Mega Man X
Capcom butchers a classic, and yet, still provides a few hours of robot blasting fun.
Some hardcore fans will probably be outraged over Capcom's iOS port of the beloved Super Nintendo classic, Mega Man X. While the core experience remains intact, along with a handful of new features, the bizarre decision to break each level into short segments will have plenty of gamers crying foul. We, on the other hand, have a different beef.
Where's the iPad support?
Yes, Mega Man X works best on an iPhone, where players enjoy retina display 2D graphics that put the SNES version to shame. To get the most from the experience on iPad, you'll need to blow things up 2X, which makes it look pixilated.
That aside, let's go back to those levels, already a big sticking point for some people, given early user reviews. Normally, each stage flows from beginning to end with no break in the action. Here, you complete one portion, the screen goes black for less than a second while Capcom loads the next section, and this continues until you reach the boss.
The biggest crime, though, are in-app purchases. Capcom milks you for $4.99 to download Mega Man X, then dangles things like Full Armor ($1.99), All Weapons ($1.99) and Arranged BGMs ($2.99), among other stuff. It smacks of greed, but at least on the positive side, you don't have to buy anything to enjoy the game.
Other features, thankfully, make sense. You now have Easy and Normal difficulties to choose right out of the gate, while a Score Attack mode works in tandem with Game Center, letting you climb the leaderboards.
In addition, the game has 80 achievements (AKA Challenges), though the first 20 don't show up on Game Center.
You also have cheats to play with, toggling on/off such advantages as Auto-Fire and Auto-Charge.
Aside from that, it's Mega Man X for the iPhone. You still battle a series of Robot Masters (Sting Chameleon, Storm Eagle) and take their signature abilities. The story of robotic Reploids running amok is intact, and as we said, the game looks wonderful, easily the most attractive version yet.
What's more, the controls are spot on. We had no trouble navigating each 2D environment with the d-pad while dashing through tough areas and jumping up walls; we died more times than we care to admit.
Taking all of this into account, we have a love/hate relationship with Mega Man X. On one hand, it's a cool game to have on the go. On the other, those in-app purchases and fragmented levels mar an otherwise solid title. The lack of iPad support, though, drives us nuts. There's no excuse for that.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
What's Hot: Classic Mega Man X gameplay, retina supported 2D graphics, 80 Challenges, Game Center.
What's Not: In-app purchases, fragmented levels, no HD version, costs $4.99.