Mega Man X8
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 69% (based on 24 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 2 reviews)
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).
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.
Windows · by Bregalad (937) · 2006
First off, let me say that I am a huge Mega Man fan. I played most of the games from the Classic and X series (I don't really care about the other MM series to be honest) and liked most of them. So when X7 came out, everyone was excited about the jump to 3D due to the switch to the Playstation 2 hardware. However the game ended up being a huge letdown because of poorly programmed 3D game sections, at times unlistenable voice acting and lack of good ideas for some section. I am of the idea X7 would have been a good game if either it had stayed true to its 2D roots, or if the 3D parts were actually TESTED before the game was released (jeez, would it have been so difficult to make the game physics similar to those of ratchet & clank?). As Gamespot put it, "X7's new 3D look and corresponding gameplay mechanics seem like another attempt by Capcom to draw in a broader audience. The problem is that the game still tries to appeal to core Mega Man fans with its referential storyline and high level of difficulty. What you end up with is a game that will draw a lukewarm response at best from either crowd. ".
So, when X8 was announced, Capcom decided to go back to its 2D roots to avoid further problems. Fortunately, not only they decided to go back to the 2D roots, but they also fixed other problems seen in X7, like the voice acting (which is a lot better in X8) and the graphics (that look way more colorful and are much more well animated). So, what is the result? The result is the 3D Mega Man games a lot of fans were waiting for a long time, and while it isn't perfect, it is still a great game that any action fan should be able to enjoy. Let's get into detail:
Story/Setting: It may just be me, but I am actually a big fan of the storyline of the X series and its characters. While most don't consider the storyline to be anything special, I think it's a lot better than all of that RPG nonsense everyone is so excited about. So let's see how Mega Man X and his friends got into this mess.
Following the Red Alert incident of X7 and the entrance of Axl to the Maverick Hunters, Earth is now again at peace. Fearing the constant Maverick uprisings, humans began transferring their settlements on the moon, and built the Jakob Orbital Elevator to transfer resources to the moon in order to construct cities. For this reason, a new line of New Generation Reploids is enstablished, Reploids with high power and resistance to all known variants of the Maverick Virus known at the time. It is revealed that Axl is in fact a prototype of these new generation Reploids, as they posses the same Copy Chip as Axl, and it's in fact this Copy Chip that protects these new Reploids from the Maverick Virus.
One day, Mega Man X, Zero and Axl were sent to investigate a weird Crab-like mechaniloid that was spreading chaos in Naoh's Park. After bringing it down, the Hunters confront a resurrected Vile (who was has not been seen in the series since his death at the hands of X in Mega Man X3) who kidnaps Lumine, the director of the Jakob project and leader of the New Generation Reploids. Vile then reveals that the Elevator is now under control of the Mavericks, and suddendly the Hunters begin picking various Maverick riot signals from allover the Earth. What's worse is that it appears that these Mavericks are in fact New Generation Reploids. So, the Hunters need to confront Vile and stop the uprisings and find out what's causing these new Reploids to go Maverick. You'll find out the rest of the story by yourself.
Gameplay: The game plays pretty much like other X games such as Mega Man X6, which is a good thing since the controls are well thought out. There are 3 playable characters, each with their own characteristics and different weapons. Mega Man X is the main character of the series and is modeled after the original Mega Man from the classic. He is able to shoot with the X-Buster and charge up his weapons to release even more powerful attacks, and the character is generally ideal for newcomers. Then there's Zero, who is able to double jump and perform powerful slashes with his Z-Saber, making him primarly a melee type of fighter. Then there's the new character Axl, who is a good addition to the series and features a new voice actor who is a lot better than the childish voice used in X7. Axl is armed with his "Axl Bullets" and can fire in all directions, although he isn't able to charge. He also has the Copy Shot which allows him to transform into some of the defeated enemies, granting him some special abilities. Most of the stages are pretty fun and diverse, with a lot of typical Mega Man action thrown in but also many puzzles, as evident when playing Gravity Antonion or Dark Mantis' stages. There are very few 3D sections such as Avalanche Yeti's stage, but most of them are actually pretty nice, and there are almost no problems with the camera. Most of the game is a 2D platformer with 3D graphics.
The graphics for the game are, surprisingly, really good and almost everything looks great in 3D, if maybe a little more "cartoony" than the playstation games that took a very serious note, but if anything this servers to make X8 closer to the SNES titles. All the characters are well rendered, although maybe they could have used a few more animations, but there's nothing bad to see here.
This game generally has the same weaknesses of any other Mega Man title. I think the controls are just a little harder to get used to (the characters move faster than the playstation 1 games) but they aren't bad. And a few levels felt like they could have been way better (Earthrock Trilobyte's stage should have been twice as big and Gigavolt Man-o-War's stage is a decent idea gone wrong, and ends up being a bad stage (fortunately its also the only stage of its kind.)
I think the level design is at times a little more frustrating than the playstation games, because sometimes enemies are harder to dodge and it's a little easier to fall into spike traps, but if you're a Mega Man veteran, you shouldn't have too many problems getting through this one.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, Mega Man X8 is a great Mega Man game AND a great 3D action game. If you like action games and especially if you're a Mega Man fan, you can't go wrong with this one.
Windows · by CKeen The Great (160) · 2011