Besides Mario, Sonic, and Zelda, the most well-known ‘classic’ video game series is Mega Man. The little robot first appeared on the NES 25 years ago on December 17th. Most people would say when they think of Mega Man, they think of the classic kid one, a lot would say X, and a few which includes myself would say you know what, Battle Network is what I think of when Mega Man comes to mind. But, there’s no denying that the right way to spend the Blue Bomber’s 25th anniversary is with the one that started it all. Sadly it recent years the series has died down. Ever since the cancellation of the highly anticipated Legends 3, the franchise has been quiet. In fact, some even deemed it a dying franchise. The fact that he wasn’t included in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was an insult to fans. Despite all this, we do have a new release, a rather strange one. STREET FIGHTER X MEGA MAN was originally a fan project before Capcom made it as the official celebration for the 25th anniversary. The cool part? It’s free. You can go to Capcom Unity right now and download it. This game is definitely worth the play, despite some issues (it can’t save) it’s a really fun game for longtime fans of both franchises.

Having fought countless robot masters over the years, Mega Man is ready to lay back, relax and enjoy his 25th Anniversary. Getting wind of this, Ryu and his fellow Street Fighters want one last battle before they let their own anniversary finish. Charge up your mega busters and stretch out your lightning legs, this is Street Fighter® X Mega Man®!

A true collaboration between Capcom and its fans for Mega Man’s and Street Fighter’s 25th Anniversary, Street Fighter® x Mega Man® was created and developed by Singapore native Seow Zong Hui (aka “Sonic”), with an original soundtrack by Luke Esquivel (aka “A_Rival”) and with support provided by Capcom. Street Fighter® X Mega Man® stars the Blue Bomber as he goes toe-to-toe with some of Street Fighter’s most beloved characters complete with their own individual themed stages and boss battles. Jump, shoot, and use your special new Street Fighter abilities to defeat your foes and become the world’s strongest robot!

This being originally a fan project, we obviously weren’t going to get 3D models, instead it’s the classic 8-bit style. It’s definitely appropriate for such an anniversary, a nostalgic trip for older fans and a bright retro adventure for newer fans. There are eight main stages, all of which are beautifully designed and challenging. The controls are easy to get, you’ll most likely die a few times at first trying to understand them, but once you get it, you’re set. (Still, it is difficult to time your slide correctly.) Basically, this is a classic Mega Man game with Street Fighter characters as the bosses. There’s really no story to why they’re fighting, then again, in these crossover games you never really need a reason to fight, do you? The older Mega Man games are known for their extreme (extreme) difficultly, this is no different, it challenges you. (Good luck trying to get past all eight bosses back-to-back.) While not ‘impossible’ like the classic and X games, the stages and bosses will provide for an excellent challenge. The level designs are all wonderfully done like this game was made in the late 80’s, but much more vibrant and fun to look at. But the real treat is battling the bosses.

This being STREET FIGHTER X MEGA MAN (it’s a wonder this game hadn’t been made before) the major downloading point was to see the Blue Bomber take on the Street Fighters. They’re all rendered in 8-bit! From Ryu to Bison, it’s cute to hear the little sounds such as when Ryu and Chun Li shout “Hadoken!” in 8-bit form. I’m not a longtime Street Fighter fan, but I do know the characters thanks to the Marvel crossovers. From Ryu’s spinning kick to  Blanka’s ground-pounds, it’s fun to see the different battle styles and you, the player, adapting. That brings me to my next point, the power system. Every time you beat a boss, you get their power, For example, when you beat Ryu, you get his Hadoken. It’s neat and and pretty cool as you use the ones you find the most useful. (I’m not quite sure who would get in close to use Chun Li’s storming kick.)

It’s hard to find fault with this type of game. It’s a free thing that would probably cost $15 to download. But to think Capcom couldn’t do a full fledged console game for their mascot is quite sad. This game is  fine substitution, but it doesn’t erase that fact. My major criticism is the saving system, because there isn’t one. If you’re going to play it, save it for the afternoon or evening when you have at least two hours to spare, cause once you open it, you have to beat it in one sitting. The game is rather short after you understand the way it works after beating the first level. If this wasn’t free-to-download, I’d be more harsh about that. But since it is free, it’s acceptable. It still provides for a good hour of classic side-scrolling Mega Man action with Street Fighter thrown into the mix. Other than the gameplay, bosses, and level design, the standout is the soundtrack. 8-bit tunes? Check. Classically awesome? Check. It really brings the levels alive and gives the player something catchy to listen to. (The best might be Urien’s stage, it gets your retro gaming adrenaline pumping.)

Overall, STREET FIGHTER X MEGA MAN may not have been the greatest way to celebrate the Blue Bomber’s 25th anniversary, but it’s still a really good game. It may not celebrate all things Mega Man like what Sonic Generations did for the hedgehog, but it’s still worth the download. You’ll feel proud after beating Bison and watching Ryu and Mega Man walk off into the sunset. (The animation could have been so much better in that scene.) So go ahead, give it a download, it’s a great play for old and new fans alike.


Oh, and of course happy 25th anniversary Mega Man!