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Powered Up’ Capcom classic hits PSP

Mark Bemenderfer | Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gaming platforms live and die by third party support. If a company can’t get games from developers, then the console is destined to struggle. Nintendo’s Gamecube is a prime example of this, as its third-place ranking in the current console race can be attributed to the lack of quality non-Nintendo games.

Sony is the current leader for a good reason. Being able to muster strong third party support from the likes of Capcom and Namco, the Playstation 2 has proven itself as a strong leader. Their PSP is still trying to secure the same success of its bigger brother however, and Sony has contracted Capcom to bring several quality titles to the tiny handheld to expedite the process.

One of the latest offerings on the PSP is “Mega Man Powered Up.” The second “Mega Man” title that Capcom has ported, this is a remake of the original Nintendo classic. Like “Mega Man Maverick Hunter X,” this new release features updated three-dimensional graphics, an improved storyline and added sounds.

For those unfamiliar with Mega Man’s legendary beginning – it starts with a bang. A mad scientist (Dr. Wily) decides to take over the world. To do so, he kidnaps eight robots created by the good Dr. Light. He then reprograms these good robots, transforming them into tools for global domination.

His laboratory in shambles, Dr. Light is short on options for stopping the mad Dr. Wily. However, his assistant robot, Mega, offers to retake the wayward robots and stop Wily’s plans of world domination. Dr. Light agrees and upgrades Mega, dubbing him Mega Man.

Thus the game begins. The player controls the newly formed Mega Man on his quest to defeat the robot masters and save the world. As Mega Man defeats each of the robot masters, he assimilates a new special attack from his fallen foe, which can be used to defeat a different bad robot. Essentially an exaggerated version of paper-rock-scissor, each of the robot masters has a particular attack they are weak against. As an obvious example is how fire beats oil.

However, this game is called “Powered Up,” and it does earn that title. The first noticeable upgrade from the original is the graphics. Done in a three-dimensional, vaguely cartoon style; the vibrant colors and shapes help compliment the game.

Also powered up is the story itself. There is a new playable intro to the game, and scripted spoken dialogue has been added as well. Mega Man will have a short conversation with each of the robot masters before they battle.

But the primary area that has been upgraded has been the gameplay value. Featuring a wealth of unlockables, the option for downloadable content and a level builder, “Powered Up” has near limitless replay value.

One of the better unlockables is the robot masters themselves. If the player plays through the updated version of the game, they can play as the masters after they defeat them. Each of the masters has their own storyline, and unique gameplay that adds to the replay value of the game.

There are also hidden unlockable and downloadable characters, boosting the current character total into the double digits. This adds a great deal of depth to the game, ensuring a lengthy shelf life in most gamers libraries.

“Mega Man Powered Up” is everything it claims to be. For Mega Man fans, it proves to be an excellent remake of the original classic. New people should also check it out, as a remake of the original is a great starting point for any gamer.