Indiewatch – 30XX is the Mega Man X game you have been waiting for
Fans of Capcom’s classic Mega Man X series are starved for content. Want to know how I know? Because I was invited to try out 30XX, a spiritual successor to the series, and I am hooked. I want to make something clear. 30XX is in no way close to being finished. It is in pre-pre-pre-pre alpha. Assets are missing, sounds are missing, it crashes every three steps, and if you press the wrong button you end up death looping on the title screen. Yet, despite all this 30XX was one of my favorite games of January, and I absolutely cannot wait for it to hit Early Access and its official release.
So what is this game? Well a few years ago a game called 20XX came out and it was, essentially, rogue-lite Mega Man X. It had a bit of a strange graphic style and gameplay got repetitive, but it was fun enough. With a little work, it could have easily rivaled Capcom’s own classic franchise.
30XX is the sequel and it put in way more than a little work.
The strange hand-drawn graphics? Gone. Now we have beautiful sprite-art reminiscent of the original classic 16 and 32-bit entries in the X franchise.
Repetitive stages? Gone. Whatever algorithm is being used to generate these stages creates truly unique feeling stages in each run, each themed specifically toward the boss that awaits at the end. It feels, genuinely, like all of these stages were hand-designed, which is absolutely incredible for a rogue-lite.
And if you want to play hand-designed stages, you can do that! Not only can you play through a static set of levels, 30XX comes with a full “maker mode.” Yes, just like Mario Maker or Mega Maker, 30XX allows you to design your own Mega Man X style levels, and then they will be inserted into the rogue-lite shuffle! You can choose to play with these levels off, play only with community-verified ones, or go into wild mode and play community-created levels with anything-goes abandon.
But let’s say you aren’t into any of that. Let’s say that you aren’t even into rogue-lites. Well, that’s fine too. You can turn on “mega mode” and it completely gets rid of the rogue-lite gameplay. Now you just have a traditional Mega Man X game, with static, unchanging levels that are generated right at the start of your run. If you die, you can go back to level select but the levels will always stay the same.
Do you know what that means? You can basically generate an infinite amount of Mega Man X games to play! All the developers have to do is keep making new bosses and level themes and this will have the same staying power as Mario Maker. In fact, the level editor even lets you make entire campaigns, complete with narratives!
Everything else you loved about the original X series is here. There are two characters, a blue one with a chargeable buster and a red one with a sword. You get the analogues here. Sword-boy (his name is Ace if you want to be technical about it) even has access to the charged slash and extra weapons of the Mega Man Zero franchise. There are armor upgrades, movement upgrades, special powers, and much more.
But then there are so many new features, like a power-fusion system for the X analogue. There’s local and online multiplayer (though online hasn’t been integrated yet.) There are new themes, powers, and boss weapons every time you play (though only a limited selection was available for my preview). The dev team plans to add new characters and enemies as long as the game is alive. Like the game’s motto says “Jump and shoot forever.” The content is functionally infinite.
I love this game so very, very much. Mega Man X was an important part of my childhood and not only does this game feel exactly like it, it adds so many more features, and that’s just for this test build! If the dev team delivers on all their promises, this will be one of the best Mega Man style games to ever release, way better than Mighty No. 9, and even better than Capcom’s own Mega Man 11. With the official X franchise stuck in mobile gacha game hell with Mega Man X dive, 30XX is absolutely the game to continue the blue bomber’s legacy. If you are a Mega Man fan, do not sleep on this one.