When Nintendo released Super Mario Maker for the Wii U, it opened up the doors of imagination and possibility for gaming fans all over the world. Soon thereafter, gaming fans have been speculating which gaming franchise could benefit from from a “Maker” style game. The answer was pretty obvious in the fact that Mega Man would be the perfect candidate; however, Capcom hadn’t done anything significant with the Mega Man franchise outside of having Nintendo include the Blue Bomber in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, adding him as a character in the upcoming Marvel vs Capcom Infinite fighting game and releasing two Mega Man Legacy Collections; the second of which is due out in August.
Since Capcom has seemingly lost all interest in creating new content for one of their biggest franchises, it has been up to the fan community to keep the Blue Bomber alive. With games like Mega Man Unlimited, Mega Man Rock Force and upcoming titles like Mega Man X Corrupted and Mega Man Battle Network Chrono X, the franchise has shown that it is still loved and revered by gamers all across the world. The aforementioned titles are just a small sliver of the fan games and ROM hacks that are available to fans for free.
Now, a small team of programmers, artists and composers came together to bring us the game Capcom doesn’t want to bother creating. They brought us Mega Maker.
Game Name: Mega Maker
Developers: WreckingPrograms, CosmicGem, Gaem, RRThiel, Sapphire Sunsets, Alex, Mors, and Shinryu
Release Date: July 15, 2017
Mega Maker is a level building tool in which you can create your own Mega Man levels and share them online. You can choose tile sets, enemies, bosses, platforms, gimmicks and backgrounds from the first six Mega Man games and can even mix and match them to create customized stages.
The level editor itself easy to use and understand. If you have trouble with it, the game has a tutorial that you can take in order to understand just how level building works. Of course, if you want to dive in and figure things out for yourself, you are given the option to skip the tutorial. As far as building levels, the level editor was really built to be interacted with using a mouse, but the levels themselves can be played via a controller. I was able to plug my DualShock 4 into my PC (which is running Windows 10) and play the levels after a short configuration through the game’s option menu. Some have requested the use of a controller to build levels so we’ll see if that is something the team will take into consideration for a future build. If playing with a keyboard is your thing, you can play the levels using one as well.
While it is fun to create your own levels, there are some downsides to the initial release of the game. Not everything from the first six games is available to you. You are quite limited in your selections. You only have access to seven enemy types per game, giving you a total of 43 enemies to choose from. You cannot have multiple bosses per level, so creating a boss rush-style stage is out of the question. The number of bosses you can choose from is also limited to only two per game. The bosses you can select from are the following:
- Cut Man
- Bomb Man
- Metal Man
- Crash Man
- Top Man
- Spark Man
- Toad Man
- Pharaoh Man
- Napalm Man
- Stone Man
- Knight Man
- Plant Man
You get about 6-8 tile sets per game, making mixing and matching limited as well. You do get a nice selection of background music as all of the major themes are there and ready to go. The selection of spikes and ladders is already pretty big and a lot of the gimmicks such as Metal Man’s conveyor belts, Quick Man’s lasers, interactive platforms, breakable blocks and many others are available to you as well.
While the selection is a limiting factor, it’s still quite impressive for an initial offering. In fact, in a response to a YouTube review of the game, WreckingPrograms stated that more content would be available at a later date through patches as they had to focus on making the game work properly in time for their July 15 release date, which is quite understandable and easily forgivable.
Once you create your level, you can upload it via their online servers for people to play. You can search for levels via Newest, Most Popular, Oldest, Best Rating, Worst Rating, Most Played and Least Played. You can also search for levels using keywords or by entering a unique level ID which is assigned to you once your level is created and uploaded. If you want to test your luck, you can also load up a random level and play it. After you either exit or complete a level, you have the option to upvote or downvote it. Needless to say, the online side of things is pretty robust.
One thing I like about the uploading system is that you have to play and beat your own level before you can upload it. If you cannot beat it, it doesn’t get uploaded. It’s that simple. You also need to create an online profile in order to access the online features, but you can choose not to and still build levels offline if you so desire to do so.
As of the time of this writing, the team already launched version 1.0.1 which fixed some of the initial bugs that were either known or reported in the original version of the game. Needless to say, Mega Maker has unlimited potential to be a staple in the Mega Man community for years to come. I’ve already made a couple of levels on it and found it to be quite easy and painless to do so. In fact, my entire weekend disappeared just from creating my own levels and playing those created by others. While Capcom did give us a level editor in Mega Man Powered Up, Mega Maker was the kind of game we were looking for. The foundation for greatness is there, but it just needs expanded content and features to really take this to the next level. Regardless of that, I believe it is highly worth your time to check out, especially if you are a Mega Man fan.
You can download the game for yourself at http://www.mega-maker.com. While there, sign up for the forums and take part in the level building community! There were nearly 15,000 levels created within the first 24 hours of the game’s launch and as of Day 3, which is when I am writing this review, that number has more than doubled. It’s safe to say that people are letting their imaginations run wild and that things are looking very promising. There are even level building contests showing up on the site’s official forums, which only further shows the strength of the Mega Man community.
Of course, I will also shamelessly plug my own levels. If you already have Mega Maker and want to give my levels a try, you can find them via the ID Codes 12340 and 21814.
Mega Maker is a solid attempt at a level building tool that the Mega Man community can embrace. While it is limited on content, future patches to expand upon it are coming. Mega Maker has the foundation to be one of the best fan games created to date!