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Mega Man X5 (PlayStation) artwork

Mega Man X5 (PlayStation) review

"Parts of certain levels are a real pain... It took me a dozen tries to get through some areas, but I always managed to find a way of proceeding. It just takes a bit of trial and error sometimes, and that's been a given ever since the first MegaMan game..."

In 1993, Capcom introduced a spinoff of its popular MegaMan videogame series, called MegaMan X. MegaMan X took place a hundred years in the future of the MegaMan world, after the murder of Dr. Light and the destruction of MegaMan by Dr. Wily's ultimate creation. Players took control of X, a new prototype MegaMan that had been built and placed in stasis by Dr. Light just prior to his death.

This darker-themed version of MegaMan became popular enough to justify creating numerous sequels, and now I've got my hands on one of the latest of them, MegaMan X 5. Let's take a look-see at how this game measures up. As usual, I'm going to get my griping and bitching out of the way before getting into the positive stuff.

One problem with this game is that it's pretty easy, and not all that long. I had gotten to the final Sigma stage in just a few hours' time, and I found myself wishing for more. That isn't to say that this game is without its challenges, but veterans of other MegaMan games will note that it's a lot less difficult than previous ones.

Another thing is the game's weak premise. The bad guys are dropping a big space colony on Earth and you have to run around trying to find parts to fix a couple of devices that may or may not stop it from crashing into the planet. Coincidentally, the only way to get these parts is to defeat the Mavericks guarding them. Okay, then... Capcom cranks out so many MegaMan games, finding storylines for them all has got to be getting rather difficult, and it shows here.

And much to my dismay, the game doesn't have the kick-ass anime-style cinema scenes that MegaMan X 4 did (on the plus side of that however, we don't have to snicker every time we hear X's voice...).

Now onto the good stuff.

First thing you'll notice that's nice is a difficulty level selection. If the game's too hard for you (unlikely, in any event), you can turn it down a notch and even slow the speed of the game down so you'll have more time to react. Or if it's just too easy for you you can increase the difficulty and speed things up.

Also a nice feature in this one is the ability to choose either X or Zero at the start of every stage. In some areas it's better to use one rather than the other, so you'll want to choose your character carefully. Also, which character you start the game with will affect the progression of the storyline slightly (not to mention that if you start with X, you'll have one of the better extra armors from MegaMan X 4 to use throughout the game).

The graphics in this game are nice, as well. Some very good visuals, for a 2-D platformer. And they're always nice and crisp. The character sprites look just wonderful too, even on my tiny little PSone screen.

Good music is always a plus in videogames, and X 5's music is absolutely perfect (according to my rock-ish tastes at any rate). If you don't like lots of electric guitar and drums, then you should turn the volume down and put on something a little more mellow, like some Barry Manilow. Otherwise, crank it up!

I find that the controls are set up quite nicely for my particular preference, but if you don't like them for whatever reason, there's, as usual in MegaMan games, a button configuration option. Always a good thing to have if you have difficulty say, dashing and jumping at the same time.

This game has some innovative level layouts, as well. Parts of certain levels are a real pain, but ultimately doable. It took me a dozen tries to get through some areas, but I always managed to find a way of proceeding. It just takes a bit of trial and error sometimes, and that's been a given ever since the first MegaMan game.

It may be a bit easier than some of you are used to, but the classic MegaMan gameplay is there, and just as fun as it ever was. Even if you're not a big fan of the series, you should definitely pick this one up. It's a blast while it lasts (forgive the rhyme...).

kieran's avatar
Staff review by Kieran Greyloch (Date unavailable)

Kieran Greyloch is an automotive technology student who enjoys wasting every moment of his spare time playing videogames and tabletop RPGs.

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