To close out our Mega Man 25th Anniversary coverage, I felt it appropriate to showcase one of the more impressive fan projects in terms of scope. Produced by Eddie Lebron and originally released back in 2010 by ScrewAttack.com, the feature length fan film simply titled "Mega Man" shows an impressive level of quality given that these types of projects have little to no budget to work with. With production values on par and in many cases exceeding the Sci-Fi Channels own movies, Mega Man shows a lot of heart and impresses with a story that stays true to the original game series while bringing the characters to the real world in a respectful manner unlike the laughably bad 1993 Super Mario Bros. film. The film even adds some extra back story to Dr. Light to show his motives for creating Rock and Roll while fleshing out Dr. Wily as the spurned scientist we all love to hate. Enjoy!
If you are running a current web browser, you can now play PC classic and RTS legend Dune II regardless of your OS. The game originally hit MS-DOS in 1992 with ports making their way to Amiga and Sega Genesis. This latest port is actually running through the new and powerful HTML 5 and will most likely pave the way for more classic PC titles to be delivered through your web browser. This is actually a great way for many retro gamer's to experience some of the classics that laid the foundation for some of the great franchises currently being released. Dune II, which is based on the 1984 Dune film, will feel a bit archaic but a lot of what you know in current Real Time Strategy games can be seen here in early form. The biggest bonus to the HTML 5 delivery of classic PC games is that Mac and Linux players now have quick and easy access to games originally made for Microsoft platforms. Enjoy and please comment on what PC classics you would like to see delivered through your browser!
As any reader of Treon's Realm knows, I am a big fan of independent games and Nintendo. I feel that the future of the industry lies in these two forces and I can't help but get excited when these forces combine to bring us something special. With that in mind, I bring you a sneak peak of a 3DS eShop title which is scheduled to make its US debut next Thursday (1/03/2013), Gunman Clive. The game originally hit mobile platforms earlier this year but one look will tell you that this game begs to be on Nintendo's slick little handheld. Dripping in a western theme showcasing a blend of Super Mario and Mega Man's gameplay with hand drawn paper graphics, the game encompasses all that is great about retro and indie gaming. The game oozes personality and shows how Nintendo is smartly embracing to indie community by making entry to their digital shops easy and painless for the many talented teams out there really pushing innovation. The game even sports a great soundtrack which evokes memories of the original Wild Arms theme. Set to launch with a $2 price tag, there is absolutely no reason not to download what will surely become a 3DS eShop classic. Enjoy and be sure to download your copy next week.
With Street Fighter X Mega Man now officially released, composer A_Rival has seen fit to release the Street Fighter X Mega Man OST and as expected, it's quite good and does a great job of mixing classic Mega Man themes with Street Fighter tunes while sounding natural. That classic 8-bit sound is perfectly preserved and makes for a great listen to any fan of chip tune music. You can download the entire 22 track album for FREE or set your own price if you would like to support A_Rival with a couple bucks.
The entire album is great but the Main Theme, Ryu Stage and Goes With Everything (Guile Theme) tracks are great standouts with the Guile Theme humorously titled because of the YouTube sensation of showing that the theme literally "Goes with everything"! One of my personal favorite examples of this is a clip which humorously mixes the theme with footage from Predator and 2012. Enjoy!
As we begin to wind down our Mega Man 25th anniversary coverage with less than a week left, I have found one song helps define the Mega Man spirit and is well suited for this celebration. "Grow Up" from underground Nerdcore rapper Random (a.k.a. Mega Ran) takes the Wood Man theme from Mega Man 2 and mixes his own lyrics which basically encompasses his childhood experiences as a gamer. The talented Random raps to a lot of different game music with Mega Man and Final Fantasy tracks making up a bulk of his catalog. Grow Up was a featured track in the 2008 video game documentary film Second Skin which takes an interesting and entertaining look into the addictive world of online MMORPGs. The song is available to download for free and if you like Random's music, I recommend his 17 track CD album which is a steal at only $9 or the digital version for $5. Enjoy!
Capcom has recently started an official Twitter account for Mega Man. This move seems to be part of the apparent Mega Man anniversary celebration Capcom claims will stretch into next year. It has also been stated that fan reception of Street Fighter X Mega Man will be used to gauge how Capcom will handle the next year in regards to Mega Man meaning they really don't have anything pre-planned. Honestly, this is the most erratic handling of an anniversary for a game ever. It seems as if there are a few people in the company who have passion for the Blue Bomber and want to please the fans but Capcom is giving them zero resources or support to do so. My prediction is that Capcom will simply leech off of fan works much like SFxMM to buy themselves time and see where they can make money from said works. This is on display with the Mega Man Xmas video recently released by the company on YouTube. The video simply strings together snow level footage from throughout the series with an 8 bit Christmas tune which ironically was taken from a fan work without initially giving credit (This was later corrected). The video ends with a graphic showing Street Fighter X Mega Man as their gift to the fans which is pretty ballsy considering it was entirely a fan made effort that Capcom is taking credit for.
What a lot of people don't understand is that while Mega Man has always been a safe and dependable franchise, it has not been the cash cow Capcom would like. Allow me to layout the situation with Capcom's own numbers. For the sake of comparison, I am using the 3 current franchises Capcom has focused on almost exclusively for the last few years versus the entire Mega Man series.
Resident Evil: 77 Titles (55 Million Units Sold) Series has only 6 core numbered entries
Street Fighter: 76 Titles (33 Million Units Sold) Series has only 4 core numbered entries
Monster Hunter: 22 Titles (21 Million Units Sold) Series has only 4 core numbered entries
Mega Man: 129 Titles (29 Million Units Sold) Franchise has 35 core numbered entries across 7 independent series
The numbers don't lie, when you consider that most Mega Man games are individual titles and not rehashes and ports like the other 3 franchises, it is now much clearer why the more money hungry Capcom of recent years shows little to no interest in the Blue Bomber. Mega Man was a safe dependable brand that helped build the company but Capcom is now more interested in easy, multi-million selling franchises that can be milked to death through paid DLC. Capcom is no longer the company it was even 3 years ago in relation to fans and its franchises. On one hand, it's hard to blame them with the industry changing so drastically and major studios either closing or being gobbled up by larger companies but there is something to be said about fan loyalty and support. Street Fighter 4 would not have happened if not for the intensely loyal fan community and the passion of the development team. Capcom, now a shell of its former self, feels like a company who operates primarily on sales statistics and profit motive with few projects showing any real passion simply existing to cash in and move on to the next sequel or DLC. This is further showcased by the failures of Resident Evil 6 and Operation Raccoon City prompting the company to consider quick porting the amazing 3DS game Resident Evil: Revelations to the big consoles and PC in digital form to recoup losses.
This analysis of the company could prove to be wrong in the long run but with many key people who helped make Capcom what it was now gone, I don't see a bright future for the company in terms of new brands and fan loyalty. Instead, I see the insanely creative, fiercely loyal and ever vigilant fan community taking the torch and furthering this fan driven franchise in the future with Capcom allowing it to happen until they have a need for the franchise again. Funny thing is, this is one franchise where the fans really should be given the reigns considering the care and passion which permeates the MANY works out there. What are your thoughts, should Capcom step up and officially hand this series to the fans and simply assist in releasing the works while splitting profits with fans where appropriate? It may be an unlikely scenario but could change the face of the industry for the better. Please comment below.
Mega Man has gone through quite a few different incarnations over the years but 3 different versions tend to resonate deepest with fans. Those three iterations are the original series, the Legends series and the X series. The X series is the darkest and most grown up version of Mega Man which is what gives this series such a strong following, especially with older fans. When the Blue Bomber was transformed into X on the Super Nintendo, minds were blown and the new series spawned 8 additional games with varying degrees of success but the original Mega Man X still remains an undisputed classic to this day. While many fans tend to focus fan created projects on the original series, it's quite refreshing when someone channels the X series for something new and original.
Shane Newville has done exactly that with his Megaman X Fanimation which showcases "a day in the life of Megaman X". Clocking in at 7 minutes, the short features a bit of fan service while illustrating just how badass X really is. Shane was assisted by the amazing Mounty Oum with the fight choreography animation and it shows with battles on par with Monty's sublime Dead Fantasy series. With Capcom's rather anemic 25th Anniversary showcase so far, it's insanely great to see such dedicated fans celebrating in such style. Enjoy!
And for those of you who want more of Monty Oum's amazing work, I am providing direct links to the Dead Fantasy series which pits the ladies of Final Fantasy against the ladies of Dead Or Alive and it is a sight to behold. Dead Fantasy II is some of the greatest digital fan service ever produced and will make your inner geek squeal in delight.
Now that we have all survived the end of the world, I feel a fitting way to celebrate is with an excellent fan made album for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask titled Time's End. As is the case with many passionate fan works, this album perfectly captures the spirit of its source material while bringing a level of quality and polish normally reserved for cinematic soundtracks. All of the tracks perfectly capture the somber haunting mood of one of the most criminally underrated Zelda titles in the entire series. My personal favorite so far is the Clocktown theme which clocks in at over 6 minutes and features themes from throughout the legendary series even managing to work in ambient sound effects that transport you to the doomed town. The album is available for download with the option of naming your own price starting at a mere 50 cents! Enjoy and please share!
For those of you who may have forgotten about the 2 Mega Man Anniversary titles released on December 17th, I am providing links below. As it stands now, both titles are great in their own right but my personal nod goes towards Mega Man 25th Anniversary. While Street Fighter X Mega Man features some great fan service in its mashing of the 2 classic franchises, the originality and fresh feel of 25th Anniversary showcases a game good enough for a commercial release even in its demo form. If you're a Mega Man fan, do yourself a favor and grab both since they are both FREE. Enjoy!
The Humble Indie Bundle continues its great offering of excellent indie games for PC, Mac and my personal favorite, Linux. All of the games are DRM free and you can pay what you want while paying more than the average nets you 2 extra games. You are also able to dictate how your purchase is split between the game developers and charity which is nice for those who like to spread the wealth. Honestly, you would be hard pressed to find a better gift for your PC Gamer of choice. Enjoy and purchase The Humble Indie Bundle 7 Now!
Wii U eShop launch title Little Inferno comes from the team responsible for the excellent World of Goo. Much like that game, Little Inferno's atmosphere is greatly enhanced by its amazing soundtrack. The composer for both games is Kyle Gabler and his unique style helps set these games apart from other indie titles. If you enjoy great music, this is a must download for your collection. Best of all, the album is FREE just like World of Goo's wonderful soundtrack.
As fan series Castlevania: Hymn of Blood reaches its finale, it's proven that video game companies should skip Hollywood and start allowing fans to produce live action stories based on their franchises. The final episode does a good job of closing the story while leaving things open for a follow up. This series did a great job of showing what can be done with a live action video game story when the creators actually care and aren't driven by profit. Enjoy and please share so we can see more productions like this.
Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards for December and for the remainder of the month they are offering 4 titles across 2 systems. The expiration date for this offer is now January 6 and the price is 150 coins for each title. Be sure to check back January 7 for the next reward update.
1080 Snowboarding - Wii Virtual Console 150 Coins (Available Until January 6) Mario Party 2 - Wii Virtual Console 150 Coins (Available Until January 6) 3D Classics: Twin Bee - 3DS eShop 150 Coins (Available Until January 6) Metroid II: Return of Samus - 3DS Virtual Console 150 Coins (Available Until January 6)
If there is one thing Metroid is known for above all else, it's atmosphere. The sense of isolation you share with series heroine Samus Aran is deep and oppressive. A great deal of this atmosphere is derived from an excellent soundtrack that perfectly compliments the landscapes of planets such as Zebes and Talon IV. When these soundscapes are remixed and combined with some amazing fan made CGI animation, the results are nothing short of stunning. SamoStudios has created a gorgeous music video for their song "Beyond The Glass" from the recently released Harmony Of A Hunter: 101% Run. The song and video are by Sam Dillard and is based on the Maridia theme from Super Metroid and a must for any Metroid fan. Enjoy!
At long last, Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment has finally been released. It is officially available at RetroZone and currently comes in a couple different options. For the initial release, your choices are:
Cart and Manual Only - $36 + S&H
Cart, Manual, Box and 36 page Art Booklet - $45 + S&H
NOTE: For the December release, quantities are limited so orders are restricted to 2 per customer. After New Year's, the game will be available just like Battle Kid 1.
Much like the original Battle Kid, the box and art book will be limited and I recommend getting a copy now if you are a retro collector. Treon's Realm will be receiving its copy shortly and I will be sure to bring you a hands on review once I've been able to sink my teeth into it. Enjoy!
Mega Man fans know that the Blue Bomber has primarily been on Sony and Nintendo platforms with the Big N receiving the lions share of games in the series. Generally speaking, only the hardcore Mega Man fans are familiar with one of the few titles not physically released in North America during the 16 bit era. That title is Mega Man: The Wily Wars for the Sega Genesis. The game was a compilation of the first 3 NES games upgraded with 16 bit graphics and featured an exclusive set of levels/bosses in the form of Wily Tower which is unlocked after completing the 3 core games. In North America, it was only available through the Sega Channel and while it did see cartridge release in Europe and Japan, it is pretty damn tough to find. Quality information on the title was pretty hard to come by due to the games obscurity.
This brings us to the YouTube channel for ClanOfTheGrayWolf and its star Roo. Roo is the creator and host of "16-Bit Gems", an excellent web series that unearths and explores many excellent games from the 16-Bit era among other topics. For our anniversary celebration, I am posting his two part video covering the Wily Wars in great detail. It's an interesting view and I would suggest it to any for of Mega Man or Retro Gamer. I also suggest checking out Roo's other 16-Bit Gems, I have found some excellent games on there I never knew about and his videos are extremely informative and entertaining. Enjoy and please subscribe to Roo if you like his videos!
Not too long ago, a trailer hit YouTube for a fan made action web series based on Super Mario fittingly titled Mario Warfare and looked like a fun new take on the almost 30 year old franchise. After the classically awful live action Super Mario Bros. from 1993, it seemed that taking Mario into the real world was an eternally bad idea. Well, the first part of Mario Warfare has been released and much like the successful Castlevania: Hymn of Blood fan series, leave it to the fans to get it right. The production shows a great deal of passion and features some excellent action sequences. Two episodes have been completed but due to costs involved in making a series of this quality, the filmmakers have started a Kickstarter to raise the funds required to continue. I urge you to check out part one of this new series and if you enjoy it, spread the word through Twitter, Facebook, Etc. and head over to their Kickstarter Page and show your support. Enjoy!
As Castlevania: Hymn Of Blood gears up for its finale, we are treated to some more fan service with subtle mentions of series characters Rinaldo Gandolfi and Leon Belmont. We also see the the unveiling of the Vampire Killer which will see action in the final episode of this great fan series. Enjoy!
Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards replacing ThruSpace with 1080 Snowboarding for Virtual Console. The expiration date for this offer is now January 6 and the price is 150 coins. Be sure to check back December 17 for the next reward, which will likely be on eShop or 3DS Virtual Console.
1080 Snowboarding - Virtual Console 150 Coins (Available Until January 6)
Website "Did You Know Gaming?" provides daily updates with obscure facts about some of the best video games ever released. One would expect regurgitated factoids that most hardcore gamer's already know but the trivia is actually very interesting and loaded with insider info. Once the site has enough factoids about a particular game series, they put together a fascinating YouTube video for their channel. They recently put together a video with a slew of little known trivia about the Blue Bomber. Enjoy!
Capcom has FINALLY announced their 25th Anniversary Mega Man game and ironically, it is a fan developed crossover featuring Mega Man and Street Fighter because this year happens to also be the 25th Anniversary of the legendary fighting franchise. Titled Street Fighter X Mega Man, the game retains the trademark 8-bit look that is shared by the other fan created anniversary game but skips original bosses and instead inserts the titular Street Fighter's as the bosses including Chun-Li, Ryu and Blanka. The game is set to launch as a free PC download on December 17th which is a nice bonus and should be interesting to see which fan title turns out best.
While a free game is a nice gesture, Capcom literally could not have put less effort into this and full credit should go solely to fan and developer, Singapore native Seow Zong Hui (aka "Sonic") who likely would have released the game regardless of Capcom's "support". It is claimed that this will mark the start of Mega Man's anniversary which is planned to stretch into 2013 but no word or details have been given on what is to come. While there may be a bit of a sarcastic slant to this article towards Capcom, keep in mind how Capcom has handled itself over the last 2 years and you will see a steady decline in what the company once was but I truly hope they can turn things around. Here's hoping for a proper celebration of the Blue Bomber. Enjoy the trailer for the sweet looking Street Fighter X Mega Man and be sure to grab your copy December 17th from the Capcom-Unity Blog.
YouTube user xRazorFistx, also known as The Rageaholic, has a unique style to his videos mixing heavy metal with Dennis Miller style rants. While you may not always agree with his reviews, he still makes some great points and is very entertaining. In one of his earlier videos, he reviewed Mega Man X3 for the Super Nintendo and rightly showcased why it is one of the best games in the series. I felt it would be fitting to include his review of this underrated Mega Man game for this month's anniversary. Enjoy!
Double Fine Productions is home to some of the biggest names in adventure video games such as Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert. They are also one of the most progressive and original professional video game studios in operation today. On top of their pioneering Kickstarter project, they continue to develop unique, new IP's for the home consoles such as "The Cave". The Cave is a side scrolling adventure game which focuses on its characters and exploration in a similar fashion to a Metroidvania game with an emphasis on puzzles over combat. The games latest trailer introduces the titular Cave as an actual character who tells you, the player, about the many unique personalities you will be controlling through your adventure. Scheduled for release January 2013 for PC, XBOX 360, PS3 and the newly released Nintendo Wii U, The Cave looks like a fun and unique experience. Enjoy the new trailer narrated by a hole in the earth!
Continuing our Mega Man coverage, I have stumbled upon a remake of the soundtrack of Mega Man 3 for the original NES in an album simply titled Mega Man 3 Remade. What makes this one special is that it keeps the original sound and just remixes it as if it were played on Konami's VRC6 sound chip for Nintendo's original home console. For those who don't know, the original Nintendo was a versatile machine that was upgraded by the chips and tech on the game cartridge as opposed to the system hardware. The VRC6 chip was used in Japan for enhanced audio & video but was never brought stateside because the US NES didn't support it. The added sound channels resulted in some impressive music and artist RushJet1 has used this to recreate the Mega Man 3 soundtrack with impressive results. He even added the amazing "Wily's Underwater Base" track from Mega Man 3 on the original Game Boy which is a personal favorite. If you're a fan of this classic game, you owe it to yourself to listen to this great album. Enjoy!
A group of talented Mega Man fans known as Team Reaverbot are working on a new game fittingly titled Mega Man 25th Anniversary. As the trailer shows, the game is all about fan service in the best way possible. The story kicks off with Dr. Wily missing and the Bonnes from Mega Man Legends taking over as the villains which is such a cool idea, I don't know why it wasn't implemented in the actual series. New bosses such as Bio Man and Tarot Man are previewed showcasing some slick new stage designs which include acid that progressively eats through platforms. Mega Man and Proto Man are both playable and switchable between levels even powering up at the same time to eliminate needless stage revisits to get the the same weapon twice. For longtime hardcore fans, Tango the Cat even makes a comeback which is pretty sweet for those who remember that characters one and only appearance (Mega Man V for the original Game Boy). Needless to say, this looks very promising and the trailer even pokes fun at one of Mega Man 8's game breaking design flaws showing that the developers know what is good and bad about the series. I have included the premiere trailer as well as a preview of the excellent soundtrack which is free for download. Look for a playable demo to drop on December 17th, the Blue Bomber's 25th birthday. Enjoy!
Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards today replacing Touch Solitaire with Brain Age Express: Sudoku for 3DS eShop. The expiration date for this offer is now December 16 and the price is 150 coins. Be sure to check back December 10 for the next reward, most likely for WiiWare or Wii Virtual Console.
Brain Age Express: Sudoku - Nintendo 3DS 150 Coins (Available Until December 16)
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Mega Man series and it seems that much like Nintendo with Metroid's 25th birthday, Capcom is largely ignoring the Blue Bomber. This all seems to stem from their over 1 year temper tantrum at the departure of remaining series head Keiji Inafune who blasted mainstream Japanese game development as a whole before leaving the company in 2011. His departure brought the cancellation of Mega Man Universe and the highly anticipated Mega Man Legends 3 for the Nintendo 3DS which drew the anger of many longtime fans. Even after Keiji Inafune offered to complete the 3DS title for Capcom with his new company Comcept, Capcom denied the offer and has gone quiet on almost everything having to do with Mega Man aside from some half-assed side projects.
I have always had a soft spot for the Blue Bomber and I would like to celebrate his birthday here on Treon's Realm. With that being said, my plan is to celebrate with the people who really made this series what it is, the fans. All month long, I will be posting fan made works from around the internet that celebrate Mega Man and what he means to the gaming public. There will be videos, music and more all month long mixed with my normal posts. I will also be opening up the floor to my readers. If you have an original piece of artwork, song or video you would like to submit, I will be happy to post it here on the site and not to worry as you will receive full credit. Comment below on what you would like to submit. Rock on Mega Man fans!
For years, The Legend of Zelda has drawn millions of player's into its fascinating game world which has always been engaging but also confusing when trying to make sense of how the many games relate to each other. The apparent disjointed narrative split fans between those who thought that the games were independent of each other and "Timeline Theorists" who have spent many years trying to decode how the games fit within a larger structured timeline. Ocarina of Time was the game changer that started it all, up until that landmark game everything was sequels and prequels. There were many debates about a single timeline or a split timeline until the creators confirmed a split timeline but it turns out that wasn't the entire story. Many videos and articles sprang up all over the net to debate the subject while Nintendo waited until the series 25th Anniversary to drop the news through the Hyrule Historia that the timeline was split 3 ways, not 2 like the fans thought. To make this rather large timeline a bit easier to digest, Gametrailers has just released their first video special in a series titled Timeline which explores and lays out the narratives of many epic game series with The Legend of Zelda kicking things off. It is extremely well produced and at almost 40 minutes it finally makes things much clearer. Enjoy!