I might very well be demodded or even banned for this, but it needed to be said.
I've never had much of a history with this series, to be honest. It's kind of a blind-spot in my otherwise thorough 8-bit childhood. I probably played Street Fighter 2010 ten times longer than I played all of the Mega Man games, combined. (And let me tell you, the year 2010 did NOT live up to my post-apocalyptic expectations.) So I have no nostalgia about the series, good or bad.
I was mostly introduced to the character through Mega Man Zero (and Battle Network) on the GBA, which I loved. Great stuff. Oft-recycled, but still great. Lots of abilities, a nice mobile character, good level design... yeah. And, unlike most others, I also enjoyed Mega Man: Network Transmission on the Gamecube. The random attacks put a weird, interesting spin on the gameplay.
I've also rented Mega Man X4 (pretty good!) and X7 (pretty shitty!). So I had a pretty good impression of the series, overall. When the Mega Man Collection came out, I thought, "What the hell! The reversed controls won't bother ME, since I have no preconceived notions!" No wait... I picked up the PS2 version for the extra music options. Nevertheless! I got a few levels into Mega Man 1 and my memory card died (and, with it, my desire to turn on the PS2).
So I picked up a PSP a little while ago (!) and started playing Mega Man Powered Up, a title that had always fascinated me, due to its inclusion of level editing and sharing, as well as several cool bonus extras, like being able to play as any boss character. I "powered" through the game over the course of 2 or 3 days of commuting, and...
In an alternate universe where this franchise never existed, if it were released today, I think it would be utterly savaged. I mean, the movement of the main character is SO LIMITED. He jumps like he has a load in his pants and he CAN'T EVEN DUCK. But the levels aren't designed around the limited controls. They seem to be designed to make you curse them even further! Enemies that fly above you, enemies that don't start attacking until you're right on top of them, enemies that spray bullets in all directions, enemies that are BELOW the range of your default weapon, such that you can't even shoot them without jumping from a lower level. I mean, hell, even Rolling Thunder had more mobility options, and that dude controlled like he had TWO loads in his pants!
And then Capcom makes you platform with those stiff, crappy controls. Not just normal platforming! Annoying, trial-and-error platforming, often with death as your reward for experimentation! Many of the jump distances leave almost no margin for error, and that Gutsman stage... I hate its fucking guts, man!
As a bonus, when you finally trial-and-error your way through the level, you have to spend your last couple of lives just figuring out which weapons are effective against the boss and praying that you've beaten that level already. (Bosses usually took at least a couple of tries to beat in the NES days, though.)
So, yeah. I'm exposing this franchise to the harsh light of the modern day. Mega Man is a kusoge.
I haven't played Powered Up, no (though there is something extra on the Anniversary Collection?). And I've learned to NOT play games that you suggest because you don't play anything that anyone else suggests, boo! 1 is pooppants, move onto 2. As a kid, I was actually SURPRISED to find out about Mega Man as Mega Man 2 was the first in the series that I played.
It is better in EVERY regard.
And the people who DIDN'T fall in love with Mega Man because of 2 did so because of 3. Not (1).
It seemed like Mega Man Universe was going to be their level-sharing game for the other platforms, but we all know what happened to that one. More accurately, NONE of us know what happened to that one.
I never played much Mega Man either. But I refuse to comment further until you explain wtf a kusoge is. You mean one of those flowers you give to a girl at the prom? I might be able to get behind that.
What didn't you like about Network Transmission, specifically?
I felt the game ran really sluggishly. Mega Man had no pep in his step, and starting off being only able to shoot ONE shot at a time was super-lame. I seem to remember the controls being laggy too, but it's been a long time since I've played the game so that may not be accurate. The graphics seemed pretty garish as well, which was a turn-off for me. At least during gameplay...when the camera zoomed in during a cutscene or something, the cel-shaded graphics looked a lot better. (though still not great) The music was totally forgettable too, which is just unacceptable for a Mega Man game.
And yeah, the random distribution of weapons didn't jive with me. I remember there was one specific weapon you NEEDED in order to finish the final boss, and I had to die/restart three different times because that specific weapon wasn't randomly given to me before the final battle. That's just dumb game design, IMO.
Yeah, he got upgrades, and by the end game he *almost* played like he was Mega Man. But not quite. And hey, I quantified what I didn't like about the game! Though I did push through it and finished it, because I'm not gonna let a Mega Man game go unbeaten.
You do have strange taste in games though, dood. I bet you liked games like Gotcha Force or something. P.N.03? Kirby Air Ride?