Mega Man Powered Up: The Blue Bomber Blasts From the Past


Capcom is without a doubt the king of franchises. Sure, Konami has classics like Castlevania, DDR and Metal Gear, but Capcom blows them away with hits like Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Phoenix Wright and—perhaps most famously—Mega Man, with over fifty individual titles. Yes, fifty. Unfortunately, a lot of those games have been cheap knock-offs of the genuine article. That’s not the case for their latest update to the series.

Mega Man Powered Up is the best thing to happen to the PSP since Lumines, in my opinion. Aside from the original Mega Man with updated graphics, Capcom has included a brand new game based on the first with two new bosses: Oil Man and Time Man.

The mechanics are exactly the same as the original game but they’ve improved by extending the gameplay. In addition to the new levels, which are loads of fun, a challenge mode has been included. The object of this is simply to complete an objective. Typically you have to reach the end of the level or collect all of a certain object. The replayability is a nice feature, but the true value of these challenges is how they improve the way you play. Complete a few challenges and you’ll have no problem with precision jumps and shots.

If you get tired of playing through the included challenges, the game lets you design your own levels to play through. Once you’ve built your ultimate Castlevania homage, you can upload it to the Internet through PSP’s Wi-Fi connection for others to play and rate. While you’re there you should download and rate some of the levels that other players have created.

My favorite feature of the game involves the challenge stages. As you play through the new Mega Man game you can “capture” and reprogram the bosses you’ve defeated (as long as the only weapon you use is the standard arm cannon). When you’ve beaten a boss in this way, you can play as them in the new game and you can unlock their challenges in the challenge menu.

Every boss has ten challenges and each boss has their own unique abilities aside from their primary weapon: Guts Man, for instance, can break weakened blocks by jumping on or under them. Cut Man has a wall jump he can use to scale large obstacles.


Mega Man Powered Up is the same as ever. Anyone who played the original Mega Man on the NES or PS2 will know the game is hard. While it’s not impossible, you might find yourself cursing on certain parts of Ice Man’s and Guts Man’s levels. The new game is a little better, giving you three difficulty levels to choose from that weaken the bosses and add some platforms to keep you from dying so quickly.

The updated graphics are very welcome. Instead of the classic 8-bit sprite, everything is updated with a 3-D feel while keeping the game in the traditional 2-D platforming genre. Voice-overs have been added as well, giving the characters more personality and the game more vivacity.

Sometimes all the new additions take away from the game, though. I love the game and the story, but the new telling of it has a tendency to come off as a children’s cartoon.
Technically this isn’t a bad thing, but it turns the game into more of an attempt to broaden their demographic instead of the fan service I wanted.

If you’re a fan of Mega Man—or challenging platformers in general—this game is for you. I picked it up for $19.99 at a local GameStop and at that price it should be the right game for any PSP owner.