Fans of Mega Man side scrollers, rejoice--Mega Man Zero has finally come to the GBA. It may be the best Mega Man game designed on any platform, even though it doesn't exactly star Mega Man himself.
Mega Man Zero has basic Mega Man gameplay, though there are some notable differences. Zero can run, jump, dash, shoot, and swing a sword like Mega Man, but now he can also slide down the sides of walls and jump from wall to wall like Jackie Chan. Despite the fancy new moves, be warned: This is probably the most difficult Mega Man game ever made. Zero can't duck, nor can he shoot above or below himself. This makes fighting the many, many enemies difficult--especially when they approach from various angles.
While a side-scrolling action game, Mega Man Zero has definite role-playing game elements. For starters, Zero's skills improve over time. As Zero uses the sword, he will eventually be able to make double--and subsequently triple--attacks. Between missions, Zero can explore the resistance base, talk to people, and "download" various skills via the new Cyber Elf system. There are 70 Cyber Elves scattered throughout the game, and they're broadly lumped into three groups: Nurse Elves that heal, Hacker Elves that alter surroundings, and Animal Elves that boost Zero's abilities. Zero can even feed his Cyber Elves, and increase their power.
In some ways, the graphics of this game surpass the Mega Man games for the PlayStation. There are some outstanding anime cutscenes, the levels are well designed, and the sprites are tight and amazingly detailed. For looks alone, you should buy this game. The sound isn't as stellar, but adds good ambience. --Bryan Karsh
- New moves
- Gorgeous graphics
- Engaging story (including surprising twist with Mega Man)
- Cyber Elf system
- The game is very difficult--you can't duck, nor can you shoot up or down
- You no longer absorb skills from defeated bosses
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