Once again, Capcom has pumped out a Mega Man X game, and it's one of the best in the series.
Mega Man X5's graphics seem even more impressive than X4. The colorful, active backgrounds make it one of the best-looking sprite-based PS1 games on the console. Everything looks really good. The graphics have a lot of variety ranging from an exploding train to an... exploding military hangar... and an exploding labs... sooooooo yeah, there are a lot of explosions. Some of the animations seem a little odd, though, as X and Zero's animations have to play out completely before you can do anything else, which means if Zero's ponytail is STILL moving a little bit after you land from a jump, you need to wait until it completely stops moving, THEN YOU CAN MOVE AGAIN. Also, X and Zero have a bad habit of turning around when they get hit.
One thing that I really liked about X5's sound was the fact that the laughable Ocean Group voice acting disappeared and Capcom just decided the use the Japanese Voice Tracks. Smart move, smart move. The soundtrack is very good, despite a few tracks that I won't specifically name. One thing I liked was that Duff McWhalen's stage music is a remix of Bubble Crab's stage from X2. I liked it because the Sound Chip onboard the SNES didn't have the power to render music very well, and the PS1 can use uncompressed audio files.
There are quite a bit of secrets in X5, as there are multiple armors for X to choose from. The Fourth (Force) Armor, which is just the armor you got in X4, the Falcon Armor, which allows you fly through the air for a long time, and the Gaea armor, which allows you to walk on those spikes that X can't seem to go 7 seconds without touching. To get the armors, you need 4 parts, but what's different this time is that you need to get every armor part for you to be able to equip it.
The controls seem very fluent, but Zero seems a bit more stiff. Like I said, the animations have to play out completely before you can do something again, so you can't mash on the Square button until something explodes. One thing I love about the game is that it gives you the ability to DUCK. If you press down, X or Zero will do a duck move that allows you to dodge certain attacks as an alternative to jumping over them.
A bit of a nitpick about X5 is that you only get 16 hours to save the earth. Every time you select a stage, you lose 1 hour. A person who doesn't know the correct order in which you're supposed to fight the bosses would lose a lot of time trying to beat a certain boss. Luckily, there is no penalty for getting a game over. It actually just sends you back to the last checkpoint as if you just died, and didn't lose all your lives, in which case, why have a life count anyway?
Final Score: 8.8
Pros and Cons:
+Better voice acting
+Plenty of secrets
+Good Replay Value
-Relatively Easy Difficulty
-No penalty for game overs