, then pulled the plug on it, and I really didn't mind. Same deal with Mega Man Legends 3—though, I have yet to play any of the Legends series, so perhaps I should have been enraged. Then there was Mega Man Xover, the sad-looking iOS game that no one in the fan community seemed to want to play. Now we've got yet another crossover. Yes, people love crossovers when they're done right. Yes, it looks like this one will be done right. No, I'm not enthusiastic about it. I'm tired of my favorite series being dragged in every direction but the one that actually matters to me.
I don't want a level editor for Mega Man 2 that looks like a Flash game, or a messy mashup of multiple Mega Man series that looks like a Flash game, or a crossover of two completely unrelated series that looks like it was originally intended to be a Flash game. Those are all good fodder for a fangame or three, but it raises some questions about the future of the franchise when Mega Man 11 and its hypothetical brethren are ignored for over two years while these other games are touted as The Next Big Thing. Crossovers, cameos, and out-of-continuity spinoffs are fun in moderation, but Zero's appearance in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is no substitute for Mega Man X9.
What's reassuring to me is the last line of the announcement article: "We know it's been a hard year for Mega Man fans, but I hope this proves our love and intent to the series, and that we have not heard the last of the little guy." In the wake of the physical and economic devastation Japan suffered last year, along with the departure of Keiji Inafune, it's understandable that Capcom has needed some time to regroup and figure out what, if anything, they should be doing with this franchise. I still wasn't entirely pleased with where things were headed before that, but I'm willing to accept that these past few years have been a time of transition. Perhaps this new game is just to hold us over until The Real Next Big Thing comes along later next year.
Unless they keep making games for iOS, in which case I'll never be able to play them.