Mega Man X8 Updated Hands-On

TGS 2004 gives us access to new areas and new gameplay in the upcoming platformer sequel. Read on for more.

TOKYO--The latest game in the Mega Man X series is steadily moving closer to completion, and we got to take a look at the latest version of the game today at the Tokyo Game Show. Naturally, the game is being shown under its Japanese title, Rockman X8, but this is still the same old Mega Man we all know and love.

Previously, we'd only played a traditional side-scrolling stage in a demo version of Mega Man X8, and we'd assumed (foolishly, perhaps) that was the only kind of gameplay we'd see in the forthcoming sequel. When we challenged Snow-Ice Yetinger (love those boss names) from the stage select screen, however, we realized that's definitely not the case. Before the level began, we were able to choose two playable characters from the pool, consisting of X, the wild-haired Zero, and the transmutable Axl (who first appeared in X7). We chose X and Zero and headed into battle.

The icy level we played wasn't a platforming one at all, but instead it proved to be a third-person-shooter-like level in which we drove a small hovering vehicle at high speed while attempting to shoot or dodge oncoming enemies and hit ramps to jump across wide gaps. We were able to change between X and Zero at will, and we learned that the two characters had slightly different abilities. X's shots were quicker and we could charge up for a more powerful and longer-range blast, while Zero's projectile was a wider wave that was slightly easier to hit small enemies with.

The Snow-Ice Yetinger level proved to be a substantial challenge, as we made it to a large hovering ship mid-boss and were repeatedly handed our posterior by the boss and the waves of lesser enemies it spawned. But despite our own lack of skill, this level was a nice change of pace from the more typical platforming we've seen previously in Mega Man X8. So, we'll be curious to see what other kinds of gameplay the new sequel will have when it finally hits stores in November.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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