If you'll excuse me, I'm now going to be a bit smug for the second time this week. Why? Because another of my exciting predictions for gaming's future has come true, in exactly the way I said it would.
Hot on the smouldering, radioactive heels of my long-held Duke-Nukem-by-Gearbox-at-PAX clairvoyance, Capcom has confirmed the gameplay details of its upcoming, previously mysterious, best-trailer-ever-having Mega Man Universe title. At this point I could just point you towards my previous predicto-feature and instruct you to upgrade all of my assumptions to weapons-grade fact, but I'm a serious professional and besides, that would be too smug even for me. I'm already feeling a bit self-concious about the big red Cape of Smugness I'm wearing (the one with the white feather trim) and the crown I've made out of that printer paper I stole the other day.
So I'm going to write a new story. And it will contain all the details. And maybe even a few screens. In fact I have. It's all below.
Confirmed by a post on Capcom's Unity blog, Mega Man Universe is a new, traditional 2D Mega Man game with a major difference. It's built around user creativity and community content-sharing online. There's a character editor, which will allow you to build your own custom Mega Man out of a whole stack of body parts. And in proper Mega Man fashion, the body parts you choose will change his abilities.
And then there's the level editor, which will empower you with all the abilities of a 2D god by letting you create your own custom stages from scratch. Going off the screenshots, the level editor looks pretty comprehensive, right down to allowing power-up and enemy placement. In fact it reminds me a bit of the Super Smsh Bros. Brawl editor, and that one was about as accessible and versatile as they come.
Good news then? Bloody fantastic news, says I. As I've detailed before, there is no more perfect franchise than Mega Man for this kind of stuff. HIs gameplay mechanics are beholden of enough pixel-perfect precision and depth to open up huge design possibilities, but are also simple enough for anyone to understand, and have been hardwired into the gamer conciousness for 23 years. So basically, anyone can build a brilliant level.
And Mega Man's core design trope has always been that of customising his abilities with stolen boss powers in order to overcome new challenges, so the character editor is a completely natural fit. So basically, I can't wait for this. Though my recent Joe Danger levels have been pretty brutal, so there's a good chance that when unleashed upon Mega Man I'm going to become Satan-incarnate. Sorry in advance.