Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Not every Mega Man game gets a threequel. Bitter Legends and ZX fans can attest to this. (Seriously? We get a third Star Force - a series that’s just biting on Battle Network - but no Legends 3? C’mon!) Ahem. Most of them, however, came back for a third turn. Mega Man 3 brought the introduction of Break Man/Proto Man/Blues/whatever you call him. The dude with the whistle. Battle Network 3 brought the Pokèmonization of the series, breaking it into two halves. And X3 brought a whole new player character, the recently-reassembled Zero. Oh, and platforms to summon one of four ride armors. And a pile of new upgrades. And MAPS. HONEST TO GOODNESS MAPS. They don’t love you like I love you. And, for whatever reason, some versions boast intro animations for the bosses that scream “Anime circa 1996.” X has all the fun. But open the weapons screen, hit R, and BAM. It’s time for Zero to shine. Dude’s had it coming, having been kinda dismantled in the last outing. Unfortunately, though it’s a nice gesture, Zero gets none of the weapons upgrades X gets, and he can’t enter boss rooms or mid-boss rooms, of which you’re guaranteed at least two a stage. And if Zero dies... well, let’s just say it was hell putting him together the last time. Regardless of who you’re using, the idea’s the same: Beat 8 bosses, collect heart tanks and sub-tanks and ride armor capsules and whatnot, and shoot/slash your way through Sigma’s forces. Dr. Light’s power-up capsules make a return, with a new twist: There are more enhancements than X’s robotic frame can accommodate. You’re going to have to choose. Again, it’s a Mega Man game: You’re doing all the same things, just a little better. The stages are a little more complex. The tricks you’ll need to use to get the items are a little more elaborate. Evolution takes time. The game itself occupies an uncomfortable point in history: that hinge between the 16- and 32-bit eras, when a 2D platformer - hardcore and refined though it may be - was apt to be prejudged a relic of the past. We here in the States never received the PlayStation or Saturn versions of the game, save for a PC port in 1998... until this enhanced version made it onto the Mega Man X Collection. This is the dividing line: past this point, Zero is playable... but there are mid-stage loading breaks. Past this point, the graphics improve to take advantage of the new hardware, but some see the changes as gilding the lily, jamming voice acting and an announcer who doesn’t even try to pronounce things correctly into a game that, frankly, was good enough as it was. Past this point, Capcom tries to evolve the series more rapidly than the organic, comfortable pace they set in Mega Man 1-6. At least you don’t need the super-glue anymore... until Mega Man X5.