Inti Creates (2002–2010)
Hack 'n slash
Run 'n gun
|Platforms||Arcade, Windows, Mobile, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Nintendo, PlayStation, Sega, Steam Machine, WonderSwan, Xbox|
|Release Date||1987 - Present|
|Smosh Games Game Guide|
|Series||Honest Game Trailers|
Mega Man, known as Rockman (ロックマン Rokkuman) in Japan, is a gaming franchise created by Capcom. Its most iconic formula is a side-scrolling platform game where the player controls the blue robot Mega Man, who has a "buster" cannon grafted onto his arm, as he shoots his way through levels packed with enemy robots and Robot Masters before battling and defeating the villain in his latest war machine or ultimate form.
The most prolific continuities and subseries are as follows, each of which has its own incarnation on the Mega Man character design:
- Mega Man Classic: The original series depicts Mega Man in his most famous incarnation, that of a young "boy" robot created by Dr. Thomas Light, who regularly sends him on missions to destroy the newest Robot Masters created or corrupted by Dr. Wily. In addition to weapons he procures from Robot Masters, he must occasionally rely on specific allies to overcome stage obstacles, including his robot dog Rush.
- Mega Man X: Taking place a generation later, this darker-toned series centers on the "older" Mega Man X, whom the late Dr. Light has left behind to police a world where more advanced, sapient robots are integrated into human society. X was discovered by Dr. Cain a century later, and he made more sentient robots called Reploids, some of began rebelling against humans. The Maverick Hunters were made to counter them.
- Mega Man Zero: This part starts off with a more brooding Zero from X reawakening after a century into an even darker version of the world. He battles for a resistance group against the governing body Neo Arcadia. It was eventually revealed that the real mastermind behind it is Dr. Weil. Zero defeats Weil by sacrificing himself as the space station they were fighting in, Ragnarok, broke apart and fell to Earth.
- Mega Man ZX: The player controls either a male or female character who can merge with Biometals, artifacts that can absorb the traits of a human or Reploid, to obtain forms and abilities of other characters. This series is currently on hiatus.
- Mega Man Legends: Set thousands of years after ZX at a point where the Earth is mostly ocean and civilization is dependent on digging into the remaining islands for a power source, the player controls Mega Man Volnutt, a robotic Digger, who investigates ruins and does battle against air pirates named the Bonne family. These games focus on third-person action-adventure elements. This series is also on hiatus.
- Mega Man Battle Network: An alternate reality where counterparts to characters exist not as robots but as computer programs that navigate and battle in cyberspace as per the commands of real-world humans at their computers. Dr. Wily leads a net-crime organization called the WWW ("World Three"), and the main human protagonist Lan Hikari has his "NetNavi" and the main player character MegaMan.EXE foil the WWW's cyber-schemes by deleting the "Virus" enemies it sends.
- Mega Man Star Force: A series of over-the-shoulder ARPGs set 200 years afterBattle Network starring a human boy named Geo Stelar who regularly merges with an electromagnetic alien named Omega-Xis to become a blue-suited "Mega Man" of his own and fight enemies in an invisible electromagnetic plane overlaid with the real world. It is currently unknown if this series has ended or is on hiatus.
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According to GamesRadar, the Mega Man games were the first to feature a non-linear "level select" option, a stark contrast to both linear games like Super Mario Bros. and open world games like Zelda and Metroid. GamesRadar credits the "level select" feature of Mega Man as the basis for the non-linear mission structure found in most open-world, multi-mission, sidequest-heavy games.
Reviewers were quick to hail Mega Man Zero as a return to what they considered its roots, however some fans criticized that the lack of knowing which boss the player will face next was a change for the worse. Positive reviews noted the variety of abilities and customization with an engaging story, while negative reviews focused on the repetitiveness and lack of originality. Review scores were lower for the last two titles in the series, with critics pointing out that the games were just using the same gameplay without introducing anything new.
Mega Man ZX garnered positive reviews from most sources, with a Metacritic score of 76/100. Its high level of difficulty was enjoyed by some but criticized by others. Its gameplay presentation and level designs were praised. Low points in reviews were the confusing world map and frustrating difficulty level. Mega Man Star Force received average to generally positive reviews. Famitsu gave it 32/40, IGN gave it 5.2/10, GameSpot gave it 6.0, and Nintendo Power gave it 7.5/10.