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Review – Megaman Powered Up

posted on April 4th, 2006 by horatio

In reality though, the challenges were a pretty genius move on Capcom’s part: each one probably takes at most two minutes to complete in a successful attempt, but failure is so fast and frequent that some of them can take more than an hour to complete (and at the time that I’m writing this, I’ve only made it through the first twenty). Even though you feel dejected and like you’ve been cheesed ninety nine percent of the time, the short length of each challenge allowed Capcom to create very original trials that never feel repetitive. Plus, your ego balloon gets sufficiently filled when you memorize and execute the almost balletic moves necessary to complete each challenge. All in all, challenge mode provides a frustrating, fun experience and even has a nice little bonus in store for those who are patient enough to finish it.

Level editing- its important that your level have a cohesive sense of decoration. For example, never mix rock containers with pendulums, that’s just tacky.

Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, there is Construction mode, which is a pretty way of saying level editor. That’s right, you too can now design your very own Megaman levels, for the low price of three installments of $9.99! The level editor works as follows: first, you choose a scenery kit of objects that corresponds to one of the eight robot masters (cut starter, guts starter, etc.). Then you pick an enemy pack, you start off with a limited selection, but, as mentioned before, more packs can be found in the stages of the new style game. Next, you begin work on the level. The editor splits the level into what it calls “areas,” which are roughly the size of the PSP screen. This has a few purposes. First, the game highlights the area you’re working on both on the screen as well as on a minimap in the upper right corner. This makes it very easy to stay organized and have a good idea of how your level is flowing. Second, each area can only have a finite amount of enemies and objects. Each item costs a certain amount of points, and the number of points left in a given area is displayed in the bottom left corner. Creating the levels is pretty simple.

Each area is split into a grid where each box is the size of an enemy or small object. The analog stick is used to navigate your cursor through the level, and then the d-pad allows you to scroll through the item menus. After you’ve chosen what object you want to place in the level, you simply tap X to set it down, and then circle if you want to remove it. After you design a level, you can playtest it before finalizing the design. Once satisfied, you go into a customization menu that lets you pick a starting and ending point to the level (complete with boss!), as well as pick what characters, weapons, and health will be allowed on the level. Overall, the process takes a lot longer than you’d expect, and if you’re trying to utilize any of the more complex booby traps a lot of playtesting is necessary before you get things quite right. But, if you’re the kind of person (control freak) who likes that sort of thing, then you will find the level editor easy to use, and the wide array of objects and enemies at your disposal will be quite pleasing.

Gamespy wasn’t too shy about a little product placement in the level they designed for the mmweb.

Once you’ve finished a level, there is an option in construction mode to upload your level to the mmweb, where you can download, play, and comment on other people’s levels. Even if you don’t feel like designing anything of your own, there are a lot of nifty levels online, including a few neat remakes of Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania levels. Besides the amateur material, Capcom uses this site to release more construction packs, some of its own levels, and a new character for story mode: Megaman’s sister Roll. Roll also has a number of downloadable costumes online, and Capcom has promised that more material will be released as time goes on.

In conclusion, Megaman: Powered Up is a very solid, thoroughly enjoyable game. It would have been very easy for Capcom to do just put out a much more half-assed remake and rake in just as much cash, but instead they’ve taken what was already a classic and breathed new life into it. The sound and art are superb, if a bit childish, and while the story mode is short this is more than compensated for in the Challenge and Construction modes. The only notable flaws are the slow down in some areas of the game, and the lack of balance in using characters besides Megaman in story mode. Still, Megaman: Powered Up is far and away the best remake of any game I’ve ever played, and easily one of the best games out for the PSP.

14 Comments

  1. Billy said on April 4, 2006:

    Holy crap! A PSP GAME…game being the magic word… I will have to buy this. Megaman rocks even if the Japs turned him Chibi-gay.

  2. Cyril @ Defunct Games said on April 4, 2006:

    Billy: “Game being the magic word.”

    I guess you haven’t heard about Syphon Filter: Dark Tomorrow, Daxter, Lumines, Liberty City Stories, Exit, Street Fighter Alpha MAX 3, SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo, Burnout Legends, Capcom Classic Collection Remix, Exit, Pursuit Force, Maverick Hunter X, WipEout Pure, and so on so forth. It sure is easy to make fun of the PSP for not having any games, but it’s also completely dishonest. This month alone there have been quite a few games worth picking up for the system.

    I’d agree that this is a good game, but I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the best. I love being able to download new levels, but there are some truly spectacular games on the system … regardless of what the naysayers say.

  3. Horatio said on April 4, 2006:

    I’ll agree that that’s a list of at least mostly good PSP games, but I think it is a valid criticism of the PSP that they have not produced a lot of games that seem to warrant buying the system. Yes, Lumines is fantastic, but I don’t buy high end electronics to play a fricken puzzle game. The same is true for almost any game in that list–there are much cheaper ways to get better kinds of entertainment. I think MM:PU is one of the best games on the system because it has the perfect combo of nostalgia, good graphics, and a long lifespan (particularly if you’re utilizing the level editor/downloading levels) that most portable games can’t rival. Finally, the games that I would consider the best shot at contender for good games on your list (Syphon filter, Daxter) are also incredibly recent; so, maybe Sony is getting its act together and pushing out good content. Thus far though, given that I’ve had my PSP since shortly after it came out and own three games (Metal Gear: Acid, MM:PU, and Maverick Hunter X), I think Billy’s criticism is legitimate.

  4. Billy said on April 5, 2006:

    Hmm, did I strike a nerve or something? If I didnt know better the PSP was your love child Cyril, no offense, but the system rocks, too bad they don’t produce more than a handful of games for it. I guess this is why an inferior system like the DS can whoop it so easily.

    I am not going to sit back and talk specs or anything with you, I willingly agree that the PSP is an amazing system, so is my own personal computer, but at least I can get games for my computer. I go into any Gamestop or Walmart or whatever you can think of, and I ALWAYS glance over the PSP section. I see 1 row of games and 10 rows of movies. Sounds like I made a poor purchase. Now theyre going to release a differnt version of the PSP that’s less crappy, great, I am sure glad I dumped a few hundred dollars into a portable DVD player.

    I have more fun on my GBA than the PSP. As it stands now, I play on my DS and GBA and my PSP is literally a paper weight on my desk.

  5. Cyril @ Defunct Games said on April 5, 2006:

    Nope, you didn’t hit a nerve, Billy, it just seems like the idea of there not being any good games is outdated. If you had said that in August I would have agreed wholeheartedly. But this month was amazing.

    I think it’s important to note that the DS took awhile to create a bunch of great games. They came a little sooner, but it was about a year after that system was launched that it really took off with the quality software. But I find that most people don’t seem interested in giving the PSP the same amount of time.

    They are releasing a new version? Says who?? Not Sony. Or are you thinking of the DS, which actually IS getting a newer (“less crappy”) version this year? I play my PSP a lot (because I review a lot of games on it), but I also play my DS quite a bit as well. The PSP is not my favorite system, but it’s frustrating when the games ARE here and people still say they aren’t. I’m not sure what it’s going to take, but this month alone there have been some truly stunning games.

    By the way, Horatio, Lumines is easily the most addictive game on the PSP. Didn’t you buy the system for good games? What’s wrong if one of those good games just happens to be the best puzzle game of the last decade??

  6. Cyril @ Defunct Games said on April 5, 2006:

    Oops, sorry for the second post in a row, but I went over to GameSpot to see how they ranked the PSP games verus every other system. I did a quick count of how many DS games received an 8.0 or better compared to the PSP. Here is what I found:
    PSP – 31 games
    DS – 17 games
    There’s no doubt that there are some AMAZING games on the DS (some were my favorite games of last year), but certainly there are some good games in that list of 31 PSP titles that got an 8.0 or higher.

  7. Horatio said on April 5, 2006:

    What’s wrong is that puzzle games don’t warrant buying a new system. They don’t make use of the technology they’re presented on, and so I don’t feel I should have to spend that sort of money to acquire one, even “one that is possibly the best puzzle game of the last decade” (count every puzzle game someone has said that exact same thing in reference to, and think of how many of those come for free on the PC, and I think you’ll start to understand why you shouldn’t buy a psp, or any system, for one). Complaining about the new DS is arbitrary– all the changes are to its style, not substance. If Nintendo can make a profit off of consumers wanting a sleeker form factor so they can look cool with their friends, why not do it? That’s probably the PSP’s greatest strength; it looks sexy. Finally, I’ll agree that this month has been amazing for the psp- of the ten most frequently visited faq pages for psp games on gamefaqs, all but one came out in March. In contrast, the DS’s top ten visited faq pages range from release dates of roughly September until now. That being said, I’ll agree that if the PSP continues and increases this line of production for a few months and people are still claiming “the games aren’t here,” you might have a sound argument Cyril. Indeed, I hope exactly this comes to pass, because I want reasons to utilize this machine. It has a lot of potential. But right now, the DS has the PSP handsdown outclassed in terms of quality and quantity of games, and Sony has not done nearly as good a job breaking into the market as they did with their first foray into console gaming with the PSX.

  8. Patrick @ Defunct Games said on April 5, 2006:

    I think the problem with most of you isn’t fanboyism… since you DO own a PSP… its that you have lost focus. I’ll admit that my PSP doesn’t get as much play as my console counterparts, but the play I get out of it is well worth it.

    THe functionality alone on the system was enough for me to buy the system… it is wonderfull to be able to play emu’s on the system and watch live cams of japan and such! As for the games, Cyril is right, personally, my collection is only 8 games, soon to be 9 when i pick up Daxter, Also, the PSP isn’t being “whooped” they are just having a downtime. No one expects Sony’s little portable to take out the DS, or even match it in sales, If it survives the first year then it will have a chance to contend with the Big N.

    P.S.

    Why is Competition bad?? we saw how lazy Internet Explorer got when they eliminated Netscape, and we saw how many versions of the orginal gameboy?? Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Pocket. There have also been 3 GBA systems, and 2 DS systems so far… even IF sony comes out with a different version of the PSP, who cares!! Nintendo does it all the time!!

  9. Cyril @ Defunct Games said on April 5, 2006:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I remember getting Tetris with my original black and white Game Boy and loving every second of it. Heck, I STILL play the old GB version on my DS, it’s great fun. I’ve probably put more time into that game than any other game ever made, which seems like a pretty good investment to me. That may not be true for you, I will certainly respect your opinion that it is not enough to buy a system for. But like I said, there are plenty of other games for the system (including a lot that got great reviews). If they are not your cup of tea then that’s cool, nobody will fault you for that. My issue was the broad generalization that there are very few good games, something I certainly disagree with. I’m sorry that you only got a few games, but that doesn’t mean those are the only good games available.

    As for the new DS, didn’t they announce that it can now be used to watch media and surf the internet? Two things the PSP does. Not sure how how small those are. And for the record, I wasn’t saying Nintendo shouldn’t do it, I’m saying that it seems like a double standard to criticize one company for doing it but not the other company.

    You will not get an argument from me about the quality of DS titles, but it depends on what you want to play. I’m not so much into Animal Crossing (although, I do agree that it is a well made game), whereas Pursuit Force and Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX were just what the doctor ordered. I’m a big fan of racing games, so the PSP certainly appeals to that aspect of gaming. I still buy and love my DS games, but to me the two systems are really good at doing different types of games. Which is why it’s not DS vs. PSP for me. My only thing is that there are good games for both, and the reviews certainly back that up.

    Oh, and one more thing: The PS1 was an exception, it was a success more because of the time it was released than anything. When it comes to portables there are still a lot of people that only trust Nintendo (right or wrong). I’m not so much interested in who wins, I honestly don’t care, all I care about are the games. And there have been quite a few good ones lately, with more good ones on the way. I don’t think it’s fair to compare the PSP to the PS1, just like it’s not fair to compare the DS to the Nintendo 64. The industry is different now.

  10. Patrick @ Defunct Games said on April 5, 2006:

    “Sony has not done nearly as good a job breaking into the market as they did with their first foray into console gaming with the PSX.”-Horatio

    Not to nitpick, but the PSX did horriable… not sure who bought that monstrocity… I am of course talking about the Sony DVR/PS2/Media Box that is titled PSX. lol.

    The Playstation as we all know was created by Nintendo, so should that be a dead give away to why they may copy ideas?? Did you not imitate your parents when you were a kid, try to be successfull like them and make them proud?

  11. Billy said on April 5, 2006:

    Cyril are you telling us that our opinions are wrong? lol. There are no games for the PSP… this isnt an opinion. Its sales lag compared to an inferior system because of this. If anything it’d be your fanboyism, not ours.

  12. Cyril @ Defunct Games said on April 5, 2006:

    Couple points, Billy. I’ve made an effort from the beginning to say your opinions aren’t wrong. Check it out, I am the first to say you are entitled to your own opinions. I don’t know where you got that from. If you don’t like the games on the system, that’s fine … but it’s just an opinion (and not one shared by the staffs of many game magazines and websites, including GameSpot, as I pointed out). If you prefer the DS over the PSP that’s GREAT. I’m not going to stand in your way. In fact, I can argue the DS’ strengths just as easily as I can the PSP’s.

    The sales lag?? Well, the system is $70 more expensive and is outselling the DS in the U.S. and Europe. I think I mentioned that. That doesn’t mean it’s a better system (in fact, I would be the first to admit that the DS had an amazing year last year, a MUCH better year than the PSP). But that doesn’t change the fact that the more expensive PSP is outselling the DS in two regions of the world. Japan is different, but mostly because of the types of games they like. Apparently they are the types of games you like, which is perfectly understandable.

    It IS an opinion that there are no good games for the system. GameSpot gave 31 games on the PSP an 8.0 or greater, so yes, it IS an opinion. And please don’t throw the fanboy label at me, I didn’t do that to you. I respect your opinion, I just simply disagree. But that doesn’t mean we don’t agree on other things. Like I said, the DS had a much better 2005 than the PSP. My point was not to bash the DS (a system I love), instead it was to point out that some of the information that was being used was missing the bigger picture. People bring up how it’s doing in Japan, but fail to talk about how it’s doing in the U.S. If I remember correctly more PSP’s have shipped worldwide than the DS, but like I said numerous times, that doesn’t prove anything.
    I am a fan of games, not systems. I love my DS, I love my GameCube, I love my Xbox 360, and yes, I love my PSP. There are great games on all systems. You may not agree, but that doesn’t make me a fanboy. I just stand up for systems that are ganged up on. If you want I would be more than happy to argue the DS’ merits, I think you’ll find that I have absolutely nothing against Nintendo nor the DS. In fact, I just got done playing my DS. Sorry, but I’m not fanboy. (And again, I never once called you guys fanboys). Please read my full comments, I think you’ll find that I really DO respect your opinions, and even agree with some of them. I just don’t agree with people ganing up on a system and then not telling the full story.

  13. jay said on April 5, 2006:

    I mock the PSP because it does not have many games I personally want to play. I am not misleading people, or failing to tell the whole story because this is an editorial site, not an informative site. You may have a number of counter arguments, but they are unnecessary. I am sure a lot of people love the PSP’s selection of games, but not every dones. People are not faceless game-ometers that measure system’s value based on review averages. Everyone has specific tastes. The PSP has a great number of fun titles for Generic American Consumer #42, for you, and for a GameSpot editor, but not for everyone.

    As far as comparing reviews goes, it all depends on the arbitrary cutoff point you pick. From Metacritic.com, 53% of PSP games get a review of 70% or better and only 47% of DS games do. But then if you look at scores of 85% and above, the PSP scores 8% of its game and the DS 14%. This is all moot anyway, magazine editors opinions are their own and good and appealing are different things. Again, there are many games I understand are good that do not appeal to me.

    I wrote in the most recent news update that the DS is raping Japan but did not mention the world market. This is true, but I did mention this a week or two ago. Updating people on this every week is not necessary and if you tell me about a market where the PSP is outselling the DS by 5 to 1 in recent weeks, I’ll mention it in the next news article.

  14. pat said on April 8, 2006:

    I dont think that partisan bickering gets us anywhere. What’s important is that we are all game fans. I’ve played all of the jaks, and so would probably like daxter and a few other games on the psp. The distinction here is that the ds has provided genuinely new content. Performing surgery, being a lawyer, few games (and even fewer worth noting) have provided such an experience. Ds is creating and innovating while psp is doing things we’ve seen before but better. I’ll take something that new and fresh any day.

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