20XX Xbox One X Review

20XX is a difficult and fun rouge action game that will challenge platforming veterans and delight traditional Mega Man fans.

By Grayshadow, Posted 15 Jul 2018

Following the disappointing release of Mighty No. 9, a hole was left in the hearts of many Mega Man fans. Fortunately, Batterystaple Games and Fire Hose Games have succeeded where Comcept did not. 20XX delivers a solid platforming adventure with a roguelike focus, random levels, and difficult boss battles. 20XX doesn't provide much of its own identity. It's an entertaining roguelike retro platformer that  may try too hard to be like Mega Man but succeeds in its hectic and fun gameplay.

20XX has players taking control of Nina, an armored girl with a power blaster, or Ace, an armored boy who uses a saber, to clear out areas on Earth with hostile enemies. The gameplay parrels the core Mega Man and Mega Man X franchises right down to the opening scene. Nina controls like Mega Man and Ace like Zero. Newcomer Hawk is available after completing the game and uses a whip but compared to Ace he's much harder to control. Each warrior offers distinct styles of combat and choosing one over the other has no impact on the story, it's a matter of preference.

Unlike Capcom's beloved series players have to complete the game in one go. Stages are randomly based on level segments with increased levels of danger added as the game progresses. Each level is timed and either alone or with a friend with bonuses provided for completing it before the timer reaches zero. Each stage ends with a boss battle that will increase in difficulty based on how far the player progresses. The first boss is random and after each stage, the player gets to choose which boss to face next in a pool of 3.

Each boss fight is distinct, requiring specific tactics to defeat. Depending on which order you face each boss the challenge will increase. Changes to the environment, the boss's behavior, or more obstacles are added based on what level you're facing the boss. This change encourages you to properly decide which boss fights you're better suited at fighting in the beginning over the end.

20XX,Batterystaple Games,Fire Hose Games,NoobFeed,

The soundtrack is fantastic and complements the robotic carnage. However, like Nina and Ace's combat style this also works against 20XX. it's hard not to draw a connection between the music here and the original Mega Man X games.

During levels, players can obtain bolts to purchase passive and conventional upgrades such as health and armor upgrades. Optional areas are peppered in for players to earn extra items during each run, each with a unique challenge such as avoiding damage, defeating enemies, and races. Since health does not regenerate after each stage players might find themselves at a disadvantage, especially if faced with a difficult layout.

Some stages provided intense challenges that made maneuvering through impossible without being hit. Movement activated traps, hordes of enemies, and vexing jumps can lead to unfair hits and deaths. The developers have included handicaps such as being teleported if you drop off the stage in exchange for health.

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If killed you'll start from the beginning but can purchase upgrades to increase your chances for success. These items range from permanent upgrades to single use. The chips used are earned by beating bosses and specialized enemies, but cannot be saved and must be used at the end of each run. This encourages players to pick the best items to optimize their run.

Graphically 20XX looks amazing. Smooth framerate, excellent controls, and bright colors create a solid world. The enemies are well-designed with bosses each using unique fighting styles and tactics. Some weapons do deal more damage to certain bosses but not significantly enough that you should rely on them.

20XX does have a healthy array of optional weapons linked to specific buttons. Some include an AOE burst for short range attacks, a guided missile, and rapid fire. All of which is linked to the same power source, ensuring you cannot spam these powerful attacks. Since Nina can only shoot standing in either left or right directions and Ace lacks range these weapons offer more variety. 

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Optional challenges are available including modifiers for the hardest mode. All modes have their own leaderboard to track your score. The issue being that scores take a noticeably long time to register and if you leave too early they won't count, but the game does warn you of this.

The story is one of the most forgettable aspects of 20XX. Players are sent to various parts of Earth to put down robotic threats. The cutscenes are told through cheap static cutscenes. It biggest low point of the entire game.

20XX has a great edifice to create its own identity. The colorful characters and boss fights help amplify the experience. But the heavy use of gameplay elements found in Mega Man X helps generate more appeal for Capcom's franchise. 20XX is a difficult and fun rouge action game that will challenge platforming veterans and delight traditional Mega Man fans.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

20XX

85/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Batterystaple Games
Developer(s): Fire Hose Games
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Science Fiction
Release Date: 2018-10-07

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