RELEASED: October 20, 2000
AVAILABLE ON: GBC
When I started doing the Mega Man series for the original Game Boy, I got an e-mail concerning Mega Man X. Since I've only done the first three games in the past, this anonymous sender asked me if I was going to review the other five games. That's not going to happen, at least not during this particular Mega Man marathon. I don't have access to the games at the moment, and I still have a lot more to go than I'm comfortable with already. I told 'em that, and that I am going to check out Mega Man Zero, which is the next series and continues the X storyline. After finishing my response, I realized Mega Man Xtreme exists. It's basically a cross between Mega Man X and Mega Man X2, and at the same time, a Game Boy Color-exclusive original installment in the Mega Man X series. So, it's got a little Wily Wars in it, and a lot of the earliest Game Boy games in it; now that I'm in the zone, I might as well get this over with and see how one of the best and most complex SNES platformers (and its slightly weaker sequel) translate into one limited Game Boy Color game. From the beginning, I just somehow knew I wasn't going to end this initially intriguing trip too happy.
Xtremely heavy on the hands
|Nice to meet you too, Dipsy.|
The plot is definitely the weakest and most confusing in all the Mega Man franchise (Grade-A accomplishment), and obviously just something quick that the storyboard designers came up with in under a minute to disguise this remake as a fresh entry in the Mega Man X series. Mega Man X has always been one step forward from the rest of the franchise when it comes to the importance and effect of the plot, but Mega Man Xtreme is definitely a break in the strain. After the intro - which lasts forever - all that's left is to find out how the game plays out. Hopefully good, but remembering how dynamic and complex these games were in 16-bit format, and how great they looked and sounded, casts a shadow of reality on the game before it even starts.
|X is looking kinda pale...|
|Not quite as pumped up about |
this meeting as I originally was.
The badly ported theme and
bulky controls took care of that.
So, Mega Man Xtreme progresses pretty much the same way as the Game Boy installments in the original Mega Man series. At first, there are four bosses from the past, then an original level, another set of four bosses, and then another original level. AND, finally, a boss survival, and the final level. But, there's a little twist, "little" being a term used loosely. The first set is the Normal Mode, the second a Hard Mode in which the levels are harder, but you get to keep all of your upgrades and enhancements. The boss survival and the final level make up for the Xtreme Mode, in which all of your upgrades and enhancements are - BADA-DA-DAM! - removed. And, it isn't just a boss survival, but you have to start the whole game over, with all levels accessible from the beginning. If you want the upgrades and enhancements, you'll have to get those again as well. And, you'll have to play hard versions of the final levels of the two previous modes. It's like the last two "modes" were demos, and this is the real game. Feels kinda vain, don't it? Oh, you have no idea how frustrating it is. You can't tell by just reading this, I swear - especially since you can't feel physical pain by just reading a review.
|KYEE, you so bad!|
It's a kind of cool, but a really bulky and uncomfortable port, which could've easily been pushed forward by just a year and be unleashed on the Game Boy Advance, if they necessarily wanted to make it. Just two extra buttons would've helped. But, even while the Game Boy Advance had been out for months, they followed up with a sequel to this game for the Game Boy Color in 2001. Let's not question the logic just yet, let's get that game out of the way while we're at it... first, I have to rest my right hand a bit, though.
+ The bosses are mostly cream of the available crop
- I would've breathed easier if it was a simple remake instead of a pseudo-sequel with a whack plot
- The break-action cutscenes are annoying and they come in numbers
- The quality of the audio changes constantly, while nothing really lives up to the original soundtrack as much as possible
- Advanced control is painful
- When the Xtreme Mode kicks in, everything you've already done feels less than pointless
< 6.5 >