Written by  :  Bregalad (963)
Written on  :  Aug 10, 2006
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars

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Wrong innovation make this game merely a total failure

The Good

Okay, let's make the point. I like Mega Man games a lot. I played X1 and X2 on the SNES, and both were incredible. Now, I've heard that most sequels were worse, and that one of the last entries of the series, Mega Man X7 was plain terrible. Then Mega Man X8 came out, but everyone hated so much X7 that few bought it. I've not even played X7 myself, but a friend of me who did found the PC version of X8 that was originally a PlayStaion2 game used for about $10, and bought it even if he was afraid that the game would be bad, he wouldn't loose too much money on it. After playing it he found it to be bad. But I was still curious to play it, so I asked him to lend it to me and he accepted. After installing the game on my PC and started it, I was instantly disappointed by it. However, I have to say it has one or two good points here and there.

The story wasn't looking totally stupid, and I liked the CGI intro. The Japanese voice acting was good (even if I don't know a word of Japanese, I always choose the Japanese voices to feel the manga ambiance, hehe). The innovation factor was pretty high, while not all innovations were good. I liked the fact that you could choose two characters at the same time from a set of three (Mega Man X, Zero and Axl), and that all of them have various abilities, strong points and weak points. You could also choose a "navigator" from a set of three girls for each stage, and each one will send you various message during the stage, giving you advice to beat monsters or to find secrets. Also one or two stages were fun. I liked the stage where you can modify the gravity (like Gravity Man in Mega Man V but improved).

The Bad

Oh, so much things to say there. The graphics are so terrible. The gameplay is in 2D, but the graphics are actually rendered in 3D. Characters look incredibly polygonal. Mega Man X looks a lot less detailed than in the original Mega Man X for the SNES, and I'm not lying there. The same apply for Zero monsters look also ridiculous compared to the original Mega Man X. Axl wasn't here yet in the SNES days, but (s)he was looking a bit better than Mega Man X and Zero, while not looking awesome. By the way, I still don't know if Axl is a girl or a boy. Also I don't understand since when reploids can be girls, but looks like since a while they can. Also all the levels and background looks as well so bad, so polygonal...

Now, the music of this game is terrible. It is just plain hard rock metal, for almost all levels. I don't remember a single tune from the game, even if I played it less than one week ago. Also, in most case, hard rock metal isn't very much pleasant to hear, except if the action become really exciting or something, which doesn't happen. It has nothing to do with the fun Mega Man music of old days.

Now the gameplay.... Everything is so fast. Mega Man X's buster looks like it shoot dust instead of shooting actual projectiles, and his shots are so fast that you don't see them touching the enemies. Also, he walks about as fast as he was dashing in previous games. He walks so fast that you will always fell in all traps, making the game very hard. remember when you had hard time to search sub tanks and heart tanks ? All of this is gone. You have to collect metal samples from enemies, and buy stuff from them, including most powerups, sub tanks, etc... There is still Dr.Light's capsules, but all their content is plain useless. You get some of the traditional powerups just at the start of the game (air dashing and level 2 X-Buster). Well, it would seem logical to have them since Mega Man X gained them in previous games, but that doesn't make the game interesting.

Finally, most levels are plain crap. In the Ice level you're almost playing Mario Kart, in another you must avoid spot lights (this was was fun actually), in another you must do small tests with limited time, another one was real crap and let you drive some vehicle in a city but I didn't understood it, and the few one which really are platformer are impossible because of the high speed of the screen's scrolling.

The worse thing about the game is the scene when you select a boss. It is horrible, by the fact that it look so corny and stupid, and once the boss has shown up you have to wait a very long time until the stage starts.

On the PC technical side of view, the game isn't a very good port. You must take 1.6 GB of hard disk to install it, but you STILL have to insert the CD-ROM in your PC each time you want to start the game, probably for copy-protection purposes. Also you can save in 4-slots just like in a console game, and not in a PC file like true PC games. Also, it still slow downs sometimes even with my PC surpassing largely the specs on the box.

The Bottom Line

This is a terrible attempt to make one more Mega Man X game, and with terrible graphics, terrible music, bad levels that are crappy stuff instead of 2D action platforming, and those stupid metal samples to collect instead of real secrets, the game falls apart and ruins the series. People complaining of lack of innovation in modern games are definitely totally wrong. I'd complain to the wrong innovation myself. Mega Man X is supposed to be a platformer in which you make efforts to find various powerups and fight various bosses with various weapons, not this garbage. This apply to the PC version, but I doubt the PS2 version is very different. This game should be avoided in my opinion.