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I will come right out and say it: the X series took the original 8-bit and made it ten times better.
Yeah, I will get some hate mail and what not from you original gang, but the first Mega Man X that debuted on the SNES matured the blue bomber and gave him balls.
Armor upgrades, heart tanks, "street fighter moves", Sigma, bosses with real names instead of "man" on the end of it — all of these little new enhancements is what brought more meat to the table. Sure, most of the names were still goofy, but at least it was somewhat fresh. And Sigma had much extravagant and different alternative forms then what Wily can remember (although the mad scientist did create Zero).
It was over a year ago that Mega Man 10 was released on the home consoles. Forget HD graphics, voice acting, or snappy cinemas — it was all about the traditional fun we all had in the 8-bit days of the NES. Gameplay, therefore, was what mattered. You really think X8 is the climax of this franchise?
There have been many social networks (Facebook/Twitter) as well as fan-based-websites (check out megamanx9.com) to grasp Capcom's attention that demand for the ninth saga is elevating itself higher to its own end. Hironobu Takeshita, Megaman producer, has indeed been questioned on numerous occasions if MMX9 is inevitable (his 1up interview here shows a slight a chance).
Hold on, I know what you're going to say. X has seen his dark days as well…
Beyond Mega Man X6 brought despair, embarrassment, and failure in trying to reinvent Capcom's popular series.Mega ManX7 tried a transition into a 2-D/3-D factor while giving us a new character, Axle, who turned out to be a whiny little bitch with a woman's voice. And X8 tried to fix the mistakes made from the previous installment by keeping the side-scrolling screen while remaining in 3D. However, it included the lamest bosses ever and couldn't be taken seriously.
To figure out a solution, more people need to start dressing up as Sigma at gaming events.
Well, you don't have to, but I know there is as many X fans as the original — the annals has so much potential to gain exposure and success as both Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 have.
We've seen Rush, Wily, Roll; now let’s see the return of Zero, X, Sigma, Vile, and even Dr. Doppler. Now, sticking to Capcom's arcade tradition, craft Mega Man X9 in the SNES graphics; that old sprite still looks bad ass to this day. All of you gamers who grew up in the ‘90s know what I am talking about.
Click page two for the history of Mega Man X.
History of Megaman X
While we wait impatiently for Mega Man X9 to XBLA PSN, and the Wii, (if our wishes are granted), let’s rewind to what made X a star and how the maverick hunter went from good to absolute misfortune.
*Note: Some of these games were also released on the PC in certain areas such as Korea, but for the most part this covers the basic America versions.
Mega Man X (Super Nintendo) 1993
Put Mega Man in a more serious and dangerous role and give him a pair. Nifty armor, heart tanks, new characters and story set the par that Rockman now can fly on the SNES. Note that Sigma's dog resembles Bass's pet in Mega Man 7.
Mega Man X2 (Super Nintendo) 1995
This is the game that got me hooked. Although X2 didn't have nearly the impact as Mega Man 2, the levels, the red gloves, armor, and theastonishing dragon punch were kick-ass. They also used Sigma's final form, correct me if I am wrong, with the FX chip. It certainly looked like it anyway. Try charging up the Speed Burner – it’s still the sickest move in Mega Man X history.
Mega Man X3 (Super Nintendo, PlayStation, Saturn) 1996
This one had so many armor parts, and Dr. Doppler resembled somewhat of Dr. Wily (only completely more jacked-up). The final battle was so memorable for me – there were three forms of Sigma, plus you had to escaped the explosion a-la' Super Metroid. And of course, the gold armor was a nice addition, but most would've preferred a new Street Fighter move. This was also the debut of the ability to play as Zero; though it was extremely limited. Take note that the PlayStation and Saturn versions featured outstanding remixed music and cut scenes.
Mega Man X4 (PlayStation,Saturn) 1997
With updated visuals (while still remaining 2D), X4 introduces a more detailed story, added with some awesome anime-like cinemas. This also is the very first time to let you play as Zero through the entire game. Zero, along with X, can obtain the prominent Ultimate Armor, which would remain in the next two PlayStation games.
Click page three for Mega Man X5, the Mega Man Xtreme titles, Mega Man X6, and yes — Mega Man X7!
Mega Man X5 (PlayStation) 2001
I did prefer X4 over the fifth installment, but Capcom included more aspects in the armor arsenal: There were a total of four armors with each distinct utilities and maneuvers in order to capture all the secrets. The fourth, of course, was the Ultimate Armor. Also refresh your memory: This is the first game Mega Man could duck. Bosses were also named after the band Guns N' Roses. Not to hate, but it sounded a lot cooler on paper.
Mega Man Xtreme & Mega Man Xtreme 2 (Game Boy Color)
Much like the original series (with the black and white Game Boy), X had "spin-offs" on the Game Boy Color. Simply mixing the bosses from all the SNES versions (while adding a couple new villains), the two games were considered (at least to me) top-notch for anyone who owned the 8-bit handheld system. Different yet similar levels — it was fun to at least bring X on the get-go. Xtreme 2 let you play as Zero.
Mega Man X6 (PlayStation)
What the hell? Less than a year later (after X5), the sixth installment comes out. There's no lie or any denial that this game was rushed to the extreme. Dialog was spoken in Japanese (with English subtitles), levels were atrocious beyond belief, the graphics were less superior, and reoccurring enemies became tedious. Despite its flaws, the Ninja Armor was stellar (think of Spider-Man), and you can also use Zero's sword.
Mega Man X7 (PlayStation 2) 2003
The preview and pics looked so cool. Cel-shaded graphics, 3D, new character, PS2 power capability, etc.
Thanks Capcom for letting me waste my money.
First and foremost, you cannot play as X (you have to unlock him as you progress through). With the exception of the intro level, our blue friend runs away and cries about how he does not want to fight anymore (pussy). When you first play the game, it presents a nice side-scrolling action that brings X fans a notable experience from the SNES days.
Then, suddenly, the camera slaps you in the face and turns into 3D. Odd controls, unreliable camera, hard to aim – yup, they’re all there.
The voice acting? Oh my.
I can still remember having to turn my TV on mute when you battle Flame Hyenard: "Burn to the ground! Burn to the ground! Burn! Burn!" Obnoxious bosses (Tornado Tonion? Seriously?), appalling levels and the annoying new character Axl (who sounded like a 12-year-old girl) mark this as the worst Mega Man X game in the X chronicles.
Is there any pros, you ask?
Hmm…the character-swap was a nice touch, upgrading each hero was new, and Axl hover power was OK.
On a side note, if I ever find the person who did the voice of X in this game, I will reward him with the most vexatious pair of lips in gaming ever.
Click page four for Mega Man X8, Maverick Hunter X, and Mega Man X Collection.
Mega Man X8 (PlayStation 2) 2004
Capcom tends to learn from their mistakes. Staying 2D was what most of us wanted, so they listened…sort of.
Although overall not a bad game, the side-scrolling just didn't feel right with the 3D visuals. The bosses, once again, made themselves look like cereal-box-character rejects. Though it was epic to see the return of Vile (who last appeared in X3), Sigma looked as if he belonged in Dante's Inferno.
The combo-hit (where you can do a double attack) was impressive, but less thrilling when delivering it to the almighty Burn Rooster or Optic Sunflower. For god sakes Capcom, I don't think it is possible to come up with such a more intimating Maverick than a flower.
Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (PSP) 2005
Instead of releasing Mega Man X9, we are treated with a remake of the original.
Sticking close to the first SNES title (just with prettier graphics in 3D), Maverick Hunter X was just as good as the original — now transfixing with animated movies, new music, and the privilege of playing the antagonist Vile. Not bad, however, I still wonder why anyone thought X1 needed to be revamped. A new game would've been much more satisfying.
Mega Man X Collection (PlayStation 2/GameCube) 2006
Why look so hard for the original cartridges of X2 and X3? Capcom released this after they made decent money on Mega Man Anniversary Collection. Not a bad deal.
Plus, you can unlock and play the never-released (in US) Battle & Chase.