So recently, the Mega Man X Collection was unleashed upon the unsuspecting public, or so we might like to pretend. And going to the EBGames where I was to surrender $34.07 in exchange for the game, I knew that the title wouldn't have the extras and unlockables we were promised when this website got to take suggestions for what we wanted to see in the compilation. I didn't have it, but reading all the reviews, keeping up with news, etc, I knew it wouldn't have the extra stuff.
But I bought it anyway. You see, I bought it because I knew that all six games were on one DVD, plus a game that - though I had played it before - hadn't ever been released in the US. I bought it because at the heart of the matter is the fact that it's still a compilation of games from my favorite Mega Man series, and that's enough for me. Besides, it adds that nostalgia factor, getting to play the games in (mostly) their original form. I also admit that the inclusion of the PlayStation X3 was a factor in my purchase. Now, many have chided Capcom, myself included a little bit, for promising these extras and not delivering. Some suggested showing our disappointment by not buying it - though this was unrealistic at best. But now at least we have some answers from Capcom on why the Collection is, as one reviewer put, "bare bones".
It's not that Capcom didn't put any effort into it - far from it. In fact, the information we've been given shows just the opposite of that assumption. We've been told that all the extras promised were, in fact, completed. X1 and X2's music was remixed. X4 had the voices redubbed, and X6 had the script revised, retranslated, and was dubbed in English. So why, then, if this stuff was done, did it not make it into the Collection?
The answer is pretty simple. Keiji Inafune and Irregular Hunter X.
But how could one man and one game affect the outcome of an entire Collection? It's rather easy, especially if said man is the mastermind behind the entire X series, and in a high-up position at Capcom. Back in early November, we heard that there were problems with the MMXC - Inafune was "concerned" that the Collection's extra content for X1 would interfere with what he wanted for Irregular (Maverick) Hunter X (it was inferred that the XC would use the same remixed music that appears in IHX). When we spoke with representatives from the X Collection production team, they were able to shed a lot more light on things, and after hearing it all, I have to say I'm a little less disappointed with the MMXC than I was, and a bit excited for what might come as well.
What we've been told is that Inafune wants to retool the X series up to Mega Man X6. Irregular Hunter X2 is already on the books, we're told, and Rockman Rockman 2 is in the pre-planning stages (incidentally, we were told that if the Powered Up ports are successful, they might be remade all the way up to Mega Man 8). As for the work we did for the X Collection, the suggestions we took were examined and reviewed by the CoJ staffers, and they have been set aside to be used in consideration as each X series remake is done. The extra features that were done - remixes, dubs and script revisions - will be used for the North American versions, provided circumstances don't force revisions of the revisions already done (such is the case for X4, which, if IHX1 is any indication, will probably get a new script). CPS1 was pretty much told to keep the X Collection as close to the originals as possible, and that's why we received what we did.
But that's not all of the grubby information we got. We got a few explanations on why certain elements of the X Collection remained as they were, or got changed, what-have-you. Below we've compiled the list of applicable changes we asked about.
Mega Man X:
- Script revised to include "Damn!" in the intro stage. This was done while X1 was being retrofitted, and left in there after the remixes were pulled.
Mega Man X2:
- Music was remixed, but then pulled for use in IHX2.
Mega Man X4:
- Original voices were reinserted after the redubs were removed (this lends to the slightly different sound quality of the in-game voices).
Mega Man X5:
- We got no word on whether the names of the Mavericks were at any point actually changed, but our Capcom representative expressed disappointment at the fact that they remained the Guns'n'Roses names. When the time rolls around for IHX, we're told, they will be changed.
Mega Man X6:
- Oh, the horror of the Sentsuizan. There's actually an interesting story behind this one. The move, originally mapped to Up+Attack while in the air, HAD been fixed, as evidenced by the "Got weapon" screen telling you to press Down+Attack in the air. This was changed for an unknown reason in post-production when one of the programmers mistakenly remapped it to the original button combo. *sigh*
- We're told that pulling the voices from X6 was an executive decision made by Robert Johnson. He reasoned that if the voices were left in, people would complain. If he took them out, people would complain, so he went with the choice to minimize the Japanese and removed them.
So there you have it. information straight from Capcom on what went wrong with the Mega Man X Collection, and why it came packaged without all the cool stuff we anticipated. To be honest, my personal feelings are mixed on the matter. I've said that I can live without the special features that were promised by Capcom USA (and nixed by Capcom of Japan). The fact that these features will be used in remakes of the X series is heartening, but it would've been nice if CoJ had been able to overlook the fact that they wanted the remakes as spiffy as possible. Mega Man fans are a loyal bunch, and in my opinion, putting all one's stock in remakes for an expensive handheld when more people own PlayStation 2s, GameCubes, and XBoxes is a bit unwise in terms of marketing. But it's Capcom's decision, and there's nothing we can do. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's best to be happy that Capcom even did the X Collection, and be thankful for what we got.