Published on July 13th, 2018 | by Zorbz
Review: 20XX – Nintendo Switch
Summary: Think Megaman X in a rogue-lite adventure with loads of customisation and you have 20XX, developed by American indie studio Batterystaple Games & Fire Hose Games.
Concept: The game follows Nina and Ace, two armoured cyborgs (much in the same vein as Megaman & Zero from the Megaman franchise) tasked with clearing out dangerous areas filled with crazed robots in the aftermath of a robotic uprising. There isn’t much in the way of story, but does that really matter when this was clearly developed as a classic game where story back then wasn’t the focus and gameplay reigned supreme.
A bit of tag team action
Graphics: Crisp, vibrant and detailed is what initially comes to mind when thinking of 20XX. Character models are animated well and sport a great visual design, with a clear inspiration from the Megaman X series. Background and environments are nice and varied, fitting the theme of the level they are going for whilst the enemies littered throughout only accentuate this. Some of the boss designs are simply amazing and really stand out with them ranging in all different shapes and sizes. It all just looks really clean and pops put, especially in handheld mode.
Gameplay: I’ll start off by saying the game runs flawlessly, I didn’t notice any stutter or framerate drops and it all just felt so smooth to play, so lets get into the meat of the game. Now if you grew up playing the Megaman X games you will immediately feel comfortable jumping into 20XX as Nina uses a blaster that can also be charged, much like X, whilst Ace uses a beam sword, much like Zero from the Megaman X series. They both sport the same similar dash from that era which can be used in combination with your jump to cross huge gaps. The main difference between 20XX and the Megaman X series though is that 20XX is a rogue-lite, and features randomly generated areas for each level, but fear not, they always make sense and feel right for the skills you have at your disposal. Now unlike Megaman which always gives you the option to tackle a boss of your choosing from the get go, 20XX starts you off in the hub area where you can buy and equip upgrades, take on daily and weekly challenges and change characters. Some upgrades you can purchase are permanent whilst others you can use for your next run only. Once you decide to jump into the game from the Hub you will be randomly taken to a level with a boss and upon defeating said boss you will unlock the boss weapon which you can take or should you decide you can leave it in favour of items to aid you in the next level. After deciding on the items or boss weapon you then have a choice between 3 levels to tackle next with a picture of the boss for that level that you will face. You repeat this process until you have defeated all the bosses or you have been felled in battle. Now the game can be quite tough, so you need to keep an eye on your health and ability meter at all times as they roll over each time you complete a level, so choosing when its best to trade some bolts for health pickups or better items is essential. Fortunately there are 3 difficulty modes which i feel really add to the longevity of the game. Did i mention you can also play this both two player local and online!
Who doesn’t want two player Megaman styled action?
Sound: Some really great music was created for 20XX with that chiptune/synth sound you would come to love from the 16-bit era. Everything fit in nicely with locations you are taken through during your playthrough and all the sound effects are top notch. It’s nice to see that the developers knew that as much as a game can look and feel good, it’s the music that provides that added touch to complete the overall experience.
Awesomeness: Being a huge fan of the Megaman X series, it’s nice to play something that feels like it could pass off as a new entry in the series, especially since the actual series has been dormant for far too long. The fact that it is a rogue-lite helps with the longevity of the game which will hopefully tide me over until Capcom takes notice, and if they actually do they should get the team over at Batterystaple Games to develop it because they know really have the formula down pat and show enough innovation to keep it fresh. The only thing i think holding 20XX back is the level design, which is impressive that it is randomly generating stable levels, i feel like if there is a sequel to be done that some tightening up needs to be done as some sections can feel a bit bland.
Nina just blasting suckas
Final Word: Overall I have to say that 20XX has been a treat to play and something I will keep jumping back into over time and I feel like it just fits perfectly on the Switch hardware with its quick jump in and jump out nature. Definitely one for fans of the Megaman series and also just action platformers in general.
Out of 5 Bugs!