Reviewed on Nintendo Switch; Also available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Someone who hasn’t played a Mega-Man game playing a game heavily inspired by Mega-Man… How bad can it be?
20XX is a rogue-like action platformer game that is quite clearly inspired by the early Mega-Man titles, but with a modern twist. Now, I know what you’re thinking; ‘How can someone who has never played a Mega-Man game review a game inspired by Mega-Man?‘ Fear not, though I’ve never played the games, I’ve heard many great things about them and I do know a little about the series.
With two characters to choose from, similar to Mega-Man’s X and Zero, you play as either Nina or Ace. Nina has a long-range Buster that fires energy shots and Ace has a short-range Saber. I must admit, I much preferred Nina’s weapon to Ace’s only because most of the bosses are easier to defeat by hanging back and firing at them whilst dodging any projectiles they are firing at you. Obviously, you have to get up close and personal with Ace and that does not suit my play style at all. But I like that the two characters are completely different from one another allowing you to choose exactly how you want to play.
The aim of the game is to make your way through procedurally generated areas, blasting various enemies and collecting a variety of upgrades and items to then defeat 1 of the 10 bosses in the game. If you defeat that boss you will then progress to the next level and the process continues. Before continuing on to the next level you are given a few options of items, usually 3 to choose; a specific power or ability from that specific boss, extra nuts (in game currency), or a speed boost or health boost. These upgrades make a huge difference to your next playthrough. If you lose all your health on a level or boss then it’s game over. No continues. You go straight back to the HQ area to spend your hard earned cash. Otherwise known as Soul Chips. Not to be confused with nuts, soul chips are what you use to upgrade yourself and purchase new items. 3 nuts can be converted to 1 soul chip, however. Confused? Just remember this, Soul chips are used at the HQ, Nuts are used in game.
The HQ is your temple, your safe place. The HQ has everything you need for your journey. You can select your game mode here, change your character, check out your stats but most importantly, purchase upgrades. There are 3 types of upgrades you can purchase; Permanent unlocks, Item unlocks and Next run items. All pretty self explanatory. One thing I really like is that you have the ability to turn the permanent unlocks on or off for each run you do. It’s the little things, right?
Even though there is no real story mode in 20XX, it makes up for it with many, many different ways to play. Let’s go through them all.
20XX – The standard way to play, play through randomly generated levels and try to defeat all the bosses. Choose your difficulty; Reverent, Normal or Defiant.
Daily Challenge – One chance a day to complete a seeded, leaderboard-recorded run.
Daily Hardcore Challenge – A different daily challenge with three random skulls activated.
Weekly Challenge – Similar to the daily run, resets every Wednesday.
Weekly Hardcore Challenge – A different weekly challenge with three random skulls activated.
Rush Job – A speedy playthrough involving boss battles only. (My personal favourite)
Seed Racer – Set the game’s random seed.
All of these modes can be played in either local co-op or online multiplayer which is a nice little add on. So as you can see, there is plenty to keep you occupied and with every level being randomly generated, you will experience no level more than once making this game massively replay-able.
Graphics & Sound
20XX has a very modern design with it’s crisp, vibrant art-style mixed in with a very retro-like sound. It’s an odd combination, but It works so well.
The level-design is fairly basic but equally wonderful to look at. Even though the levels are randomly generated it is often just the same objects placed in different ways or different places. But don’t let that evert you from the exciting game that this is. Every aspect of it still looks stunning.
The character design is what I love most. All the different bosses are all completely different from one another and the detail on each and every one of them is outstanding. I mean, just look below:
I’m not really sure why, but the soundtrack reminds me of Sonic The Hedgehog, again, I don’t know whether that’s just me but I love it! What I do know is that it certainly very nostalgic and it’s so great to hear that in a modern game. Have a listen and see what you think.
20XX is a very fun and exciting game that is perfect for any Mega-Man fan. The rogue-like features really make you keep playing despite dying again and again. Although I would have liked there to have been more of a story, the fact that there are so many game modes is quite refreshing and means you can play this game endlessly.
Solid platforming mixed with tight controls make 20XX a truly great experience, even when you do get to the final boss and die because you accidently pressed the dash button… Just me? Don’t miss out on this one, it’s great and I highly suggest you give it a go.