Review by Sour DieseL
"The Next Generation of Mega Man"
While Mega Man was a very popular franchise, many felt that the series had grown old and worn out. Capcom knew they could still make the franchise work if they made some tweaks here and there. They decided to produce a sequel series to the classic Mega Man we all know and love, and it would come to be known as Mega Man X. Mega Man X sparked interest in that the characters had more depth, the story was darker, and it added some fun new gameplay elements. Mega Man X would prove to be just as popular as it's predecessors and a worthy successor to the blue bomber.
Story: 10/10: The game opens up with a warning message, stating the the author of the message has designed a new type of robot. This robot is capable of thinking for itself and feeling emotions, not being programmed for a specific purpose. As such, the general rules of robotics are thrown out of the window because of this free will. This robot is named "Mega Man X" and has been sealed away in a capsule for 30 years to test X's intentions and emotions. Unfortunately, the creator would not live long enough to see this testing through. The message ends, being signed by Dr. Thomas Light, creator of the original Mega Man. Some years later, a man by the name of Dr. Cain happens across the capsule and releases Mega Man X. Dr. Cain is astounded with X, and seek to replicate Dr. Light's work. He successfully does so, and deems these free-thinking robots as "Reploids". Shortly thereafter, some reploids begin going on a rampage and destroying everything in sight. These are deemed "Mavericks" and a team of reploids are brought together to create the Maverick Hunters. Their leader, Sigma, eventually goes Maverick himself. He doesn't seem as mindless as the rest, and believes that reploids are superior to humans, and it's time for humans to be exterminated. Mega Man X has worked his way up the ranks in the Maverick Hunters and he and his best friend Zero set out to stop Sigma's reign of destruction.
Gameplay: 10/10: Mega Man X plays much like it's classic predecessors. Since Mega Man 7, they've decided to keep the intro stage idea to give new players a stable footing before they get into the game. Mega Man X has a much lower life bar than his ancestor, and throughout the game, must pick up what are known as Heart Tanks to increase the maximum capacity of his health. He can also pick up what are known as "Sub-Tanks", which can hold spare energy to be used like Mega Man's energy tanks, and there are four of them. They don't come pre-filled however, and are slowly filled up once X has full health and picks up more health that are dropped from enemies. In addition to all of this, X can pick up upgrades for his armor. These upgrades include the ability to dash by double-tapping forward or pressing the A button, better armor to decrease damage, a more powerful charged shot for the X-Buster, and the ability to headbutt certain breakable bricks. X has another new ability which allows him to cling to walls, which can be a lifesaver if you're on the verge of falling down a bottomless pit, and can help get around obstacles better. Other than this, the game follows the classic Mega Man formula. You start off on a stage selection screen with mugshots of each boss. The bosses now resemble animals, such as Chill Penguin and Storm Eagle, opposed to the classic series where all the bosses were humanoid in appearance. Upon defeating all of the bosses, you progress to the final stages of the game to seek out and destroy the leader of the Mavericks, Sigma. The passwords given to you after each level make no difference in these final stages, and must all be completed in succession. Putting in a password after beating one of the stages will still make you start at the first Sigma Stage.
Music: 10/10: Once again, the Mega Man franchise to deliver great tunes. The songs in this game are fairly dark and yet at the same time are able to get the player pumped. They're awfully atmospheric for the stages and help set the mood. The Mega Man franchise has long been known for it's great music and Mega Man X lives up to the expectations set by it's predecessors. It's both fresh and feels just right for the game. This wouldn't be the last time the franchise produced great music either. Mega Man X sounds noticeably different than the older games, but there's nothing wrong with that at all. It fits the atmosphere and the ever-present theme of change in the series.
Graphics: 10/10: Thankfully, the graphics designers did a much better job with this game than they did with Mega Man 7. Mega Man 7's graphics just did everything wrong. Mega Man X has superior graphics in that it looks smooth without crowding the screen with over-sized sprites. I'm not sure why they couldn't get this right with Mega Man 7, but at least they got it right this time. The designers would continue to use this formula for the rest of the Mega Man X series, thankfully, and tossed away what was wrong with Mega Man 7.
Overall: 10/10: Mega Man X is the spiritual successor to the classic Mega Man franchise and everything feels just right. The game offers some new gameplay, all of which would become staples of the Mega Man X series, such as collecting heart tanks, Sub-Tanks, and armor parts. It's one of the greatest games in the series and one of the greatest on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It's most assuredly worth the buy if you're a Mega Man veteran and still don't own this game yet. In which case, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pick up a cheap, used copy today!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/19/10
Game Release: Mega Man X (US, 01/31/94)
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