It is 21XX and robots have started going Maverick! One day Dr. Cain unearths long dead Prof. Light’s ultimate creation, a blue robot that learns, feels and can possibly help save the world. Our hero X will help his Maverick Hunter friend, Zero, find the source of the chaos and bring the Mavericks to justice!
The Mega Man formula is as classic as it gets. You, the Blue Bomber are tasked with defeating several Robot Masters (Mavericks in the X series), each with some sort of theme. You can play the levels in any order that you want, but each boss has a weakness to another one’s weapon so there is a sort of path. In the past, you would constantly chase Dr. Wiley, but X gets his own villain… Sigma.
The Super Nintendo incarnation brings a new anime art style with crazy attention to detail. When X is heavily damaged, if you stop he grabs his chest to catch his breath. Along your adventure you will find upgrades in “capsules”, and you can see your sprite changing as you get more powerful. Sometimes defeating a boss will cause damage to another level!
Once you beat all the Mavericks you still have to scale Sigma’s fortress, which is as epic as it gets. Each level has you in a couple rematches with previous adversaries, but at the end you are faced with monstrosities that grow as you get higher in the tower. The final battle is a three-part test of ability management and thumb agility.
A while ago the game got a New Super Mario Bros. style makeover for the PSP, with the animated sprites replaced with 3D models. The game adds an additional mode after you beat it and it is great to have it on the go, but the definitive version is definitely on the SNES.
It was collected with it’s sequels for a PS2/Gamecube collection which is probably the easiest way to play the game these days. Mega Man X2 is another gem, but it steadily declines after that. X4 is fun because you can play as Zero, who has a brawler feel, but you can tell they were running out of ideas.
Like most old school games, you can play it in one sitting if you try, so it isn’t much of a time investment. It has all the fun of original Mega Man and you probably won’t have to slam your head against the floor.
Mega Man X is the best Mega Man game and probably one of the best games period.