Review by DragonShadow
"It doesn't pander to players who are used to the easiness of recent releases."
Throughout Megaman's life, the graphics for any given system have stayed with one look. The NES had its version, the SNES had its version, and the Playstation has its version. It's just as good as the graphics of X4 and X5, no better and no worse. The graphics won't improve until the PS2 X7 comes out. Still, the graphics aren't bad really. Though a lot is taken from previous games as-per Megaman tradition. The cutscenes are, in keeping with X5, still photos with text (and this time, Japanese speech). The pictures are sharp and generally look like stills from an anime, but there's just something not quite as appealing about them as there was about X4's anime style cutscenes. In general it does seem Megaman games aren't being spent as much time with by the creators as they once were. But with the opening price-tag of only 30 dollars, you get what you pay for.
The same sound effects have again been used from the previous PS X games, but this time the music fits generally well. The voice acting is of course done in Japanese, so there's no way for a non-Japanese speaking person to rate how well the voice acting is done. It should be noted however that keeping the Japanese voices was probably in response to criticism of X5 where people said the cinema’s were too long with just pictures to entertain us and would be better with voices. Well here are the voices, take them or leave them.
Harkening back to classic Megaman roots, don't expect to be pandered to in this game. It's hard, real hard, so hard that many have called the difficulty a fault in the game. To classic Megaman fans however, who played for six hours straight, dying only to try, try again to finally beat Megaman or Megaman 2 will find that same rewarding experience here. It just might be safe to call it the hardest Megaman game since Megaman 2 actually, perhaps even harder. The control is of course identical to Megaman X4 and X5, which is good and bad. In the jump to PlayStation the controls became looser and less precise than the SNES games were. Before now though the controls were usually easy to overcome due to the ease with which you could beat the other games. In this one though it gets a little more frustrating, but with a bit of practice it's not hard to readjust to the imprecision. The ability to duck (Brought over from X5) and X's ability to use Zero's saber add a bit more to the overall game. Close up enemies are easier to take with a saber slash then with a buster blast. The bosses all have their own patterns as-per Megaman tradition, and none pose a serious threat. It's GETTING to them that's the trick.
As I said before, the controls are looser and less precise than you really need to breeze through this game. Still, it's not overly difficult to readjust to the games timing and play like you would any other game. Some complain about the controls, but I've had little trouble with them. Actually I think they're every bit as efficient as X4, X5, or even Megaman 1. X jumps, triangle uses the saber (Or a special weapon if one is selected), square fires, circle dashes, L1 and R1 cycle through weapons and R2 uses giga attacks. That's it, what's so bloody complicated about that? Is it THAT hard to press X and Triangle at the same time to do an airborn saber slash? Well anyway, efficient controls if you have the manual dexterity to use them effectively (Which most classic Megaman fans should)
The ''Hidden hunter'' (Whose identity is all-but spoiled in the friggen instruction booklet) is a nice ''surprise'' (if you can call it that) that people can find with surprising ease really. Also you can save reploids in the stages for secret equipment and powerups that can sometimes come in really handy. But you have to get to them before the enemies do, or their bonuses will be lost. The biggest feature of course, is the nightmare system. What this does is adds different effects to some levels, and much of the games difficulty stems from these effects. From raining fireballs down while you're trying to avoid falling blocks of ice to completely restricting your field of vision to a spotlight-esque area, this system can be vicious. Some have bitched that they're ridiculous and make no sense, but they're called ''Nightmare effects'' for a reason! Do nightmares make sense? No? Glad we agree. Also in the mix are the two different kinds of armors for Megaman to find. I do agree though that it seems you can't get past the last few levels without the armors (Unless maybe you have the ''hidden hunter'' but even that's iffy)
The biggest evidence that the game was made quickly on a small budget and put out specifically because of demand. The storyline, if you can follow it, is generally pretty good, but the translation is downright terrible. As an aspiring author, I picked this games script to pieces on the first play through. It's full of grammar mistakes, typos and whatnot that clearly demonstrate that they didn't bother having it proofread before rushing it out the door. The story though, again, is generally okay. A robotic scientist finds Zero's infected power core from the wreckage of the shuttle from X5 and becomes infected with the virus, spawning a new kind of virus. The Sigma Virus from X5 is being cleaned up by the Maverick Hunters, but this new virus, dubbed the Zero Virus has been spotted and is apparently causing this nightmare effect in reploids (Kinda like hallucinations I think). So they send eight ''investigators'' to the scenes. X doesn't trust them however, so he follows them and realizes they're not who they say they are. The terrible translation mucks up much of the story, but this is the general vibe I got from it. If anyone knows better, feel free to correct me.
The Megaman X series is still in production strictly because of the demands of fans everywhere, and it shows in the somewhat sloppy presentation. Still, the game has all the gameplay and challenges a true Megaman fan could ever hope for, which is the heart of the game. Be prepared for A LOT of work though, this game doesn't pander to anybody so if you can't take the heat, stay away from the fireball.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/09/02, Updated 08/09/02
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