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.
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.
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.
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.