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Vidio Games

Review – Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

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It really disappoints me that this game never came out for anything aside from the PSP. I kind of loathe the PSP. I’ve looked into getting a PSP several times over many years, but the system relies on lots of Proprietary Sony extras, like the over priced Memory Stick Duo cards, and so I just, never bothered because by the time I got one and a decent sized memory card, I was looking at enough to buy a regular console.

I had actually kind of forgotten this game even existed for a while, despite being pretty excited about the idea when it was initially released. Mega man Powered Up is a ground up remake of the original Mega Man title. The claim is that it’s also faithful in every way, despite the visual updates, though that’s not really quite the case. There are quite a few changes to how the controls handle and enemies work, so it’s actually a bit awkward to play if you’re familiar with the mechanics of the Mega Man series.

There are two ways to play this game as well, “Classic” and “Powered Up”. Classic is essentially just the original game, using the updated visual style, though there are some slight adjustments here and there.

Powered Up is much more different. The field of view is a bit tighter, and thus the stages have been slightly redesigned. They do keep the spirit of the old levels though and many of the scenes are the same as the regular game, only a bight tighter. Also, Robot Master weaknesses have been shuffled a but to account for the two NEW bosses.

Right, two brand new bosses have been added. Unlike every other game in the Mega Man series, the original only had 6 Robot Masters to fight, all of the others have 8. This game adds Time Man and Oil Man. Both add a little bit of spice to how things work, though, not really in a useful way. Time Man is essentially just a remix of Flash Man and his power is just the Flash Stopper, though you can toggle your weapon while the world is frozen in time around you. Oil Man’s power drop is these little blobs of oil that can be used to directly shoot enemies, or dropped on the ground and used as a little sliding surf attack. The problem is, this surfing attack pretty much guarantees taking damage yourself, which makes it almost completely useless.

Also, Oil man has an extremely questionable design choice that really kind of looks like a racist blackface design. In fact in the NA version of this game he is recolored to be more dark navy blue colored and less black colored for this very reason.

Aside from the new bosses, the game itself has gone through a 3D facelift. It still retains it’s 2 dimensional game play, but everything is rendered in nice super deformed style 3D models now. It’s a really neat style that still manages to capture the core style of the Mega Man design aesthetic. This also means the levels themselves are much more visually interesting as well, with more lush styling and full background designs to make things richer.

There is also a neat new mechanic where you can play as the enemy Robot Masters themselves. If an enemy is defeated using only the Mega Buster, you “save” them instead of destroying them, which unlocks the ability to start a fresh game using that character. This can really change the dynamic of how the levels work as well, since it means having access to the different special abilities only. For the boss you are playing as, the end boss gets replaced with Mega Man himself, though he is wearing Proto Man’s gear.

Throughout the stages there are several collectibles to find, primary of which are additional unlocks for the game’s added Creative Mode. If you ever wanted “Mario Maker but its Mega Man”, this is it. You have to unlock the different enemy and tile sets, but you can design and play your own levels.

Overall, the game is a lot of fun and has a lot to offer. Maybe a little too much to offer if you’re an obsessive completionist. After beating the game once, the game said I had unlocked only 3% of everything. And I had been pretty thorough in my game play. My main disappointment is that the title apparently sold poorly, so Capcom never bothered to use this engine and character style to update all of the other Mega man games to be more modern in style.