Mega Man X5 Preview

With a lineage that reads almost like a history of home consoles, Mega Man is definitely legendary. Check out his latest 2D incarnation.

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Coming to the US this November is Mega Man X5, the second title in the Mega Man X series to hit the Sony PlayStation. While a thorough rundown of Mega Man's impressive lineage is hardly in order (it easily spans over a dozen titles, with numerous spin-offs and cameo appearances), it should be noted that the X breed of games remains intensely loyal to Nintendo's original Super NES/Super Famicom series.

This latest installment has Mega Man X and an android named Zero scrambling to save the world from a rogue asteroid headed its way. In order to do so, they have to take down the usual squad of wicked androids - these latest are called X-Hunters - and absorb their powers, all according to standard procedure. These X-Hunters all seem to be modeled after real-life animals - one resembles a huge whale, another looks rather ursine - and the corresponding levels' themes reflect this.

Gameplaywise, a lot of familiar stuff is going on. Mega Man is armed with his Mega Buster, with a charge-function and all. He can also hover and perform a dash. Zero - seemingly the more combat efficient of the two - is armed with a Strider-esque light sword, a slower, less powerful Buster, and a dash. The levels are arranged in the same linear fashion as in the previous installations, with boss and miniboss encounters scattered gingerly throughout.

The crisp, 2D visuals will leave old schoolers teary-eyed, as games that hearken back to the old days aren't as plentiful as they should be in these parts. The tunes might as well have been plucked from the old games, as the sound effects ring true as well.

In short, Mega Man X5 is shaping up to be just what you'd expect - a fine piece of Capcom craftsmanship. Keep your eyes on this space for a full review come November.

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