Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Game On: Let's Play 3.08 - Mega Man X

Game: Mega Man X (via Mega Man X Collection)
System: Super Nintendo (and GameCube)
Developer: Capcom (Capcom Production Studio 1)
Publisher: Capcom
Player: Chris

We had known Chris for a while when we brought up the show, Game On: Let's Play.  Hearing this, he proposed that he play one of his favorite games for it: Mega Man X.  Now, a few months later, we formally brought up the idea to have him play Mega Man X for the show, and he agreed.  The night we selected, however, was not the best; our player had an arranged event later that night, so our recording would be forced to last only so long.  Furthermore, he had not played the game in some time, but he had a working knowledge in his head.  The question was: could he do it in time?

Mega Man X is an action game starring X, the first robot with free will and emotional capabilities.  Found by Dr. Cain in the ruins of Dr. Light's lab, X's abilities were copied and placed into other robots, creating the Reploid race.  However, over time certain Reploids began to show desires to commit crime and attack humans; other Reploids would be selected to hunt these "Mavericks" down and bring them to justice.  Unfortunately, when most of the Maverick Hunters become Mavericks themselves, run by General Sigma, it is up to X and the remaining hunter, Zero, to stop the Mavericks before they exterminate the human race!  In terms of gameplay, Mega Man X is very similar to that of normal Mega Man games, but on top of the usual powerups earned by defeating bosses, X can also find capsules left by Dr. Light to provide permanent upgrades to X's abilities, including dashing and special charge shots.  The game also hides permanent energy upgrades and unique Sub Tanks which act different from the one-time-use E-Tanks of the past.  All in all, Mega Man X takes the normal Mega Man formula and expands on it greatly for the SNES hardware.

Mega Man X was developed by the lead Mega Man team at Capcom, run by artist Keiji Inafune.  In development, fellow artist Hayato Kaji worked on creating the lead character, while Inafune helped develop supporting characters and the story to connect the new game with the older franchise.  Originally, Zero was to be the lead playable protagonist, but due to concerns over fan reactions, X took his spot.  The idea to add armor attachments was proposed while adding unique armors parts to X during the art design phase; it was to supplement the ability to gain enemy weapons after their defeat.  Following the game's release, Mega Man X would replace the original Mega Man series in importance, with Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, and Mega Man and Bass being the final classic titles as X moved onwards.  Mega Man X5 was Inafune's last planned X title, but the series has since seen three more sequels, including Mega Man X7, which debuted the copy-Reploid Axel and 3D models.  The followup series Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX were developed by ex-Capcom developer Inti-Creates, who also developed Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10.  A PSP remake of Mega Man X, Maverick Hunter X, was released in 2005, and revised versions of the original have appeared on mobile phones and, more recently, on iOS platforms.  There are currently no Mega Man X titles planned for the future.

Chris would do pretty good job playing the game, particularly for someone who had not played it for some time and was doing so through the GameCube controls rather than the classic SNES controls.  He was able to make his way through the Mavericks and got the full armor, but he had a few problems when he got to Sigma's Base.  Unfortunately, he did not complete the game because of those problems.  He surpasses the major Vile battle and eventually defeats a large spider Maverick, but at that point, his time is up.  So close and yet so far away.

Other Mega Man X games may appear in the future, but this completes the SNES games we played within Game On: Let's Play.

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