Mega Man Zero
Description official descriptions
It is the year 22XX...
The legendary heroes of the Reploids, X and Zero, defeated the evil Sigma long ago, and a new army was created to prevent outbreaks of the Maverick Virus. But as time went on, the army became oppressive, and began to deal out a paranoid brand of justice. It is said that their leader, once a great warrior, has become cold and calculating, eliminating any Reploid that dares oppose him.
A hero is needed in these dark times, and that is exactly what Ciel and her rebel group have found in an old ruin...a hero from the past, reborn in the future.
Zero has come into a time he does not know, to save it from a figure of the past...the fate of freedom rests on his shoulders.
Credits (Game Boy Advance version)
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Average score: 81% (based on 19 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 2 reviews)
This platformer feels very open world with plenty of secret passages, shafts and places to explore, all rich in colour and scenery. The missions involve more than just rampaging through levels and destroying bosses as there are Reploids to rescue and sometimes defending the Resistance Base to keep the action interesting. Throughout the game, the music really pumps you up when you're doing a mission. It's a bonus that the game also has some voice clips.
Difficulty in this game is more or less what you would expect in a Ghosts n' Goblins game, with enemies respawning and come from above or below. Bosses are relatively easy by comparison, especially if you've equipped the element chip that is their weakness. Even without Reploid weapons you got from the Mega Man X series, the selection is good and the three elemental chips you gain more than compensate. It's thrilling to destroy waves of enemies and your weapons get upgraded the more you use them, even though the Z-Saber takes forever to gain MAX power.
There are so many quirks and faults to nitpick about that make the game harder than it should and spoil an otherwise perfect run of the game. A mild irritation is trying to use so many tight controls at once (i.e. jump, dash, secondary fire and fire simultaneously). One major annoyance is the inability to replay missions in order to collect cyber-elves that you missed. When trying to go for a hundred points, you have no idea how many enemies you need to destroy, then respawn and destroy before you eliminate the final boss. And try destroying the Golem without hitting Ciel once if you want to see how hard it is to get 100% in a mission.
The most common problem lies in the jumping mechanics, including the ledges that require you to make specific jumps, angles and leaps to actually land on them and you could really use Axyl's hover feet (Mega Man X7) to make this a whole lot easier. Some of the hardest jumps require you to use the Triple Rod which is too tough to pull off, seeing as Zero's weapon is not Commander Keen's pogo stick. Finally the screen size still poses an issue, because you can't see spikes below you on high platforms, so you'll unintentionally get killed instantly. If the button used for secondary fire was instead used as a camera control, then it would be okay.
The Bottom Line
This game certainly took a new and different direction, just when you thought Sigma was gone for good, now Reploids are at risk instead of humans. The title in itself is a big misleading because you see a lot more of Zero and very little of Mega Man. In some ways you feel like you're watching and playing a pixelated Anime movie. The only real repetition in the game is grinding for energy crystals, replaying certain jumps and sections for hard to get items as well as the same music tune when not doing missions. This game is worth experiencing to put your platforming gaming skills in gear while you experience the events of the 23rd century. Get your cartridge inside and play away.
Game Boy Advance · by Kayburt (27383) · 2020
Mega Man Zero is the first game of a sub-franchise of the main Mega Man franchise. It is actually the fifth sub-series of Mega Man : There is already the original series, the X series, the Legend series, and the Battle Network series. The original series involved beating 8 elemental bosses, each one would give Mega Man a new weapon to help him to defeat other foes and bosses, and after all 8 boss are beaten a final stage would come up. The X series is basically the same, except there is significant change in story (supposed to happen long after the original series) and gameplay improvement. I know nothing about the Legend series, I've never played it. And the Battle Network series does have nothing to do with all others, playing like a RPG.
The Zero series starts with this title, and is supposed to take place long after the X series, which itself was supposed to take place long after the original series. So it plays just like a Mega Man X game, but with some significant changes in gameplay. You play as Zero, which is awaken from a very long rest and that found that the world isn't going much well since.
Capcom introduced some 'Metal Gear' elements such as a mission system and some 'minigames' that involve the player to not just defeat the enemies and pass your way through stages, but also to destroy enemy bombs, to avoid enemy detection systems, etc... Also, the 'get weapons from bosses' system is gone, and you get a totally different system instead.
Now for the game in itself nothing is really wrong, the graphics looks somewhat good and most music is good too, while the quality of the instrumentation is somewhat lacking at some places. I just didn't like that frightening music you get just before bosses that obviously is strongly inspired by a similar music in the first Mega Man X, but this one is less good. The sound effects are well detailed and sound very good overall. You even get voice acting from some bosses when doing their moves, which make you feel like playing a fighting game.
Now, the game in itself isn't much flawed, but some of the fundamental elements of the game system are really bothering me. You don't chose from 8 bosses any longer, but you have missions to do. Most of the time it looks like your mission isn't about fighting a particular robot, but you'll always end up doing so, sooner or later anyway. You finally have 8 main bosses altogether (plus some side-bosses), but you'll figure that only after completing the missions. As a side note, bosses have turned back to a 'human-like robots' form from the original series, as opposed to 'weird animals like robots' from X series (I'm not saying it's bad I just want to note this).
What I'm really complaining about is that you cannot determine much in which order you'll do your missions. You'll just start with a list of 3 missions, and completing one will sometimes unlock another or sometimes just do nothing. When you run out of missions, a big robot is trying to destroy the base you're in, you have to fight it, and then the game is back to normal, and your mission list is refilled. This happen several times in the game. There is 8 missions overall, just like in previous Mega Man games from other series. You just have very much less chose for the order of completing your missions. Also, if you fail to beat a boss and get game over, it's possible to just give up and continue the game as normal. Why Capcom introduced this is beyond me, but I guess it's to make the whole thing more realist. What also bothers me is that the game is set in a ambiance of total darkness, everything in the game was made so that it would feel completely evil. This is kinda depressing after a while, and is the exact opposite of upbeat and fun elemental stages I've found very entertaining playing on my NES in the original series.
Also, Capcom decided to have no longer bosses leaving weapons. You get four weapons in the game, the Z-Buster (you get it when you start the game), the Z-Saber (you get it when fighting the first boss), the tri-spear and the shield (an engineer named Cerveau made them for you pretty early in the game). The shield is absolutely useless and the tri-spear isn't of much use either, so only the Z-Saber and Z-Buster are really handful to defeat enemies. Finally, you get 3 'element crystals' at some fixed points in the game. Equip them will give an element power to your weapon when it's charged up, and it is actually this which will determine the weakness of enemies. However, you only get the 3 most basics elements (Fire, Ice and Bolt) and some bosses have just no weakness of these three. So gone is the basic non-linear gameplay that was so fun in the original Mega Man series.
Aside of that, this play just as any Mega Man game, you have to remember enemy pattern by heart in order to have any chance to defeat them. Many bosses in this game are particularly annoying.
One thing I just hated is that, when you encounter a boss, they deleted the good old "very cool boss animation" then the boss life bar fill up by replacing this sequence by a "long speech from the boss" then a stupid warning alarm beeping and the boss start with it's life bar directly full. Where is the fun, where is the coolness ?
The worst thing is the cyber-elf system. You can collect cyber-elves that are supposed to help you (by healing you or something similar), but you can only use each elf one time and that'll never actually help you. The only elves that have a permanent effect must be fed with crystals, that are collectible from enemies. In order to use any of those interesting elves, you have to collect from 600 to 2000 crystal, and you'll get in average, say, 80 crystals per mission. See ? Will you rather spend hours of collecting crystals to be stronger or just spend hours to learn perfectly boss patterns in order to beat them without getting hit (and you can die with about 3 to 6 hits from ANY boss, while most bosses have 2 whole bars, and some even 3 bars of energy, that is 6 times more energy than you who only have one half of a bar). Personally, I took the chose to use save states, and that is very handful to beat bosses with little to no power ups. However, that way, I finished the game in just than two hours.
The Bottom Line
The game isn't bad, but all the most interesting parts from older Mega Man games are gone. I think it is rather bland and boring overall, and that most part of it is to collect crystals and/or to learn boss patterns. The overall ambiance is dark and depressive. If that doesn't afraid you, feel free to play the game. It has some interesting missions and scenario, though.
Game Boy Advance · by Bregalad (937) · 2006
The Japanese version has blood. You can see this during the opening sequence, and when Zero attacks some enemies with his saber. This is also seen in other parts of the game.
- MobyGames ID: 6427
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.
Wii U added by Michael Cassidy.
Game added May 19th, 2002. Last modified June 17th, 2023.