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Top 10 games inspired by Mega Man

Mega Man inspired countless games, but these are the top 10!

Mega Man is one of the most genre defining games of all time. Mega Man X while a continuation of the NES Mega Man series, upped the cool quotient considerably. Capcom has redefined the series multiple times, for a whole new generation of gamers. Berserk Boy is one such game definitely inspired by Capcom’s Blue Bomber. With Berserk Boy from BerserkBoy Games just around the corner, let’s take a look at some of the other games Mega Man inspired.

10. Gunvolt Chronicles Luminous Avenger iX

The first Gunvolt game on our list. Developed by the great Inti Creates team who previously worked on the Mega Man games. Copen the anti-hero from the earlier Gunvolt games is the Luminous Avenger in question. Luminous Avenger is basically the blue bomber with some modern paint on it. You jet around the levels tagging enemies and then unleashing bolts of energy at them. The more tags, the more damage you inflict. It borrows a little from Panzer Dragoon, I guess you could say.

Luminous Avenger is a very challenging game in true Mega Man fashion. It is possible to clear the stages but to complete all of the ranked optional challenges will require next level skills.

9. Blaster Master Zero

What began life as a series on the NES, has continued on in a new updated form. Once again the fine folks at Inti Creates, put their skills to work and this time it has an overworked map and uses some Metroidvania ideas as well.

Players are able to exit the vehicle and explore on foot, or ride around in the tank named SOPHIA, blasting enemies. There are a couple sequels as well and all of similar quality. Two other characters on this list make an appearance in Blaster Master Zero. Shovel Knight and Gunvolt both appear, to up that action platformer quotient.

8. Gunman Clive

If you’ve always wanted Mega Man in the old west, I have the game for you. Gunman Clive tasks you as the local sheriff to clean up levels of bad guys and rescue they mayor’s daughter along the way. Unique in it sepia toned graphic style, but clearly inspired all the way.

Leap and shoot your way across multiple levels, utilizing different shot types. The game even features a female protagonist, Ms. Johnson who differentiates, by stopping when shooting and has a float jump. If that isn’t enough, complete the game and you can play as a duck.

7. The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures I&II Deluxe

Can an internet celebrity actually make a great game inspired by Mega Man? The quick answer is yes. Platform your way through levels while blasting them with your NES zapper or SNES super scope. Dispense angry justice in true Mega Man style.

Angry Nerd is the adult’s only version of the of the classic action platformer. You don’t just drop bombs in this game, you drop F bombs. Still it’s the run and gun play that will keep you coming back for more. Just keep this one away from the kids.

6. 20XX

20XX takes the formula and turns it on its head by adding rogue-lite elements. Developed by indie studio Batterystaple Games, 20XX’s lead character even strongly resembles Mega Man X. The game features randomly generated stages and permadeth, but allows for some progression by way of upgrades purchased with chips.

20XX actually started life as a Kickstarter by Chris King who believed that Capcom wasn’t making enough Mega Man games. If previous games weren’t tough enough for you, give this one a try. It has a sequel 30XX you can check out as well.

5. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2

Another Gunvolt game? Another Inti Creates game? These guys take the formula and continue to twist it and change it in interesting ways. A sequel to the first game in the series, this has the distinction of introducing Copen the Luminous Avenger. Copen would go on to star in his own offshoot series.

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is the sequel game that features the same lock on, and zap mechanic of games in the series. Refined gameplay and graphics over the first make the is superior. One neat feature, if you own the Shovel Knight Amiibo, you can unlock him as a boss character in the game on Switch.

4. Panzer Paladin

Released by the throwback wizards at Tribute Games, players take control of Flame and android who pilots a mech suit. Panzer Paladin borrows from Mega Man and Blaster Master. Flame is able to exit the mech suit Grit at any time and explore small areas.

In the tried and true fashion, each boss is selectable on a stage select screen. Tackling said bosses in the correct order will make life much easier. Tribute Games always makes top notch retro styled games and this one is not exception.

3. Cuphead

Another heavy hitter on our list from Studio MDHR, Cuphead wears its influence on its sleeve proudly. Cuphead has the brutal difficulty of a Mega Man game, and the same run and gun gameplay.

Cuphead’s graphic style is that of legend. Its 1940’s cartoon style simply must be seen to be believed. Don’t let its cartoon exterior fool you though, Cuphead will eat you for breakfast and smile. Only true hardcore players will see the real ending to this one.

2. Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is perhaps the most popular entry on this list. The shoveling one has spun off a whole franchise of games in its wake. Starring the armor clad hero who wields his mighty…shovel? Wicked platforming and boss best defeated in a certain order, this series owes a large debt to the Mega Man X series.

Defeating each boss adds a power to the titular character. Shovel Knight even features DLC where you can actually play through the whole game as a boss character. Yacht Club Games swung for the fences with this one, it’s a home run for sure.

1. Mighty Gunvolt Burst

Seriously, how many Gunvolt games are there? Fortunately, this is a great one. Mighty Gunvolt Burst features a chibi art style similar to the original Mega Man. In fact this is basically what a new game in the series would feel like. What really changes up the format here is the ability to customize your blaster to you liking.

It even features his Kickstarter knock-off Mighty No. 9’s Beck in a guest appearance. Unsurprisingly Inti Creates is behind this one too.

Is Berserk Boy the next great Mega Man inspired platformer?

Every game in this list owes a debt of gratitude to Mega Man. It speaks to the greatness of the original idea, that games are still using that same blueprint all these years later. Berserk Boy follows in those well worn footsteps, while trying to blaze a trail of its own. Will Berserk Boy earn his place next to the greats in the genre? We’ll find out when Berserk Boy is published by BerserkBoy Games and releases in 2023.

Andy Schneider

Lifelong SEGA fan ever since the Master System. Avid comic book reader and video gamer. Midwest born and raised. Yakuza, Jet Set Radio and Panzer Dragoon are some of my favorites.
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