Megaman Zero is a comeback of the real Megaman series as they used to be, full of action! This is the third Megaman title to be developed for the Game Boy Advance and it rejuvenates a strong hunter known as Zero, which was asleep for a century and awakens as a group of reploids are in the brink of extinction.
The transition between serie X and serie Zero is full of violence and war, with a 100 years gap, humans created Cyber Elves, which grant enumerous powers, but they’ve been malfunctioning after they’ve been used for the first time.
Ciel, a human scientist who appears running through an underground lab finds Zero, who was powered down for 100 years, but soon awakens with the help of Ciel and help her and all her reploid companions fighting against the pursuers known as Pantheons, mass-copies of X, who seems to originally controlling them.
Zero, unaware of what’s going on, fights through Neo Arcadia, seeking for answears which only X can give to him.
Megaman Zero is so impressive that most gamers will find it difficult and hard but, that’s how most fans fell in love with the series. For its hardcore battle actions and blind jumps with a small frustation boost. However, you shouldn’t hesitate in playing this game if you like challenges and something to keep you busy for ten hours.
The side-scrolling platform action theme takes Megaman Zero to its roots. Typical of a Megaman game, the blaster and a limited character control keeps the known gameplay from the original series alive. You can only move your character from side to side, jump and shoot and ducking is an option, not available in here. But, Capcom created a new revolutionary Mega Man gameplay, by letting Zero clinging and sliding down walls and weild much more weapons, available later in the game.
The Z-Saber is another Zero’s companion and it was thanks to this feature, that Zero gained another fan. Apart from being able of slicing down enemies, you can charge your saber and unleash a strong and brutal attack, dealing heavy damage to your opponent. But not only this saber and the mega blaster can be used. Apart from a triple rod, or a boomerang, you can also level up your weapons, making them faster and stronger.
The game levels are somehow different if you’re a Megaman X player. Zero keeps a “optional” story mode which will keep up as a normal game with a fluid background story, but, letting the player to choose which stages to play. Every stage keeps the same way Mega Man always was. You run through different stages, in differents places like deserts; valleys; forests; trains and then you fight the main boss and things become even more challenging.
I don’t recall any of the bosses to be like Air Man from Megaman 2, but sometimes a small mistake can cause a lot of self damage.
The “Cyber Elves” give, somehow, a strange Pokemon feeling. It urges you to catch ’em all. You’ll find these by eliminating enemies or bosses and in hidden or hard-to-reach areas. As soon as you complete a stage and return to the base, you can search for the Cyber Elf lab and check what can each elf do to you. There are more than 70 elves to collect, with different powers such as an extra health boost or slowing down the enemies. But be carefull, once they’re used they’ll disappear an you won’t be able to use them so you need to keep in mind a safe strategy.
The intense feel of action keep up with the beautiful 2D graphics, with a nice set of character sprites and backgrounds. The characters are very detailed and even the enemies took a look of effort. The bosses artwork was drawn to perfect and some even require half the screen to show up and have multiple death animations.
What made these graphics so exceptional its because all the sprites were drawn by hand and it pays off, by becoming one of the best good-looking games for the Game Boy Advance.
The musical squences are another impressive mark for this genre. It does not only have awesome digitized effects like explosions and character emotes in an anime-style effects but brings you back to the days of the SNES.
If your frustation meter doesn’t stand enough for a game which requires a lot of persistance and patience then you should be aware that Megaman Zero is NOT easy. You’ll need to keep in reserve every last bit of health boost and extra lifes and even manage your three save slots as you’ll be forced to restart the entire level if you die eventually.
Killing enemies can give you extra continues and you can stay on the look for these depending on the type of gamer you are. Hardcore gamers would rather keep in mind the time they stay in each level and how much damage they do and avoid to keep a relevant score than being on the lookout for energy refills and boosts. So if you’re just a casual gamer that loves to pass some time playing and you don’t mind about rankings then you should somehow give it a try.
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