TGS 2005: Irregular Hunter X Hands-On

Capcom remakes the Mega Man X series on the PSP.

TOKYO--One of the many games on display at Capcom's booth at the Tokyo Game Show this year is Irregular Hunter X, a remake of the original Mega Man X that was released for the Super Nintendo. The game features a polygonal makeover for Mega Man as well as a new coat of paint on the foes he'll tangle with. We tried out the game and even downloaded a playable demo of it to see how the classic adventure holds up.

The work-in-progress version of the game on display in the booth let us try out a sampling of the platforming action and a boss battle. The gameplay is as rock solid as it was on the SNES and works quite well on the PSP. One of the big twists to the X games were Mega Man's enhanced abilities, such as being able to briefly cling to the side of a wall, which made for more complicated platforming.

The visuals in the game are a noticeable cut above the sprites seen in the 16-bit original. Mega Man X is now a shapely polygon that looks good, although he seems to have lost a bit of his personality in the transition. The enemies you face actually fare better from the makeover, as they all feature unique animation. The environments themselves have been beefed up to include nice ambient touches such as snow and mist in the ice stages. The audio sounds fine and retains the peppy tunes we know and love from the series. The sound effects are also on point, with the effects for X's mega buster featuring that familiar whine as it charges.

Based on what we played, Irregular Hunter X is shaping up to be a solid title for the PSP. Although the game doesn't feature the awesome extra of a level editor as seen in Rockman Rockman (the PSP remake of the original NES Mega Man also on display in Capcom's booth), there is still a nice surprise in the game. In addition to playing Mega Man you'll eventually have the opportunity to play as Vile, a well-known foe in the X series. Irregular Hunter X is slated to ship this fall for the PSP in Japan with a US release to follow.

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