I've always made it a point to keep cursing to a minimum in all of my writing. Sure I like to slip in an 'ass' or two but for the most part, I keep things relatively clean. It has remained an act of sheer will, of wanting to be 'professional'. I, after all, have standards. But when someone takes a dump on the thing you love most, it's easy to be blinded by your rage. And when that happens the only way to truly express how you feel is with a few f' bombs.
It wasn't that long ago when I decided to drop like a bad habit – as one would drop drinking, drugs, or the occasional donkey show (you know, as you do) – all things Mega Man. Rockman Xover, a 'social RPG' was announced not too long ago in light of the Blue Bomber's 25th birthday. So with a smile on my face and a 'fuck this game' mentality, I told the world I wasn't having it anymore, and collectively moved on from the series.
Flash forward to the present: Tokyo Game Show 2012. After spending a most excellent 20 minutes or so with DmC (or Devil May Reboot as it came to be called), I stumbled upon Capcom's Mobile Game Station, also known as the place where your childhood goes to die. Among a sea of bad ideas, i.e. IPs that should stay just as far way as possible from the whole iPhone/iPad field of gaming, was Rockman Xover. And just because I hadn't experienced any amount of butthurt the entire day, I convinced myself to play the thing, if only to prove that my initial gut feeling was right all along.
And all I can say is: holy shit, Capcom. Holy. Shit. What in hell have you done? This isn't even close to capturing any spirit of Mega Man let alone 5-6 versions of the little blue dude rolled into one. So let's get right into this debacle because it's going to get ugly – fast.
First off, it looks like garbage. I don't know who is personally accountable for Rockman Xover's graphics but the visuals are just abysmal. I know it's supposed to be modeled after Mega Man X era 16-Bit graphics, but you could have at least added a few more frames of animation to the sprite sheets to make the whole thing run a little more smoothly and act a lot less dated. And the metric fuck-ton of reused assets from previous X games isn't helping your cause either, you lazy git. Moving on.
Gameplay goes something like this: You go straight. Always straight, all the time. Notice how in all those promotional screenies that there doesn't appear to be any sort of directional buttons. Yeah, that's because you don't need them. Xover just walks in a straight line. You know, kind of like when Limbo-y gets brain-jacked by one those head-crab like maggots. Only instead of it being a puzzle-ly gimmick, it's just sheer fucking laziness that is more frustrating and counterproductive as all hell. So what can you if you can't control the feathered boa wearing hero? Well, he can jump for one. And he can shoot.
Inexplicably, Xover is in a state of perpetual charging action. Cause you know, holding down one of the three buttons might be a little too much for whatever shit thick skull nincompoop would be dumb enough to purchase this abomination. Great. So, not only does the game not trust me enough to move on my own but it also handles my charging for me. You also have some shitty screen-clearing super-attack, but the game is so watered down from its source materials that you won't ever need – cause you won't – not once – ever feel like you are about to die. Good thing too cause all of that is sure going to come in handy. Waves of enemies litter Xover's path and it's your job to mash on the shoot button like no one's business, all the while slowly filling up a progress meter at the lower left hand corner of the screen. Now for a moment I thought that this was a level-up jammie, that once the meter maxed out I'd be entitled to an upgrade – like, I don't know, better animation or be able to shoot bullets that didn't resemble dull brown turds. But sadly, no. When it reaches 100% you are magically whisked to the end-level boss. Which brings us to…
…the 'Boss Fight', if you even care to call it that. Oh my, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse. Storm Eagle is the big baddie of the demo's stage, hailing all the way from Mega Man X and wondering A) How the fuck did I end up here? and B) My cameo in X6 was probably a better career choice than this shit show.
So what's Capcom's solution to boss fights when you can't control your main character? Change the game entirely into a turn-based RPG, of course. Basically its set up so you can't lose, ever. What is supposed to be a methodical, reactive, skill-based boss encounter, is reduced to a standoff between two overdressed pieces of metal shooting each other in the fucking face. That's it. They just stand there and eat each others bullets. Another meter builds up during the 'fight', deploying Street Fighter-like mechanics wherein whenever you land a hit or are struck by your opponent it fills up, allowing you to use your charged shot. Yeah, remember that perpetual charging thing I mentioned earlier, that kind of goes out the window for no conceivable reason.
All of this culminates to a screen congratulating me on a job jolly well freaking done and a review of all the 'Memory Chips' salvaged from wasted enemy bots along the way. In what's bound to be something akin to Mega Man Battle Network, you can outfit your Xover with said Memory Chips, customizing the fuck out of him and making him look as little as Mega Man possible. Great. At least we have that.
Rockman Xover is so far off the rails that it is in the ocean, and so deep in the water that it's drowning. The ones who are holding the life preservers though are the fans. And I assure you, no one but no one is going to attempt to rescue this iOS game's sorry metal butt. It's about as fun as watching a love one being autopsied on, only instead of showing up postmortem, that special someone was first dragged out in front of you and slowly beaten to death…with a live baby.
Capcom insists it would need more time to celebrate MM's birthday proper so for the fan holding out on another new game – a better game – this is going to be it for a while, a long, long while. It says a lot when a game as joyless as this gets a green light in the wake of Legends 3 and Universe's cancellation. Yes, my dear readers, Rockman is indeed over; it says so in the fucking title.