Capcom and Udon are rolling out not one but two different updates of previous releases. The Mega Man Robot Master Field Guide, originally released in 2012, and the Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia, published back in 2010, get an Updated Edition and Arcade Edition respectively. Are there any major differences between the two updates? Well, not really, but the new additions are welcome.
Mega Man Robot Master Field Guide Updated Edition Artbook (Hardcover)
Known as Rockman in Japan, Mega Man is the titular protagonist of one of Capcom’s most cherished franchises. The original series sees Mega Man fight and defeat numerous robotic opponents known as the Robot Masters, gaining their abilities as he does so. There are now 11 numbered Mega Man games in the original series and several offshoots and spinoffs, each featuring at least eight Robot Masters. The Robot Master Field Guide sets out to act as the be-all, end-all guide to these super fighting robots.
Visually, not much has changed in the Field Guide’s expansion. The layout and color-scheme, based on the 8-bit menus of the series’ earliest installments, is nostalgic and polished, but still admittedly hard on the eyes. The official artwork of the Robot Masters are classics, but aside from cutout sprites, there are no in-game visuals of the bosses in action, a design choice that was added to the later Mega Man series artbooks. On top of that, the hand-drawn character art simply doesn’t create a cohesive atmosphere when combined with the old-school backdrops, and the result that is more than a little migraine inducing. Still, the guide is thorough, with the update now providing info for all of the baddies found throughout Mega Man 11.
Each Robot Master receives a healthy biography, which are each typically two paragraphs long. The information provides the history, backstory, and personalities of every Robot Master, so fans of the series’ lore will surely be pleased. I’m not entirely sure where this information came from (it certainly didn’t originate in games of my childhood), but I had fun reading through the text anyway. If you have the previous version, the text appears to be unchanged for the previous roster entrants.
If you like Mega Man and haven’t picked up the Robot Master Field Guide before, you will find the content matches its description. As for those that purchased the previous version, the Updated Edition is best left for only the most hardcore aficionados.
Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia Arcade Edition (Hardcover)
The changes present in The Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia Arcade Edition are more noticeable and impactful than The Blue Bomber’s. For one, there’s more content with which to work as Street Fighter V, the latest major installment in the long-running fighting franchise, and its multiple updates launched in the years following the initial publication of the World Warrior Encyclopedia. From Abigail to Zeku, the fighters not found in the previous games’ playable roster are all present.
The characters, organized alphabetically, are given portraits, basic identification information, and even a cool in-game sprite. The pugilists are each given story descriptions as well. While they may not be as detailed as the ones found on wikis scattered across the internet, the information provided is concise and relevant.
As a fan of Udon’s art, I was happy to see so many of my favorite character pieces included within the handbook. On the flip side, I was disappointed that, outside of character sprites, no official game artwork was included. Being an Udon release, maybe it is unreasonable of me to expect otherwise, but the omission of classic portraits and designs leaves the handbook feeling incomplete.
Udon does go above and beyond with an additional section at the end of the guide which provides descriptions of the non-playable cast. Not a single supporting character appears to have been missed, and although most of these characters are not what one would call iconic, they are interesting enough in their own right. The non-playable character bios may be relegated to a single portrait and paragraph, but the added content is solid bonus.
For those who have yet to purchase either version of the encyclopedia, it’s an imperfect but solid release. For fans who already own the standard edition, the tight presentation and strong updates make a compelling argument to consider updating their World Warrior Encyclopedia.
Mega Man: Robot Master Field Guide Updated Edition features art by Capcom and story by David Oxford and Nadia Oxford.
Updated with new profiles and information from Mega Man 11! The MEGA MAN: ROBOT MASTER FIELD GUIDE is your ultimate handbook to the classic Mega Man universe. Inside you’ll find profiles of every major Mega Man character, including all the Robot Masters, plus profiles for other important robots like Proto Man, Rush, Roll, Bass, Duo, and more. Each profile features classic CAPCOM artwork, and includes quotes, weapons info, and of course each Robot Master’s secret weakness!
Enter the world of Street Fighter, where fighters of every size, shape, and color collide in a global battle for supremacy. Combatants fight for reasons as diverse as their nationalities, each with their own unique moves and fighting style. Now you can learn the whole story behind the world's greatest fighters in the Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia!
Inside you will find detailed profiles of every Street Fighter character, including their origins, allies, enemies, fighting styles, and more! Each profile is accompanied by pulse-pounding artwork by UDON’s top artists. This new edition is updated to include the cast and lore of Street Fighter V!