Mega Man Extreme
With the advent of Game Boy Color, the cry for new versions of classic games has reached a deafening crescendo. Super Mario Bros., R-Type, Bionic Commando and Crystalis are just a few of the many titles that have seen their rebirth on Nintendo's pint-sized handheld. Not to be outdone, Capcom is staking out their own territory in the retro realm--already with 1942 and Ghost 'N Goblins, and now a Mega Man X remix entitled Mega Man Extreme.
The plot of Mega Man Extreme is a familiar one. The mother computer of the Mega Man hunter base has been hacked by the nefarious Techno. As a result, Mega Man Extreme--the man who put the "Mega" in Mega Man--finds himself awakened from years of peaceful cryogenic slumber. Along with his cybernetic partner, Midi, you'll have to help him remove the viruses from the mother computer and put an end to Techno's mischief. Thankfully, as a heroic being engineered for just such an emergency, Mega Man Extreme isn't simply your average guy in a mechanized suit.
He packs a variety of neat superhero abilities, like a pimped-out laser, a speedy dash and the ability to cling to walls. As the game progresses, you'll encounter a number of bosses, nine in all, each of which possesses a certain unique power. Vanquish the boss and you'll steal their power. To combat linearity, each level contains a number of possible exit points, some of which only open up once you've acquired new powers or abilities. Furthermore, enemies exhibit unique strengths and weaknesses to Mega Man Extreme's weapons. While an initial romp through a level may require multiple laser or saw blade attacks, later visits can be made easier via ice or flame attacks. If you've played any of the blue bomber's other games, you know what we're talking about. As an added twist, you'll also have the opportunity to utilize mechanized robot walkers in the game, as well as conjoin with your Mega partner, Midi, just how Mega can one Mega Man get anyway?
Mega Man games are usually notoriously short-beat eight bosses, fight their leader and it's over. But Mega Man Extreme breaks that mold with the most levels we've ever seen. As if the game's 36 initial levels weren't enough, 42 new levels open up after your first completion of the game. In addition, all the main bosses are joined by a number of classic Mega Man X big baddies who return as midbosses. While you might think you ended the careers of Chill Penguin and Storm Eagle a long time ago, they're making a return, and they're really pissed. Wisely, Capcom is also including an instant-save battery backup, so you can pause and exit the action anytime you want without having to retrace your steps through any of the 78 levels. After 13 years and over 20 releases, one would think the Mega Man series would be played out by now. But thanks to a series of evolutionary tweaks, we can't help but get excited with each new edition. Mega Man Extreme may seem a lot like Mega Man X in disguise, but with new bosses, a new plot and new abilities, fans have something new to sink their teeth into.