CGRundertow MEGA MAN X5 for PlayStation Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 23.09.2012

X brought the Mega Man formula to 16 bits. X3 let you play as Zero for short periods
of time. X4 had an entire Zero campaign, though one couldn’t switch characters mid-game.
Yet folks deride the series for a lack of innovation and diversity? Awright, kids, buckle
down, because X5 goes wild with the changes. And it starts... by throwing out the robots’
names as printed in the game’s own manual, replacing them instead with... a litany of
Guns ‘N Roses references. No, seriously. This dude’s “Spike Rosered” in the booklet,
but get to the game and... Axl the Red. And he’s a rose. Axl... yeah. That’s low.
That’s so low, it’s Axl Low.
First off, the sky’s coming down. Maybe not the sky, but just this colony satellite,
infected by the Sigma Virus and speeding toward Earth. Your recourse is... this laser cannon,
deep in disrepair. And to refurbish it, you need to beat down... the members of Guns ‘N
Roses, who happen to be holding parts and materials critical to the destruction of the
colony. Along with these comes a deadline: Each time you enter a stage, it takes an hour
of the precious time remaining until impact. The difficulty and strength of bosses scale,
with a level indicator near their life bars, and certain upgrades to your armor can only
be obtained from bosses of sufficiently advanced levels. These customizable armor sets, as
well as whether to use X or Zero, can be configured before each stage. And then there’s clouds
of... computer viruses... and I’m not even sure how the heck that works, except that
absorbing too many of these Sigma-faced miasmas can cause X to malfunction and lose health,
while Zero instead gains temporary invulnerability. FORESHADOWING, ANYONE?
Honestly, these are more changes than I can remember in any other Mega Man title, but
as a result the whole thing feels kinda off. It’s not one particular thing - except maybe
the whole GnR crap - but a combination of an even more strained plot, shoehorned-in
mechanics, and unnecessary layers of convolutedness. The game underneath it all is still good - there’s
rarely ever been a “bad” Mega Man game - but there’s a lot of stuff above and outside
that core experience that ends up detracting from the whole. I appreciate the idea behind
a time limit, or levelling up bosses, but just because I appreciate it doesn’t mean
it belongs here. Some pretty-boy robot calls the base, says, “Hey, I’m going to attack
you! Eventually!” and then sods off, leaving you to wonder just what the hell transpired.
This is apparently a big deal... for all of five seconds, and then it’s back to the
status quo. That’s pretty much this game in a nutshell. Just add Guns ‘n Roses.