Freeware projects tend to get ignored by gaming-related media at large for many – often well-deserved – reasons, but if Capcom’s official endorsement of fan project Street Fighter X Mega Man proved anything it’s that, with proper care on the developer side and some effective marketing, such titles can succeed in an environment increasingly bred around AAA releases. Mega Man Unlimited has the advantage of reputation in online communities going for it, the result of years in development and a show of much-desired support for Capcom’s forsaken robot son. Where SFXMM succeeded in spirit and fumbled mechanically, though, Unlimited does exactly the opposite; Control fidelity and overall quality of assets are as top-notch as anything Capcom itself put out in the Mega Man series’ 2D heyday, but when every stage is full to the brim with instant death scenarios your end result is less a firm-but-fair challenge of skill and more an exercise in frustration, a quarter-muncher without the coin slot. To be fair, the game was created with this intention in mind, but that’s not the philosophy the source material was built on and nor should a game claiming to be a direct extension of that series be.
December 15, 2013