Same Sky
All Worlds Share the Same Sky…

Review: Megaman ZX Advent

Another year, another Megaman game (or two or three), right? Pretty much, yes. Thing is, the Megaman games tend to be good. As someone who hasn’t touched the franchise in recent years (Megaman Zero was the newest title I had played, and even then, not for very long), what did I think about Megaman ZX Advent? Let’s take a more in-depth look at this action/adventure-esque title for the DS.

 

Megaman games tend to build on a few key concepts, and Megaman ZX Advent delivers on them: lots of action, hidden powerups, confusing storyline, crazy boss fights, and the classic ability of copying the powers of those bosses. However, Megaman ZX Advent, for those who didn’t play the last ZX game, sports a brand new function to the Megaman franchise: instead of copying a single power from a boss, players actually can BECOME them, gaining most of if not all of their abilities.

From a gameplay standpoint, Megaman ZX, as previously stated, follows its predecessors faithfully — which is a goodthing. Controls are customizable and tight, allowing for great maneuverability during wicked fights where projectiles are flying all over the screen. The difficulty is just right on Normal mode, but less hardened players can try out the Easy setting before graduating up, which they very well may in order to play as the second playable character. Speaking of which, there are two characters to play as — a male and a female. However, their adventures are roughly the same with minimal differences. Regardless, it’s refreshing to play as a girl underneath that suit of armor — curiously, Ashe, the female lead, is still referred to as a “Mega Man” rather than a “Mega Woman.” I can hear the feminists cry out already. Oddly enough, this small detail greatly bothered me, as it’s all part of a flurry of confusing storyline.

And he’s gonna tell you in the whiniest voice ever, at that.

The fairly high-quality presentation preceeds the lackluster story, though. A few fully animated cutscenes are lightly sprinkled, and full voice acting is utilized throughout most of the key plot points — a surprising feet for the DS, at least until you realize how bland the acting is. To top off the puzzling story (which I’m sure makes slightly more sense to those fans on top of things these days) is a set of mostly forgettable dialogue shot off through off par voicing. Sometimes, it’s all right, but most of the time, the efforts are overdone and come off as Saturday morning anime-dub material. As one who’s seen some Saturday morning anime (shamelessly), I must admit that much of the acting is even lower grade than that. In short, voice acting on the DS is great, but it needs better quality than this to stand out.

Regardless of the story, dialogue, and voice acting, we all know why we play Megaman — to copy enemy powers and blast through hordes of robots. In that respect, Megaman ZX Advent gives gamers exactly what they want and more. The level design is fair, if at times a little ridiculous in insta-death situations, and crushing through enemies is fun and engaging, especially with the wealth of ever-expanding abilities at the player’s fingertip — literally. Tapping a thumb on a symbol in the bottom screen is an effortless means to swap powers (though it can also be done the old school way with a menu) and the powers themselves are much more interesting than an old school Megaman gamer such as myself is used to, what-not with the complete metamorphosis. This means, of course, that the game is tailored to different power uses — the right power is meant to be used in the right situation. Sometimes these powers are required, others, it is merely for the sake of convenience. Either way, it’s done well enough to add some new interest to the series that old fans should take note of. In all honesty, however, I usually played as the default character, as well as the inevitable “Zero” power (ala the Megaman Zero series) received later on in the game. Nevertheless, the options are there, and most of the powers are fairly enjoyable to use, while some are completely useless in the wrong situation. As a noteworthy addition, there are lots of things to do on the side, as the Hunters and other NPCs have plenty of odd tasks that need to be accomplished, from hunting baddies, re-defeating bosses, and collecting odds and ends. These result in currency and various items, including certain equipable ones. This helps to flesh the game’s playtime out to a general allotment that makes Megaman games of old blush, especially when considering the repeat plays due to difficulty.

Psycho yet patterned bosses? Check.

The graphics looks sharp, though a little more on the GBA side than the DS one. Most backgrounds feel a little lacking in animation, but the whole appearance looks pleasing as it stands. The music is actually pretty well put together, with plenty of catchy tunes. Nothing astounding, perhaps, but certainly striking some nice notes. As a whole, the pieces click together with only a few rough spots.

 

 

Awards:


Hardcore Difficulty

Sharp Controls

Sharp Gameplay

Score: 4/5

 

 

While it can feel repetitive at times and overwhelming in its difficulty at others, Megaman ZX Advent delivers a strong game with plenty of interesting extra elements to spice up the Megaman formula. Those who’ve been caught up on Megaman in recent years will no-doubt be more tired of the same song and dance, but to those who have been sitting about for years, ignoring Megaman titles due to their “samey” nature, ZX Advent is definitely worth checking out. It’s evolved a good chunk over the past few cumulative years, and is deserving of a good rental at the least for those who used to love the old classics and are in the mood for a new spin on things. In the end, the presentation stumbles a bit, but as a whole, the game has so much content for this genre on a handheld system and such tight, engaging action that it merits some good play time.

Advertisements

No Responses to “Review: Megaman ZX Advent”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: