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Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom
Release Date: Dec. 17, 1987
Why this game mattered: Mega Man was the start of established gaming companies taking home-entertainment systems seriously. This was the first game Capcom made specifically for a home console, where previously it had been only an arcade manufacturer. Mega Man is also widely considered the start of side-quest gaming, thanks to its non-linear platform design. While it didn't sell particularly well, this game is widely seen as a turning point in how we consumed games in the '80s.
Fun fact: The original gameplay mechanics for Mega Man were inspired by Rock, Paper, Scissors. Each set of powers had a strength and weakness, encouraging the player to think about which tools to bring into battle.
Future games influenced by this title: If you've played a non-linear action platformer with a level select option, it was likely influenced by Mega Man. Ever played Doom? Castlevania: Symphony of the Night? Mighty No. 9? The list goes on.
Where you can play it today: The Mega Man Legacy Collection, including the original Mega Man, is available on Steam.
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