Sawbuck Gamer

Street Fighter X Mega Man

Mega Mano-a-Mega Mano

Street Fighter X Mega Man captures both games’ retro glory.

By Steve Heisler • December 19, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

“An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator—these are not three separate devices. These are one device.” One of the great moments of the 21st century occurred when Steve Jobs stood on a stark stage and said these words, which make so much sense in hindsight. Of course these disparate things would come together effortlessly—beautiful alchemy combining multiple things we love.

The marriage of frantic Capcom commodities Mega Man and Street Fighter feels like a long time coming. Historically, Mega Man journeys through robot lairs, each of which reflects the distinctive and eccentric personalities of its ruler. Street Fighter is full of distinctive and eccentric personalities with a love for fighting mano-a-mano. Thus Street Fighter X Mega Man was born—a free 25th anniversary present that casts Mega Man as said mano and the Street Fighter hooligans as villains.

The elegance with which the two games collide transcends any whiff of a gimmick. The Dhalsim level is as stretched-out and contorted as the yoga master himself. The Blanka boss fight keeps you on your toes avoiding electricity and, strangely enough, watermelons. Meanwhile, you are still Mega Man through and through, gleefully using Chun-Li’s kick move once she is defeated to destroy hordes of helicoptering bad guys. Mega Man still takes on the fighting style of his enemies, and Street Fighter has plenty of fighting styles to go around.

There are moments as unrelenting as any Mega Man game, when bridges collapse beneath your feet and repetition is your only solace. There are moments as giddy as any Street Fighter game, when Urien lays the smack down with a series of flawlessly executed combos. It’s not two separate games. It’s one glorious trip.

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  • PaganPoet

    Urien is one of the characters? How to render his bethonged massiveness in an 8-bit sprite? Gotta play this later.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      His sprite is pretty ripped. He was the one “robot master” I couldn’t identify from my semi-cursory Street Fighter knowledge, though my younger brother who was watching over my shoulder couldn’t identify anyone from Alpha forward. Considering the limited spaces available, though, I think the selection does a good job of hitting the most iconic characters while tossing a bone to more recent or obscure additions.

      That said, a re-branded fan game, where Megaman doesn’t even get first billing, is a kind of sad celebration of MegaMan’s 25th anniversary – though admittedly more than I was actually expecting of Capcom.

      • PaganPoet

        If you’re a fan of fighters at all, I would definitely recommend checking out SFIII: Third Impact on PSN or XBL. It’s arguably the best game in the series (along with SSFIV: Arcade Platinum Turbo Ultimate Mega Remix HD etc etc etc)

  • Ardney

    Comments from Christian Svensson in the PAR article covering this leave me somewhat optimistic that this isn’t all Capcom plans for MMs 25th.

    ““Unbeknownst to him, we had started having meetings for the plans for the Mega Man 25th Anniversary a couple of months earlier and we still lacked a really good opener” Svensson told the Penny Arcade Report. “I thought that the game would be an excellent closer to the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter and opener to the 25th anniversary of Mega Man”

    Now if this is their opener that implies there’s something more to come. Whether or not their follow-up is worth it remains to be  seen of course.

    As an aside, I think several parts of this project were interesting from the perspective of corporate interactions with fans, namely, the facts that it was developed almost exclusively by a fan and that its being released for free. It’s also really cool that Zong Hui (the dev) seems to have done all the art from scratch, with no official assets being provided by Capcom.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      It’s certainly a contrast with their production of MegaMan Legends 3, which made a big show of involving fans in the development before shuttering the project and blaming its failure on those very fans.

      Apparently the old NES MegaMan games have been re-released for 3DS as part of this ‘anniversary celebration,’ too. I would be extremely surprised if Capcom did anything especially substantive to ‘celebrate’ the anniversary beyond this fan game and some re-releases.

      • Ardney

        Don’t get me wrong, with Inafune long out of the picture I’m not terribly optimistic for it either. I was only pointing out the likelihood of their being something more. I was unaware of the 3DS re-releases and agree that yeh, those 2 could be the entirety of Capcom’s plans for the Blue Bomber this year. Naturally I hope I’m wrong but it wouldn’t surprise me too much if that were not the case.

  • Aaron Riccio

    Fun game, but I couldn’t beat Vega, and to the best of my knowledge, there’s no save feature (or password) — I don’t feel like beating them all over again.

    (Spoilers for the order follow: Dhalsim – Blanka – Rose – Roland – Urien – Ryu – Chun Li – C. [Whatever Her Name Is])

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Viper. And yeah, exact same story for a friend and me. Then we played some SFxTekken because when you’ve played hours of one half-baked Street Fighter crossover you might as well make it a thing.

  • http://twitter.com/roundthewheel RTW

    Played and beat it within hours of downloading it. Interesting weapons, boss weaknesses make logical sense, and I love the integration of the super combo meter, but overall this is pretty slapdash even for a fan game. If someone sat down with a checklist and said “Okay, these are the things that need to be in a Mega Man game”, only about half the list would be checked off on this one.

    Biggest con BY FAR is the total lack of any kind of password or autosave system. This turns what should be a breezy lark into a brutal slog, and that’s before you get to the hideously imbalanced post-regular-eight stages. Basically if you want to beat this game, you have to do it in one solid grind. This may have been the norm in 1987 but in 2012 it’s utterly unacceptable.

    Combine that with the ludicrously imbalanced endgame, and you’ve got a game that could have used significantly more QA. (If you think Vega’s bad – and if you’re anyone I’ve talked to over the last 48 hours who’s played this, then you do – wait until you reach the boss rush immediately afterward and realize it eschews the standard practice of giving you a large energy refill every time you beat a boss. Hope you didn’t blow all your energy tanks on Vega!)

    I have to give it some credit though, mostly for being one of the very few fangames that doesn’t fetishize or try to be the second coming of Mega Man 2. Seeing the slide and the charge shot present and accounted for is a balm to the soul. Unfortunately it shares a lot of DNA with MM1, though that could be fixed with some simple updates.

    As a mea culpa for canceling Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe, this game is cute and cool enough, but it doesn’t do much for me to ameliorate the fear that Capcom is still going to keep treating this series like second-class garbage. As Girard astutely observed, Mega Man doesn’t even have top billing in his own 25th anniversary game, which is not only incredibly pathetic but also an uncomfortably excellent summation of Capcom’s attitude toward the Blue Bomber.

    • C. Wise

      Spoiler Alert:

      The game DOES give you a large energy refill after every fight during the boss rush. In fact, I found the game to be very forgiving overall, since all of your weapon energy is replenished after dying — very useful during boss battles, and (if I remember correctly) breaking tradition with previous Mega Man games.

      I enjoyed this game quite a bit, and while it has a few seams it is FREE and one of the best Sawbuck games of the year.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HXHQLQ2ZNTU4Z7TOTKCOYKQM6E josef2012

      ‘course it is FREE+fan made,so i’m sure whenever you want to link to your feature-rich,bug-free version of this game,we’ll all be squeeing with glee.

      • sageturk

        It’s also the official, endorsed 25th anniversary offering from Capcom so you’d think at least a bit more shine would have been applied.  I agreed with the gushing until my second playthrough and now all those flaws far outweigh the initial “hey this is pretty awesome” feeling.  And just for the record, not since the original, AKA MegaMan 1, has there been a megaman without a rudimentary save/password system.  (NOSTALGIA -WARNING: brings me back to the days of getting the game from the rental store and pumping my fists in triumph when – YES! – the previous kid wrote down the pass-codes for all the bosses)

  • bunnyvision

    I ballsed my way thru the Chun Li level only to be confronted by an eerie silence facing her, only hearing sound effects. It felt for all the world like an old DOS game with very little music but way too many bleeps and bloops. Like…I don’t know, like Captain Comic maybe.

    It made me uncomfortable and I shut it off.

    Also chun li is a way hard megaman boss

    • Aaron Riccio

      Chun Li is hard only if you don’t have Ryu’s Hadoken. (Some things never change.) Likewise, Ryu is near impossible if you can’t come up with some way to reflect his shots back at him.

      Mind you, I figured out that I could knock Vega’s glove and mask off with Chun Li’s kick, but that didn’t seem to accomplish much. (It only made him angrier.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HXHQLQ2ZNTU4Z7TOTKCOYKQM6E josef2012

    …pc only???—WAAAAAAAAHHH!!!—