Zero to hero.
Though Capcom hasn’t necessarily abandoned the Mega Man brand as a whole, it’s indisputably reduced how often it produces new games in that celebrated franchise. For example, it’s been 19 years since the last new Mega Man X release (and let’s be real, X8 was a rough entry to end on), but that series now lives on in the efforts of its fans. A few years ago, Battery Staple Games released 20XX, a cute roguelite take on Mega Man gameplay, and now it’s followed up that effort with 30XX. It isn’t without issues, but we’re happy to report that 30XX feels like an overall improvement over its predecessor, and stands as a worthy homage to a beloved series.
Gameplay in 30XX follows the template of classic Mega Man X. You run ‘n’ gun through eight themed levels capped off with a tough boss fight, collecting new weapons or abilities each time you beat another boss, then challenge some extra tough final stages. The gimmick here, however, is that 30XX is structured like a roguelite, so each stage is different each run and there are myriad upgrades you can collect along the way to help even the odds a little bit. There are two playable characters, named Ace and Nina, and they take after Zero and X, respectively. Both have their pros and cons, though we generally preferred Nina’s ranged gameplay over Ace’s sword-swinging skills.
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