Street Fighter X Mega Man is a fan project you need to experience
You often hear about fan projects being shut down with a carefully placed cease and desist notice from the company that they’re aiming to mimic and praise. On the one hand, you can sort of understand – the big publisher simply wants to protect its property. On the other, it’s a shame to see a fan’s hard work and dedication to their gaming love go to waste.
Street Fighter X Mega Man is one of the lucky ones. Developed by Capcom fan Seow Zong Hui, the game has not only been allowed to launch, but even endorsed by Capcom, with a ruddy big Capcom logo at start-up! It’s no wonder that the Japanese company is so keen to see its name on this fan project though, as the way in which it playfully mixes the worlds of Mega Man and Street Fighter is delightful.
If you like Mega Man (or even if you’ve never played it, to be perfectly honest) then you’re in for a treat. You control the little blighter, as he blasts his way through Street Fighter inspired retro platforming stages that are just as tight and tricky as the original Mega Man games.
The game plays like Mega Man 4, in that you get the slide move and the charge shot – however, at the end of each short stage, you’re pitted against a Street Fighter character as the main boss, rather than a Robot Master.
It’s all pretty difficult to begin with, but as you start to understand how to use the charge beam and learn the patterns that enemies move and fire in, you’ll begin to feel like a real champion. The themed levels are a brilliant touch, and the majority of the enemies are cleverly designed in such a way that it’s possible to learn how to beat them, and then use your new tactics to blaze through enemy lines.
The bosses in particular are hugely taxing, yet ultimately rewarding, ranging from Ryu to Blanka to Dhalsim. The Street Fighter characters move quickly and precisely, and learning their movements is tough. They even have a Super bar that builds up as the battle proceeds, and will eventually fire off a Super move in your direction. It’s this sort of attention to detail that makes Street Fighter X Mega Man such a gloriously crafted fan project.
As you beat the bosses, you’ll then gain their special powers for yourself, meaning you can use them in the other levels. You can tackle levels in whatever order you choose, so working out which bosses have the bets moves to use against other bosses is key. You even get to train again Street Fighter’s Dan whenever you receive a new move.
Street Fighter X Mega Man stays true to the Mega Man formula, and this will please past fans greatly. It also means that some gamers won’t find it very easy to get into – it’s hugely unforgiving at times, and if you die a few times over, you’ll be thrown all the way back to the start of a level. Whether you enjoy the game all depends on if you’re willing to put the time in to perfect your moves.
But it’s not all fun and games. The controls aren’t as perfect as the rest of the project, and don’t feel tight enough at all, sometimes leading to some frustrating sections where you end up thinking “if this was Mega Man 4, I would have dodged that bullet easily.” Fortunately each level has well-place checkpoints so if you do die, you’re not taken too far back – but better keyboard controls would have been much appreciated.
You couldn’t really ask much better of a fan project, though, and that’s why Street Fighter X Mega Man is essential – especially given that it’s completely free to download. If you’re either a Mega Man or a Street Fighter fan, you’re definitely going to want to play this.