Review by neothe0ne

"X goes to the Game Boy with a big bang"

Auto-charge and rapid fire options
Sound test which acts like a soundtrack
Checkpoints are saved even when game is turned off
X has a whole lot of animations for a Game Boy game

Music isn't as complete as the originals
Story is lame, stupid, and even gets in the way
Too many text-filled cutscenes
Graphics aren't very good
Charging doesn't carry through cutscenes, boss entrances, gates, ect.

Mega Man X and Mega Man X2 must be two of the greatest classics of the Super Nintendo. The great gameplay, intense action, and impressive soundtracks created a legendary series with an incredible number of players. Capcom took a lot of X1, a bit of X2, a new story, and mixed them together. What was the end result?

When you start the game, X can't remember too much. The opening stage is an exact copy of X1's, with a little dialogue added. It's interesting to note that Capcom didn't translate Vava to Vile in this game. Yes, Vile was originally Vava in Rock Man X, and now, you can (and need to) defeat him in the opening stage. Now, you learn that somebody (a robot named Techno) hacked into the Mother Computer and has been bringing Reploids and Mavericks back from the past. A smart little guy named Middy brought X back, and Zero's already been here. (Does this mean that X dies and doesn't get rebuilt, and Zero has lived forever and never died? Funny, how Zero gets rebuilt every other game but X is left to rot...) You fight four bosses, then proceed to the final stages. (To fight 8 bosses as normal, you have to play the game on hard or xtreme mode.) Nothing revolutionarily new there.

The graphics are mostly mediocre, even for the Game Boy Color. The cutscenes you see first are pretty good. The characters look right and have several colors. However, in reality (during gameplay), the characters seem to only have two colors for their sprites, white/yellow and another color. The backgrounds are generally one solid color, but some of them have mountains and other features that use probably 5 colors for the background, with bushes, posts, or whatever with 2 colors in front. So, in total, there are probably at most 15 colors on the screen at once..? I think Capcom could have done better. Mega Man Xtreme wasn't designed to be a Game Boy Color-only game, so you CAN play it on the original Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, and SUper GB, but the game suffers from mixed-greys and blacks, lacking contrast, that make it hard to see and slowdowns. Also, when you get Dr. Light enhancements, they don't show up until you get the complete set. You can check what enhancements you have in a page in the Select menu, though.

The music in Mega Man Xtreme is pretty good for a Game Boy game. Most of the music, except the Title theme, were taken directly from the SNES originals, and lowered down in quality and layers. The music is still awesome, but many drum beats, guitar riffs, harmonic parts, and other things are missing in the music, which makes it sound incomplete. You have to consider that this IS the Game Boy. The opening stage, most of the final stages, ending theme, boss intros, and victory theme are all from X1. The only X2 music occurs in the four X2 stages, and one from a final stage. The sound effects are okay, but X's explosion doesn't sound like an explosion at all, and the charging noise is fast and a little off.

The controls of Mega Man Xtreme are good, but can be awkward. Because there are only four buttons, one is jump, one is fire, one is pause, and the other is defaultly unused. If you hold down and jump, you dash. (This is just like how you slide in the original Mega Man games.) If you go to options, you can switch to the setting that also uses the Start button as dash. This is more than a little awkward, so you're better off tapping the D-pad twice or holding down and pressing jump.

The gameplay of Mega Man Xtreme all depends on whether or not you can adjust to playing your great classic on a Game Boy. There are 3 slots for you to save your game in, and there are no passwords. In the stages, there are several Auto Save columns that act like checkpoints. These are apparently the same as the spawn locations in the originals, but you can load your current continue point if your game is turned off and turned back on. Charging your X-buster through cutscenes, gates, boss entrances, and scripted changes doesn't work. You lose your charge. This has a big effect on gameplay, since you can't charge up before a boss battle actually starts. X tends to take more damage than in the originals in this game, so the difficulty and challenge is slightly higher than before. However, if you get used to the fact that you're playing on a Game Boy and not the SNES, the game can be a lot easier than the originals. Plus, after you beat the game once, you can play Hard and Xtreme modes, and test your skill there.

Mega Man X has been one of the most successful platform series ever made, and integrating him from the SNES onto a modern handheld is a smart move for Capcom. Mega Man Xtreme has a lot to offer, and also has a lot of potential. I can't wait for the sequel.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/05/05

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