Street Fighter X Mega Man Is An Awesomely Terrible Way to Celebrate The Blue Bomber’s 25th Birthday

In case you’ve somehow missed the announcement, Capcom went and released an all-new free Mega Man game for PC yesterday on the Capcom Unity website (visit our review for the links to follow if you’d like to download it).

It’s Street Fighter X Mega Man, and it takes the Blue Bomber and pits him against the toughest of Street Fighters rather than the traditional robot masters in a Classic Mega Man game format. And it’s great. Really great. I sat down with it last night for a fair amount of time, jumping around the levels and fighting the likes of Ryu, Chun Li, and Dhalsim after moving through each of their unique levels. From the beginning, I love everything about it. The level design is fun, the enemies are varied and interesting, the music upholds Mega Man’s legacy of having great soundtracks, and the art design is purely Mega Man to the core.

But there’s still one thing that really, really bothers me about it. And no, it really doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself.

It’s the fact that this is it; this (other than some classic games being thrown to the 3DS) is the big game released just in time for Mega Man’s 25th birthday.

He’s a game character that has persistently been an iconic part of gaming since his very beginning. Few characters outside of the Nintendo stable can say that anymore, and Mega Man has certainly done more than his part to earn the recognition.

Now, I’m not a Mega Man super fan. My knowledge of him comes from playing several of the Classic games, namely 2, 9, and 10. But despite my lack of experience with Mega Man, I’m still baffled by the sheer failure on Capcom’s part to acknowledge Mega Man for what he is to them.

Maybe it’s leftover angst from the departure of Inafune. Maybe it’s them trying to move in a different direction. Hell, maybe it’s that they’re simply not aware of how big a fan base the Blue Bomber has these days. I have no idea. And I’m no business major, but it seems like a big oversight on their part to not use Mega Man as a revenue generator, especially considering the success they’ve had with the classic series on online services such as XBLA.

And if they do care about him in any way, this is a pretty poor way to show it. Again, it’s a great game. But it’s a PC-only downloadable that wasn’t even directly made by Capcom themselves. That’s right; they’re throwing a fan project at the masses and hoping you’ll be appeased by it. Even the name is a letdown; Mega Man follows Street Fighter. Which might seem petty, but it’s still oddly disjointed.

The bottom line is this; Capcom had a momentous occasion on their hands for the celebration of Mega Man’s 25th, and they dropped the ball in a big way. So big, in fact, that I can’t help but imagine Mega Man being a bit like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles when he wakes up in the morning on his big day, only to be let down when no one acknowledges him. He sits down on the staircase, his face twisted in disbelief as he stares at the front door and says,

“I can’t believe it. They f***** forgot my birthday.”