2018 Will be the Year of Mega Man

In the coming year, Mega Man will get equipped with another chance to win our hearts.

Analysis by Nadia Oxford, .

2018 will be the Year of Mega Man.

Oh, that felt nice. Let me write it again.

2018 will be the year of Mega Man.

I've already talked at length about why the news about Mega Man 11 is a big deal for life-long Blue Bomber fans like myself, but I want to reiterate how most of us feel like the first rays of the sun are touching our skin after enduring a Westeros winter.

Dramatic? Yeah, definitely. But as I said the other day in our roundup of games we're looking forward to most in the coming year, it's been weird and depressing to witness Mega Man kick off a retro game revival with Mega Man 9 and 10, only to watch Capcom lead the robot down into the basement after Keiji Inafune's departure from the company, chain him up, and turn off the lights.

For God's sake Capcom, I hope you filled his water dish at least once a day.

But at the risk of sounding too optimistic, there's something that feels uniquely warm about Mega Man 11's announcement. It's like a corner's been turned—or like a taboo has finally died. Mega Man 11's producer, Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, admits no one really knew how to handle Mega Man after Inafune left Capcom, and that many pitches for potential games were rejected before Mega Man 11 was finally green-lit. Maybe we've reached a milestone.

Mega Man 11 won't be the little hero's sole appearance in 2018, either; Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 are coming to the Nintendo Switch, too. Yeah, Capcom is finally on board with the Switch. I imagine their "lightbulb" moment (i.e. the moment the folks in charge said "Hey, the Switch is a big deal!") was accompanied by that iconic snap sound preceding Switch commercials.

Additionally, we'll probably witness the premiere of the new Mega Man cartoon in 2018. This is where I tap the brakes on my enthusiasm just a bit. I have no idea what to expect from this project, which seemingly isn't based on any single established Mega Man universe (e.g. classic Mega Man, Mega Man X, Mega Man: Battle Network, etc). Instead, Mega Man will be a school-going robot-boy who still totes his arm cannon and pals around with Rush the robo-dog, but also has a tiny companion named "Mega-Mini" who lives inside his head, or something. I'm still not 100% clear on what that's all about.

...You know what? Sure. OK.

I'm admittedly not over the moon about the direction the Mega Man cartoon is taking, but I suppose it's not for me; I'm an established Mega Man fan. I'll get Mega Man 11 as soon as fate and circumstance allow us to meet. The cartoon is for kids who need to be sold on Mega Man. After all, the property's been dormant for as long as some of them have been alive.

(Does any kid actually love watching their cartoon heroes go to school, though? Or is it just something they put up with because marketers made that decision for them ages ago?)

Finally, the Mega Man X games (that's 1 through 8) are coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018, too. No word yet on whether we'll be fed the entries piece-by-piece or in a collection, but either way, I'm pretty hyped about the incoming deluge. Not all the X games are great (though the original is one of the best games of all time), but most of them are certainly worth re-visiting. Moreover, the re-launch of the X series demonstrates Capcom hasn't forgotten about it, and that makes it just a tiny bit likelier we'll see a Mega Man X9 someday.

When you spend your formative years downloading PlayStation game cutscenes over a 56K connection, you become stupidly fond of said game.

Yeah, I'm going to be greedy for a second, here: I'm very happy 2018 will be the Year of Mega Man, but I won't feel fulfilled until we get news about a new Mega Man X game. X is my series. But this is a lucky year for the Blue Bomber, so maybe we'll hear about a ninth Mega Man X game before the last seconds of December fade away. Fetch a spatula if that happens, because you're going to have to scrape me off the ceiling.

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Comments 15

  • Avatar for odaiba-memorial #1 odaiba-memorial 8 months ago
    Yo Capcom, hit me up when Legends 3 gets a release date. K thnx.
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  • Avatar for theinternetisodd #2 theinternetisodd 8 months ago
    I have a 4.5 year old son who loves Mega Man. He loves watching me play Mega Man games (his favorites are Mega Man 2 & 9 and Mega Man X).He has a Mega Man night light, a Mega Man plushie, a Mega Man t-shirt...he even wanted a Mega Man themed birthday party! I am super excited for this show if nothing else, for him to enjoy.

    After watching plenty of kids shows over the past 6 years (i have 4 children), this looks way better than what you see on Disney Jr/Nick Jr (pastels/muted color palettes, giant fat heads), or what you see on Nick (Sponge Bob and the like). Pretty much the best place for kids shows is Disney XD, especially with the Duck Tales reboot which is just aces.

    Long way of saying the design of the cartoon looks exactly like something I'm sure my 4 year old will love. It also looks better than most other kid shows as well so...i'm optimistic!Edited January 2018 by theinternetisodd
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #3 VotesForCows 8 months ago
    Never played the x-series, looking forward to that. Weird how Mega Man is back in the news though. Nice, but weird.
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  • Avatar for CK20XX #4 CK20XX 8 months ago
    I really wonder what's happening with the new cartoon. Seems like it would be better for its Mega Man to be more like the classic we all know for the sake of a unified brand push.

    I did like the robot masters that were glimpsed in leaked promotional images. More focus should be put on them when they market the show. And if there's still going to be... urp... "Mega-Mini" in it, I don't think I'll be able to digest that until I see some sort of adversarial relationship with Proto Man and Proto-Mini.

    Now someone announce his return in Super Smash Bros. 5 already.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #5 Roto13 8 months ago
    That awful-looking cartoon is still happening? (Though I'll admit that the new character design looks a lot better than the first one they showed.)

    All the Mega Man and Mega Man X games on a handheld is my dream come true.
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  • Avatar for Irvyne #6 Irvyne 8 months ago
    Unfortunately only half of the X games are worth replaying. X5 and X8 are average at best, while X6 and X7 are just awful.
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  • Avatar for moochan #7 moochan 8 months ago
    It would be kind of stupid of them not to just do X in a collection. But this is Capcom we are talking about so who knows. Only touched the SNES X games so it will be interesting looking at all the other games to see how they are even if they don't hold up nearly as well. While I feel Mega Man 11 is a much smaller budget that I would like (mostly on the visuals but I feel it will get a lot more polished next time they show it off) but I feel there's a solid team with a great sense of level design. Happy Capcom is doing something right here since outside of Monster Hunter Capcom really seem to be dragging their feet around in the mud since Street Fighter 5.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #8 Funny_Colour_Blue 8 months ago

    No man, NO, not when you talk like some silly gangsta!

    show some reel respect, yo!

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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #9 Funny_Colour_Blue 8 months ago

    No man, NO, not when you talk like some silly gangsta!

    show some reel respect, yo!

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  • Avatar for docexe #10 docexe 8 months ago
    Mega Man X9 would be a dream come true for me, given X is my favorite series (and my favorite Mega Man for that matter). I suppose it will be contingent on both the sales of MM11 and the sales of the X1-8 rereleases (whatever shape they take).

    Admittedly, as@Irvyne states, only X1 to X4 are legitimately great games (X4 atrocious dub notwithstanding), as the rest have their share of (sometimes truly massive) flaws. Still, I have a soft spot for both X6 and X8, and I’m looking forward to replaying the entire series on Switch, warts and all.

    On the matter of the cartoon, I’m also skeptical given what has been shown and mentioned so far about it, but I’m willing to reserve judgement until I watch it.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #11 LBD_Nytetrayn 8 months ago
    @Irvyne I love X8, save for the vehicle portions. Add that to the first four, and that pushes it into "most" for my money. And X5 is decent enough.

    X6 and 7 are the ones you really have to watch out for.
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  • Avatar for Daikaiju #12 Daikaiju 8 months ago
    Now if we could just get Volnutt off the moon...
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  • Avatar for SpoonyBardOL #13 SpoonyBardOL 8 months ago
    I am much more at ease with that new cartoon now that a proper new Mega Man game has been announced. Back when it seemed like that would be the only active Mega Man property once it began, after the (still tragic) cancellation of the Archie comic series, I was much more put off by it, especially that initial early design.

    But now? As your image caption says, sure. OK. You do you, weird little cartoon Mega Man. And if you convince enough kids to take a look at the original series, then all the better.

    And hey, it might even turn out to be decent! Wouldn't that be grand?
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  • Avatar for Fade2Gray #14 Fade2Gray 8 months ago
    Am I reading that right? Mega Man goes to school now? This upends everything I though I knew about Mega Man (which, admittedly, isn't much in retrospect).
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  • Avatar for Thad #15 Thad 8 months ago
    The new cartoon sounds a bit like the short-lived Dreamwave comic series, which I enjoyed. Mega Man was a tween with a secret identity (Rocky Light) who went to middle school. Definite Harry Potter influence going on.

    I love the X series but AFAIC it's already three games past where it should have ended. I'd rather see another ZX sequel.
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