I suppose everyone has stopped wondering when and if Capcom is going to get tired of making Street Fighter games. The arcade Marvel VS Capcom combines most of the popular features and a lot of the popular characters into one huge conglomeration. Of course the reason it lands a spot here is because for once, Mega Man happens to be a part of it.
Note: It is not in my interest to review the entire game. This section will focus only on Mega Man and Roll (it is a Mega Man website after all). There are plenty of other resources you can consult if you need help on aspects of the game that I do not cover here.
Buyers take note: I don’t suggest purchasing the Dreamcast version of this game unless you also invest $80 in a controller because the game is unplayable using the default controller. As always take this suggestion with a grain of salt, but it is something to seriously consider before you go out and spend money on the game.
Although Mega Man is usually attributed as being the “cute” character in this game (actually, my vote goes to Roll), it is my opinion that the entire game seems pretty cute and cartoony, and it’s not really fair to give the “cute” label only to Mega Man.
As a whole the game is quite fun, somewhat silly, very fast-paced (even if you don’t choose Turbo mode), and incredibly cheezy1. If you like spreading on the cheese, this game is for you. Not only does each individual character have cheezy special moves, a couple of cheezy Supers, and a cheezy Hyper, you can also double your cheese by using one of the three methods of bringing in a second character to help you smear the opponent. Mind you, I don’t mind cheese—especially when it’s me watching my opponent take the brunt of my assault—but there is one bad side to this. Special moves are accompanied by a psychedelic scrolling background and huge effect graphics that pretty much obliterate all detail to the point that you can’t tell what in the world is going on. So don’t expect to be able to see what you’re doing, because for the most part, you can’t!
When you begin the game, you pick two characters. The first character you choose is your primary character who (ordinarily) begins every match. However, you can switch fighters at almost any time, or summon your alternate character for an attack. There are two basic ways to call in your second character (three, actually, although the third doesn’t really count):
- Cross-over attack (+): There are a few variations of this, but the general idea is the same. Your two characters switch places, so that you now control the alternate, and the one you had been controlling leaves the battle scene. This is sometimes referred to as a “tag” in tag-team battles.
In the most basic form of this move, the second character flies onto the screen from behind your current, usually in some sort of flying kick or other quick offensive move that can hurl your opponent backward if it connects. As soon as the first character leaves, you gain control of the second. Be wary though—if the opponent blocks or dodges, he can combo the stuffing out of your new character before you can do anything about it!
- Double attack (+): For some real fun, you can even bring in both of your characters at once. This is the ultimate cheese. Apparently both of your characters have unlimited use of their Hyper moves during this time. Also, from what I read, you control the second character by doing backwards versions of his normal moves.
- Death: If one of your characters loses all of his energy, the other will automatically come in to fight in his place. Of course, at this point, you cannot use any of the two-character attacks. This is similar to the two-round style of Street Fighting, except that you use a different character for each round. Note that unlike old Street Fighter games, there is no delay or a second “Fight!” command when one character loses. The other comes in immediately, so don’t be caught napping!
In addition to these two characters, you also get a third character as a “Helper.” This character is chosen for you more or less randomly, and you call him in by pressing MP+MK. From what I understand, you can summon your Helper only a limited number of times.
Note: Naturally in the PSX version a lot of the above discussion no longer applies except in certain circumstances.
“What weapon did I get this time?”
“That was a great attack! I think I’ll try it now!”
“Right on! What new powers have I obtained?”
“Nice attacks, but I like my Mega Buster the best!”
“Your weapons are so weak they aren’t even worth my time.”
“You need more power? Maybe if you beat me...”
“Dr. Light says I get better by fighting.”
Mega Man is one of the real characters in this game, complete with his high-pitched, female Japanese voice actor speaking some of his lines in Japanese and the rest in slightly-mispronounced English.
(Unfortunately for us, much of this game was not translated from Japanese, which means I have no clue what half the characters are saying.) Despite how powerful he sounds on paper, he seems outclassed by some of the other fighters, although I haven’t played the game extensively enough yet to determine if some of the characters are superior in power and abilities than others. (It’s possible I just need to get used to using him.) Mega Man, as usual, has mediocre jumping abilities (he can jump high compared to human standards, but he’s outclassed by most video game characters, and this game is no exception) although he can grab some air with the super jump that all characters possess.
Yep, this one sounds too good to be true. A single-button fireball! Actually, what Mega Man is doing his firing his arm cannon. But he is firing super-shots, not his ordinary little yellow balls of plasma. And he can fire pretty much at any time, whether in the air or not. He can also have up to two super-shots on the screen at a time, although it appears as though to pull this off, you must fire at least one of the shots while in the air.
- Charge: (hold)
Hold down fierce punch to charge his Mega Buster for an even bigger shot. Strangely enough, although Mega Man’s normal shot in this game is blue-white, his charged shots are a reddish yellow. This is unusual, since the trend has been that his shots change color according to how powerful they are in the order of yellow, white, blue, and finally pink. Oh well, you can definitely tell when you’ve charged, because the shot is much larger. It will also take multiple hits according to how long you’ve charged—assuming it connects. I have yet to determine if there is a cap to this.
- Use Weapon:
Mega Man cannot win weapons from foes in this game, but he does begin it with a choice of three:
- Tornado Hold: Mega Man starts each match with this. A great weapon to sweep the opponent off his feet and set him up for a combo. Can also block fireballs. The harder the punch, the farther Mega Man throws the weapon.
- Leaf Shield: This will block a single attack and disappear. You can also hurl it at enemies. If you get good at activating the Shield, you can theoretically keep re-activating it with every hit, and never take any damage. This is hard to pull off in practice, however.
- Mega Ball: Drops the Mega Ball (which mysteriously looks like a soccer ball in this game) on the ground in front of Mega Man’s feet. Slide () into it to kick it, and it will ricochet around the room. I found this to be more or less useless—you’re left too vulnerable while trying to kick the stupid thing.
- Get Weapon:
Eddie (Flip-Top) drops down and tosses Mega Man a sphere which contains one of the three weapons above. Mega Man must actually touch the sphere to get the weapon, and he can only have one weapon at a time, so picking up another replaces the one you have. It is interesting to note that Mega Man and Roll can pick up weapons summoned by opponents—just grab their sphere before they do. The kick button you press determines what weapon you get (Short=Mega Ball; Medium=Tornado Hold; Fierce=Leaf Shield).
- Plasma Dragon Punch:
Mega Man Dragon Punches with a burst of blue energy surrounding his fist.
This is the normal fighting game foot-sweep move executed in the traditional Mega Man slide style.
- Supers and Hyper:
These you can only perform when you have filled your level meters at the bottom of the screen.
- Rush Drill:
Rush turns into a Rush Marine-style vehicle with a drill on the front. You can control the ship with the joystick and use the drill to clobber the opponent. Lasts a preset period of time. Unlike the Beat Plane, the Rush Drill makes Mega Man invulnerable for as long as it is active.
- Beat Plane:
Beat turns into a little ship into which Mega Man hops. You have control over where the ship moves and can fire its beams and bombs with the punch and kick buttons. Lasts for a preset period of time. Mega Man can also be knocked out of this move by an attack from his opponent.
- Hyper Adapter:
Beat, Rush, and Eddie all simultaneously morph with Mega Man—much like Rush does to form the Super Adapter. Basically, Mega Man gains about three feet in height and pummels the opponent with missiles and a huge laser (I told you this game is nacho cheese!).
- Single-button fireball. This one is just too good to ignore!
- Size. Mega Man is quite small, and attacks that would hit the larger guys go right over his head, especially when he’s ducking.
- Throwing. Since Mega Man’s strength is probably greater than the strength of all the other characters combined, you’d think he’d be good at chucking people. But in my experience, I have a heck of a time trying to get him to throw. Most of the time the other player wins out and chucks me instead. Needless to say, Mega Man doesn’t seem to be that great at throwing, probably because of his short reach.
- Size. His arms and legs are so short, it’s hard to connect punches and kicks without being thrown. It seems to work better if you stay back and plaster your enemies with fireballs and Tornado Holds. (Mega Man was never much of a hand-to-hand combatant anyway.)
- Get in the habit of holding down fierce punch to charge Mega Man’s Mega Buster whenever you’re not using it. Not only can you inflict more damage with a super shot, but if charged, your shot will plow right through other fireballs and can potentially smack in the face the guy who was trying to hit you!
- Counter fireballs by pressing FP. Sounds simple enough—but me, I am in the habit of jumping or blocking them, so this takes some getting used to.
- Air dance. Knock your opponent out of the air with a quick super shot whenever you are lined up for the shot. If you’re good, you can nail him with a few super shots on the way to the ground.
- Try ducking higher attacks instead of blocking them. Ironically, blocking—even while kneeling—puts Mega Man higher than ducking alone, so sometimes things might still strike him. Even if you block, special moves and fireballs will inflict a small amount of damage, whereas if you duck them and they go over your head, you lose nothing. There are some attacks, most notably fireballs, that will just barely nick Mega Man’s head even when he’s ducking, so in this case you’ll want to block.
“How does Mega Man do that absorb thing?”
“See? I should have been in Power Battle!”
Roll is a secret character in this game—there are a ton of them, but most are just existing character sprites recolored. Although she has unique sprites, Roll is basically a toned-down version of Mega Man. Her attacks are generally slower and weaker than her brother’s counterparts, and have poor recovery rates. With all things considered, she’s possibly the weakest character in the game.
To use a secret character in the arcade,
the basic idea is that, on the character select screen, you need to place the curser on certain characters in a certain sequence. Roll’s sequence is shown at the right. Starting at Zangief, move the cursor L,L,D,D,R,R,D,D,L,L,U,R,U,U,R,R. Note that you don’t have to punch in the sequence quickly; all that matters is that you touch the proper boxes in the proper order—although if you take too long, the arcade will pick a character for you. Also note that you have to pick Roll as your first character; it won’t work the second time through since you are not allowed to put the cursor on the box of the first character you picked (you can’t pick the same character twice). When you do it properly, you will be able to press Right from Mega Man’s box and Roll’s box will appear.
Roll is small, cute, has really hilarious theme music, and is wearing her Mega Man 8 outfit. (Which is strange, seeing that Dr. Wily wears his normal outfit in this game, not his Mega Man 8 KFC garb...) She ducks by kneeling down with her hands and chin on her knees. All and all, she’s more for drawing crowds than winning matches.
Roll has most of the same moves as Mega Man; see his section above for more details. This will just cover what’s different:
Roll has to use a controller motion to fire, which really slows her down. She also has to take time to grab her gun and put it away, since she does not seem to have a built-in cannon like her brother.
- Use Weapon:
Because Roll requires a motion to fire her cannon, they also had to change her motion for firing special weapons. Otherwise this operates the same as Mega Man’s; Roll uses all of the weapons in the same way.
- Flower Toss:
Roll tosses a bunch of flowers, of all things, in an arc, that explode when they land. The flowers move incredibly slowly, and are more useful to distract your opponent than to actually do any damage.
- Supers and Hyper:
Roll has all of the same Supers and Hypers as Mega Man—and yes, she even morphs with Beat, Rush, and Eddie into this giant thing with antennae that zap the opponent. (For some real cheese kicks, bring in both Roll and Mega Man and have them morph into their Hyper forms at the same time.)
- Mega Man:
- He gets a new weapon, the Magnetic Shockwave, from the final boss. I hear that in the home console versions you can actually keep this and use it during matches, but I haven’t actually tried it.
- Roll finishes off the final boss, proud of her accomplishment. Mega Man shows up to fight only to discover that he’s too late, because Roll has taken care of things without him.
1 Cheese - a term to denote an especially cheap move in a fighting game, which is usually mostly flair and leaves little to no chance for the victim to escape once caught.