Anyone who knows me can tell you I am a huge fan of Capcom’s classic MegaMan series. In fact I have gone as far as contemplating having the blue bomber inked permanently onto my arm, but aside from the obsessive fandom I have been an avid player of all games containing my favorite high-pitched hero. With the PSP Capcom has opted to remake two of his finest and give them a nice face lift in the process. Last month we received the stellar Maverick Hunter X, which was a remake of the original MegaMan X, and now we are graced with MegaMan Powered Up which is essentially the very first game from the original NES system. While Maverick Hunter was more of an homage with new visuals, Powered Up is almost like an entirely new game. New visuals, remixed music, a robust challenge mode, and even the addition of two brand new villains round out this amazing package. Find out why MegaMan Powered Up could possibly be the best incarnation of the series yet.
The biggest difference Powered Up brings to the table is presentation. For starters the game has been completely re-built from the ground up. The overall new look can be described as a bit on the “kiddy” side, but it works well for the content. As I mentioned earlier there is also an abundance of new additions to the main game including the addition of two brand new MM bosses Time Man and Oil Man. The best part is that you can choose between two separate modes including the original game with re-done visuals or an entirely new adventure featuring completely revamped locales and the of course the two new adversaries.
All of the original stages are mapped out just as you remember them. From the frustrating disappearing blocks on Ice Man’s stage to the ridiculously hard moving platforms found in Guts Man’s level, the original mode is perfectly re-created for this PSP revamp. The new levels are a bit more forgiving, albeit still not easy for the faint of heart, with a series of checkpoints throughout the level. You will also be treated to an entirely remixed library of your favorite tunes as you progress through the new levels, which I have to admit is a nice touch. The music in the MM games has always been among my favorite in the videogame world, and hearing updated versions simply makes me weep with a child-like joy.
There are also a bevy of new modes to keep you playing long after you finish the two main single-player modes. The first is a simple challenge mode for each and every character in the game, including of course the bosses. Each character has ten stages for a grand total of 100 extra levels of pure MM goodness. Think of these as sort of an obstacle course with objectives ranging from simple jumping patterns to completing a level without ever using your weapon. These challenges also rank from ridiculously easy to incredibly tough just like the main game. Fans of the series are certainly no stranger to just how challenging the games have always been and thankfully this one will certainly not disappoint.
If this wasn’t enough Capcom has also thrown in a level editor for those of us out there who always claimed we could make some damn fine MM levels ourselves. Well now is your chance as Powered Up gives you all the tools to craft your very own level, and you can even connect wirelessly with friends and exchange levels. So in essence you could literally play this game forever and never run out of new levels to conquer. The editor itself takes some getting used to at first and can be a bit overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it you will be crafting brand new scenarios and trying to create a level so damn hard that even the best MM player in the world simply cannot defeat.
Controlling our favorite protagonist on the PSP can still prove quite the challenge with the system’s merciless d-pad. We all know that MM is a game that requires precision and timing and unfortunately you will die more than once simply because the controls are not as responsive as say a console. Thankfully the analog stick does work extremely well and once you adjust to playing a MM game with the stick, your life will be a whole lot easier. There will still be moments of frustration, but with so much other stuff packed in it is really hard to fault the game because of the system’s shoddy controller.
Finally we come to the visuals, Capcom has completely redone the entire game with a more “chibi” style that will be a love or hate with aficionados of the series. Personally I think the game looks fantastic, seeing the subtle animations on the enemies and of course the blue bomber himself really adds that characteristic that I have always enjoyed about the series. The voices however almost made me shed a tear, while I know that MM has always had an extremely effeminate voice, hearing some of the bosses and their terrible dialogue really drag down their “cool” factor. This of course is just me being picky and it certainly should not deter you from buying this incredibly well done revamp of one of the best games ever created.
Powered Up is the definition of how you take a classic and re-tool it for a whole new generation. Fans of the original will find plenty to justify the purchase and even newcomers will find more than enough to satisfy their gaming needs. So far Capcom is three for three with Sony’s handheld and with a new Ghost and Goblins on the horizon it looks like a fantastic time to own one of these wonderful handheld systems. Definitely give Powered Up a chance, even if you have never been a fan of the series I guarantee you will find plenty to love in this game.