Genre: Platformer | Players: 1 | Developer: Capcom
Though they are related, the classic and X series are relatively distinct entities. X did not take up the torch, wholesale. Mega Man 7 saw release after this game, and eventually there was an 8, 9, and 10. The defining differences are as follows:
- The Mavericks, while still essentially Robot Masters, are animal-themed.
- X can wall-jump straight up singular walls.
- X can find Dr. Light capsules to power-up his legs, armor, helmet, and X-Buster.
- X’s soundtrack is all screechy guitars and synths.
- Each entry attempts to shoe-horn in more and more story.
- Heavy emphasis on a new character, as the series progresses.
There’s an (ego-driven) reason that Zero is doted on, but that doesn’t mean it was done well, or was justified. It wasn’t. In fact, in a later entry, there exists a situation that clearly demonstrates that they were no longer bothering to play-test the games fully, FOR THE TITULAR CHARACTER. Zero is over-powered and there’s no weakness present in him to balance it out, as with Proto Man. How I love thee, my dear, sweet Proto Man 😍
If you’ve read almost any of my reviews here, or on the other Nut Blogs, you know that, in general, I play games for story. I play them for characters. There are times where skill is the primary focus, however, and the classic and Mega Man X series are two of those times, for me. If I found the story of the X series to be compelling—or logical—I would have been ecstatic. However, it’s not, and I find it completely and utterly obtrusive. The text gets longer and longer in each entry and quickly becomes unbearable. As I noted in my X3 review, the power-ups come to be detrimental, as well. It pains me, because this game is fantastic. X2 is acceptably worse, and I honestly kind of like X3, in spite of itself. That’s where the series ends for me. I tried my hand at X4, X5, and X6 and they are not pleasant. In my opinion, both series lost themselves when they jumped to the Playstation.
This game, though, this one has always been near-perfection. Zero’s role is minimal, the story is basic, and it controls like a dream. There are changes in the levels that occur depending on the order in which you take out the Mavericks. You’ll have to revisit some of them to collect the heart container in each (and the game's four sub-tanks), because of these ultimately beneficial changes. Those sub-tanks are innovation of the best kind, because you permanently possess them and you can fill them by collecting energy when you’re at full health. There’s even a level that starts with the perfect grinding spot. It’s not the kind of secret that you can intuit, but Ryu’s Hadouken can be learned and performed when at full health. It instantly KOs everything and I highly recommend using it to instantly clear the first part of the Sigma fight. I really wish Sigma had settled for simply being a serial villain like Wily. There was no reason he couldn’t have been all, “I got put back together and I’ve got another set of Mavericks, X!”
The elephant in the room is, fittingly, Maverick Hunter X, which I said did the near-impossible and improved this. It did. I stand by that. Numerical scores are a tricky thing and they can paint you into corners. Well, when writing reviews, YOU can paint yourself into a corner. While Maverick Hunter X improves quite a bit, it is a case of ICING. In terms of the original LACKING, I can only bring to mind the second Sigma level, which starts in a very ho-hum way as compared to the remake.
I can’t give this less than what I gave Maverick Hunter X, and I won’t. This is simply a consequence of the nature of the act of writing reviews. And, when you feel inspired to write them. Also, being human. If nothing else, it helps me call attention to a collection post wherein my fellow Nut Blog authors and I detail the pieces of media that we feel are equally worthwhile in multiple incarnations.
Buyer's Guide: Originally an SNES game. It's on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles, and the eShop (but, only if you're using a New 3DS, apparently). Damn your idiotic nomenclature, Nintendo. Your quarter-assed console iterations, too. It's on the SNES Mini, mobile phones, and oddly enough MS-DOS, as well. It's obviously in the Mega Man X Collection, which was on PS2 and GameCube, but is now coming to PS4, Xbox One (Did Nintendo name that one, too?), and the Switch.
4 Bosses Philip Finds Fascinating out of 5