Mega Man is a major presence in the debut trailer for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, which has the series’ first real story mode. That’s a win for many Mega Man fans — but the Blue Bomber’s role stands as a painful reminder of where the Mega Man franchise stands today.
The Mega Man X version of the character is leading the charge in Infinite’s story mode. That’s a beloved spinoff of the mainline Mega Man games, the last of which launched way back in 2004. Infinite even borrows Mega Man X’s main villain, Sigma, for the story mode. (In Infinite, Sigma combines with Marvel villain Ultron to form some even more threatening enemy.)
For some, seeing Mega Man X just highlights how long they’ve waited for Mega Man X9, the next sequel in the series that looks increasingly unlikely to ever be made — or, frankly, any new Mega Man game. It doesn’t help that X spends most of the trailer getting punched up.
@MegaMan Fun Fact: We need another Megaman X game.— Knuxfan24 (@Knuxfan24) April 25, 2017
It's fucking sad that I need to play Marvel VS Capcom to play as Megaman X. MAKE MEGAMAN X9 ALREADY DAMMIT— Machias (@DreamOfWinds) April 25, 2017
#MarvelvsCapcomInfinite looks great but I don't appreciate how Mega Man X keeps getting his ass beat in these trailers...— Alex E. (@B1itz90) April 25, 2017
Another breed of Mega Man fan is more hopeful, however. Although X was most recently playable in the Project X Zone crossover fighting games, this marks his first appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom. His prominence in Infinite’s story has lent hope to some who have longed for more Mega Man X for the past 13 years.
@Acidic_Heart I love how the Megaman X franchise is getting some love.— Slumbering Pierrot (@KurtisSmejkal) April 25, 2017
I'm so happy to see Mega Man X returning to the gaming mainstream.— Nerdword (@BryanSalter) April 25, 2017
@seedbun i never really liked mvc except for the xmen and they got rid of those. its at least cool mega man x is prominent since that means new game— Harold (@911VICTIM) April 25, 2017
I mean Mega Man X, let alone Mega Man is a dead franchise at the moment. Maybe it'll a comeback soon?— SuperSensei (@SuperSensei0077) April 25, 2017
Putting a number on it really hammers in the plight of a Mega Man diehard. Once a visible mascot whose popularity rivaled that of Mario and Sonic, Capcom has put the entire Mega Man franchise on the backburner in the last decade.
2008’s Mega Man 9 gave the original series of sidescrolling shooters its first new sequel in more 12 years. Mega Man 10 followed two years later, but we haven’t seen an original new release in the series since then. Other Mega Man spinoff series died off in the mid-2000s; the character was relegated to a “remember him?” guest spot in other heroes’ adventures.
For Mega Man players feeling burned by Capcom to this day, nothing encapsulates that more than the Infinite trailer. Sure, X gets to do some hero service for the first time in many, many years — but Capcom makes sure not to let him get away with looking too good.
One of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s new promo shots sums it up, as does this tweet:
Capcom released this screenshot on purpose, sending a message to a certain fanbase pic.twitter.com/SEje9VHzKX— Nibel (@Nibellion) April 25, 2017
Even if Capcom is making it clear it hasn’t forgotten Mega Man or Mega Man X — even still considering him a major staple in its roster — fans won’t soon forget just how much their favorite hero has been dumped on over the years.