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Snufflepus Penguin
Snufflepus Penguin

Mega Man X is often seen as a revolutionary classic that sprung the Blue Bomber to further heights. And for good reason. Touted for its amazing soundtrack, interesting enemies, good boss A.I. (Most of the time) and some interesting stage designs.

The introduction stage is a fantastic tutorial (No text boxes here Not So Mighty No 9 !), with great music of determination. You feel helpless battling the invincible Vile in his mech, and this sets up X’s power over the games. You’ll see that by X3, X could take down upgraded forms of Vile’s mechs with no problem !

Maverick stages are polished, and at times a splendor for the eyes, such as Launch Octopus stage. Some stages are a bit generic such as Spark Mandrill with a bit of enemy spam at the beginning, along with those annoying light bird things in the dark over pits. Other stages like Boomer Kuwanger have a fun ascending stage, or robot disposal conveyor belts in Flame Mammoth’s stage. Lots of enemy variety – Something that began to decrease in X2 and really decrease in X3. Secrets are mostly well placed. Introducing the First Armour was a nice addition. Health Bar should have been higher at the start (Maybe 4 Heart Tanks instead of 8). Sometimes stages lack a theme in areas or/and spam enemies in tight corridors.

Boss fights are often frantic, fast and require tactics. Their weaknesses usually don’t cripple them into an endless loop like X3 but help. I like how the Kuwanger’s cutting weapon can cut off some of the bosses body parts, making them easier to tackle down. Some bosses can dominate, however, so most players won’t be able to fully buster them with base HP. Some bosses like Spark Mandrill hit like tanks. Without any heart tanks, these can really whittle you down.

Weapons are decent. Storm Eagle’s tornado weapon is very strong, perhaps overpowered. Sting Chameleon grants invincibility on charge, Kuwanger’s cutters are a powerful close range item grabber, Mammoth’s flame weapon is a short ranged but powerful weapon. Ice shotgun can freeze enemies. Octopus grants homing missiles. Electric Spark is alright. Charged rolling shield grants a protective barrier which is nice.

Sigma Stages vary in quality. The first half of stage 1 is great with the ascension to Sigma’s castle, but the second half is a blind enemy spamfest. Stage 2 has the platforms over pits, but again has random enemy spam and awkward room placement. Stage 3 has little “mini-stages” that link a lot of boss fights. They are ok, but could have had more creativity. Nonetheless, I prefer this kind of boss arrangement over the 8 capsule room. Stage 4 is a vertical corridor to sigma. The spider boss is bad. The Rangda Bangda boss is OK. The Dragon Head Boss is mediocre. Sigma’s fight is fast and frantic, but he hits like a meteor smashing into the earth. His damage is WAY too much, and should have been halved, at least. X2 improved on this a lot, but then X3 readopted that.

Story wise, it’s perfectly fine as it is. The relationship between X and Zero is cool.

Overall, Mega Man X lives up to it’s reputation. With fantastic music, enemy variety and decent stage flow, along with good weapons, the game is a treasured relic. Some fixes to the overall layout of enemies in the stage, along with better Sigma Stages would have made a great game even more superb.

Game Rating

Mega Man X1, aka the game that started the X saga. The game is fantastic on its own, but when I compare it to the rest of the X series, I see it as a sort of “black sheep.” The game does not give you a dash at the beginning, and I know that was done to ease classic players into the X games, but I honestly never liked it. Without the dash, a lot of the bosses become poor, and even with the dash, they range from good to boring waiting games. The mechanics introduced in this game brings tons of new possibilities for level design, to the point where we get a lot more vertical sections and even vertical levels in general. New to this game are also powerups. This game goes for a more RPG-like take, where you start with a miniscule amount of powers. Heart Tanks, Sub Tanks, and Armor Pieces, are all in relatively good locations, even though a few of them are kinda hid too well. The armor pieces in particular are what makes the game a lot of fun to play, since they can range from increasing your charging capabilities to damage reduction, and one in particular is at fault for my indifference on this game, which are the foot parts. The buster upgrade is powerful, but not so powerful that it overshadows the weapons. The weapons in this game are incredibly good, such as Rolling Shield, Shotgun Ice, the fan-favorite Storm Tornado, and my personal favorite, Fire Wave. With the buster upgrade, these weapons can be charged like the buster, to create a new and more powerful spin on the weapon, which is really cool.
Now with all of that said, there are a few glaring issues that kinda sours my taste. For one, the levels are pretty good, but without the dash, a lot of them feel boring to go through, such as Boomer Kuwanger’s stage, and there are some cheap hits here and there, like in Spark Mandrill’s stage. The Sigma stages are the real stinkers here, and the bosses, in general, are pretty poor. At least this game does not make you fight all 8 mavericks in the same stage, so that’s a huge plus. Other than that, the end-game really could use some improvement. Overall, I find this game pretty meh, and that saddens me. I honestly want to put this game right next to X4 and Zero 3, but that sadly can never happen. Great game in general, but after playing the other X games, I can’t really seem to place this higher on my list. Still WAY better than that other terrible and miserable excuse of a game.

Game Rating