It's been a tough year for Mega Man and his many fans, but 2011 isn't going to end without a new adventure for the blue bomber. Capcom has arranged for its 1993 Super NES title Mega Man X to land on Apple's App Store as a $5 iOS game for iPhone, but the game is a bit different than you remember it. Specifically, it seems to embody the worst aspects of bringing a popular classic video game into the mobile world. While changes to the visual style are the most obvious alteration, there are now load times, level structure has been chopped up into separate screens instead of one continuous flowing design, the camera angle has been zoomed in to give X and his enemies more visibility at the cost of losing some details from the edge of the screen, and there's now an in-game store in which players can pay real money for X's upgrades rather than earning them the old fashioned way (although paying for them instead of collecting them is not required). There's even a replacement music pack for sale that replaces the traditional X soundtrack with the Maverick Hunter X remake's music. Have a look at the trailer and tell me if you get a sinking feeling while watching it.
It's a shame to see Mega Man X half-assed this way (I think the in-game store is the biggest insult of all), and while I think that there is a way to do Mega Man on the iPhone, this is not it. Perhaps it's time for Capcom to build a new Mega Man title from the ground up for the mobile market with that platform's limitations in mind. While I admire and appreciate the attempt to bring Mega Man X back for a new platform, the end result appears to not do the original game justice. I never thought I'd say this, but Capcom should take a page from Sega's book. The latter company's recent release of Sonic CD for iOS is a perfect example of how to adapt a console game from yesteryear for the mobile platform.