20XX: What's Better Than Infinite Mega Man X?

This indie roguelike wants to be the last Mega Man X you'll ever need.

Preview by Mike Williams, .

It's easy to figure out the inspiration behind 20XX. Developer Chris King wanted more Mega Man X and Capcom certainly wasn't listening to fans, so King decided to do it himself. 20XX is a Mega Man X-inspired roguelike that wants to be the game that Mega Man X fans can spend forever with.

"What's better than infinite Mega Man X?" King asked me.

Looks familiar.

20XX has two-player cooperative play, so I played it on the PAX East showfloor with a random partner. He chose the Mega Man X homage, while I choose the callback character to the sword-wielding Zero. (This was a poor choice on my part, because life was always harder for Zero in the X games.)

The levels in 20XX are all randomly-generated. The game knows where the entrance and exit to a level are located and the general size of a level. It then fills in the rest by taking level makeup (each stage has a different theme and enemy roster) and difficulty into account. You'll see the same mechanics in each level, but the layouts change each time.

20XX isn't easy. Imagine some of the later Mega Man X stages and you'll have an idea of intense platforming I had to go through. Outside the platforming, my partner had can easier time, as their weapon was like the classic Mega Buster, with a regular and charge shot. I had to make due with close-range slashing action.

Over the course of each level, you'll collect currency you can use to purchase power-ups at assorted vendors during and at the end of each level. Finishing off a boss offers both players a brand-new weapon and certain bosses are weak to certain weapons, just like classic Mega Man games. The demo included the villainous hamster wheel Rollster Beta and fiendish fern Death Lotus, both of which I finished off with skill and aplomb. The bosses feel a bit less like Mega Man X's Reploid bosses and more like the larger mid-stage bosses you'd find in the original series, but the familiar "pattern + weaknesses" system applies here..

20XX is a modern roguelike, so there needs to be some form of persistent progression. Here, you'll collect Soul Nuts. Soul Nuts drop occasionally in each level and can be used to unlock additional weapons at the Safehouse hub. Sure, your ability to get through a level is based mostly on your skill, but some extra weapons can make certain encounters much easier.

20XX is pretty good as a Mega Man X fan who's been starved for content. The best part is you don't have to be at PAX to enjoy it; 20XX is already out on Steam Early Access for $11.99. If you're missing a little Mega Man X in your life, Infinite Mega Man X is a damn good bargain.

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Comments 6

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  • Avatar for link6616 #1 link6616 2 years ago
    I'd forgotten about this. I feel like you guys wrote about this last year even...
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  • Avatar for Thad #2 Thad 2 years ago
    Interesting. I remember when Mega Man X6 came out it was promoted as having randomized stage layouts. It didn't; the stages had some minor changes depending on the order you completed them in (much like the original MMX) but there was no randomness at all.

    (Also, not for nothin', X6 was a terrible game. I'd say it was the worst in the series, but I think that depends on whether you count the Game Boy entries.)

    I wonder if King remembered any of that when he decided to do a Mega Man X homage with actual procedurally-generated stages. Regardless, it's interesting to see a game that's like what I pictured Mega Man X6 to be instead of what it actually was.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #3 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 years ago
    @Thad X6 did have one randomly generated stage, of sorts. I believe it was Ground Scaravich's. Sometimes I wonder if someone in PR got a mixed message and exaggerated it, or if they were all supposed to be like that, or what.

    Nightmare effects, rubbish as they were, were more random and "traveling," not so much like X1's stage effects.
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  • Avatar for docexe #4 docexe 2 years ago
    I’m not sure roguelike Mega Man X is quite what I wanted, but given that Capcom just refuses to release another game (and that MN9 just refuses to get released already), I’m definitely picking it up at some point. I’m not sure if I will wait until they release the final version though.

    Have to say it as well: Graphics wise, it has improved noticeably since the last time you covered it.
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  • Avatar for niconillo24 #5 niconillo24 2 years ago
    I've been playing this since last year, the game is really good! I'm not even a long time fan of the X series but I still like it. I'm surprised you thought the Zero-like character was a bad choice, I actually prefer that character in the game.

    My only real complaint is that it always has a very sharp and sudden difficulty spike after you defeat the first few bosses. Also, the special weapons are nothing to write home about. But overall those are only minor complaints, I'm enjoying myself and I'm glad you guys brought this to my attention last year!

    I feel bad for saying this, but I always have a chuckle when I hear about the constant problems with Mighty No. 9 while I backed this game instead. I hope you guys do a comparison of the two! Even if their gameplay is different it can be very interesting to hear your take on which game delivers more to Mega Man fans- the quasi-official successor or the homage that takes the concept in a new direction?Edited 2 times. Last edited April 2016 by niconillo24
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  • Avatar for helpfulmole #6 helpfulmole 2 years ago

    I'd say the games that I played the most (besides Earthbound) were probably Mega Man X2 and the Mystery Dungeon games.

    This is definitely up my alley! Thanks for sharing this Mike!
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