20XX (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

With the Mega Man X Collection recently released, and the upcoming Mega Man 11 on the horizon, there sure is a lot of excitement and buzz around the Blue Bomber lately.  And if you want to keep that excitement going, and don’t want to wait around for Capcom, then you might want to check out 20XX.  Gameplay is nearly exactly like Mega Man X.  So much so that I’m surprised Capcom didn’t sue.  But the difference here is that the stages are randomly generated, so each run will be a little different every time.  Because of that, the game is a bit more hardcore, too.  20XX (how do you pronounce that anyway?) is available to download on most current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

I’m not sure what the story to this game is exactly.   Robots are rampaging and it’s up to two robots/androids/humans in suits/I don’t know, to try and stop them.  You can choose to play as blue Nina who has an arm cannon, or red Ace, who has a laser sword.  So yeah, just like X and Zero.  You can charge your shots, dash, wall jump, you know, pretty much everything you can do in the X games.

But you don’t tackle stages in a selectable order like an X game.  Each stage is randomly generated, and when you beat the boss at the end, you can choose to take their weapon or another power-up.  You can hold 3 weapons at a time.  After you beat a boss, you can choose between three more random stages, so that part is a little like Mega Man X.  You can collect chips to buy energy and more permanent upgrades like a bigger health bar and tons more.

The game has several modes, too.  There’s the regular game where you go through a set of stages.  You can choose to have either three lives or one, depending on the difficulty, so yeah, it’s really hard.  There are also daily and weekly challenges, both regular and hardcore (although the regular is pretty tough, too).  One neat thing is that two people can play at the same time, although it’s hard to tell each other apart when things get chaotic.  It’s a shame, because I think a simple thing like putting 1P and 2P over their heads would fix it.

20XX has some other problems, too.  The graphics are a bit bland, and there are only a number of stage themes (plant, fire, sky, and ice).  But most importantly, one of the most fun thing about Mega Man games is learning the order of robots and stage layouts so you can get better at the game.  And since everything is random here, you don’t get that.  But the gameplay is still fun and controls are solid, so if you are a pro at Mega Man X, you should definitely look out for this one.  Instead of suing, I think Capcom should take notes from the makers of 20XX.  While I don’t like the randomly generated maps, a mini side game like that would add some much needed replay value in a Mega Man game.  And wouldn’t you love to be able to play a Mega Man game in co-op?

Kid Factor:

20XX is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You shoot robots with lasers and other weapons, who just explode when defeated.  So yeah, no worse than any other Mega Man game.  I grew up with these kinds of games and I think I turned out OK.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers and less experienced players may get frustrated at the difficulty.

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