Sections

The NES Mega Man Games Are on Mobile, and They're Six Kinds of Awful

Mega Man's classic adventures suffer in six sloppy mobile ports.

News by Nadia Oxford, .

There are a lot of hardcore platforming enthusiasts who vehemently argue the genre has no place on mobile devices. That's not necessarily true: Kero Blaster by Cave Story's Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya is top-notch, as are Christian Whitehead's versions of the Sonic the Hedgehog games. Action games can be done well on mobile, but it takes a great deal of care. Unfortunately, Capcom seemingly didn't put any sort of care into its mobile ports of Mega Man through Mega Man 6.

Mega Man 2 for mobile makes Friender weep fiery tears.

The games, which were made available last night, can be purchased on iTunes and Google Play for $1.99 USD each. However, you might want to skip them if you believe the Blue Bomber deserves anything resembling justice, mercy, or respect. The games' emulation is way off, their control options are dismal (there's no outside controller support, and the virtual buttons / d-pad are in fixed positions), and their frame rates stutter like Dr Wily explaining himself in front of a Robotic Ethics Committee.

Touch Arcade awarded the ports a collective one out of six stars, and reviewer Shaun Musgrave had no problem justifying the score.

Manami Matsumae, the Maestro of Mega Man

COVER STORY: We wrap up our Brave Wave profile with this conversation with one of the label's biggest draws: Mega Man and Shovel Knight composer Manami Matsumae.

"It's like someone was given the graphic and audio assets of the games and were told to re-create everything else on their own," he wrote. "The gravity is off. Enemy behavior is off. Hit detection is weird, and even the recoil from getting hit doesn't work properly. The games are crash-prone. The framerate is awful. The default speed is absurdly slow and choppy, and while the faster speed setting makes things a little better, it's too fast, still choppy, and messes with the games' fundamental workings even more."

I can personally confirm most of these problems. I bought Mega Man 2 and 3, and though the games never crashed on me, they're undeniably choppy. As someone who has Mega Man 3 committed to muscle memory, playing the mobile port is an interesting form of torture.

"I feel like I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to stuff like this, as I'm aware of the challenges each platform brings, but there's really no excuse for how utterly terrible these are," Musgrave's review concludes. He advises everyone to avoid the ports at all costs, and I'll go ahead and add my signature to that declaration. Grab the Mega Man Legacy Collection instead and play these action classics the way the game gods intended.

The sloppy ports are a shame; again, the Sonic conversions prove competent mobile ports of platforming games can be done, and have been done. But when developers half-ass this kind of thing, it devalues the mobile platform as well as the original games. Tsk tsk tsk.

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 6

  • Avatar for sloth-machine #1 sloth-machine 10 months ago
    Thanks for the tip Nadia, i was sadly looking forward to these ports, thinking the touch controls would have been carefully adjusted. Guess it's just too hard with older games that were never designed for touch controls. I remember the Mega Man 2 iOS port several years back, it had a handicap option for touch controls (which was mostly panned, but I liked).
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for sloth-machine #2 sloth-machine 10 months ago
    I also find it funny that free emulators on iOS and Android offer very good emulation and lots of great external controller support. Capcom cash grab.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for meta-mark #3 meta-mark 10 months ago
    I cannot stand touch controls like these. It's a major reason why I picked up a 3ds when it came out after a personal Nintendo handheld hiatus after the GBA.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #4 SIGGYZtar 10 months ago
    I remember reading that Frank Cifaldi and his company did something to the six Mega Man games to run them on all the consoles without the use of traditional emulation. Apparently Capcom is still skittish about the evil E rather than embracing it, as the Android and iOS already have great apps that run these games at 90% or better.Edited January 2017 by SIGGYZtar
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #5 Monkey-Tamer 10 months ago
    @sloth-machine Jnes or Nestopia probably gives a more faithful rendition and is free99. The Megaman Collection for PS2 also had problems like this which had me going back to my original cartridges. The lazy mobile port bandit strikes again.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for retr0gamer #6 retr0gamer 10 months ago
    How can you mess this up so badly. The scrolling looks like a MSX game with awful tile scrolling?

    I know Capcom are of the (wrong) opinion that emulators are illegal and refuse to use them but this is a travesty.
    Sign in to Reply

Comments

Close