The Mega Man series was once everyone's favorite. Those days are long gone, though. The spinoff series, Battle Network and Mega Man X, have stolen the spotlight. No new plain Jane Mega Man game has been produced in nine years. Rather than put out a sequel, Capcom has done the predictable and elected to make us spend $30 on the first game, circa 1987, all over again.
Before you get too pissed off at this apparent cash-grab, know that the company is spending some of its own money this time, crafting an all-new version of the game from scratch. You'll be able to play through the classic, NES-inspired layouts of each level or entirely fresh ones.
Better yet, the developers are throwing in two all-new bosses, Oil Man and Time Man, complete with their own levels, to round out the game to the series' traditional eight villains (fans of the classic will remember it's the only game in the series to feature six foes.) As a bonus, you'll be able to play through the game as any of the bosses once you unlock them. There are also 100 different challenges for you to attempt once you've beaten the game.
Rather than trying to shoehorn ancient graphics onto the PSP, the developers have made the sensible choice of cladding the game in an all-new, slick 3D sheen. The characters, meanwhile, have been revamped in a squat, child-like way, which may or may not work depending on your opinion of ultra-adorable anime imagery.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Mega Man: Powered Up, however, is the game's in-built ability to allow for level creation. Given the fact that the PSP can interface with the internet, you'll be able to share your own level designs with an international audience. If you're not creatively inspired but are still looking to get some more mileage out of the game, you can simply download the best ones and give them a go.
It seems that Capcom's intent with this game is to reboot the original Mega Man series from scratch. Whether or not we can expect seven more remakes (one for each sequel) on the PSP in similarly gussied-up fashion, it's comforting to see this iconic but forgotten hero is once again getting the treatment he deserves.