Fan-made video games rarely get better, or at least more innovative, than “Street Fighter X Mega Man,” a mash up of two major franchises of the gaming industry. While it understandably does not reach the level of those titles at their heights, the crossover platform game provides plenty of nostalgia-driven excitement that is worth the zero rupiah it takes to download.
Released through the official website of the two titles’ original developer Capcom, “Street Fighter X Mega Man” is the brainchild of Seow Zung Hui. The Singapore-based programmer, who initially created the game himself for private distribution, eventually garnered the interest and support of Capcom. This then propelled the old-school game to popularity, quickly creating hype within the gaming community.
The hype was aided by the fact that it was also the 25th anniversary of the first Mega Man release, which, since its inception in 1987 has spawned 10 official sequels and more than 50 related titles through various gaming platforms.
“Street Fighter X Mega Man” has the same visual style as the Mega Man series, which, even as consoles became more advanced, still adhered to the original’s 8-bit aesthetics and old-school game play.
That certainly does not mean it is easy. The well-known difficulty of the Mega Man series is apparent. The game presents the eight Robot Masters — the series’ term for end-level bosses — whose levels can be fought through in whichever way players think suits their game-play best. The series was highly praised for this feature, which gave players the opportunity to decide their own route of playing in an era when most video games adhered to rigidly structured gameplay.
As before, the Robot Masters are each equipped with unique weapons that can be used by Mega Man after he defeats each one of them.
This is where “Street Fighter,” which is also celebrating its 25th year, comes in. Instead of the usual Robot Masters, the end-level bosses in this crossover title are characters from that famous fighting game. So players can have a go against street fighters such as the flame-breathing Dhalsim in a fire-engulfed level, or the electrical-spewing Amazonian Blanka in a jungle-inspired level. It is an interesting gimmick that works as well as you would expect from an amateur-made game — an admirable achievement for one person to create.
Most of the game’s shortcomings can be attributed to the fact that the game is shorter than the usually expansive Mega Man titles and there is a noticeable lack of depth to the game-play dynamics. Some level designs feel like afterthoughts, with the focus being on the end-level Street Fighter characters.
Still, “Street Fighter X Mega Man” is a great, if unpolished, gem of amateur video gaming and a welcome anniversary gift.
“Street Fighter X Mega Man” is available for download at www.capcom-unity.com/mega_man.