The ultimate Mega Man retrospective

You want weird? How about Rockboard, a Famicom-only board game with Mega Man characters struggling for excellent placement and fancier icons. Rush, Wily, Cossack and others star in this probably better-off-lost excursion into Mega-mediocrity.

Go get 'em Dr. Light!

Up next is a SNES sports title that many of us will remember fondly... for whatever reason.

Yes, Mega Man Soccer. Tired of constantly beating each other into scrap, the robot masters all decide to settle their differences with a fanciful footie fracas. Tons of classic bots made the cut, each with attributes that make it suitable for different field positions. Wood Man, for instance, makes a better goalie than center.

Oh it was... fun-ish, though the best part is sending a ball screaming across the grass imbued with the power of Cut Man, slicing the goalie into pieces. Up until now we only get to see the bosses destroyed; in Mega Man Soccer we're able to utterly dismantle and mangle them. Not long after Soccer arrived (1994), we saw a lone Game Boy port that shook things up.

Mega Man V, unlike the previous four Game Boy games, was a totally new game with different abilities, a cat pal named Tango and nine robots based on the planets. Up to this point each Game Boy Mega Man was loosely based on the NES counterpart with four bosses from one game and four from another - so, the first Mega Man (Dr. Wily's Revenge) had bosses seen in the first game as well as four from Mega Man 2. It's also worth noting that even though the boxes refer to the games with Arabic numerals, all the title screens have them in Roman. All very fascinating, we know, but not as much as this:

Super Adventure Rockman only hit Japanese Saturn and PlayStation in 1998. It's a bizarre animated/FMV/first-person game that doesn't really fit anywhere in the main series, but is so damn weird it has to be pointed out. Almost as weird as...

Rockman Strategy is (apparently) a China-only PC game filled with characters from the classic series. There's a fairly sizable article on it here (opens in new tab).

Back on the mainstream path is Battle and Chase, the inevitable kart racer released back when every living thing on the planet had its own kart racer. Mega Man and his robot buddies were no exception.

It's... it's a kart game. Not much else to say about it, other than it was never released in the US, but did make it to Japan and Europe. This completes Mega Man's required genre-testing of the '90s, attempting and then abandoning the kart racer and one-one fighter (with the aforementioned Power Battles). All we need next is a Mario Party ripo... oh wait. They did that on Famicom. Right.

We mentioned earlier that Mega Man has guest-starred in a great many games outside of his own. The most recent examples aren't Mega Man, but Dead Rising's Frank West dressed up in mega-duds, both in his own game and in Lost Planet:

Prior to 360/PS3 era, he co-starred in two Dreamcast exclusives, Marvel vs Capcom and Cannon Spike:

We could go on and on with this, but there's this thing called a "deadline" that has to be met, and finding every single one of his cameos and grabbing images of it would take 4-evar. Instead, enjoy this awful '90s Mega Man cartoon with amazingly exciting anime intro:

We say awful because, well, like most American video game cartoons, the characterizations and dialogue are often unintentionally hilarious (opens in new tab). Case in point, Mega Man's sudden affinity for Abraham Lincoln:

This of course means Mega Man is aware of the Civil War, Washington D.C., the Bill of Rights and the abolition of slavery. Proto Man knows this and exploits it for one cheap shot. What a jerk.

And despite the terrible cartoon, the failed journeys into other genres and frequent re-shuffling of the property, Mega Man as a series managed to gain even more steam heading into the '90s with Mega Man X, one of the most popular and well-received makeovers in gaming history.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.