Before Super Mario Maker, there was Mega Man Powered Up.
In 2006, Capcom released a remake of the original 1986 Mega Man game for the PlayStation Portable titled Mega Man Powered Up. If you don't know or even remember that game, I can't blame you.
Suffice to say, the game bombed. Mega Man was one of the first titles to show how hardcore gaming can be without coming off as obnoxious (unlike Contra and Gradius), whereas Mega Man Powered Up looked like a game more suited for the Nintendo DS because it aimed at a much younger audience.
I strongly believe that this is
the main reason why the game didn't take off, in spite of all its amazing
features such as the impressive level editor and the option to upload them using the PlayStation Network.Â
Mega Man Powered Up's level editor allowed you to create official fan-made levels and upload them to be shared online. You were provided with every single tool available in the game: the enemies, the destructible objects, even the backgrounds. You could even switch players and change between the different versions of Mega Man that allowed him to slide and fire charged shots.
There were a lot of brilliant user-generated levels and I remember some of them quite fondly. The problem was, in spite of all this freedom, there was only so much that you could do.
For instance, the amount of enemies that could be placed were limited. You also couldn't randomly toss bosses in any part of the room; they needed to be inside the boss room at the end of the level. This wasn't a proper Mega Man game.
In Super Mario Maker you are allowed to go crazy. You are allowed to troll, no matter how much it is frowned upon by the community. You can place three Bowsers and three Bowser Jr.s in a single tight space and laugh your ass off as the unfortunate players smash their controllers. You can choose between four different Mario modes: the original, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Wii. Then there's the 100 Mario Challenge, where the game randomly selects millions of levels uploaded in the Nintendo server to dish out unspeakable horrors.
I'm not saying that Mega Man Powered Up should have been
like Super Mario Maker. 2006 was a
new era for gaming consoles, where limitations were expanded tenfold. Capcom
should have realized sooner that they had landed on a goldmine and thought of how to properly polish it.
A Mega Man game that focused on level creations and the ability to share it would have been awesome. The fans would have adored it and non-fans would love building stuff just for fun.
There could have been four different art styles Capcom could have used for the game: Mega Man 1-6, Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, and Mega Man X (if they really wanted to push it).
Capcom could have introduced a basic "Challenge" mode where you would start the game with eight random levels found on the online servers. Each level would have different win conditions, bosses, pre-set weapons, and the option to play as Roll, Proto Man, or Bass.
It would have been the only way to save Mega Man from itself. By creating an awesome roguelike Mega Man experience, YouTubers would have lost their hair from trolls, the game could have created stronger communities, and the overall Mega Man name would still be relevant, instead of the fading echo it is today.
Now all we've got is this rather impressive Mega Man-X inspired 20xx on Steam and this horrible Mighty No. 9 game that was supposed to reboot the entire Mega Man franchise.Damn it! Why Beck?! You were the chosen one!