Mega Man ZX
Time Played: 5.32 hours
Much like how Mega Man Star Force expounded upon the Mega Man Battle Network formula, Mega Man ZX evolved the platforming and action of the Mega Man Zero series. While this meant the visual style and difficulty carried over from the Zero series, ZX added just enough modification to the player character to make it more reminiscent of the original Mega Man series. Given how I’d developed some of my skills via the Zero games, I was easily able to jump right in and start playing ZX without too much difficulty.
Part of the problem with this game was the slightly “open-world” style of the overworld. I’ve been so used to playing Mega Man games that immediately transport you to the level you want to play. I’m so used to this formula that having to navigate a labyrinthine home base just to get to the next area was frustrating at times—if only for the sheer amount of backtracking I had to do to finally find the right spot to progress forward in the game. On top of this, some of the player character’s sound effects became quite irritating over time, depending on which gender you choose at the beginning.
Much like how Star Force scratched my itch to play Battle Network again, ZX was a good spiritual successor to the Zero series. Sure, I’d get beaten by a boss easily on my first few tries, but after learning the movement and attack patterns, I could eventually defeat these enemies. There is still a certain thrill about defeating a challenging boss that I can recall months and years later, and the final boss of this game certainly fits this bill. So while ZX managed to try a few new things with the Zero formula, it didn’t do anything too drastic to justify a whole new series.
A good spiritual successor to the Mega Man Zero series, I give Mega Man ZX 3.5 stars out of 5.