Since the announcement of Mega Man Universe, I've been struggling with how to feel about the 'open source' platformer. I had a chance to give the game a shot on the New York Comic Con show floor, and to be honest, I'm still not sure what I think.
As much as I love the old school look of Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, I think it was time for an HD remix type of Mega Man title. In the graphics department, MMU delivers. It runs extremely smooth and looks great on a big HD screen. Of course it's not going to blow you away with it's beauty or effects, but it's not meant to. The Mega Man series is classic gaming at it's finest, targeted to.. Well, classic gamers. I didn't need jaw-dropping visuals to get me into the gameplay; the tricky platforming, pace, and punishment of screwing up my rhythm was rewarding enough.
Speaking of gameplay, I couldn't help but notice that Mega Man's response time was dreadfully slow. There was maybe a half-second delay between button input and reaction time when moving, making platforming all the more tricky. Perplexed by this, I asked the helpful PR guy, Ryan, what the deal is. He explained that different characters will handle differently, so for instance, Mega Man has a bit of a lag in his movements, but Metto Man handles much more responsively. I only played as Megaman, so I can't confirm this, but I'll take his word for it. It's an interesting choice to add a different dynamic to the game.
Ryan also informed us that when creating a character, your Frankenstein Man will take attributes from the pieces you give him. So creation wont solely alter your character cosmetically, you'll have to use your head if you want to build a Frankenstein Man that looks good and doesn't play like suck. Mega Man's legs will make your character less responsive, Metto Man's legs will make him more responsive, Bad Box Art's arms will only let you shoot two buster pellets at a time, and Ryu's arms will let you hadoken the hell out of some robot masters.
There were no new characters on the floor aside from what we've seen so far; Mega Man, Rock Man, Bad Box Art Mega Man, Metto Man, Gust Man, and I-forgot-the-last-man. With Capcom revealing four new characters at their Marvel vs. Capcom 3 panel over the weekend, I was hoping for a little more Mega Man Universe love by way of reveals. Didn't happen. All Capcom was allowing players to play was the game. No stage editing, no character editing, just taking the preset characters to town on the same stage we've seen in previous demo videos, with MEGA MAN spelled out in bricks. Though they get props for having a New York Comic Con banner in the game, that was pretty dope.
Right now, I'm 50/50 on Mega Man Universe, but what I saw at Comic Con was enough to keep me interested enough to continue following how the game grows. There's still plenty of time left in it's development, thus huge room for improvement. When I next see MMU, I hope it does something to knock my knit cap off.