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Where to now, Mega Man?

November 14, 2007

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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Mega Man ZX Advent'Mega Man ZX Advent' is the direct sequel to last year's Mega Man ZX. Though the original ZX marked a new chapter in the Mega Man series, the game itself was a return to the series' roots, as it had all the great 2D platforming elements that made the original titles on the NES and SNES so wildly popular. The ZX games throw some RPG elements into the mix, though the best parts of ZX Advent are still the running, gunning, jumping and climbing.

Very little has changed for this sequel. Once again, you play as one of two human characters and quickly find yourself embroiled in a plot that has you not only trying to take down a shady character who is trying to get mega men to destroy each other, but to find out your past. As you traverse the many levels, you'll fight your way to earning new 'biometals', which allow you to change into different robots, each with its own abilities that will help you go further in the game. The difference in 'Advent' is that after some of these boss battles, you'll be able to actual change into the character you just fought, whether it's a bee, an ice bohemeth or an electric guitar-playing bird ... no, seriously.

As with most games in the series, the controls are fantastic. The bread and butter of getting through levels requires you to jump and shoot your way past enemies, but there are plenty of sections in later levels that will require using powers from the enemies you've defeated. You'll really have to use your wits and look carefully at each characters' special abilities. Whether it's slowing time, chomping whole walls, or hanging from vines, each character definitely has something to offer. It'll just take some patience to figure out how each one comes into play throughout the levels. The actual buttons themselves can be fully customized to suit your preferences as well.

The game itself isn't all that difficult, but for completionists, there are some real challenges. Mini quests can be activated throughout the game by talking to certain characters and completing these quests will earn you money and powerups. It's rarely as simple as shooting down a wall to find these hidden goodies, but those with patience and some knowledge of previous Mega Man games will be able to get a good chunk of these powerups. Others, though, may find it a frustrating experience because it does force backtracking that becomes tiresome.

Mega Man ZX Advent: zap zap zap!The map system, though still far from perfect, is an improvement over the original 'ZX'. Areas are typically split up into four sections, and in each section is a marker that can be activated. Once activated, these markers allow you to warp back to those sections whenever you find a transerver (typically, there's one transerver in each area). You can also zoom into each individual section to get a more detailed look at the surroundings. It's a great idea in theory but I found zooming in really didn't help me at all, as there was still little detail.

The game looks extremely similar to the first ZX - that is to say, very good. The levels are bright and colourful, with most rooms and levels featuring memorable backgrounds, from lush vegetation to barren lands covered in ice.

In addition to the minigames, there are also multiplayer games that can be played using either single or multi-card download play.

As the Mega Man series trudges on into its third decade, it's tough to say whether or not Capcom is just mailing it in, so to speak, or if this is still as viable a series as it has always been. ZX Advent is a good game as far as handheld platformers go, but here's hoping the develop/publisher shakes things up for future titles.

Mega Man ZX Advent
Format: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Everyone
Official Site: http://www.capcom.com/megaman/

Rating: 7.0 / 10

 
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