Version Reviewed: 1.00.00
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Bringing classic games to the iOS platform has been a growing trend over the last year, and Capcom has been one of the most aggressive publishers of new touch versions of their retro games. Usually publishers release these "updated" games as nothing more than clunky ports with very hard to manage controls. In the case of MEGA MAN X though, this isn't quite the case. While the game does suffer a bit because of the lack of tactile controls, it does a decent job at emulating the game and making it accessible on the iOS platform. While this is certainly not the ultimate Mega Man experience, it's fun and as true to the real thing as is likely to be found on iOS.
MEGA MAN X was originally released on the SNES console in 1993, and for the iPhone version the game graphics have been optimized for the retina display. These updated graphics look great, and still have the charm of the original sprites without the muddy, up-resed pixelation that plagues some ports of 16-bit games. The gameplay is very similar to the original with an onscreen virtual four-way pad for movement and two on screen buttons for jumping and shooting. Players can select each level and fight their way through the levels to each boss. True to Mega Man form, each boss has a unique weapon power which players will attain after defeating that boss. This power can then be used to defeat other portions of the game.
While die hard fans of the Mega Man series are sure to find many reasons to dislike MEGA MAN X on iOS, this game is one of the better retro ports out there. There are some added elements in this new iteration as well, like challenges and a ranking mode where players compete via Game Center to see who can score the most points on each level.
The controls aren't perfect, but some assists are included to make them a bit easier to handle. Obviously, the Mega Man series being what it is -- extremely difficult platforming games that demand player perfection -- this isn't the ideal Mega Man experience, but it is a fun way to experience these games on an iOS device. The game looks great, but it's not the original and doesn't play like it. Players shouldn't expect that, but they will certainly have a great time if they can enjoy the game for what it is and not dismiss it for what it isn't.