I've paid lots of money to play Mega Man 2, an all-time favorite, over the years. Some versions were better than others. But this week's release of Mega Man 2 on iOS, part of Capcom rolling out the first six games in the series for Apple and Android, is so shockingly bad that even two dollars feels like a rip-off. It underscores how little respect Capcom's shown the blue bomber recently, and proves laughable so soon after Nintendo's slick and polished Super Mario Run.
Capcom's hilarious disregard for these versions of Mega Man blatantly manifests in trailers that don't even try to cover up the horrendous frame rate that makes all of them basically unplayable:
Maybe I should be giving Capcom credit for being honest? The company hasn't responded to my request for comment.
This isn't a random aberration with Mega Man 2, either. Whatever emulator Capcom is using is unable to handle a bunch of games that were released on vastly inferior hardware in the 80s.
I downloaded Mega Man 2 for myself, and despite loading the game up on an iPhone 7 Plus, the most powerful iPhone on the market right now, the frame rate is atrocious. You can switch the "game speed" to a faster setting in the options menu, but it's unclear what that's actually changing? Whatever it's speeding up, it doesn't make the game feel good to play. It's still bad.
And hell, even if the frame rate gets patched, you're still forced to play a game that demands precision timing using virtual buttons. Mega Man, in this form, simply wasn't meant for a touch screen.
This isn't the first time Capcom's treated Mega Man like crap on mobile, either. They released Mega Man 2 on the App Store in 2009, where it was savaged for a litany of problems, including the decision to change how jumping works. Here's an excerpt from an IGN review:
"The jump control has completely changed as well, now allowing Mega Man to jump about 75% or so across a standard play screen in one bound, and also jumping higher in the process, allowing for access to areas he shouldn't be able to go, or bypasses of pull platforms completely. It's a complete mess. Enemy spawners pump out two, three, or four baddies at a time at random intervals, holding down fire can automatically spew a continuous stream of bullets onto the screen, and all the while you deal with small frame pops and slight slowdown, complete with missing audio for seemingly random sound effects."
A Touch Arcade report from that time claims Capcom ported an old cell phone version of the game, explaining the weirdness. Later that year, Capcom issued a "1.5" update with a "classic" mode that reversed these changes and generally cleaned up the game. It was free, at least?
At a minimum, Capcom owes that much to these new versions, but if they were smart, they'd look at what Nintendo did with Mario and reinvent Mega Man, not drag the classics through the mud.