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July 18 2006
MegaMan Powered Up - PSP Review
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Graphics are clean and polished.
During the PSPís lifetime, we havenít seen many old school, simple games. Games are inherently getting a little more complicated, so itís refreshing to get a title that is so back to basics, that its sheer divergent play becomes instantly enjoyable. To be honest, sometimes I donít want to play a full blown console game in my palm, I want a shorter, simpler game thatís easy to get into, and nice for short bursts.

There has been a bit of resurgence of interest in side scrolling platform games of late, especially incorporating 3D elements, and many gamers, myself included, yearn for more titles like these. Itís a relatively simple affair, shoot anything that gets in your way, and defeat each level boss, whilst collecting the items along the way. Anyone that has played the original Mega Man titles won't be challenged out of their comfort zone. For that matter, no one that ever played a Nintendo Entertainment System of Super Nintendo title, will probably be either.

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Classic platforming action.
MegaMan Powered Up sees a return to the manga styled MegaMan, with huge, expressional eyes, as opposed to the more mature, anime look of other MegaMan titles, such as MegaMan: Maverick Hunter X, which I will be taking a look at soon. Powered Up, does have a story to tell, and quite an important one at that: How Mega became a Man.

All levels have a difficulty setting which appeared a little strange at first, but which is incredibly handy as you progress to some of the more difficult bosses. In addition, as you progress through the game you will pickup bonus challenge levels, prolonging the replayability. Capcom have also included a level editor which at first glance looks overly simple and cute, is relatively intuitive. Props to the designers for giving users the ability to upload their own levels through the infrastructure mode. Capcom have also clearly worked on getting load times down to a minimum, thankfully these are generally getting much better.

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Taking out an enemy.
Capcom have also seen fit to provide two versions of the game, the aforementioned updated version, and a one much closer to the original, with almost everything having been reverted to the original state, bar updated graphic elements. To be honest, Iím a bit confused by its inclusion Ė Iíd think that most fans would probably have more appreciated a direct emulation of the original title, instead of a half and half.

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Time to duck MegaMan.
Effectively, MegaMan: Powered Up is a pimped up version of the original 8 bit NES game, however Capcom havenít just updated the graphics, theyíve worked quite hard in giving appropriate attention to all facets of the game, and updating it for the PSP. The most obvious visual change is it uses every pixel of the PSPís widescreen display, instead of being stuck in a 4x3 box. The visual elements are given a complete overhaul. The sprites no longer existing on a one dimensional plane, but are given depth and 3 dimensions on the platform. Of course, none of this really taxes the PSP hardware, so it has a very consistent frame rate throughout. The colour and animation on show are quite lush, and is certainly one of the prettiest PSP games I have seen.

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Yet more cute graphics.
The sound is pretty nice overall, with sound effects that evoke the originals, but sound good in themselves. The soundtrack is suitably boppy, but pretty generic and unfortunately unmemorable.

Overall, MegaMan: Powered Up is a pretty solid game, but in my opinion suffers from what so many other games on the PSP consoles do - just being good. Iím aware that not every title is going to be a slam dunk, but for a console fast approaching 2 years old, there is still a surprising lack of real standout games. That said however, there are still many hours of fun to be had here. MegaMan fans will eat this up, and I would certainly recommend this to fans of the platform genre.

Review By: Ben Gourlay

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GRAPHICSA great re-imagination of the original. Capcom should be applauded for putting a lot of work into making this look so great however, Iím still confused as to why the original game is not included via emulation.
SOUNDEverything here is as it should be, although nothing really stands out.
GAMEPLAYThere is a fair bit to be seen here, and the extra challenges are icing on the cake. I didnít find it very addictive, itís fairly easy to tire out.
VALUECapcom have made a very solid title, although you probably wonít feel the desire to return to it once itís finished.
OVERALLMega Man and platform fans, line up here. For everyone else, there is enough to get interested by, but try not to be put off by its visual style.

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