20XX

20XX

Few elevator pitches are as straightforward and enticing as that of 20XX, a co-op roguelike homage to Mega Man X. It certainly succeeds at mimicking its inspiration, from the sharp controls to the delirious chiptunes (though excluding the off-putting ascended Flash game art style), so Mega Man fans let down by other succession attempts will be right at home here. There’s actually more to the game than just its combination of IPs – every boss power has an additional utility, and there are lots of crazy modifiers and power-ups to unlock – but the mixture is highly unstable, so don’t expect a disciplined experience.

On the one hand, the density and complexity of levels, enemies, and bosses are all augmented as you advance, relieving Mega Man gameplay of its tradition-mandated lack of a difficulty curve. On the other, gameplay defined by its pattern exploitation and precise level design is totally broken by procedural generation and RPG progression. You’ll spend the first ten hours or so fighting through a hall of fame of platforming’s most notorious mechanics, then finally encounter a double jump and easy ways of accumulating ammo, and suddenly you’ll be mopping the floor with everything in your path; it’s almost therapeutic. Similar issues predictably plague the co-op twofold, though it’s still a temporarily entertaining inclusion.

6.5/10
6.5/10

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