Author’s Note: This review was originally published on January 30th, 2008. Like other reviews of the time, I used “witty” taglines to separate the various sections. I remember purchasing this game after going through a nasty break up. A little retail therapy heals both the heart and the economy.
Mega Man fans have been itching for a game that has that classic feeling. After Mega Man ZX, most people got what they wished for. However, the game left a bitter taste in the mouth of others due to some shoddy game play issues. The sequel to Mega Man ZX is here and it is called Mega Man ZX Advent. While certain things have been properly adjusted, people looking for a new Mega Man or Mega Man X game may not get what they want. Now, if you are looking for a different type of Mega Man, enjoyed Mega Man ZX, or fall somewhere inbetween, you should give Mega Man ZX Advent a try.
A is for Advent.
When the game starts, you chose one of two characters. The first is Grey, a young boy discovered in a cryogenics state in a laboratory. Having no recollection of his past, he joins up with the Hunter’s Guild to find his lost self. The other character is Ashe, a diva bounty hunter who fights against the Raiders. After a mission goes wrong, she finds herself at the Hunter’s Guild base camp. Regardless of who you chose, both characters will encounter a biometal known as Biometal A. Combined with the consciousness of Grey or Ashe, Biometal A allows one of these heroes to “Megamerge” into a powerful warrior and put a stop to all evil.
As you battle evil, you will uncover more about the ultimate plot and one of the protagonists’ past. You will also encounter other warriors who have found their own biometals and each of these Mega Men are fighting for their own purposes. For a Mega Man game, the story was interesting. While Grey and Ashe are two different people, the story line for both of them is about the same. The only difference appears in certain cut scenes. But, let’s be honest, folks; who plays Mega Man for the story? The real fun comes in the game play.
No Need for a Buster Change.
While Grey and Ashe have the same quest, their abilities as Mega Man A are different. When transformed, Grey has a standard, charged buster shot and powerful lasers that lock onto all enemies. Ashe, on the other hand, has a rebound laser shot (similar to that of the Gemini Laser in Mega Man 3) and a homing laser ability that attacks all enemies. If you have played Mega Man ZX, you will be happy to see that instead of obtaining new weapons, you will be able to transform into an entirely new set of armor. Each piece of armor has its own set of abilities. A new feature to Advent is the ability to transform into bosses! Not only does this give you a plethora of attacks and powers, it gives you a plethora of ways to solve puzzles and find hidden items like life-ups, data disks, and items for missions.
Game progression is different than it is in most Mega Man games. Instead of selecting a boss from a home screen and going to the designated stage, you have a huge world map to travel. Well, I shouldn’t say huge, but it can get tedious traveling from one place to another on foot. Luckily, there are plenty of transporters that grant you easy access to various locations. Best of all, the god-awful mapping system from the first Mega Man ZX is nowhere to be seen.
Another fun thing about the game play are the side missions. While not mandatory, performing tasks for various people will get you E-Crystals, restorative items, and equipment that increases your abilities.
For those who played the first MMZX, the game progression of MMZXA will be familiar. However, the ability to transform into bosses, a new mapping system, and a longer quest make this title stand out from its predecessor. Some of the areas can be a bit difficult, certain bosses will give you trouble, and obtaining every secret will take some time, but this is what is expected nowadays with any Mega Man title.
Graphics: Crisp and Clear.
In classic Mega Man style, the game is played entirely in 2D with detailed sprites and scenery. Some of the enemies you encounter will be familiar to Mega Man fans, and the new enemies look great on the DS. While the bottom screen is rarely used, the action taking place on the top screen looks excellent. With a plethora of colors, gorgeous anime still shots, and a few anime cut scenes tossed in for good measure, Mega Man ZX Advent is a fine looking game.
Music: Classic and Cool.
Also in classic Mega Man style is a killer a sound track. If you have ever played a Mega Man title, you were probably able to figure out that the music has always been excellent. Mega Man ZX Advent is no different. There are plenty of areas to explore, which means you will be hearing many songs. Luckily for you, each song is enough to get your head bobbin and your Mega Man adrenaline going.
Sound: Crappy and Carnivorous
Just because the music is good, it does not mean the sounds will be good. While the blasting of guns, the endless amount of explosions and the various background noises you hear in different stages sound fine, the voice acting makes you forget all of those. Truly, the game has awful voice acting. I am talking Mega Man X7 awful. The dubbing sounds awkward coming from the DS, and most of the story conversations are fully voiced. Of course, there is absolutely no way to turn it off. Heck, you are unable to change it to the original Japanese voice acting. The voice acting is so bad, you may end up skipping the story events in order to spare your ears the displeasure.
Double the Characters! Double the Fun!
As I mentioned earlier, Grey and Ashe follow the same plot. However, you will definitely want to play through both characters. Not only are their abilities different, but doing so will allow you to unlock various mini-games and secrets! Of course, as a Mega Man game, MMZXA has excellent replay value. While obtaining every secret may take a while the first couple of times, the fun to be had will always keep you coming back for more.
If you have friend with a DS, you are able to try the Gem Buster mini-game. This two-player game uses the DS Wireless Communications. While nothing impressive, this Tetris-like mini-game is a great way to take a break from the quest. Also, you can unlock a Mega Man quiz game, and an 8-bit style Mega Man game with the characters from Mega Man ZX Advent.
End of the Advent.
Mega Man ZX Advent has many similarities to Mega Man ZX, as well as classic Mega Man titles. It does suffer from terrible voice acting and sometimes unforgiving difficulty, but the game play, graphics, and music can cause you to overlook the aforementioned flaws. Nearly anyone who enjoys a Mega Man title will enjoy this game. It may not be Mega Man 9, or Mega Man X9, but it is still a Mega Man through and through.