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

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.

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.

Editor's pick

Manami Matsumae, the Maestro of Mega Man

"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.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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