Megaman X – Retro Review

Review

Being born in the late 90’s, I didn’t grow up with the “Golden Age” of consoles.  My father already had a Nintendo 64 by the time I was born (Yeah, I’m that young). So I grew up with that, and eventually a PlayStation 2. Thankfully, we live in a time where Virtual Consoles, re-releases and emulations are widely accessible, giving people like myself the ability to replay classic games I never had the chance to. So with that in mind, let’s kick things off with quite possibly one of the best SNES games, Megaman X

Megaman X was the first iteration of the Blue Bomber in the 16-bit era. Taking place 100 years after the original Megaman, the game follows the adventures of X, an advanced robot  created by Dr. Light , awakening from a century long slumber.

“Megaman X” is the same tasty platforming, run & gun goulash we have all come to love…”

Both gamers and critics alike were after something fresh from original Megaman series, as it was becoming stale and predictable fast. The freedom given with developing on a completely new console meant developers at Capcom could give the people what they wanted, eventually.

Launching just over two years after the release of the SNES, Megaman X is the same tasty platforming, run & gun goulash we have all come to love, with a few extra ingredients to spice things up. You can now jump up and hang onto walls and find upgrades ranging from a dash ability to a more powerful buster. These additions make navigating the 12 stages significantly more fun.

The bosses are more than just robotic dudes in Megaman X

The game allows players to have a sense of  freedom in regards to which boss they take on first. After you manage to defeat a boss, you get a special weapon that is super effective against another boss. This makes the super challenging bosses like Sting Chameleon a breeze. In saying that, figuring out the order in which to battle these bosses is rather painful, and i often found myself dying quite often because i didn’t have the right weapon for a boss.

However, the game offers players the ability to find upgrades to your health meter, and sub tanks which allow you to refill your health at a moments notice. They are pretty well hidden though, so exploration and replaying levels is key to making sure you don’t  fail a level, and you will fail. Whilst the game is slightly easier than the original NES games, each level is still littered with obstacles and enemies, and health pick-ups don’t drop as often as you’d like, so its best to come prepared with a sub tank or two.

The transition from 8 to 16-bit did wonders for the series. The visuals still hold up by today’s HD, over bloomed standards. It keeps the charm of the original series, with the considerably better visuals and slick soundtrack making this game stand out as a pinnacle of the SNES era, and is regarded as one of the greatest games of all time.

Once you do start knocking over bosses, the game does move towards the end  relatively quickly, but with the final stage being split into four, painfully difficult stages, its enough to be an enjoyable experience, with high replay value (Those collectibles aren’t going to find themselves).

Is this game mega, man?

With the recent controversy surrounding Mighty No. 9 and Capcom keeping the Megaman franchise locked in a safe, it’s nice to revisit the classic games that defined the run and gun genre.