Mega Man Universe (CANCELED) - Xbox 360

Mega Man Universe (CANCELED)
Game Description: Gamers can expect Mega Man Universe to bring the core experience fans want while delivering on the promise of innovation that Capcom is known for.
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Mega Man Universe Hands-On Preview

Mega Man Universe Hands-On Preview

By John Teti - Posted Sep 17, 2010



There’s any number of signature touches that have made Mega Man such an enduring presence in gaming: the variety of enemies, the cool weapons, the iconic bosses—they’re all key to the 23-year-old series’ charm. But the most ingenious aspect of the Mega Man games is their level design. The platforming challenges of Mega Man are difficult enough to make gamers squeeze their controllers in rage, but elegant enough that with persistence, any player can get the little tricks of a given stage into their fingers’ muscle memory. And after that, miraculously, the game just flows. (At least until you get to the next level and start the process all over again.)

Capcom’s designers have made their job look easy all these years, and now Mega Man Universe will give players the opportunity to see just what it’s like to build a world full of Bubble Bats, Mets, and of course the ever-present death spikes. The company has previously been coy about the game’s player-creation features, but at Tokyo Game Show, Capcom PR representatives have started to open up about MMU’s capabilities.

Capcom says that the game will give you all the tools and building blocks necessary to make your own playable Mega Man level. That includes the basics like terrain, enemies, and bottomless pits, of course, but players will also have access to more complex bits like moving platforms and those dreaded disappearing-block jumping puzzles. I encountered more than one of the latter as I played through the MMU sample that Capcom had available in their TGS suite.

Most notably, players will be able to create levels that branch out in different directions. You see branching from time to time in the classic Mega Man games, but it’s relatively rare. That doesn’t have to be the case in Mega Man Universe—there can be multiple paths through a level, which creates opportunities for exploration and surprise. In one level, I missed a jump and cursed as I fell down a pit, only to find that I wasn’t dead yet—I had fallen down to a hidden part of the stage. I heard another reporter remark that he had gotten lost wandering around in his playthrough. Lost! That didn’t happen too often on the NES games.


Players will also be able to customize their own Mega Man character, toying with variables like running speed, jump height, Mega Buster power, and pre-equipped weapons. Naturally, Mega Man’s appearance can be customized as well. The “default” look is the classic Blue Bomber garb—revised to match MMU’s cartoony 3-D style. In the TGS demo, I also got to play with a character modeled after the homely schmoe on the original Mega Man’s North American box art. And another character had patches of red armor amid the blue, as if he were the love child of Mega Man and Cut Man.

Capcom didn’t offer any details on how players would share their custom levels and characters. It would be a bizarre omission, though, if Mega Man Universe didn’t allow players to publish content online á la LittleBigPlanet. It was an open secret in the room that Capcom would set up a network for that very purpose.

The one glaring problem I noticed as I played through a couple of short levels is that the game is rather unattractive in its current form. Which is a polite way of saying that it’s uglier than a robot dog’s backside. The levels in the demo were supposed to look as if they could have been created by an amateur, but they may have accomplished that too well.

The revised 3-D aesthetic feels cheap and hollow in comparison to the bright warmth of the classic 2-D graphics in the Mega Man and Mega Man X games. (Even Mega Man Powered Up did a better job of bringing 3-D animation into the Mega Man template.) There were some classic 2-D sprites sprinkled in, but that juxtaposition just made the scenery more of a hodgepodge.

It’s easier to fix a bad look than a bad idea, and Mega Man Universe is still one of the more intriguing concepts at TGS—in essence, it’s a developer giving fans the keys to one of its most iconic properties. Let’s hope that Capcom has time to put another coat of paint on this one before they release it to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.



Comments are Closed

  • leon11739

    wtf wtf wtf is this robot chicken

    Posted: September 21, 2010 7:42 AM
  • vivaDsancheZ

    I guess Im the only person that thinks There is nothing new here , seems to me Megaman has been done to death.

    Posted: September 20, 2010 11:58 AM
  • lowkevmic

    I appreciate the direction a lot of developers are taking. Which is creating a game that would appeal to only the core fans of the game, and not try to make something to please everyone. Especially if they're bringing back a classic like Mega Man. Yes it was a classic game, and had a very big fan base, but it wasn't a game that was loved by everyone like Mario or Sonic. So for them to only focus on their core fans, I think is a great move on Capcom's part. Instead of revamping the series to try and appeal to the masses.

    Posted: September 20, 2010 11:29 AM
  • ShdwFox

    Sorry if I sound like a negative-nancy, but I would have much rather have seen a "Mega Man X universe" game. Classic Mega Mans were alright, but they were exceptionally boring. First, you pretty much only had the option to jump, fire, and use special attacks earned from the bosses. But MMX series had all that and more with the options such as dashing, climbing, ducking, and so on. Secondly, they had an actual story. Not the best plots ever, but at least they were there. Additionally, you also had the option to find and collect health tanks and pieces of armor scattered throughout the levels. And finally, the design of the levels and characters were graphically better, with a more interesting art direction. I'm not going to say every single Mega Man title was this way, and I won't say every single Mega Man X title was this way either; but in most cases they were.

    The older Mega Man titles were classic. But the Mega Man X series was clearly superior. Greater gameplay depth, a storyline, collection elements, and better eye candy; all these factors easily make it my favored choice.

    And in fact, why is Capcom even trying to revive these series? They pretty much died before the PS2-era. If they were going try bring back any Mega Man series at all, it should have been the Mega Man Legend series. Don't get me wrong, they weren't the best games ever; but at least they were something different. Something with new direction and new gameplay mechanics. I could easily see Capcom enhancing this series and releasing a four or five star quality game. If their lucky, Mega Man Universe will be getting a three out of five score if anything.

    Posted: September 18, 2010 9:21 PM

    I would love to play as X or Zero! Haha, or maybe Rush or Roll. Oviously Protoman should be a playable character, and how about for once we can play as Dr. Wily. And lets not forget the animated series Mega Man. I am loving the aspect of designing your own levels, however that poses a question about the bosses. How about a create your own boss feature along with pre-designed attacks that you choose. Of course old elements have to be brought back, along with not so old elements. I'm actually not surprised this isn't going to the Wii just because Nintendo is having a Dark Age right now. But that is another topic that really needs no more discussion, only action. New or Old, Mega Man/Rock Man rules!!! GO CAPCOM!

    Posted: September 18, 2010 1:26 PM
  • fernzire

    looks kinda gay. the trailer led me on like a chris hanson would. its on ps3 and xbox? they could have made it hella action packed and a little more complex gameplay wise, cmon its megaman.something new to the table please.

    Posted: September 18, 2010 11:59 AM
  • NocturnalX

    I'm looking forward to some brutally hard user created levels

    Posted: September 18, 2010 11:59 AM
  • mikepjr

    I think a good idea would have been to use cell shading.
    It could have helped everything look more vibrant, to me anyhow.
    I really love this stuff so far.... their are a lot of things now that actually make me wanna get a PS3 or 360 now.. this being one of them... i do wish they would have put this on Wii... but i can see why it is not coming to Wii... if it came to Wii their would have to be a lot more space to save things then Nintendo allows.
    So this is another reason the Wii is not as good as the other systems... oh sad..

    Posted: September 18, 2010 11:38 AM
  • ODST chief

    more mega man is always a good thing

    Posted: September 17, 2010 9:04 PM
  • JustTheBeginning

    Why limit myself to own genre when I can make them all! LittleBigPlanet 2 ftw!

    Posted: September 17, 2010 4:50 PM