Mega Man 9 - EXCLUSIVE reveal

Every classic Mega Manhas played the same since 1987 - beat the bosses, steal their powers and use them on the other bosses. This formula went unchanged for years, oddly shaken up by the Game Boy port of Mega Man IV, the first game to introduce buyable items. It was integrated into Mega Man 7 and 8, and it's also part of Mega Man 9, making it the first NES-style game to contain Dr. Light's shop. Items include an energy balancer (distributes energy to weapons that need it most), spike shoes (protect against one-hit kills) and new armor that reduces damage by half. You're also able to remove his helmet and play the game with Mega's black hair flowing free. Doesn't sound like much, but fans (like us) are bouncing off the walls with misty eyed glee.

A lot of music is right out of Mega Man 2. The select screen (which contains more than the game, but we can't talk about that just yet) and power-up screen contain the exact same tunes played in MM2, and we also spotted some enemies taken right out of the archives. The charging Mega Buster introduced in MM4 is missing (at least initially) but Rush is available from the start - as Rush Coil, naturally. Sliding was also MIA, though we did see small tunnels suspiciously similar to those accessed by the slide move.

There's more going on than the regular game, as the menu we mentioned earlier does hold other options. We're currently unable to talk about them, so expect Capcom to reveal a bit more during E3 less than two weeks from now. Let's just say there'll be plenty for hardcore fans to obsess over when it hits WiiWare this fall. Until then, we're celebrating all things Mega Man so pleasetake a look aroundand see what all the fuss is about.

Jul 3, 2008