Thursday, September 15, 2011

Megaman Zero 1

The start of something really awesome! With Zero tolerance!

Mega Man has arrived on the Game Boy Advance, but this time with a catch. You don't control our familiar old friend, but his futuristic buddy who likes to cut, slash, hack, and stab things to death. Welcome to the world of Mega Man again, only this time, this game separates the men from the mice. Which one are you?

THE STORY: Mega Man Zero takes place 100 years after the events of the Mega Man X games. Zero, a legendary Reploid (a robot that has the capability to think and make decisions for itself without human programming), has been awakened from his century long slumber to defend Reploids from Neo Arcadia, a Government ruled by "X" who protects humans from Mavericks (Reploids who have broken robotic rules) has accused innocent reploids of not only causing the energy crisis, but also going Maverick. Ciel, a young human scientist, explains the situation to our hero and needs his help to defend Reploids. Zero doesn't have any recognition of what happened prior to him waking up, but agrees to help out and takes up his saber once more to fight for the good of both Reploids and mankind and promises to confront this "X" character he seems to vaguely remember. The story is no longer cheerful and optimistic as the previous ones, but now depressing and even cruel. Will Zero meet up with this "X" and stop his madness? Or will he join forces with his old partner? Play and find out.

THE GAMEPLAY: Keeping it old school, Zero is a standard Mega Man 2D platform action game. However, there are a lot of differences. For one, you no longer just 'choose and kick ass' through a main screen, but now, you do 'missions' assigned from Ciel. There is still free will, as our hero can choose what missions to do or not. Should you fail, you will be asked to Give Up and continue the main game, but your overall score will lower. Speaking of which, the game has a ranking system, where all your actions and play-style will affect your rank. Should you breeze right through a stage and kill very little, your score will lower. Should you take too much time and fall behind, your score will go down. Should you die many times, lose the mission objective, and overall suck hardcore, your rank will fall. You start the game off with a basic buster, but as the game progresses you will gather more weapons, such as the Z-Saber and Recoil Rod.
The game also has some RPG aspects. Zero's weapons grow with the more you kill, and will level up and gain a new skills, for example, after leveling up your saber a certain amount of times, you will be able to string a 3 hit combo. The formula for a Mega Man game hasn't been changed, its still the old 'trial and error' at the core.
You are now at the Resistance Base, you can go around freely and explore the city, the underground train station, the desert, and many more areas. However, sometimes you may trigger a mission rather than going and talking directly to Ciel. You can go about and talk to Resistance soldiers and other refugees. You can teleport to old levels via the telepad.
After selecting a mission from Ciel she will explain it. You will appear at your mission location, and be contacted briefly about your objective, and then you are given control over Zero once more. Listen to what Ciel has to say, and get through the level alive. Kill things on your way, survive pit falls, and you will eventually meet up with a boss. The game has elemental chips, which infused your weapon when fully charged (which requires the weapon to be at a high level enough to pull it off) that power. So use your wits when engaging a boss. The game's difficulty is extremely high. If you're a casual gamer, don't bother picking this up. You will raped entirely by the game's random pits and spikes of doom. This game can be easy or hard. How so?
Capcom introduced the Cyber-Elf system, little CPU programs that resemble animals and even fairies. They can alter the level and change all the enemies into old foes from the Mega Man series, cut in half the life bar of a boss, increase/recover your health, fire bullets, or catch you when you fall off a cliff amongst many other elves. Still, all good things have a catch, and the catch is your rank will be hurt from using too many elves and it requires crystals to help them grow to be used. And since crystals aren't common and have lower values (it takes a large amount to help evolve an elf), prepare to spend an entire afternoon of mindlessly killing foes to increase your crystals. Your rank doesn't affect Zero's life or actual gameplay, but it affects your self-esteem and your skills as a gamer. Play better or be cheap, the choice is up to you. Some of the bosses are total pansies, while others are completely evil. You will need to memorize their fighting styles to prepare for your next life. Unless you're a Mega Man guru, prepare to die countless times, because of your pathetic defense and health, two or four hits will kill you. A nice little bonus is the death animation, where depending on how you your finishing move, the boss can be even cut in half!
Other than that, this game has fast paced action, and it's more enjoyable if you play it your own way on your first play through instead of trying to get the best rank on all missions. The fun values lower dramatically if you try getting best scores.

THE GRAPHICS: Beautiful. The animations are fluid and nothing seems out of place. The backgrounds are well drawn and this game looks too good to be a GBA game. Everything is well animated, from using your saber to dashing and wall climbing the game demonstrates just how fluid the animations are with the overall presentation. The new look for Zero is cool and all the characters have mug shot when speaking in a conversation. It's clear that Capcom took their time making new sprites for everything, and it shows their hard work.

THE SOUND: The sound is well done for the genre of this game. The songs fit their stages and are vastly different from one another. The bosses, and even Zero has a voice, but don't expect full-blown out dialogue from everyone. It's minimum and it's all in Japanese or at least I from what I can make out. Thank God it's nothing like X7. That game made Zero have a war cry on just about every action, even jumping. Some old fans will recognize some old themes, such as the Mega Man X intro.

OVERALL: After beating the game once, you have the option to save and load that same file up and replay the game with all your cyber-elves effect still on play, total number of crystals, and time. The game also has some secrets. Hard Mode is unlocked once you have beaten the game once. To unlock more modes and more surprises you'll have to play most of the time without using elves, so it's all about your skills and your determination. You can beat this game within HOURS and put it away and never play it, or fill that empty part of your soul and kick this game's ass. All up to you. Personally, this game is worth playing more than once. Please be very aware that this game can be completed within hours, but most casual gamers will take weeks just to understand the play style needed to beat this game. It all depends on you. Are you easily disencouraged by hard games, or do you like challenges?
This game is awesome. It's isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. Some dedication and determination will help you through. This game is solid gold. Buy it as soon as you see it at a local store. It's a GBA must-have and it's hard finding one. So if you let go of this baby, smack yourself once or twice for me, that's a 'no'. Seriously, what are you still reading this? Go and buy it.

SYSTEM: Game Boy Advance


1 comment:

  1. tHE bEST bADASS rEPLOID eVER!!!!!