Note: Honest to God, if we told you why we’re posting both versions of the Mega Man X review by Meteo X, we’d be incarcerated on the spot and flaming ants would march into our anuses in what could be generously described as contrition. Nondisclosure agreements evidently work both ways, and, without giving away too much information, me and Paul are looking at the business end of a turkey baster that was previously used in the federal “Prison Surrogate DNA” program. In fact, by reading this, you are now a federal accessory. Your 401(k) is now a paperweight—one that doesn’t exist in the physical world. Either cut it off and turn it into a vagina or I’ll do it for you.
Mega Man X: Silly Version
If you were a poncing, wanking little Hulkamaniac like I was back in the winter of 1993, when God saw fit to give us 15 years of winter snow all impacted together and raining like a diarrhea of celestial kidney stones, you remember hitting the video store just before you had to get back into your house through your chimney and being lucky enough to get MEGA MAN FUCKING X. It was announced in my favorite GamePro issue, which we later burned for warmth (and food), and on this deadly winter that killed dozens, blew out our water pipes costing us thousands of dollars, and froze off our brother’s legs, I was the happiest boy on Earth.
Replacing twee synthie-pops and fuzzy wobbles was the best hardcore metal work a MIDI engine like SPC700 could produce, and that fact was the first thing that smacked you upside the ass and said “listen, bitch!” And you better be paying attention, ‘cause this game works its red, shaven fanny off to play like the classic it is.
The team behind this game knew what they were doing. They knew this was going to be a Mega Man Xplosion, but they knew they couldn’t go too far, lest the Mega Man Xplosion turn into the Mega Man Challenger. Still only eight bosses, though this time Capcom thought it would free up more creativity by making the baddies out of animals (and at first, they were right), but they were bad-flip-fucking-mama-put-your-babies-in-the-oven-because-its-San-Francisco-in-the-1960s-and-everyones-tripping-on-acid-and-the-coven’s-gettin’-hungry-ass.
Check this shit out: LAUNCH. OCTOPUS.
Shit, baby. If you can find anything more badass than that, I’ll write you a check from our holding corporation off Langkawi. [Meteo! The nondisclosure! — ed.] Oh, fuck me, man. [I will. — ed.]
Mega Man himself also went through a substantial upgrade. You see, people don’t just tack X on the ends of their names because it looks cool. X is the algebraic symbol for unlimited potential. You know this because I’m Meteo X. I make the rules then break them over your nuts, and so does Mega Man X. He gets a new Buster Cannon that lets him upgrade his baddie weapons, too. He gets armor upgrades that he’ll need to survive the cataclysmic level designs in an airport, deep in the jungle, and in the fucking power station as he raids the underwater fortress, rides through the dangerous mines, and takes back the tower.
And blessed is the man who gave Mega Man X the power to Hadouken.
If this game has any faults, it’s that it is too perfect. The original Mega Man series pretty much ceased to exist after this game, so Capcom had to milk it for all its worth, like an old cow with sagging teats. That meant future installments had to pile on more and more and make the tiredness of the old formula stand out too much. With this game, the balance was perfect; it was a significant UGPRADE of Mega Man, not a forced title pressured to keep it going like X-on.
Can’t think of anything else to touch on. Mega Man X is a crazy-awesome game that you should be punishing yourself for not playing right now. Go on, do it. If you can’t think of anything, I’ll give you some suggestions. First, smear some buffalo barbecue chicken meat on your body and run naked through the streets of Harlem. Second, chest yourself with a pressure bomb set to go off if you don’t get an erection watching FRASIER. Third, stay tuned for my reviews for the coming year.
Live in fear.
Mega Man X: Sensible Version
So what do we have here…ahh, what is arguably my favorite Mega Man game ever. I’m technically more pleased with Mega Man 7, but it doesn’t have the whole overall “wow” factor that the original X-man did. I’m old enough to remember when Mega Man’s transition to SNES was a big fucking deal, and it was, and Capcom clearly treated it as such. As little expense as possible was spared to replace the old Mega Man in the hearts of the players.
Well, the sad history is that the X series doesn’t enjoy nearly the level of prestige that the classic Mega Man series does. You can blame this on a number of things (all of which are bloated to some degree), but mostly it was because there was just no way to improve on a game like this. From the moment the thumping title screen MIDI metal theme explodes your speakers (THIS is a TITLE theme), right on to the screaming lead of the prologue stage, and then the prologue stage, which is a crumbling highway leading to a boss you can’t possibly win—the game gets off to a great start and just doesn’t let up.
From there, it’s familiar Mega Man territory taken to the X-treme. Eight bosses, patterned after animals this time to great original effect (the first time, anyway) and eight great stages make this the one Mega Man to ever own. I don’t even know where to start backing up that claim—should I start with armor upgrades or the minibosses in the stages? The fact that your boss choice affects the atmosphere of the stages, or that you get to ride armored bipedal tanks through several of the stages, or that you get possibly the best Mega Man Buster weapon ever near the end? Or that you get an even better weapon when Dr. Light teaches you the Hadouken? No, that’s really something you should end with.
The only problem with this game is how well everything comes together. Capcom mistook their explosive new debut, and subsequent games deviated more and more from the decent foundation. Each successive game from here had more and more shit piled on top of it until it only resembled Mega Man if you were watching someone else play Mega Man X6 from far away.
But very briefly, Mega Man X had a really, really great future ahead of him with his first game, and, to me, he’ll always be the spirited android dashing across a crumbling highway, climbing a tower that is supposed to resemble Elec Man’s stage from the first Mega Man, hotfooting it through a fire factory meant to resemble Fire Man’s stage from the first Mega Man—hell, this game could’ve rewritten history for a gaming franchise that was already kicking ass.