Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Maverick Hunter X (2006)

Genre: Platformer | Players: 1 | Developer: Capcom

Usually when 8 and 16 bit games are remade using 3D character models, I rage. Sprites are infinitely glorious and the remade games usually feel cheap and hollow to me. This is not the case with Maverick Hunter X and I’m in awe of how much vibrancy and depth of field is achieved through the character models and the beautifully animated backgrounds.

Technically, it is only ‘based on’ Mega Man X, but it’s the game you remember. By some means of sorcery they have improved an SNES game. It not only rearranges power-up placements, but actively fucks with your memories. These shenanigans would be blasphemous in an RPG, but in a Mega Man game? It’s nirvana. Don’t get comfortable, because you won’t be able to play this completely on auto-pilot, your first time.

In terms of new features, the two most important deliver in spades. The Difficult Mode will be what you’ll want to play the game on, from here on out. Not worlds harder, but a great challenge, if you don’t get armored up as your first course of business. Even so, enemy AI is augmented with new moves that are sometimes difficult to dodge even if you know they’re coming. There’s also the addition of stellar voice acting. X’s banter with the Mavericks is brilliantly jingoistic and the characterizations of each robot master are appropriate and amusing. There’s even a 20+ minute movie for players who actually like the plot of the X series.

The only other special feature to speak of is the addition of Vile as a playable character. He is far weaker than X in terms of constitution and firepower (at least initially). While I appreciate Proto Man for his physical weakness, he's also stronger than Mega Man, to balance that out. Vile's arsenal is a bit awkard to utilize, as well. Ergo, while I appreciate challenge, he ultimately fails to be a fun challenge. I’m sure others might find him to be a worthwhile inclusion, though!

Despite how well done this package is, at the end of the day it’s just Mega Man X with a handful of (great) upgrades. You’ll only get as much play out of this as you’ve gotten out of the original. If you played it once, and you don’t own a PSP, pass. If you’ve played it countless times and you have a PSP, what are you waiting for?

Buyer’s Guide:
Available exclusively for the PSP, unfortunately. At the time of this writing, GameStop is selling their PSP holdings Buy 2 Get 1 Free. Also, it’s available as part of a Dual Pack with Mega Man Powered Up. I purchased said pack for $15, New. This is BY FAR the version you want, as MHX is worth that on its own (given the above stated criteria).

4 McCain Supporters out of 5

Nutted by NEG.

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