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Born for Wii: Mega Man Legends (page 3)

Wesley Fenlon

On the Playstation controller, the D-pad moves Mega Man forward and backward and strafes left and right, while the L1 and R1 buttons are used to turn. This is a pretty unusual setup, and it's a bit clunky. Analog support would've gone a long way towards fixing this problem, but more on that in just a bit. The Square button fires Mega Man's cannon, while Triangle uses his Special weapon, O interacts with people/objects (and can also be held down to sneak around), and X jumps. Finally, L2 can be used to free-look and R2 locks on to the nearest enemy, though there's a catch -- Mega Man can't move while he's target locked.

If Mega Man Legends were to be revived for the Wii (or, better yet, get a sequel), the wonders of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk would make it a far more enjoyable affair in terms of movement and shooting. For starters, a more practical use of the nunchuk's analog stick would move Mega Man around, and the C button could snap the camera behind his back to eliminate the annoyance of running in one direction and looking in another -- standard 3D action/adventure controls. To take the C button's functionality a step further, holding it down could activate strafing, eliminating the need for two independent buttons for strafing left/right. And to fire, there's the Wii Remote; a targeting reticule and free aiming with the Wiimote would do wonders to speed up the combat and make it more fun. In fact, Mega Man Legends would work exceptionally well with a very Metroid Prime 3-esque control setup.

Unfortunately, while the basic design and gameplay of Mega Man Legends remain fun today, the graphics haven't aged quite so gracefully. The characters' faces are surprisingly expressive, but on the whole the game is flat, pixelated, and blandly textured. Some colorful graphics, rounded edges, and better textures would really breathe new life into the game world. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (I mentioned it last week), cel-shading would be a great fit for this particular Wii title, as well.

With only two Mega Man Legends games and one prequel featuring the misadventures of Tron Bonne, this particular Mega Man offshoot is just begging for a sequel. With its established action-RPG mechanics, a third Legends featuring a deeper level-up system is practically a no-brainer. The original definitely shows its age and would have a hard time competing against action games of 2008, but with a new control system, more enemies to compensate for the added control and maneuverability, and better graphics, nostalgia wouldn't be the only thing making Mega Man Legends a worthwhile gaming experience.

There's also plenty of backstory and world history left to uncover, and Capcom could easily build Mega Man Legends into a world as rich in characters as the Mega Man and Mega Man X continuities. If Mega Man 9 sells well enough for WiiWare, perhaps this isn't the last of the Blue Bomber we'll see on the Wii. In the meantime, celebrate Mega Man 9 in all its retro glory!

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