Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X (PSP) Review

This is the second of two Mega Man game reviews coming off two games I'd like sequels for. This is an early review, and it probably shows. Enjoy at the very least regardless of its age.

X searches for a Dallas basketball team.

user posted image

Mega Man X premiered on the Super Nintendo in the early part of 1994. The title didn't really change the formula of choose one of eight levels, beat boss, choose another level, beat boss with previous boss' weapon, rinse and repeat as much as it did add to that formula. Now this version of Mega Man could latch onto walls, scaling up them, charge up his X-buster, find capsules to learn new armor modifications, and pummel plasma into new animal-themed bosses. More than a decade later the title has remade for the Playstation Portable in the form of Mega Man Maverick Hunter X.

A showing of a beautiful animated cut-scene.

Maverick Hunter X bumps the presentation by adding animated cutscenes with not too shabby voicework. These cutscenes help to flesh out the backstory more and further explain events of the game. Graphically you'll find 3-D models of X, his enemies, and the surroundings. Rest assured this is still a 2-D side-scrolling action title. It simply has 3-D models.

You'll start off in the familiar highway opening stage blasting away at baddies, then being intercepted by Vile, saved by your friend Zero, and heading out to face off against eight Maverick bosses ranging from Chill Penguin to Boomer Kuwanger. Like any Mega Man game of this formula you're able to choose which stage to enter. By beating a Maverick at the end of each stage you get their weapon. The easiest way to play through Maverick Hunter X is to use the weapon that the boss is weak against for each of the bosses. Veterans will probably want to change it up and try beating each boss with simply the X-buster to make things more challenging.

X is walking in a winter wonderland.

Unlike previous Mega Man games, X can discover heart tanks (one in each of the eight Maverick levels) which increase his health and sub-tanks (four in all scattered in the eight Maverick levels) to be used to refill his health. Additionally hidden away in some of levels are Dr. Light's capsules. By discovering one Dr. Light will grant you a piece of armor. One piece will allow X to dash while another will grant X the ability to perform a more powerful charge shot with his X-buster. The capsule locations aren't the same as they were in the SNES version either. Speaking of changes, veterans will notice that Sigma's levels are reconfigurated and are somewhat different in order of events and enemies.

An added bonus to Maverick Hunter X is the option to play as X's nemesis, Vile. This gives the player an alternate take on the story with different sub-tank and heart tank locations. This mode is unlocked once you beat the game as X and is an added challenge to an already meaty game.

Using the right weapon on a boss makes all the difference.

Mega Man X is one of my favorite games of all time, and Maverick Hunter X improves the original game with impressive graphics and an updated story. My only beef with the game is that the soundtrack is too meh for my tastes. Some of the tracks are nice, but some don't fit with the levels at all. Listening to Vile's butt rock theme while playing as him is pretty annoying as well. As a whole though without soundtrack issues, Maverick Hunter X is one hell of a remake. Paired with Mega Man Powered Up, and you have 2-D action side-scrolling bliss.

Story: Sigma leads the Mavericks against humanity. The Maverick Hunters are the only ones left to stop them.

Graphics: Not too bad at all. Backgrounds are beautiful and bosses are as bad (in the good way) as ever.

Gameplay: Heaven for any Mega Man fan.

Audio: X is voiced by Mark "This hand of mine is burning red" Ratha, and the rest of voices are great, too. The soundtrack turned me off somewhat, however.

Replay Value: The main mode won't take you but four hours if you're real slow and collect everything, but Vile's mode is an alternate take for more action. Games like this beg to be played over again anyway.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.0/10]

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