Here's some news I wasn't expecting. Andriasang.com is reporting that Capcom is readying an enhanced version of Mega Man X, the beloved Super Nintendo classic starring everyone's favorite blue hero, for release on iOS sometime this month.
The only catch with that is the game is only confirmed for release in Japan, but it's not a big stretch to imagine that Capcom would be bringing the game to other territories as well. In fact, I'll eat my blue helmet if we don't get Mega Man X in the US App Store at some point.
As Andriasang points out, Famitsu.com has the first shots of Mega Man X on iOS, known as Rockman X in Japan. According to the blurb at Famitsu, this version of Mega Man X was actually previously released for feature phones, and is being ported to iOS with virtual touch screen controls and Game Center integration. As you can see by these shots, the graphics are quite different from the SNES classic, and while I'm usually a purist when it comes to things like this, I actually think it looks damn good.
You would think that one of my favorite games from one of my all time favorite franchises coming to my mobile gaming platform of choice would be blowing my socks through the roof, and it is somewhat, but there's just one problem: Capcom has tried Mega Man on iOS before with Mega Man II [$2.99/Lite] and – how do I put this delicately? – it was a total disaster. Mega Man II is one of the most difficult platforming games ever, requiring pinpoint accuracy with jumping and combat. The subpar virtual controls in the iOS version just didn't cut the mustard, though to Capcom's credit the game was updated frequently and the experience did improve over time, it just was never ideal.
Another issue with the Mega Man II release was that the iOS version was based off of a feature phone version of the game, and came with some concessions due to this. The jumping was floaty and weird, levels and enemy placement was reworked, and in general it just didn't "feel" like the Mega Man II we know and love. Again, to Capcom's credit they did update the game to rectify most of those issues with a Classic Mode, but it still ended up feeling pretty different than the original. Being that Mega Man X is a port of a feature phone game, I have my fingers crossed that those types of issues won't crop up again.
Mega Man X is slated to hit the Japanese App Store sometime this month. Pricing and any release outside of Japan aren't yet confirmed, but we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that we can get our hands on Mega Man X on this side of the world soon too.