Welcome to our weekly feature, Virtually Overlooked
, wherein we talk about games that aren't on the Virtual Console yet, but should be. Call it a retro-speculative
We were driven into a melancholy by the news
that Australia (and probably Europe) was getting a Virtual Console version of Mega Man 2
while we have yet to see a download of the first game. Many of you correctly noted that it was stupid to wait for a VC version with the Mega Man Anniversary Collection
disc available so cheaply and plentifully. But we actually have
the disc and the cartridge. It's a simple matter of wanting every
game we like to be available through as many conduits as possible, to get into the most hands as possible. A Virtual Console release, as well, allows a game to come back to the attention of the gaming community, sparking discussion once again. We want that for Mega Man 2
forever. Our memories of Mega Man 2
are 110 million
, after all.
The existence of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection
still makes any included game too easy to play on the Wii to be Virtually Overlooked material, even if, by doing so, it limits discussion. There's no real reason to wish
for a game that you can just go buy for less money. That renders Mega Man 1-8
off limits (good luck playing 8
on a Nintendo system any other way!) as well as The Power Battle
and The Power Fighters.
But we still want to talk Mega Man,
so we went scrambling for an appropriate game. Mega Man X
? No, it is also available on a compilation
. Rockman Battle & Chase?
No, it's on the same compilation! Rockboard
will have to do, then. It's got the benefit of being the weirdest Mega Man
game yet, and we can keep Mega Man Soccer
saved up for a bit.
Wily & Right no Rockboard: That's Paradise
was a Mega Man
(we'll use the American name of the character for simplicity's sake, though Rockman
is significantly more rockin'
) spinoff for the Famicom that came out in Japan in 1993, the same year both Mega Man X
and Mega Man 6
Someone at Capcom took a look at Mega Man --
at this series of straightforward action games with selectable levels --
and saw Monopoly. That's right, Rockboard
is a board game in which you buy parts of the board and charge other players who land on those spaces rent. But with a Mega Man
The playable characters do not
include Mega Man or any Robot Masters, but are part of the cast: Doctors Light ("Right" in Japan), Wily, and Cossack
, Roll, and Kalinka, Dr. Cossack's daughter. You know, all the people in the game who don't have guns for arms. The boards are all based on Mega Man
stages, and the music consists of mellowed-out arrangements of classic tunes. The Robot Masters and all the other cool characters show up as randomly-drawn cards, which give money or change some variable in the game (property prices, development level of a square), even affecting the other players. You know, basic party game stuff.
When you land on an opposing player's space, not only must you pay rent on it, you are asked if you want to develop on that space as well. If you put a building (or improve your building) on someone else's square, the two of you split the rent. Rents are higher on single-owner properties than for multiple-owner properties, but it's still a quick way to earn Zenny in the game. As you do circuits around the board (controlled by a random number from 1 to 10), the spaces start to fill up, and money is changing hands constantly.
It's easy to make fun of this game (very) for being a turn-based Mega Man
game, though that was a lot funnier before all those Mega Man Battle Network
games came out. And Mega Man X Command Mission.
At least those were fighting-based, and not about ... property development. However, Rockboard
is actually nowhere near as terrible as a Mega Man
board game should
be. It's much more fast-paced than most Monopoly games, and the Mega Man
series window dressing actually adds to the enjoyment. The random effects are a lot more interesting than "Business situation! You gain or lose money!" The winstates actually vary as well -- wins can be achieved by owning more property, or having more money, or owning more developments, based on the rules of the board. This gives the game, again, a faster pace than Monopoly's winning condition of failure by every other player. It turns out that Rockboard
would actually be a pretty good party game for the Virtual Console. One that -- most importantly -- contains music and characters from Mega Man 2