Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
Retro-gaming is in. A lot of developers and publishers are re-releasing old games in compilations, withor without additional levels or graphical updates and specially the handhelds (PSP and DS) seem to be good for this. The recent announcement that we’ll soon be able to download old PSOne games on our memory stick only supports this trend.
Mega Man Maverick Hunter X can easily be put under the same type. This game was released quite some time ago under the name of Mega Man X on the SNES. Many gamers amongst us were too young back then to really enjoy it or have just completely missed it. Now everyone gets the chance to relive the adventure on the PSP, including extra content, fresh movies and new graphics.
In the game itself you get to work with Mega Man, a blue-colored dude who’s probably less popular around here in Europe but does have his share of fans worldwide. The gameplay is that of a 2D action-platformer, but a bit more grown up than Mario. There’s also a lot more personalisation and firepower present! The structure can be called simple: you choose a mission, shoot down a ton of cannon fodder, jump and blast your way to the Boss to defeat him and get his unique weapon.
MMX gets storywise the mission to track down a couple of Reploids that have gotten loose. These are some sort of robots that help people with their everyday tasks but who have gotten on the wrong track by the perverted influence of their evil colleague Sigma. You don’t need more as a hero to put on your blue suit and buckle up.
Next to the above mentioned gametechnique you also get some extras. You can obtain new powers, upgrade your armor and improve your weapon. The controls never bother and feel nice and tight. Also the jumping and the fluidness of the whole run like a train, just like the excellent and varied level design that keeps you constantly interested. With the setting and gameplay things are quite alright, just like you would want a 2D scroller to be.
Back in the days, games were a lot shorter than now and people really counted on the replayability and high difficulty degree. Somewhere this is a problem with MMX as the game as such isn’t very long, but it’s clear the makers noticed this as well. There are various difficulty levels, you can unlock a cool 20 minute movie and you can also work play with Vile.
This playable character needs to be unlocked but for once it’s really worth doing so. Vile has very cool weapons to his disposal and if you finish the game with him, you can again unlock new weapons from the bosses. That way you get a very impressive arsenal including the necessary variations and special abilities so that also the hardcore gamers will find their likings.
The good news isn’t over yet as also the graphics of this game imprss. The looks were completely redone with 3D objects while not betraying the 2D scrolling aspect. This makes for a very tight and colorful surrounding that blows off your screen. Rarely I’ve seen such fun animations and characters. Old-skool but with a very modern jacket around it!
The sound seemed less impressing, but still it’s in line with the rest of the game an you can hardly call it bad. Nice, but nothing more.
Mega Man Maverick Hunter X prooves that retro-gaming can be more than re-releasing and milking old games. The fantastic gameplay is still there, but got added with a bunch of fun extras and overthrown with a modern graphical sauce that looks incredibly nice on the PSP! Add to that the nice movies and especially the extra character Vile, and you’ve got a title that will appeal to both old and new fans.