It’s been two weeks hasn’t it? So that means I’ve at least beaten a game or two….or maybe three. And the lucky game is: the Mega Man X series (again!?) but this time for the Playstation 1 our very own Mega Man X4, X5, and X6. Mega Man X4, X5, and X6 play similar to its predecessors on the SNES except for the fact you can now choose to play as Zero (in X4 the whole game but in X5 and X6, you can select per mission). Another fact is this is Mega Man X5 is the first game to allow you to unlock multiple armors, in addition, to that of not allowing single armor equips and giving Zero an armor. This series still sticks its root with the action-platform genre with 3D character models and shades, with 2D adventure.
Story: In Mega Man X4, the story revolves around the Maverick Hunters (Mega Man or Zero) and an army called the Repliforce. The Repliforce are Maverick Hunters such as yourself, but when the incident of “Sky Lagoon” happens and rumors of the General of the Repliforce meeting with a mysterious cloaked figure, the Maverick Hunters declare the Repliforce and are forced to fight them. The story alters a bit choosing between the two characters (as you fight a different sub-boss before Sigma), but all in the all it’s the same ending.
In Mega Man X5, Sigma is revived again (spoiler or shocker….but not really) but this time, he changes his plan. Instead of going after the hunters and trying to eradicate mankind, he creates a virus dubbed the ‘Sigma Virus’ and uses it to try and unlock Zero’s true potential. Mega Man X5, utlizies alternate scenes and endings to the max. Beginning with Enigma, a large laser to stop a colony from falling on Earth, (it either fails or succeeds, you can’t determine that), then depending on who you play as you fight either X or Zero, but there are 3 forms of Zero. Maverick Zero, regular Zero, and truly awakened Zero; which in turn leads to many different scenes. In addition, there is a good and bad ending.
In Mega Man X6 (fun fact Keiji Inafune wanted the series to end at X5 but Capcom decided to make an X6 anyway), Zero is proclaimed dead since he has been missing ever since the end of Mega Man X5. In addition, something new called the “Zero Nightmare” is spreading chaos around the world and X goes to research this Maverick and restore his former comrades name. Once it is found out that researcher named Gate was the one using this title and X and (a recovered) Zero go to stop him.
Gameplay: The easiest part of the review, the gameplay! In Mega Man X4, X5, and X6 the gameplay is similar to the SNES predecessor. You can still dash, wall jump, charge shot, gain special abilties etc. The difference in these games besides receiving various armors, is Zero can also learn moves as well. While, most of his abilities do revolve around sword movements, he can sometimes use his seldom used Z-buster. The ultimate armors, are only a cheat code able to used in the beginning of the game (except for X5 you can actually unlock it). Both in X5 and X6, you can find two set of armors besides original X and whatever Armor you start from the previous game (so in X5 its Fourth Armor and in X6 it’s falcon). Also, in X5 and X6, you can equip ability parts, to allow your character to move faster, shoot faster (i.e. Speed Shot), have more life, and much more.
Graphics: Graphics and animation are very smooth in this game. From its nice 3D landscapes or platelets (X and Zero) to its 2D backgrounds. There are no glitchy areas, no over-vibrancy of color and best off, blowing up bad guys is just as fun to look at.
Music: As usual, the music for Mega Man games are great. The themes go with most of the levels and bosses, they are catchy, and really never annoying. While in X4, they use the hilarious FMV and english dub and Mega Man sounds like a 10-year-old girl, you learn to live the AHH and more AHH’s to love the game.
Replayability: I’d say all these games have very good replayability. In Mega Man X4, you definitely will want to play both ways (obviously to see the other cutscreens). In X5, you will love seeing all the alternating endings and scenes, because at first the story is pretty confusing. Lastly, X6 may be the least likely to replay, but the game has so much to offer and the usual two endings (Zero and X) you may just give it another go.
Mega Man X4: 8/10
Mega Man X5: 9/10
Mega Man X6: 8.5/10
Mega Man X4 receives the lowest score, because I felt it was the weakest of the three (in addition to being the funniest for the wrong reason). The game X4 didn’t change that much from X-X3 and actually felt dumbed down from X3. Mega Man X5 is the best in the series, smooth gameplay, alternating Zero-X option, a lot of secrets, and heck the multiple scenes was actually addicting in this game, Mega Man X6 I really enjoyed because it is one of the tougher Mega Man X’s. Levels were a bit longer, there were a lot more spikes (to my streaming watchers Gate’s Lab Level 1 when i was blade armor Mega Man) and not to mention tougher bosses. Seriously, Nightmare Mother was hard as crap but Gate’s no pushover either.
I thought Mega Man X’s for the PSX/PS1 was a great game and if you’re bored and looking for a new game to play, this game may fill that need.
Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina