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Mega Man X (SNES) artwork

Mega Man X (SNES) review

"Become the Ultimate Maverick Hunter"

I have to say I've been a very big Mega Man fan ever since the NES days with Mega Man I, II, and many others. I had been playing Mega Man games then and still play Mega Man games now and it's really sad that the blue bomber doesn't get the same treatment he did nowadays like he use to in the old days. Mega Man X for the Super NES was one of the most enjoyable memories of my childhood.

Like the Mega Man games before this, the visual style of this 16-Bit classic featured robotic theme in a setting when robots exist to help humanity. Every stages and environment had its own unique element of style to which Mega Man X could venture, explore, and upgrade. There's sea stage, air stage, factory stage, industrial stage, city stage, and many others. The tutorial stage seem to be the most memorable one to me as it's the one that will introduced me to all the elements of gameplay and obstacles yet to come. I love how each boss character are now represented as creature rather than another duplicate robot (you now know them as Storm Eagle or Chill Penguin instead of names like Guts Man or Freeze Man). I also love the new memorable boss intro before a stage start, seeing the ghost of Dr. Light before getting an upgrade is also heartwarming. The stages themselves are both very engaging and challenging, most of them are either side-scrolling or wall climbing stage which give the player a different variety of way they would explore each stage plus each one had multiple sections with hidden areas filled with multiple secrets. I had to say Capcom did a stunning job with the visual treatment for this game.

The musical score here is breathtaking, each stage is filled with rock solid metal awesomeness. Just check out all the themes for Storm Eagle, Chill Penguin, Spark Mandrill and so on, they will blow your ears with tons of kickass tunes that will linger on you for hours. Though there are no voiceover aside from “hadoken!” and a few grunts and slither from bosses like Flame Mammoth and Sting Chameleon. You do still get all those classic NES style sounds and beats when jumping and shooting. Also X dissolves into nothingness when he dies just like the original Mega Man complete with the bubbly life force energy coming out so the game still feels much like the original series.

With more buttons and precision this time around, Mega Man X introduced a greater sense of control for the player. For one, players can now wall jump to prevent accidental pit death, as the game progresses further, X will learn the ability to dash which could be done using a button press or by pressing forward twice on the d-pad. This process allows players to easily manoeuvre a super jump to help them with those vertical wall scroll stages like Sting Chameleon and Boomer Kuwanger's stage.

X also had a unique power charge he can use to destroy baddies, by just pressing Y, he can shoot his buster with the regular energy orb but by holding the buster for quite a while he can charge for a more damaging shot. Depending on the upgrade, X can shoot a stage 1 energy beam which can stun an enemy, a stage 2 energy beam which is larger and deals more damage or a stage 3 energy beam which can deal a big amount of damage and sometime even instant kill an enemy. X can also charge up other power-ups for some unique special effects - for example, charging up Sting Chameleon's power-up and releasing it will temporarily turn X invincible for a while and charging up Armor Armadillo's power-up and releasing it will create an energy shield that will completely block any incoming energy blast and destroy smaller enemies with ease. Not only that but players can use the shoulder buttons to easily toggle between the modes of power-ups to which X can use after defeating each boss.

The one great aspect of the gameplay here though isn't just the control but the game itself, each boss had a particular element of itself as well as a certain weakness. For example, Spark Mandrill's weakness is ice. Use the Ice Beam from Chill Penguin on him and you have no problem. Armored Armadillo giving you a hard time? Use the Spark power-up from Spark Mandrill on him to destroy his armor and you'll kick his ass in no time. All bosses can be defeated with just the buster as the player could choose which one boss stage they want to start with but it's up to you to find the correct strategy to beat them. The most clever thing Capcom did with this game is that by finding the weakness of each particular boss, a veteran player could easily beat the entire game with no problem and also by clearing a particular stage, that stage also effects the other stage. For example, by clearing Chill Penguin's stage, the ice in that stage will spread and freeze the lava in Flame Mammoth's level making that stage much easier to progress. Or, by clearing Storm Eagle's stage, his airplane will drop and crash on the site of Spark Mandrill's stage, corrupting the electrical circuits which make that stage much less hazardous to challenge.

All in all, the gameplay is solid as you not only just run and shoot but you are actually doing that and much more throughout each massive stage. You can spend your sweet time exploring every nook and cranny of each stage, finding hidden health containers, energy tanks, and power upgrades.

This game had a ton to offer, not only does it challenge you but you can begin your journey any way you want and find the path most comfortable to you. There are health containers, energy tanks, and power upgrades hidden almost everywhere in each stage as well as mini-boss battle and a special secret weapon which, with patience, you can unlock as well. Though there is no save functionality, players are given a password feature so to continue their journey. Though there are no unlockable features in the game (aside from hadoken!), the game itself is already a massive treat of goodness that you probably want to play again and again just for the fun of it.

If you happen to stumble across this game or even a remake of this game or a collection that somehow include this game, play it! No questions ask. The unique level design of each stage is challenging and rewarding, the bosses are unique in their own ways and have their own strategies and weaknesses. The control and gameplay are simple to use and fun to master, the visuals and character designs of every piece of animations and environments here are pure 16-Bit goodness. The music is fantastic, and the story that leads to the finale of the game is just phenomenal.


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Community review by leeko_link (September 11, 2015)

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