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Author Topic: [GBA] Mega Man Zero  (Read 1278 times)

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Offline propane

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[GBA] Mega Man Zero
« on: January 30, 2013, 04:13:57 AM »
I noticed the review section on this site is pretty barren, so I thought I'd make a review of the latest game I beat. I'm always playing classic games. Old platformers are my favorite. So, if this attempt at a review is successful, I may make some more as I beat more games   :P.

Mega Man Zero
This is a Platforming game by Capcom, released in 2002.

Story
This game follows the protagonist Zero, and takes place 100 years after the Mega Man X series. If you've played the Mega Man X games, you will know who Zero is, but if you haven't it's no big deal; the story is pretty easy to follow. While the story is nothing incredible, it does offer a lot more than the previous Mega Man games did (which were very slim, but those games weren't really about the story). There are actually even a few plot twists. I enjoyed it, but don't expect anything too big in terms of a plot.

Graphics
Everything looks very detailed (well for a GBA game  ;D). The game is very colorful. The backgrounds have a ton of detail, and the animations are very smooth. I played this game on my GameCube with a GameBoy Player, and the image didn't look degraded on a TV screen; the game looks great on both the GBA screen and a television. It basically looks like a highly detailed SNES games, and definitely a step above the Mega Man X games.

Sound
Ah sound. This is one the areas Capcom really shined, especially in Mega Man games. If you were expecting a great soundtrack, you will not be disappointed. While not a good as the early Mega Man games, and certainly not as catchy, these tracks are still very good. Some of the tracks sound eerie and really help with the atmosphere. Some of them are really upbeat, and get you ready for a tough battle. The sound effects work very nicely, and none of them seem to get annoying  :D. Overall, It's pretty satisfying.

Gameplay
If you've played a Mega Man or MMX game before, you kind of know what to expect... 8 robot masters... you gain their powers when you defeat them. Well, this game changes all of that. While it does have the classic Mega Man jumping, sliding, and shooting action, it departs from the regular format and offers a new one. Instead of having a stock gun, and collecting a bunch of new weapons, you have 4 weapons that can be upgraded by using it more and more over time. This sounds great, but I felt a little limited compared to the older Mega Man games. although there are 4 weapons to use, I only found myself using 2 of them. The Z saber is what I used most of the time (a powerful sword with limited reach, but is quick and deals a ton of damage). The other is the Z buster (just like the classic stock gun in a mega man game). I only really used the Z buster when I absolutely had to shoot long range. Other than that, I was mainly using the sword. Instead of having weaknesses to certain weapons, like Mega Man games before this had, now we have elements. You have 3 elements you can attach to your weapon at any time: fire, ice, and electric. It's extremely easy to find out a boss's weakness this way, but even with that... they are really tough! (more on that in a minute)

The game introduces a new system to Mega Man: missions. You are located on a main base, and it's some-what open world, but you're still pretty restricted. Although there's plenty to explore on the base, you will only go a few different places. With missions, you're only able to select main missions (no side-quests or anything). This isn't necessarily a bad thing; Mega Man games have never had this kind of feature before, and it is pretty cool that it changes from the usual formula. The only thing I don't like about it, is you replay a lot of the same levels, but you end up fight new enemies and going to new locations.

Another new feature this game has is Cyber Elves. These little guys help you out during the game. You get them by defeating bosses, certain enemies, or by finding them in hidden locations. Although I never used them in the game, they can help you out in tricky situations. You can equip up to 3 at time, and you can use them by pausing and selecting them. There are 3 different types: Nurse, animal, and hacker elves. The nurse elves can restore some health (I recommend saving these for a tough boss  :o), the animal elves can aid you in combat, and the hacker elves can do a ton of different things, like helping you with spikes and making every enemy drop items. Of course using them comes at a price; you will get less points during the mission for using the elves, which won't help you with your rank. About ranking: There are different ranks and titles you can obtain, and the ranks are: S, A, B, C, D, E, F.  Getting a good rank depends on a variety of things: How fast you completed the level, How may hits you took, how many enemies you defeated, how many times you died, how many cyber elves you used, etc. Although I completed the game with an 'A' rank, I'm sure this could give me motivation to go back and get an 'S.'

Challenge
This game is tough. Really tough. If you haven't played an old Mega Man game like this, it will kick your butt. It's tough, but for the most part I don't think it's unfair. Boss fights may take several tries, but you will eventually find a pattern with them. The combat feels like a Mega Man game, and so does the platforming. The controls are very smooth, and the platforming works very well, but there's a few spots where you will be very, very frustrated. There's a couple missions where you have to make some blind jumps, unable to see the moving platforming below you. This is very frustrating, because you are reliant on luck to make the jump. If you can't make it, you must start at the beginning of the stage (or you might as well reset it, so it won't affect your rank). That is just bad game design, and not something I would expect from Capcom. Other than that, the platforming is fantastic, and wall jumping is just as fun as ever.

Replay Value
If you really enjoyed it the first time around, there's definitely reason to come back to it. Hard mode unlocks when you beat it, so you can try that. You can play it again, and try to finish with an S Rank. After playing it, you will have a much easier time with it, knowing the patterns to all the bosses. You will also be able to beat it without relying on cyber elves your next time through. Overall, I think it has some pretty decent replay value, but only the completionists will be interested.

Conclusion
This game is really fun. It's a departure from the classic Mega Man style, but still has the same feel. Although a little rough around the edges, you will have a lot of fun with this game if you like these types of platformers. It can be a little frustrating at times, but you feel very accomplished whenever you advance. The game is pretty short (I clocked in at ~2 hours), but it that was just my save time -- I probably spent a few hours longer just getting boss patterns down. I wish they could've done a lot more with it, but with 3 sequels to it, I will soon see what they've done! If  you're a fan of old platformer games, and/or Mega Man games, I highly recommend this.

Score
Overall, I have to give it a 7.7/10. It's a great addition to the series, and it's a lot of fun, but it does have its flaws. Still, you will have lot of fun with this game. I just hope the sequels improve upon this new formula. If you're a big Mega Man fan, you really can't go wrong with this game.
 
Where to get?
This game was released on GBA in 2002, and also re-released as part of the "Mega Man Zero Collection" on the DS in 2010. I have included a couple of the most popular online retailer and prices for the game as of today, 1/30/13.

Amazon: Mega Man Zero [GBA] from $7.99; Mega Man Zero Collection [DS] from $15.00
Gamestop: Mega Man Zero [GBA] from $4.99; Mega Man Zero Collection [DS] from $17.99

Note: I know there are "other" ways of getting this game, but I won't discuss emulation on this site, whether legal or not.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 04:43:51 AM by propane »

Offline JoomX

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Re: [GBA] Mega Man Zero
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 08:06:02 PM »
Nice writeup, propane.  Thanks... :)
A computer once beat me at chess, but as it turns out it was no match for me at kickboxing... ;)

Offline FLASH

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Re: [GBA] Mega Man Zero
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 09:32:32 PM »
Looks like theJude has competition for long posting. :P

Offline propane

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Re: [GBA] Mega Man Zero
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 09:45:59 PM »
Thanks Joom. I enjoy writing these, so I'll probably write more soon :)

Flash:  :P :P :P

Offline theJudeAbides

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Re: [GBA] Mega Man Zero
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 10:33:53 PM »
Good writeup, propane, and I don't mind somebody else putting in some effort around here. :D

I've played most of the original Mega Mans (1-5) and have been waiting for them to put 6 onto the VC.  I've never gotten into X, but would like to at some point.  I don't have a GBA, otherwise I might look into this.  The main problem with the Mega Man series is there is a TON of games (at least like 50+).  Fortunately, as you say, their plots usually aren't all that complicated, so you can kind of jump around and play without being to confused.
I don't always play videogames, but when I do, I prefer Excitebots.  Keep spinning, my friends.  8)
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Offline propane

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Re: [GBA] Mega Man Zero
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 04:19:56 PM »
Thanks theJude. In my opinion the original Mega Man games are the best. I've played all of them (1-10). I can't believe they still haven't put 6 on VC. You could get the Mega Man Anniversary collection for PS2 or GameCube, but the quality isn't as good. The X games are pretty good. Pretty similar to the original Mega Man games, but more combat oriented than platforming. It also focuses on some new mechanics as well like dashing and wall climbing. I would definitely recommend playing 1-3. 1 is the best in my opinion. Yeah there's so many Mega Man games, it's really hard to catch up on haha  ;D