Hello everyone, I’m excited to welcome you all to my first entry into the retro corner. The featured game today is Mega Man X5, also known as Rockman X5 to any of our Japanese fans. Whilst Mega Man has had dozens of entries, re-boots and even a spiritual successor, the one that holds the fondest memories to me is the fifth entry in the Mega Man X series. This game was originally released on the PlayStation One over various dates. Though the game would release on both the Windows platform and PlayStation store in the future.
Mega Man X5 is set after the antagonist Sigma is revived and is attempting to unlock the true power that Zero has, and take out Mega Man in the process. Following this plot, this game introduced the ability to switch between Mega Man and Zero between mission. This is something that hooked me immediately as I personally prefer Zero to Mega Man (The Z-Sabre wins it for me). Ever since I first picked up this game as a child, it has been far and away one of my favourite games, the levels were varied, the bosses were fun and challenging and it had multiple endings, something that I had never experienced before.
Mega Man games were notorious for their challenging and tight game play, but the X series took it one step further by updating the graphical style, Mega Man and Zero had never looked more amazing.
Another major point that I found with Mega Man X5 is that not only did each character get their own specific upgrades for beating bosses, you were rewarded for picking your favourite character from the beginning. If you chose Mega Man for the first mission, you get the X4 armour, which allows you to charge up a stronger blaster attack and allows you to hover for a small period of time. If you chose Zero, you gain access to his Z-buster, allowing you to perform melee and ranged attacks with Zero.
One last point that I have to address with Mega Man X5 is the sometimes not-so-subtle references to the band Guns & Roses. Each of the eight main maverick bosses are based on the name of one of the members of the band. Though one of the not so subtle references is in Axle the Red’s level. As it is made up of thorny rose spikes and has giant guns in the background covered in roses.
Hopefully one day, we’ll be able to get a proper reboot to the Mega Man X series, as it holds a special place in my heart.