Mega Man X ReviewDave Bouchard
Needless to say, Mega Man is a classic game. Spanning more than two decades worth of video games, Mega Man is one of video game's most iconic characters. In a less than surprising turn of events, Capcom, who has been reviving many of their classic videogames, such as Ghouls 'n Ghosts, have also brought back Mega Man X for the iPhone/iPod. Is the revival of this iconic game from the heyday of the Super Nintendo just as good as it was back in '93? Or was this revival nothing more than an elaborate scheme to drain the pockets of nostalgic gamers?
Well, Mega Man X for iPhone is not a complete disappointment. The game hits many high notes, but tends to fail on some small technical levels.
Capcom has done an amazing job of rendering the hand drawn sprites into stunning HD that make the game look a bit more modern, but still maintains its classic feel. But in an unintelligent and offbeat step, they decided to break the levels into fragmented segments, as opposed to the full streamlined game that classic gamers are used to. Why was this done? It is unbeknownst to me, but I feel as though it puts a bit of a damper on the gameplay experience.
Controls for Mega Man X are surprisingly solid compared to other touch screen interfaces. I had little to no trouble controlling X as he jumped, shot and slid his way through the dastardly levels on his way to the next cleverly designed boss. Although it takes a bit of getting used to, as do many iPhone platformers, Mega Man X still handles very well, and even boasts a few options to move the buttons around the screen in presets, in order to increase customization.
A large list of achievements have also been added to deepen the experience for players, and completionists. A list of 80 or so achievements populate Mega Man X. While most are easily completed, others such as gathering all the parts of X's power armor spread out among all the worlds and make the gameplay feel much more rewarding than it was back in the 90's. As another added feature, being a Mega Man game, it is tough. It has always been tough, but with this newest iteration, I'm happy to say that casual gamers can have a successful romp through the levels due to 3 difficulty modes, although the third and final one requires actual payment to unlock... which brings me to my next point.
The major downfall of Mega Man X, is that Capcom had the less than brilliant idea to add an in-app store in order to purchase premium upgrades such as all weapons and health boosts, among others.
Mega Man X for iPhone is almost exactly the way I remember it as a child, every bit as difficult, even so far as to include exact lines of dialogue between X and Zero. Capcom did an excellent job of bringing this game back from Nostalgia-land, and added a few key ingredients to make it a bit better. Overall, MegaMan X was a great experience to play through, not only as a nostalgia trip, but also as a replay of a modern take on a classic game. I recommend picking it up for $4.99 USD, if you're a fan of the series. Mega Man X is well done, despite its small shortcomings.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.