Written: 1.30.14 Acquired: 1.18.06 Status: Cart only Price: $6
The list of ace must-play SNES games runs long and deep. Over the years there have been hundreds of lists concocted and you could be sure of one thing: somewhere on those lists would be the EPOCHALMega Man X. Exploding onto the SNES scene in January of 1994, it was a long wait coming for fans of the Blue Bomber... but boy, was the wait worth it. Mega Man never looked so good. 20 years later, Mega Man X is still kicking ass! Mega Man X kicked off 1994 with a bang for Super Nintendo fans
THE ASCENSION OF MEGA MAN
1989 is a very nostalgic year and holds a special place in my heart. Uncle Jimmy was in his prime, Hulkamania was running wild, Saturday morning cartoons was must-see TV and the 8-bit Nintendo was kicking butt. Thanks in no small part to Mega Man 2. I still remember seeing the game for the first time about 25 years ago, at my older brother's friend's house. There were about seven of us kids, and all of us were blown away by the amazing intro. We marveled at how it scaled up the towering industrial building, the calm and serene city nightlife just below... and that music... THAT EPIC MUSIC. We were instantly hooked. Without uttering a word, each of us knew silently that we were all embarking upon a life-altering gaming experience. Capcom struck lightning in a bottle as a promising debut morphed into a legendary series the second game on. And so, the MEGA MANrevolution was born [and milked... -Ed.]
Thankfully, the gameplay didn't disappoint. It was the total package. What could be cooler than controlling a heroic robot shooting down rogue robots, stealing their weapons and using it against them? It was packed with masterful tunes left and right, and some highly memorable enemies and levels. Mega Man 2 is STILLmy favorite one of the Nintendo series When I think NES, I think Mario, Contra, Punch-Out & Mega Man
In a game era where floaty jumps and erratic control was the norm, Mega Man 2 hit us like a fresh breath of air. You always felt in total control of the little blue guy. The jumps were amazingly tight, so if you died, it was entirely your fault and yours alone. The game also gave you a long health bar with plenty of pellets. You could mess up a bit and still be okay. Granted, this was all done in the first Mega Man, but it was the sequel that took everything and made it twice as good. Man, did my friends and I play the crap out of Mega Man 2. Back then, there was no internet or Youtube to look up gameplay, so my brother and I rented our fair share of shitty NES games. Whenever we did, we always used Mega Man 2 to wash the bad taste out of our mouths. It was our go-to slumpbuster, everytime. And time after time, without fail it would always manage to cheer us up and remind us of why we love this hobby so much. For when a game is done right as Mega Man 2 was, it stays with ya forever. It epitomized the cachet of the legendary 8-bit NES
Another innovative feature that came from the Mega Man franchise was the player's ability to pick which level to tackle next. This gave you the freedom and opportunity to go through the game as you saw fit, and for its time, it was unheard of. It's yet another brilliant feature of the series that made it stand out and endeared itself to millions of gamers the world over. Each robot ended in MAN, and most of them required a specific robot boss weapon to kill. Part of the fun was figuring out whose weakness was what, and which robot boss to go after next. After beating all eight, you can finally head to Dr. Wily's Fortress. It was a simple yet scintillating scheme. And for those who aren't very good at the game, it even gave you the chance to at least sample the 8 various stages, so that you're never stuck on the same one for days or even weeks on end. In particular, Mega Man 2's boss select screen will forever haunt me. The style captivated my six year old imagination back in 1989 with its cool blue hues and menacing bosses. And the Dr. Wily sign is basically taunting and teasing ya straight in the middle. The NES would go on to enjoy a whopping 6 of 'em. At last, the SNES came calling
REVITALIZED AND SOUPED UP FOR THE SUPER NINTENDO
20 years ago, January of 1994, marked the SNES debut of Mega Man. It was a LONG time coming, but Capcom finally unleashed the Blue Bomber in 16-bit glory. And what a glorious debut it turned out to be, asMEGA MAN X took everything sacred about the Nintendo entries and cranked it up to the max
1994 was a BANNER year for SNES fans who grew up on the NES
The game felt like a big fat post-Christmas thank you to the loyal fans. Capcom stepped up to the plate and smacked a home run when Mega Man was at last revitalized in a whole new world on the 16-bit frontier. A marriage made in Heaven, it became an instant classic and was adored by everyone in my gaming crew. Mega Man was back, and he was better than ever, jack
Damn, hard to believe it's been 20 years now since Mega Man X...
THE STORY GOES...
The storyline was more serious and dark in tone than ever before
... the sequel most Super Nintendo gamers were clamoring for...
Old NES friends like Mac and Mega Man were finally revitalized!
The X-Buster's back and has three different forms. The third being the most powerful and is nearly as DAMN BIG as X himself! Take that, MEGA MAN 4 Mega Man 4 debut the charge shot, but it's as big as the 2nd one
Mega Man games up until this point always started out by allowing you to choose your path. Here, Capcom threw in a slight wrench. You had to first blow through this intro stage. All it really does is to serve as a "how-to" tutorial of sorts as well as build up the story, which Capcom does really well
For the 1st time in the series, you had to go through an intro level
There's something really cool about destructible landscaping that makes a level a joy to navigate
Many 16-bit era games are now forgotten. Certainly not this one...
And Mega Man X is friggin' loaded with them! The first of which is the Bee Blader A.K.A. MECHA MOTHRA
Be sure to check out GODZILLA coming to theatres May 16, 2014
As we all know by now, you can actually gain access to the fabled Hadoken fireball in this game, and it's powerful as all hell. It's one of the best easter eggs of all time ^_^
Not happy to just roll out a standard short intro stage, Capcom took measures to ensure its memorability. One of which includes this awesome bit that sees the decimated bumble bee bot crashing down alongside ya as the overpass falls
It's not quite on par with Contra III's explosions but hey what was?
Vile, a real bastard, makes his debut into the Mega Man Universe
You're no match for Vile. Prior to him you were blasting with the greatest of ease, and it felt like your new X body was all that. But Vile quickly shows you just how much you are still underpowered. After a brief spar, he grabs you to signify the end. When from out of nowhere, a mammoth shot breaks the ride armor's arm CLEAN OFF!
Whoever just saved yer blue butt made a HELL of a debut
It's the spectacular debut of Zero, a class-A Maverick Hunter. Vile doesn't waste time to make a hasty retreat. It suddenly becomes clear that as strong as you once thought you were, Zero is that much stronger. Zero looks up to see Vile flying away, knowing full well this isn't the final battle... not yet by a long shot. Meanwhile, X is looking pretty sorry and down and out, so Zero offers the blue dude a few choice words of encouragement...
"I don't always save robots... but when I do... it's the Blue Bomber" -DOS MEGA MAN XX!
X is so ashamed of himself that he can't even bear to look at Zero
Zero, ever the compassionate chap, attempts to put X at ease
It's a pep talk the likes of which would make Danny Tanner proud
And thus, the game begins proper. It's all about getting stronger
Remember the old NES Mega Man password screens? Yeah, I know you do. I always found them to be a bit, well... y'kno, cumbersome and clunky. Thankfully, in Mega Man X, like much else of the game, it's as smooth and user friendly as you could hope for
Of course, a save feature would have been even better but oh well
Now you can select from any one of eight stages. It's this wide-open exploratory nature about the Mega Man games that I have always enjoyed and appreciated. If you couldn't beat one level, you could try another instead of being stuck on the same stupid one for days and days on end. The levels here aren't extremely innovative or anything, with your standard forest, snow and water levels for example, but they're all a blast to play through
For the first time in Mega Man history, the bosses are no longer [Noun] Man. Now they are all based off some type of animal. I thought this was a cool and necessary change to further separate it from the NES series. Here are the eight robot bosses, respective to the stages above. And yes... they do remind me a lot of my old favorite toy lineup from the '80s... BATTLE BEASTS. Launch Octopus, Armored Armadillo, Spark Mandrill, Storm Eagle, Boomer Kuwanger, Sting Chameleon, Flame Mammoth and the [Chill] Penguin
Look, it's Launch Octopus and Armored Armadillo! Well, not really, but, well... actually... kinda! The one on the right is actually REALLY named Armored Armadillo... strange but true. Me wonders if Capcom had any existing knowledge of this back when they created their own Armored Armadillo... hmm. BATTLE BEASTS was the bomb dot com
Hell yeah, remember Battle Beasts? If you grew up in the '80s then you oughta. It was by far my favorite toy lineup. They sold in packs of two and were miniature two inch animal warriors. Their gimmick was each one had a cool stamp in the middle which when rubbed with your thumb would reveal either a wood, fire or water icon. The idea being that each had a strength and weakness. It essentially plays like Rock Paper Scissors but as a kid I always just ignored that and made each play session a war zone of sheer animal brutality. There was nothing better than walking into KB Toys or Toys R Us back in the late '80s and seeing an entire wall blanketed by Battle Beasts. Then, one sad day I rushed to the usual spot where they had sold my favorite toy, and it was just... GONE. I looked and combed through the aisles, but to no avail. Finally, I had my dad ask a worker where the hell Battle Beasts went, and to this day I still remember his haunting words: "Sorry, Battle Beasts are no more." NO MORE!?! How could this be, why?! As a kid, I just always assumed they would be around forever. I mean seriously, do you know how many different animal species exist out there? Hell, the brand should still be going strong today. Alas, that day I learned a valuable lesson. Perhaps it was the first time in my young life that I realized... nothing lasts forever. And that all good things must, eventually, come to a bittersweet end... whether you want to or not. It's a day I've never forgotten
As silly as this may sound, or maybe not, one of the small pleasures in a Mega Man title for me is picking a boss and seeing its little introductory bit to said boss. I don't know what it is about it, but I swear it's one of gaming's coolest small pleasures^_^
One of the VERY FEW things Mega Man X didn't quite nail IMHO
DAMN... how can this NOT bring back a flood of fond memories?
Call it cliché if you want but it did add a nice wintery atmosphere
As a kid I always used to think of Mega Man as Mario plus Contra
Those bats remind me a lot of the ones from Wood Man's stage
X's ability to jump ON and OFF walls created a new sizzling gameplay experience for the player. This newfound skill enables sweet moments such as this one. Get to the capsule!
Dr. Thomas Light gave you life and now gives you a fighting chance
Capsules are scattered about here and there throughout the game. Each one gives X a major boost. As the game carefully plotted out in the introductory stage, there is a real palpable atmosphere of X growing stronger and stronger, bit by bit, until he's powerful enough to take on the evil Sigma himself. Capcom did a swell job of building this story
And of course, the controls were as smooth as a baby's backside
Is it no wonder why Mega Man X was lionized as much as it was?
Nuthin gets my old school gaming juices going quite like flashing
I love whenever the designers allows me to stand and blast away
Yup, and all the while your crazed eyes are fixated on the far right
Wait a second here... a robot riding a war machine? Mind blown
It was a holy crap laugh out loud, hi-five slapping worthy moment
They added in a new wrinkle to the classic ol' Mega Man formula
Yet another mind-blowing bit... the first time you see this bastard!
I have a small confession to make. So even though Mega Man controlled more smoothly than most other characters of the NES era, I still felt he was a little bit stiff. Sure, he could jump with the greatest of ease and yes, you had a decent amount of control over the direction of his jumps, but he could not duck and at times he felt a bit clunky. I guess you could argue it's realistic seeing as how he is a robot, but damn if his newfound abilities in Mega Man X doesn't make him a total flipping badass! The ability to scale walls and slide down 'em is just too damn sweet and useful X's ability to scale and jump off walls expanded the game's world
Because dying at the boss meant starting out FRESH at the boss!
The classic boss gate runway of the Mega Man games have always stuck with me. They do a damn good job of building up the anticipation as well as the tension, and I just love the slow motion way the doors expand while the screen scrolls to the right. In fact, one could almost think of this harrowing stretch as a "green mile" of sorts! Hell, it often is for first timers... until you can figure out the patterns and weaknesses
X stares down the gamut of this heart thumping green mile
Capcom nailed the drama aspect of the boss battles. After the runway, the boss drops out of the sky while a long energy bar fills up, allowing you enough time to sweat it out while the big boss man throws a taunt or two your way. Your finger is on the pulse of your X-Buster weapon, ready to release as soon as the battle commences. It never failed to get me sitting on the edge of my seat, my heart racing THAT much faster...
The rooms can be a little uninspiring... but held a certain 'purity'
Although the game can be defeated in a non-linear fashion, there's usually a boss everyone likes to tackle first in any given Mega Man game. For this rendition, the winner is the Chill Penguin. He's rather easy and can be defeated with the X-Buster. But at least Mister Chill Pill's not without some cool attacks [Please, can we do away with the bad ice puns? NOT COOL -Ed.]
For purpose of effect, I took the hit here to show off this attack in full
Once again the ability to jump on and off of walls, as well as sliding down them... created for a host of new gameplay opportunities never before seen in any previous Mega Man title. In particular, it brought a much needed breath of fresh air to the boss battles, as now you had even more strategy and options to evade the frantic enemy onslaught
And, not one to be just defensive, sliding down walls also gave you the very fun and swell option of charging your X-Buster for a mega attack upon descending. BOOYAH!
Acute hand-eye coordination is the order of the day here, people
After toying around with Chill Penguin for a bit, it's time to put his ass on ice [Oi -Ed.] with a well placed mega charge X-Buster shot. I love the wide swath of this shot. In other versions, not so much...
Classic Mega Man w/ his trusty Hadoken and lemon shots
Once more, I made it close for dramatic effect, y'see [Riiiight -Ed.]
Check out your new body suit and armor in this convoluted shot
Of course in addition to messing around with the various weapons
All of the weapons served different purposes. Some were ideal for certain situations. You had to tinker with the game to find out the pros and cons. And now having the sweet luxury to switch between them with the Super NES shoulder buttons was sick!
Each boss has a weakness. Find out which weapon is best to use!
Stealing and using boss weapons is a classic staple of Mega Man
X can also execute POWERED versions of these weapons. Sweet!
Time for another small confession. I think I have a slight affinity for the mid-bosses over the regular bosses. I liked the fact that they were of varying sizes and shapes, usually much bigger than X, and that there was no energy bar (it added to the drama) Sure you couldn't steal their powers, but when they're as cool looking as this guy here, you don't really care about all that!
LONG LIVE THE MID-BOSS... video gaming's UNSUNG VILLAINS
Your shots sail off his armor harmlessly. You're gonna have to find another different point of entry. I've always loved the visual of your bullets bouncing off his titanium armored body
Hmm, call it a hunch but... what about that lone eye over there...
Now go claim your latest add-on prize: new body armor!
Thomas Light might be a bit of a prick, but at least he's honest...
My favorite Mega Man regular enemies are any of the bipedal robots. I kind of wish the series saw more of them quite frankly. We didn't get enough of them, as there's something awesome about blasting the holy hell out of them. This guy here being a prime example. PELT AWAY!
I call this enemy "ROCK MAN" [OH NO YOU DIH-ENT! -Ed.]
Me thinks he's grumpy only because Capcom took so damn long
Shielded robots were a pain in the arse. Put him out of his misery
Sadly, they're only available in two stages, so live it the HELL UP!
Mega Man X is retro gaming at its finest ^_^
Damn indeed. I don't know about you but back in the day my gaming crew used to speculate 'bout how you could ravage the top wall down and enter this boss fight with the armor suit. It sure was a fun thought to have as a little kid. Sadly, that's all it ever was, but it was a sign of the times. The memories you created with your gaming buddies pre-internet were sacred and everytime I come to this point in the game part of me still to this day can't help but reminisce of the good old innocent days of early 1994 when life was that much simpler and so too were the video games How F'N badass would it be if you COULD battle bosses this way?
If you didn't have the right weapon, a boss fight could go horribly wrong. If you had the right one though, the pendulum swings the other way. It certainly made for some furious pencil-and-paper gaming
Sting Chameleon is one of my faves. Rediscover the rest yourself
BEFORE THERE WAS GAMEFAQS OR YOUTUBE...
You may not know this fact but there was also a strategy guide published for Mega Man X back in the day. I picked one up back in 2006 when it was just going for peanuts. Of course, today... surprise surprise, like most SNES items, this strategy guide has skyrocketed in price, costing as much as $50. It's a decent and cool little guide but it's not worth it at that asking price. Still, I'm glad I bought it when it was cheap. I love how it's got my favorite mid-boss on the cover there. RT-55J looks a bit like Auto who was introduced in Mega Man 7, but there is zero concrete proof that the two are connected in any way. Nevertheless, I find it darn awesome how there is one mid-boss hanging out with all the main bosses on the cover. Maybe ole Stratton was a fan of RT-55J, too?
Don't get it unless you can find it cheap or yer a 'diehardcore' fan
Remember the Hadoken easter egg? It was brilliant. Back in the day this was one of the coolest secrets around. Capcom pulled off some other shenanigans, like seeing ole Chun Li in Breath of Fire, but nothing ever quite topped this one
They should make a Mega Man Street Fighter game... oh wait...
Shit... the POWER TRIP bar should rightfully be to the max, EGM
Enter this password...
Then select this stage here...
Afterward you'll find Dr. Light sporting a karate gi and headband!
Not just a mere cosmetic fan service, the Hadoken is death dealt at its finest. It will take out ANY enemy or boss in just ONE HIT, sans the final form of the final boss. Now that's what I call playing with SUPER POWER. Sorry. It is done with the same down, down forward, forward command as in the Street Fighter II games, and there is about a half second charge time that leaves you vulnerable, but damn was it worth it. Way to cross over your franchises, Capcom, before the crossover rage that swept the late 1990s. When my gaming crew first witnessed this amazing easter egg back in the day, we had to change our underoos. It was yet another brilliant aspect that only helped to further cement Mega Man X's well-deserved place in the pantheon of DFG (Damn Fuckin' Good) Super Nintendo games. It's not Mount Rushmore, but it's up there
Like Dr. Wily himself... you can't keep Keiji Inafune down forever
I would be remissed if I didn't bring up Mighty No. 9. Keiji Inafune, the famed creator behind Mega Man, started a lofty fundraising project for his new project separate from Capcom on Kickstarter. It surpassed its goal by over 400%, and this Mega Man-inspired game is now in the works. Speaking of Kickstarter, recently there was another success story when Retro Magazine reached its own $$$ goal. Retro Magazine boasts a smörgåsbord of various gaming journalists from the past 30 years. It's an old school-based print magazine that specializes in retro gaming. The first issue was published last month, and it's certainly a promising publication that any retro gaming fan will want to keep an eye on...
Best of luck to Mike Kennedy and the rest of the RETRO staff ^_^
The debate of retro versus modern gaming will rage on forever. Inafune knows that there are many retro gamers out there, just like you and me, who lust after the glory days of gaming's past. The late '80s to mid '90s when games were games, and ideas were fresh, fun and creative. The Mega Man series, though a bit samey at times, was right at the heart of that. And the creator of that beloved franchise, Keiji Inafune, is back at it again with his latest creation: MIGHTY NO. 9. It is sure to be a smash success hit. Although it isn't Mega Man per se, it's clearly the Blue Bomber in spirit. Meanwhile, no matter how Mighty No. 9 turns out, or no matter what the future of Mega Man may hold, at least retro gamers will always be ensured of one thing... we'll always have the classic Mega Man franchise (and its 297 games) to fall back on
Mega Man X scored rather rave reviews, although a bit lower than most of its fellow classic brethren. EGM made it Game of the Month in their January 1994 issue (# 54) when they rated the game with marks of 9, 9, 9 and 9. GameFan was the one that shocked me a bit, as they only doled out ratings of 82, 87, 89 and 89. Keep in mind this is the same magazine that gave Clay Fighter a whopping 97%! Super Play Magazine rated it a healthy 88%. In issue # 100, Nintendo Power placed Mega Man X on their top 100 games list as # 58. The game's legacy is firmly cemented in gaming history. Fans often cite it as one of their favorite Mega Man games of all time, and it is highly revered in practically every retro gaming circle I have ever seen. Platforming blasters just don't get much better than this! No siree they sure don't
MEGA MAN X has certainly etched itself into Super Nintendo lore
AND THE SURVEY SAYS...
~X MARKS THE SPOT~
Several years ago I ran a survey asking which of the four traditional Mega Man games on the SNES did people most prefer. The results weren't surprising, as Mega Man X won by a landslide. It had 55.56% backing it, while Mega Man X³ came in second, with 26.67% of the votes, with Mega Man X² and Mega Man 7 bringing up the rear with 8.89% each. While I enjoyed all of the games, there's something about the original that just can't be beat. And in most circles, the consensus is most people prefer the first X game. Like Mary, there's JUST something about it
[If only you included MEGA MAN & BASS in that poll, too... -Ed.]
There's no denying that Mega Man X is a bonafide SNES classic. Not only did it bring the blue guy back in style but many still consider this one to be the finest hour in the entire Mega Man series. What made this game so epic? We can start off with the spiffy 16-bit visuals; up until that point Mega Man never looked better. While the tunes aren't Mega Man 2 legendary, they're still a treat with excellent tunes littered throughout. It plays enough like the old 8-bit Mega Man titles, but has enough new features to give it its own unique feel. The control was flawless; smooth and responsive. In a nutshell, take the 8-bit Mega Man which you love so much, add in 16-bit trimmings, and what you get is an absolute classic action title and one of the most beloved Super NES games of all time bar none
Can you stop the sinister SIGMA and his maniacal MAVERICKS?
For anyone who grew up holding an 8-bit Nintendo controller in their hands, Mega Man games have a fond spot in the hearts of countless retro gamers. Mega Man X coruscated onto the 16-bit generation with style. From the start, the game puts you in total control of X. He dashes, scales walls, and blasts with the best of them, and it seemed as if Mega Man and the SNES controller's a match made in Heaven. While the game may lack in challenge, it's forgivable given how much fun and how much ass this game kicks. It was a pleasure to explore 20 years ago and to this day it still delivers. Like fine wine, Mega Man X has aged gracefully thanks to its timeless gameplay and protagonist. As long as bad robots roam the earth, and Super Nintendos function like the Hondas that they are, Mega Man will always be around to protect and serve. And serve us he has. For nearly 30 years now, he's been providing us with countless memorable moments. Tunes and images forever etched into our gaming hearts. We can still hum certain Mega Man tracks. We still remember select boss patterns. And we still love the Blue Bomber after all these years. Happy 20th anniversary, Mega Man X. Thanks for the memories, ye ol blue chap. Rock on
Graphics: 8.5 Sound: 9 Gameplay: 9 Longevity: 8
As you can see, I didn't hesitate to pick up Mega Man X following my SNES resurrection of early 2006 (damn has it already been eight years since). In fact, Mega Man X was the first classic game I picked up. It was a video game that I played a bit of back in the day, but mostly watched my brother and his friends playing. As was the case way back then, most one player affairs were left to the older kids while I was but a common spectator. Indeed, my SNES rebirth was a chance to redeem the follies of my gaming youth, which includes playing through all the classic games I missed out on way back when. I was on a mission to not only reclaim bits and pieces of my childhood but to right my wrongs. You can't go back in time, but you sure can explore the titles from your youth that you missed. It was gaming redemption at its best. A second chance... In the words of the Kite Runner: "It was a way to be GOOD again"
If you fancy mid-bosses, and who doesn't, then you will find yourself at home here. I've always had an affinity for the sub boss. Maybe it's because I was always a supporter of the underdogs. I liked the idea of a big boss guarding the end of a level for his bigger ultimate boss, but that he commands an underling, and throws that crony out there midway to test you. The mid-bosses of Mega Man games were always interesting as they usually were very much unlike the regular MAN end bosses. They ranged from wild contraptions to huge sea serpents, and always gave the games that little bit of extra flavor I felt. I actually kind of wish the real bosses were varied in size and shapes like the mid-bosses, but hey at least we have these type of monstrosities in the game at all. When I think of Mega Man, I can't help but think of giant mechanical monsters, and the mid-bosses are right at the heart of that! And don't even get me started on the classic flashing. Or how frigging sick it was that you could ride the sea serpent's back and blast the shit out of its head, jumping for safety whenever its body twisted around. Finally, you blast its vile head right off the body and both you and the severed head came crashing down to the ocean floor. TOTALLY F'N BADASS!