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Mega Man X: Did Critics Love This 16-Bit Spin-Off in 1994?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 12, 2014   |   Episode 94 (Show Archive)  


Mega Man X (Super NES)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

After annual sequels on the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy, it was only a matter of time before Capcom brought the Blue Bomber to the Super NES. Mega Man X is a futuristic spin-off with a brand new cast of characters and bosses, all based on different types of animals. Were critics on board with all these changes, or had they finally grown sick of the Mega Man formula? We dig through issues of GamePro, Game Players, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Die Hard Game Fan and Super Play to find the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Mega Man X
[ Company: Capcom | Console: Super NES ]

GAMEPRO (January 1994)
5 out of 5

"No doubt about it, Capcom's poured the best of its creative juices into designing this triumphant SNES debut. There's plenty of room for improvement in the future (and you can bet there will be sequels ad nauseum!), especially if the cart size goes up to 16 or 24 megs and adds mucho more levels. But for now, take Mega Man X and call in sick tomorrow." -Slasher Quan

GAME PLAYERS (January 1994)
95% out of 100%

"Mega Man X can get pretty darn hard in places -- it's a classic run-and-jump game that requires mastery of SNES controls before you even begin. Even gamers who have already beaten the other nine Mega Man titles will be in for a challenge. Fans won't be disappointed with X. It's easily the best of the ten Mega Man titles so far, and one of the best games I've played all year." -Chris Slate

9 out of 10

"This is AWESOME! It's been a long time since I really enjoyed a good action platform game. This game took everything that made the previous MM games so good and totally improved upon them. The excellent graphics have some butt-kicking effects mixed with stereo music and sound. The new Bosses are very cool with their awesome attacks. Who cares if this is a bit easy, I'll play it till my eyes bleed!" -Al Manuel

9 out of 10

"Mega Man X is one of the best action games on any system anywhere. The action and graphics are superb. I like the fact that you can power-up the weapons you collect from your opponents. The only complaints I have are with the lack of challenge, and I don't care for having to play that one level first either. Overall, this is a game that shouldn't be missed. It's loads of fun." -Ed Semrad

DIE HARD GAME FAN (February 1994)
89% out of 100%

"Although I was expecting a carbon copy of the 8-bit Mega Man, which is a more complex game, I am extremely happy with what I got. The new Mega Man is awesome. He animates incredibly and is drawn to perfection! I also really liked the new assortment of bosses, they required the complex patterns and strategies that I became so used to learning in the original series. Great game, now give me a Sega version...please." -Skid

88% out of 100%

"The lesson I've learnt from playing Mega Man X is that platform games aren't bad by definition. There's still some life left in the genre if it's used in clever and innovative ways, with plenty of cunning obstacles and a real freedom to solve each level with a variety of strategies. In X's case I just wish it was a little bit longer and a bit tougher. I'll be listening with a keen ear for rumours of a 16 meg Mega Man XI." -Zi Nicholson

DIE HARD GAME FAN (February 1994)
82% out of 100%

"Mega Man X is good, but not great. It's good because it has all of the play mechanics and qualify design of its 8-bit predecessor and an over all sense of quality that puts it in the "got to have it" category. Unfortunately, if you've played the 8-bit title (as most of you probably have), you've played the 16-bit title. The game is a little too short and a bit repetitive but, if you want a trip down memory lane, it can't be beat." -Sgt. Gamer

NINTENDO POWER (January 1994)
3.8 out of 5

"The Blue Bomber's first adventure on the Super NES lives up to everyone's expectations. With the mechanical menace even meaner than ever, Mega Man must blast his way past eight boss, but not Dr. Wily. PLUS: Great control and fun, challenging play. MINUS: The theme remains the same as the Game Boy and NES Mega Man titles."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 90% - Good news everybody, the platformer genre isn't as awful as you think it is. At least, that's the revelation we get from Super Play's review. "The lesson I've learnt from playing Mega Man X is that platform games aren't bad by definition," explains Zi Nicholson. "There's still some life left in the genre if it's used in clever and innovative ways." Phew. Then again, this is the same guy who thought a sequel would be called "Mega Man XI."

Thankfully, no other magazine seemed confused by this Mega Man spin-off. Many critics loved the game, noting that it was one of the best 16-bit platformers on the market. Chris Slate at Game Players called it "easily the best of the ten Mega Man titles so far," which makes me want to check his math. GamePro also loved the game, but offered this awful advice for people who like staying employed: "Take Mega Man X and call in sick tomorrow."

However, not all critics felt this was a step in the right direction for Mega Man. All four Die Hard Game Fan editors hammered Mega Man X for not being very original. "If you've played the 8-bit title (as most of you probably have), you've played the 16-bit title," notes Sgt. Gamer. Super Play wished the game was a little tougher and offered more levels, a sentiment echoed by other magazines at the time.

With most critics enjoying the spin-off, Mega Man X averaged a class-leading 90%. This is higher than both Mega Man 2 on NES and Mega Man in Dr. Wily's Revenge on Game Boy, which averaged 85% and 84%, respectively.

MEGA MAN X vs. MAVERICK HUNTER X: As many of you already know, Capcom remade Mega Man X in 2006. This PSP exclusive (which is currently compatible with the PS Vita) updated the graphics and added new story elements, leading many critics to give it high marks. According to MetaCritic, Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X averaged a score of 79%, with 28 positive reviews, four mixed and only two negative. While that's a solid average, it's much lower than the Super NES original. But don't listen to those two haters, because Maverick Hunter X is every bit as good as Mega Man X.

ON MONDAY'S EPISODE: We're nearing our 100th episode! This doesn't have anything to do with Monday's episode, but I thought I would mention it. Next week brings three random games for several different systems. We start things off with Dynamite Headdy, Treasure's follow-up to the well-received Gunstar Heroes. Find out what critics thought of this 2D action game next Monday. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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