Level Select Thursdays: Megaman X5
I love Megaman X1, that game is one my favorite games of all time. However up until recently I was unable to play it’s sequels due to not knowing about them and focusing on other games. So thanks to Megaman X collection I was able to play the underrated sequel X2, the mixed looked X3, and the awesomeness that is Megaman X4. However the time came to finally play Megaman X5 and I heard my fair share of negative takes on this game but I decided to give this game a fair shot. So does this game continue the excellence or it is all one big nightmare….spoilers…..it’s a nightmare…..
I’m going to be frank with you that this review will my most negative take on something yet. So I’ll try to keep this positive and I’ll say that X5 rivals X4 and X1 for favorite Megaman X soundtracks. While one of the Mavericks levels is a remix of Bubble Crabs the other stages are catchy and they feel epic when they need to be. My personal favorites being the final Sigma stages.
In a minor note, I do love the fact that both X and Zero can actually both duck which doesn’t seem like much but it adds a bit more depth to when you approach enemies. The mechanic doesn’t hinder what X and Zero can do previously and it’s cool that the level design fits around it in some aspects. That’s the nicest thing you’ll see written about the level design. Graphically this game still looks good, but it’s lot of reused sprites and honestly a lot of the back rounds feel uninspired.
Sadly that’s those two aspects are the only two positive things I could actually think off. This game is that bad and it’s made even worse that it comes after X4 which renewed my faith in a X game after the boring fest that was X3. So where exactly do I start, well let’s go with the time limit.
So in the game you are presented with a countdown that when the number reaches zero a space colony will crash. The only purpose this serves is to force the player to go in a certain path therefore stripping a piece of what makes a Megaman X game great. Sure the player can go in any form but at the finale you will be punished for your actions with the “bad ending.” It’s constrictive and makes replaying the game unfun.
So I’m going to continue being honest and say that this level design is the worst in Megaman history, not just X but Megaman period. This game is filled with cheap enemy placement, horrible gimmicks that make stages longer make levels way longer than they should be. I’m not asking games to be easy but this isn’t challenge but rather lucked based. Lucked based is never fun whenever playing a game, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
I know that somebody will bring up why I haven’t brought up the fact that you actually switch between X and Zero and I love the idea of it and the developers almost got it right. I do love that both X and Zero share e-tanks but not heart tanks? That basically means either character is going to get 4 hearts a piece or one character is going to get all of them. Therefore making it pointless to switch at all.
The greatest sin that this game commits is padding for the sake of padding. Remember how in previous X games you would gain armor pieces and you could use them easily and get their part no problem. Here the game forces you to gather the armor parts before the armor is ready and in the second half of the game you can’t access the second armor without the first armor. You can’t even get most of the heart tanks and e-tanks on your first go. Many of them require either a special weapon or an entire set of armor first.
No matter what route you attempt to go on, you can’t get at least 80% of the upgrades. Which coming off previous X games is horrible step backwards.
While this was mostly negative I won’t say that I didn’t have my fun moments. Those moments coming from boss fights and the final area and of course discovering who Zero is. The story is the most compelling tale yet for the Maverick Hunters and feels tailored made to be a Hollywood blockbuster, but in this instance the cons outweigh the negatives.
Megaman X5 earns a 2/5