CGRundertow MEGA MAN POWERED UP for PSP Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 21.11.2012

Even though he’s been kinda Powered Down in recent years (and I refuse to believe that
iPhone monstrosity is anything more than a protracted practical joke), there was a time
when Mega Man was still very much in Capcom’s good graces. I know it seems tough to imagine
these days, but bear with me. Back in 2006, when the PSP was fresh and new, it was decided
that what the system needed was some good ol’ blue bomber action... but reimagined
and redesigned, partially out of necessity for accommodating the system’s 16:9 playfield,
partly out of an attempt to reach a new generation of gamers. Thus, we have the super-chibi Mega
Man Powered Up, a big-headed, cutesy interpretation of the original 1987 Mega Man.
But don’t let the bright colors and adorable animation fool you: this is still Mega Man
1. A game legendary for its difficulty. Songs have been written about the abject brutality
of that first offering, and to its credit Powered Up maintains most (but not all) of
that tyrannical status quo. While the design of the stages will be familiar to those who
have played the original game, there are a number of changes; some subtle, some more
blatant. Most notable is two entirely new bosses, Time Man and Oil Man, thus bringing
the game to the now-standard lineup of eight bosses. Also, there’s a greater proliferation
of Super Arm-grabbable blocks, so you might get a little more use out of Guts Man’s
weapon. But not content with just leaving it at that, there are also interactable objects
for most of the rest of the special weapons in the game. These may lead to new paths through
the stage, a definite upgrade for the linearity of the original. Granted, you’ll need more
than weapons to access some sections; you’ll need a whole new body altogether. Ready for
a paradigm shift?
Yes, rather than just letting you obtain the weapons of each robot master, you actually
have the possibility of playing as them. Of course, the only way to do this is by defeating
them without causing significant system damage - i.e., using only the Mega Buster. Such a
peaceable submission will allow Dr. Light to fix the offending robot, thus allowing
access to that character as well as unlocking a new batch of Challenge stages for fun. And
as though that wasn’t enough, you can harness that part of you that spent most of third
grade drawing up Mega Man stages and actually make your creations playable. There’s a
full-featured level editor included, which can be augmented by collecting scenery and
enemy packs in the main game. Create your own speedrunner’s haven or Kaizo Mega Man
deathtrap. For the new crop of potential Mega Man fan... let’s face it, Mega Man Powered
Up didn’t really hit that demographic as squarely as hoped. The game, while being a
respectful reinterpretation of a true gaming classic, didn’t pull the kind of numbers
Capcom hoped. And I understand that. Sometimes good games don’t sell. (Okami, for one.)
I didn’t buy it at the time because, well, I didn’t obtain a PSP until much later.
But now I have it, and I know what I missed... as I look back at those days from an era where
Rock and the crew are at best personae non grata and at worst a kind of horrible, protracted
practical joke. Ah, nostalgia.