Over the years a number of videogames have all had a go at capturing the electrifying feeling that comes from playing a classic Mega Man title. Many have come and gone with few living up to the expectation of players around the world. That is until you get hands on with 20XX, a title built in the vein of Mega Man X. It takes what made the title so good and brings a fresh twist sure to entertain fans new and old. Now on the Nintendo Switch, how does the title hold up on the hybrid console?
Firstly, 20XX is a roguelike action platformer which means no two runs will be the same. This might sound some alarms for those hardcore fans of the Mega Man series, but never fear because it works wonders. Each level, weapon, powerup and even upgrades are all handled through random generation which expands the gameplay possibilities greatly.
Featuring two characters at the start, with some extras to unlock and the chance of more through DLC in the future, players will be able to jump into a run and begin the platforming adventure that is sure to keep the adrenaline pumping. After a good tutorial level that eases you into the controls and systems, the game opens up offering full freedom to experiment with the items and battle your way to the end.
Of course being a roguelike there are some elements in place that punish and encourage players to keep going forward. During runs you will earn bots that can be spent on upgrades and pickups to keep your health and energy up. Should you fail in a run you will lose all of those and any progress made. Thankfully there are Soul Chips which can be earned and spent after a run to gain permanent upgrades to your characters, along with extras to start your next run with. These Soul Chips do, however, get binned when you start a new run so earning enough to spend after a run is key to ensure you are always pushing forward.
All of this comes together thanks to solid and precise controls that ensure your character is also responsive. Power ups are fun and have their strengths and weakness, basic movements all work as intended and when everything comes together during the fluid moment-to-moment action, it is a beautiful dance of engaging and enjoyable gameplay.
The Nintendo Switch release of the title is a solid port with next to no issues. Sure, the loading times are a bit long and there can be a tiny bit of slow down during the more hectic moments but it is never to a degree that your enjoyment of the title is ruined. In fact, 20XX holds up well in both handheld and docked mode.
There are two complaints worth noting though. One being the acknowledgement that the generation of levels, more so the placement of enemies and traps, can sometimes behave in unfriendly ways. What this means is that you will often encounter a segment within a level that requires you take damage in order to continue. This could be because of the placement of the enemies, the traps, or even just the number of both on screen. Being put into a situation that requires you take damage once or even multiple times is annoying and sometimes it can cause a run to end early.
The other issue is that although the title features beautiful visuals and sound design, some of the platforms blend into the backgrounds too easily. This means that you can sometimes miss pathways or even confuse what is or isn't a wall to jump up. Both this and the generation of levels are sometimes annoying but they don't ruin the experience.
Even with small bumps here and there, 20XX still holds up as a fantastic title that is a true sequel to the Mega Man X series. Sure, the roguelike elements might be off putting to some, but there are many reasons to embrace them and really lose yourself. From the amazing soundtrack and gameplay, to finding a new combo of items to use in order to cut some time off your run, 20XX is a brilliant game that will offer countless hours of fun.
20XX (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
20XX is a fantasic title and shows that the classic formula of Mega Man games still works. Stop reading and go play it now!