Review by Exodist
"Meet X, whose arm can suddenly turn into a gun whenever he wants to blast robots."
Why the hell he is called Mega Man X I don't know. But I know one thing for sure, he is basically Mega Man, but with X added on the end. Well, he has to be like Mega Man really. Anyways, Mega Man X is the first in a series spanning currently 8 games, and one slight spin off, Mega Man X: Command Mission. MMX is basically normal Mega Man from the NES. Its your classic platformer, start on the left, run to the right killing things. With many guns, not by stomping on their heads. This isn't your average platformer though, its a bit better then that. Not as good as Super Mario World mind you. But still good.
So yeah. You get a gun. On your arm. It replaces your hand for the duration of your shooting, then suddenly turns back. How cool is that? You can fire a couple of shots at a time, they just scroll across the screen. You can only shoot the direction your facing, you can't shoot up or down or anything like that. Only left and right. This means that just about every enemy will take more then 1 hit. And to be honest, it can get a bit annoying. Your just standing there, tapping the fire button waiting for this robot to blow up, its not until later you can do it faster! This adds a bit more enjoyment to the game though, you don't have to go near the enemy to kill it, although most enemies will just go straight for you. Whenever you beat a boss, you get a new weapon, you can use it to defeat another boss super fast, by dealing more damage with it. They have ammo though, so you need to conserve your ammo for them. Other weapons include boomerang like guns, ice guns, fire guns, missile guns, electric guns, there is a lot of guns. This adds slightly more strategy to the game instead of just blasting the hell out of everything you see. This makes the game a bit more better.
So yeah. You can jump. Not very good, but you can do some more tricks. Combined with the dash, you can super jump, which just makes you go a longer distance, but takes the piss executing sometimes (well, I have trouble). If you see a wall, you can slide down it. And wall jump. Yes, wall jumping is in the game, and you can do it for as many times as you like. So say there is a large tower, wall jump up it! Wall jumping is necessary to complete the game, and fortunately its not very hard to do (remember the first time on Super Mario 64, it took me ages to perform a wall jump properly). This can save your life a lot, for example, if you fall down a pit, try to get onto the wall and get back up. The levels are designed in such a way, that you can't just skip most of the level using this. So for any one getting any ideas, don't try it. Jumping is just more or less average, and is in every platformer, literally. Other wise it wouldn't be a very good platformer. But the wall jumping adds something more to the game. I don't see Mario wall jumping in Super Mario World! Wall jumping is great, and makes the game slightly more better.
At least the platforming is right. So how many levels are there? Not many actually. About 15 or so, I can't be bothered to count them all. Hang on, about 13 or so. You HAVE to complete the first one, no matter what. Well, you have to complete all the levels. But once you finish the first level, your given a small grid. With 8 Mavericks (basically bad robots) faces there. You can select which one to fight. You do the level, at the end, you fight a boss. And trust me, the bosses are hard. Especially the first one you fight (after the first level). Once you beat a boss, you obtain a new weapon, in which another maverick will be weak too. Use this weapon against them will make the boss battle a lot easier. So your best bet is to fight the enemies that you have their weakness for. Once you defeat all 8 Mavericks, you get the last stage. Well, kind of. Once you enter, you do a small platforming part, then fight a boss, most of them the mavericks you just beat! Complete a couple of these mini stages, and you get to the last one, and fight the last boss. Its different from other SNES platformers, but its a bit similar to the original Mega Man games on the NES.
Along the way though, you can collect more then new weapons. Sub Tanks (which heal you) and heart upgrades can be found (the latter increasing your total health) and can be really useful when fighting bosses. You can also find hidden upgrades. These will give you the dash ability, upgrade your helmet or armour and such other things. The best thing to do is to collect them all once you have beaten all the mavericks, because you can re enter the stages. This makes the game last slightly longer, thats if you want to find them all. There isn't really anything else on a level after that though, unless you like the level, once you have all the upgrades, you don't have a reason to go back.
Now for some bad things. First off, we still have passwords. Which is very annoying, some times I just can't be bothered to write the passwords down! The password is 3 rows long, containing 4 numbers for each row, from 1 to 8. So you have to write down 12 numbers, and in the proper order as well! Then you have to make sure you don't lose the password containing paper or whatever you wrote it down on, then it takes ages putting it in. I would have been perfectly fine with a saving system, which was very possible. Also, when you reload, you don't have all your lives still and such, but at least you can only carry 9 lives, meaning you don't waste hours collecting lives then turn the game off to lose them all. Still, it would of been better with a save system.
Another bad thing is the levels. They are designed decently, but they are unoriginal, and can get boring. They usually involve the same thing, go right and kill all the enemies, beat boss, move onto the next level. Plus none of them are exactly unique, and having some little carts that you step onto to make them start moving, or those robots suits don't exactly help making them better. Still, at least the environments are different, your never in the same looking place, apart from maybe at the end. Still, better level design is needed.
Now here is another thing. The difficulty. This game is hard. Very hard at times. The first boss battle can take ages to do, because you don't have any good weapons, just your X-Buster. After this, the bosses do get easier. The only problem is though, you don't really get many life restoring items, you rarely get them from defeating enemies and you don't get your life restored for beating a boss. This can be annoying, especially later on in that Spider Boss battle. Apart from the fact it takes ages, you get hit a lot and you most probably will fight it with barely any health left! Still, its not impossible, and the last battle isn't the hardest thing ever. If there was a difficulty choice, it would help more people enjoy and complete the game.
So what is Mega Man X about? Well, X, the new mega man, has been created. He has his own feelings and can make his own choices, as long as he doesn't harm a human being. Contained for 30 years, he seems loyal enough. He joins an army, trying to defeat Sigma, Zero is the leader of this army. Now, you just go around defeating Sigmas army, until eventually you go to fight him. The story doesn't matter that much, and there isn't any twists or un surprising things, something does happen right near the end but it was bound to happen. But yeah, its a time when robots are every where. You quite literally see 1 person in the whole game!
Mega Man X isn't very long. You don't get many levels, and perhaps there could of been more upgrades and maybe even secret weapons to collect. It takes about 10 or so hours to beat the game, depends on if you collect all the upgrades. Replay value is very small. If you do everything in the game, there isn't really much point coming back, completing the game doesn't do anything, apart from the fact that you managed to beat it. Still, the difficulty will make it last a little longer, but it all depends on your skill. Most bosses just take the knowing of their attacks, know how they attack, and you will beat them eventually with ease. Levels aren't very hard either, so there isn't much stuff to slow you down. About 10 hours is right for this game.
So what about the graphics? Well, they aren't cartoony or anything, pretty serious in fact. They are detailed, the robots look like robots, and not just a block o' metal. Although everything does look like a couple of pixels, but its the SNES, can't really blame it for that. Character models, great. How about the levels themselves? Well, they are more or less of the same quality of character models. Not just one whole colour, but a couple of them, mainly just long rows of colours. The levels do look very nice, so overall, the graphics are great!
Sound. Well, the music is pretty good. The quality is mainly the same as any other SNES game, not too loud, not too quiet, get the right volume and you never have to change it. You get music for the levels, and bosses, which are all the same. But the level music is always different. Music is never boring, and is sometimes very happy music, almost childish (like the password screen) to serious music, mainly with electric guitars (or most probably something along the lines of that). The sound effects are simple, but are put to use well. You get nice exploding sounds, bullet sounds, and most other sound effects are decent. Two thumbs up for the sound!
Overall, Mega Man X is a great game. Lacking in the levels department, the difficulty and the fact it uses passwords, the rest is all very good. Graphics and music are great, its fun to play, and isn't that boring. Mega Man X is an above average platformer, and is worth your attention if your getting tired of Mario platformers. This game rightly deserves an 8 in my opinion, some things save it from a 7, but I don't feel its that good to earn itself a 9. Still, 8 is a pretty decent score, so if you have no other platformers on your SNES, this is great!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/06
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