20XX has been in early access on steam for what feels like 10 years, but unlike a lot of games in early access, the devs actually constantly make it better. When it first launched it was pretty buggy and felt rather short in a lot of instances. The game now is like a completely different game, and now that version of the game is available on consoles! I’m happy to announce that they game had absolutely no issues being ported to consoles and that it’s quite at home on any console. I played the PS4 version, which was provided to me by the developers, and I’ve played the Steam version a number of times in the past. As of right now, the Steam version does have one more character than the console version, but the console version comes with one of the DLC characters.
For those that don’t know, I’ll give you the skinny on what the game is. Basically, it’s a Mega Man X Rogue-lite game where you start on a random level, and get three choices for what the next level will be after you beat the boss. It’s a great way to keep the game different every time because the first few bosses will always be easier no matter which ones they are. The last couple of bosses, no matter who you pick, will always have a trick up their sleeve. Whether that be massive amounts of health, a second form, or some kind of rage mode, depends on which boss it is. Every boss will cough up a weapon of some sort after they die as well, or you can go for some extra currency, or a passive upgrade. You really have to choose wisely, because sometimes you need a specific weapon to make another level easier, but sometimes you need currency to buy more health or upgrades. Either that, or the random upgrade choice you get might just be too awesome to pass up. Hawk, the third character who was DLC on the PC version can even get some powers that they other characters can’t. Each character also has different default weapons.
Nina, who is the “X” of the game, uses a buster than can be charged, and is the easiest way to play the game. She can also get a few different main weapons, like a buster that’s slightly weaker but fires in three directions. Ace is the “Zero” of the game and uses a saber that has a three-hit combo and can also be charged to deal more damage. He can also pick up the same special weapons from bosses that Nina can, and has some special primary weapons he can pick up. One is a long-range spear that’s much better than his default weapon, in my opinion! Hawk is the aforementioned third character who uses a whip that steals weapon energy from enemies. This is great because she gets all kinds of cool special weapons and benefits from using them A LOT.
The boss fights are typically all over within 30-45 seconds, and you can either have a great time or awful time in your run depending on the RNG. Sometimes you get tons of health pickups, great passive powerups, and primary weapons that you want, and sometimes you get dick. This is actually not a really bad thing though, because you get these things as you play called Soul Chips, which you can use to buy upgrades so that they’ll appear in the game. Eventually you’ll start unlocking powerups that will actually give you extra lives, or increase your health, armor, energy, damage, and speed/jumping all at once! The more you play, the crazier your runs will get, which is all the incentive I need. You can also get other powerups once a run which are put in these really creepy rooms that distort the music and display cryptic messages. The powerups do things like “Gives you 40 armor, but knocks your max health down to one peg”, so if your armor runs out, you can’t heal. They’re interesting ways to spice up your run, but I usually steer clear of these deceptive powerups.
The game ramps up in difficulty in the last two stages for sure, in terms of platforming and enemy placement. By then, however, you’re all jacked up with buffs and boss weapons and armor parts that allow for double jumps and no knock back and whatnot. It’s a fun way to see how far you’ve come in your run, and going back to base with a pocket full of soul chips to unlock more powerups is exciting! I highly recommend this game to fans of the Mega Man X series, it’s just as much worth your money as the upcoming Mega Man X Legacy Collection.
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