When you read that headline and saw the words “Street Fighter X Mega Man,” your first instinct was to imagine a game in which Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and the rest of the world warriors are pitted against Mega Man and his collection of evil robot masters in a one-on-one virtual fisticuffs battle to the death, right? Go ahead, admit it. After years of watching Capcom mash up its characters and those of other companies into bombastic fighting games (most recently Street Fighter X Tekken), it just makes sense that the company would want to do the same with its own vast collection of iconic characters. Assuming that Street Fighter X Mega Man would be a hyperkinetic 2D fighting game is the safe assumption here, and yet that’s not what Capcom’s doing at all.
Instead, Street Fighter X Mega Man lifts its gameplay cues from the latter series. On first inspection, Street Fighter X Mega Man appears to be a pretty typical old-school Mega Man game, but instead of battling thematically appropriate bosses at the end of each stage, you’re tasked with fighting Street Fighter characters, who, based on the trailer embedded below this text, retain a surprisingly recognizable complement of their classic fighting game moves.
So, why create a game like this? Is Capcom finally feeling bad for leaving Mega Man out of Marvel Vs Capcom 3? Maybe Capcom finally regrets canceling Mega Man Legends 3? No, not exactly. Actually, Capcom didn’t even create Street Fighter X Mega Man. Instead, the game was created by Singapore native Seow Zong Hui (aka “Sonic”). Fan-created games aren’t anything new — people have been building their own games based on famous intellectual property for decades — but it’s incredibly rare that an amateur effort such as this could capture the attention of Capcom. While most companies would greet Hui’s work with an ominous cease and desist warning, Capcom has instead opted to officially promote Hui’s game as something of a segue between this year’s 25th anniversary of the Street Fighter series, and next year’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of Mega Man. In effect, that makes this game a promotional effort, and to that end Capcom has decided to release Street Fighter X Mega Man free of charge from December 17 onwards.
“This game symbolizes the passion and dedication of our fans and with the 25th Anniversary of Mega Man coming up, we felt it was our duty to bring this wonderful experience to everyone who has shared the last 25 years with us and both of these celebrated franchises,” said Capcom USA’s senior vice president of consumer software Christian Svensson.
Unfortunately, all this news of free games has a downside: Street Fighter X Mega Man is exclusively available for the PC. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners are simply out of luck, even though their chosen consoles innately feature controllers that work perfectly for these old-school 2D platformer-type games. It is possible that Street Fighter X Mega Man will attract such a rabid fanbase that Capcom might decide to later bring the game to other platforms, but for now you’re either going to have to enjoy this game via keyboard, or drop some extra cash on a suitable PC control pad.