In 1987 there was a little blue man that was constructed by Capcom, who took the hearts of gamers when he came blasting his way onto the Nintendo Entertainment System.Since then, game developers have taken deep inspirations from the side scrolling platformer and created replica games or games with modern elements implemented throughout.
The early access game, 20XX is certainly one of those games where you can see a passionate inspiration through even the graphics alone. The game doesn’t take after the look and feel of the original Megaman games wherein you play as an 8bit sprite version of the character, but instead it looks more like the concept art of Megaman X. 20XX has rich, vibrant colours, deep, sharp black outlines, clean, and simple textures, and glows that come from the brightest death pools.
It almost looks like you’re controlling a cartoon and the animations are smooth as silk throughout too! It looks like the game is able to hold up a smooth frame rate with no drops at all.
“I’m so excited to play this I’m leaking plasma!”
The gameplay is fast and explosive as you’d imagine, with plenty of jumping, dashing, dashing jumps, wall climbing, magnetic ceiling running, and more. The goal is to get from the start to the finish alive and battle the boss. The only thing I felt could have been implemented was air attacks; the simple standard attack grows boring to watch, and although I understand you should be more focused on rushing through the level, I can’t help but feel some variation to the movements would have helped in making Nina and Ace looking more badass than they already are.
Credit where it’s due though, the developers have clearly understood how in such a type of game, you find yourself rushing to get a best score and generally wanting instant actions. So re-spawning is immediate, and because it’s so quick you’ll find yourself falling straight back into the lava that just killed you, but don’t think that your HP is going to deteriorate rapidly, because there’s a very short cooldown before you can start taking damage again to avoid situations like this. I couldn’t get a dash jump key combo right and fell into frozen spikes about 8 times before finally getting free. Regardless,I’m so excited to play this I’m leaking plasma!
And yes, I was playing with a keyboard for quite a while, and while it gives a nice arcade machine feel to the game, the game is certainly tailored more to the Xbox Controller. Keyboard playing seems to confuse my fingers because you’re operating the left and right hand sides of the keyboard, and although you can change the key bindings, it made sense to have the keys where they were. I just couldn’t get to grips with it. So the controller certainly made life a lot easier.
Power ups are hidden in levels and locked up in chests that you’ll need to destroy to get them out. Some HP points can be found hidden in crates that are dotted around the level, and there are also some HP stations where you use in-game money to purchase them and replenish your health.
Once a level has finished and a boss has been humiliated by your amazing skills, you go back to the station. This is your safe area, and acts almost like an interactive menu. You’ve got a shop where you can buy upgrades that will appear randomly in a level. You can choose to change between solo, co-op, or online play, you can choose to do a normal ranked play or a casual fun play, you can change between the two characters, and you can view your collected power ups that are set up in what looks like a trophy room. I like interactive menus such as this one.
“…the developers have clearly understood how in such a type of game, you find yourself rushing to get a best score and generally wanting instant actions.”
The music in 20XX is very complimentary to the gameplay, the pumping, bass thudding, techno tracks keeps you focused and is constantly willing you onwards. You can share the thumping soundtrack with friends, either through the local co-op on the same desktop, or online. I haven’t had a chance to find anyone though because…well…none of my friends have it, and the game couldn’t search for people, so I’m assuming at current, the game is a friends only multi-player experience.
I really like 20XX, I found it to be very promising but pretty much already there as a finished product. Everything runs smoothly and the arcadey feel does really appeal to me. It’s quick and there’s no time wasted in storytelling, it’s almost instant action! Once the online multiplayer support has been sorted out I’m sure it’ll be even better, maybe even some “Deathmatch” mini games to take a break from going from point A to B and just kill each other instead? It’s looking good, it plays good, it just needs those slight tweaks and I’m sure as heck excited for it!