Capcom has not released a Mega Man game in nearly five years. Fans itching for a fix have had to turn to Mega Man clones, ports, or blowing on old dusty cartridges. The closest thing to a “new” game is a recently announced compilation of the original 8-bit games with some NES Remix-like features. Worse yet for Mega Man fans, the highly anticipated Mighty No. 9, a Mega Man clone with impressive fan-backing on Kickstarter, has been delayed until 2016.
One indie studio is hoping to fill the void with a new Mega Man inspired game called 20XX, which looks and plays a lot like the Mega Man X series.
You play as a blue-clad hero named Nina whose gun arm might look a little familiar. A second playable character — named Ace — looks somewhat similar to Proto Man from the classic Mega Man series.
The game starts off with a quick tutorial to help you get acquainted with the controls but don’t let the slow start fool you. 20XX may be slightly more forgiving in some ways. For instance, the game will teleport you back to your last location if you fall off the level with your character only suffering a health penalty rather than dying.
Hardcore gamers can add an extra challenge in the form of skull modifiers similar to the mechanic in Halo. Skulls can alter the gameplay experience by removing health kits and extending the length of levels, among other things.
20XX is unforgiving in its roguelike features including perma-death and procedural level generation. Whereas some other platform shooters heavily lean on trial and error, you won’t get the benefit of memorizing the levels as they are completely random. This adds a twist that is sure to both frustrate and extend the life of the game since it offers a virtually limitless number of ways to experience a level.
As you would expect, 20XX is heavy on gunplay, platforming and item collection. The items range from weapons to power-ups and can be used to boost your characters’ abilities.
Dying sends you back to a hub where you can restart the game from square one, check out your item collection, switch characters, and buy new items with “Soul Nuts” (the in-game currency). Soul Nuts have to be spent or they are lost forever.
In addition to the single-player, there are daily challenges and two-player co-op. I have not had a chance to play the co-op yet but if it is anything like the single-player then it should be promising.
20XX is still in its alpha stage. It has been playable as a Steam Early Access title since last November. A beta build is set to launch on September 15 with a full release likely later this year.