Mega Man ZX DS Review
I may not be the correct person to review this game seeing as, in all honesty, I can’t say I am Mega Man’s biggest fan. In fact, I am probably the person that most hardcore fans of the franchise would mock when my back is turned. Sure, I do have some love for the little guy/girl/whatever but as Mega Man games seem to be coming by the veritable bucket load, in all different shapes and sizes, I find it best to just dive in and out from time to time by picking up only a select few from the long list of games out there. As such, I never seem to be fully up-to-date with the story of the game and what exactly is the major malfunction of the new enemies to have them so annoyed. Thankfully, the gameplay does not seem to have gotten away from me as this edition still seems to have the same basic jump, shoot and win mechanics the series is famous for.
As you start ZX you are given the option to play as one of two characters, a young boy named Vent or a girl named Aile. Now, I cannot be 100% sure but it seems the story of the game remains pretty much the same regardless of which one you choose. That story revolves around your character working as a courier for a shipping company called Giro Express. One day while your hard at working shipping some biometal, evil robots attack, like they do, and you’re exposed to the substance. This, of course, lets your character transform into a basic Model X Mega Man, and thus your adventure begins. From there, you are thrown into the main game with limited abilities, but, with the option to find more biometal types and upgrade as you advance through the game. Unlike other Mega Man games, advancing in ZX happens much like you’d see in Castlevania as the whole game world is connected on one huge map, with long lines of doors and corridors available letting you reach a selection of different areas.
In each of these areas you can choose to accept a mission. Interestingly, the game allows you to pick from a selection to give a feeling of being open-ended. However, the game still makes an effort to hold you by the hand to make sure you don’t get lost as certain sections of the map do not get opened up until you gain access to certain items. Regretfully, it is still, at times, hard to find a certain area and a lot of searching, or trips to an FAQ, will be needed. As you advance, and different biometals are found, your chosen character gets stronger and you are then allowed to switch between different suits on-the-fly while playing. The different suits give your Mega Man different abilities, letting you fly for a small period of time or shoot different projectiles. Other than that, the missions play pretty much like a typical Mega Man game, offering a myriad of different kinds of platform jumps, typical traps that will try to bring you to an unfortunate end, and many enemies, mini-bosses and bosses with patterns and weak-spots to be exploited. Also, Capcom have decided to make scant use of the DS hardware (mic, screens) which may be a blessing or disappointment depending on how ‘touchy’ you are.
One aspect of the game that makes a rather unwelcome return, well at least for me, is the lack of a sufficient amount of save points. When you combine this with the rather high difficulty level of the game, and the distinct possibility of dying a lot, it leads to having to play some sections of some levels a large number of times. A few more problems rear their heads as the graphics have a distinct ‘GBA’ feel to them as they in no way take advantage of, or even try to take advantage of the power under the hood of the DS. However, although they may be more basic than most would like, the levels still remain bright, vibrant and colourful. There is also a good range of levels on show, each with a differing selection of themes to try and keep things interesting as the hours pass by, and you get further into the game. Thankfully, in typical Mega Man form, many of the tunes on show are of high quality with a selection of melodies that stick in you head long after playing.
All in all, ZX is a top quality game and a welcome addition to the now infinitely long running Mega Man series of games. The game does have its fair share of problems, but most are well known ones that are already the bane of all Mega Man games that Capcom refuse to fix and/or alter. Nevertheless, if you are itching for some side-scrolling action or are simply just a long time fan of Mega Man and his never-ending escapades then there are far worse things to do than pick up Mega Man ZX.
A Mega Man game for Mega Man fans.