'Mega Man Xover' for iOS impressions: it's over for Mega Man

Mega Man Xover for iPhone and iPad gets a meager demo for Tokyo Game Show 2012.

Capcom brought Mega Man's latest side-scrolling action game to Tokyo Game Show, but it might have been better for the Blue Bomber to have sat this show out. Mega Man Xover — or Rockman Xover as it's known in Japan — for iOS does not demo well in such short bursts.

The TGS demo features a level in which the new Mega Man, OVER-1, runs on a conveyor belt-style level. As OVER-1 runs to the right, Mega Man X series enemies, like Metalls and Batton Bones, feed in from the opposite side of the screen. The only controls available to the player are to shoot and jump, with a screen-clearing super attack that can be charged up over time.

Gameplay is bafflingly simple. Run right. Shoot enemies. Collect power-ups. The level culminates in a battle with Storm Eagle from Mega Man X. Strangely, the fight is a turn-based battle. OVER-1 gets a single shot in, then it's Storm Eagle's turn. OVER-1 never misses. Neither does Storm Eagle. It seems there's no way to lose this fight, as the game only demands that the player tap an onscreen button a few times to win.

After Storm Eagle's defeat, we were rewarded with a card, one featuring a Met-type character. This where the potential of Mega Man Xover's depth may show itself. The iOS game is billed as a social, card-based role-playing game, in which players must combine the strengths of various Mega Man characters — merging their "battle memories" — to customize OVER-1's abilities and stats. Combining the strengths of various Mega Men and series enemies seems like an interesting concept, at least.

Mega Man Xover's debut trailer teases some of that customization, but it was sadly unavailable to try for ourselves on the Tokyo Game Show floor.

There wasn't a whole lot to like about Mega Man Xover, based on the Tokyo Game Show demo. The game's visual style smacks of Mega Man fan art. Character animations are rough and lifeless. Hopefully, the game has inventive customization mechanics buried within.

Mega Man Xover is planned for release this year on the iTunes App Store for iPhone 3GS/4/4S, iPod touch, and iPad.

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