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Mega Man X

ロックマンX

Developer / Publisher: Capcom
17 December 1993
Mega Man X [ロックマンX] - cover art
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960 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#227 All-time
#4 for 1993
Mega Man X takes place in an unspecified time during the 22nd century (21XX) and approximately 100 years after the original Mega Man series.
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Title
“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.”

Although Capcom probably didn’t present this infamous quote from The Six-Million Dollar Man during their pitch to make Mega Man X, a parallel can still be connected to recrafting Steve Austin with information age advancements and the blue bomber’s shift to the SNES console. For too long, Mega Man was held back on the elementary hardware of the NES console with a whopping six titles that prolonged the lifespan of Nintendo’s first console far past its twilight years. The franchise managed not to disgrace itself with six subsequent outings, but the last two titles admittedly teetered with everyone’s engagements after the series peaked mechanically with Mega Man 4. The solution to the growing disinterest in the franchise that truly made Capcom a contender for video game developer royalty was so obvious that all of the gaming consumers probably thought of it far before the company held their first meeting discussing it, wondering if they were mute judging by how long it took for their echoes to reverberate to their offices. It was finally time for the blue bomber to evolve and join its 2D platformer contemporaries on the new and improved Nintendo console of the day. If the SNES could facilitate the blossoming of fellow debut NES franchises such as Mario, Castlevania, and The Legend of Zelda from stumpy and rugged, albeit charming and determined caterpillars, into beautiful, graceful butterflies, then certainly Mega Man’s metamorphosis should ideally prove successful as well. Fortunately, I’m happy to report that Mega Man X isn’t merely a fresh coat of 16-bit paint splattered onto Mega Man’s gleaming, azure 8-bit armor that has been weathered by the wear and tear across six adventures: it’s another hard reboot that reworks Mega Man’s mechanics with 16-bit splendor, resulting in something spectacular.

We’re all used to the linear climaxes in Dr. Wily’s castle acting as the swirling giraffe neck of every Mega Man adventure, but what about a prologue level on the opposite side of the narrative spectrum? With no context, Mega Man X catapults our plucky hero into the action of some frantic scene on the streets of a nameless futuristic city. Mega Man blasts through tank units, robots with long, ropey legs, and wasp bots hovering overhead as the urban foundation of the setting crumbles beneath his feet. Plumper wasp units ambush Mega Man as more durable minibosses, offering specks of formidability at such short notice. While making quick work of the enemies on the steel, city architecture may make the player feel like a badass, Mega Man is humbled at the prologue’s culmination point when he is beaten senseless by the purple mech of Vile, an aptly nickname for a villain character if there ever was one. As he’s about to have his life function strangled out of him by Vile as he’s writhing in staticky agony, an red ally robot named Zero pops out and saves Mega Man before he’s about to take his last breath. Zero then proceeds to lecture Mega Man that he’s got a lot to learn before he becomes a valiant hero, judging from the tragic scene that almost occurred. Letting Mega Man potentially fail in his heroic duties at the hands of the enemy implies that the stakes far outweigh that of the classic Mega Man fare, and that the SNES advancements have granted the series a deeper layer of narrative complexities.

How bruised Mega Man’s ego must be after needing Zero to come to his rescue, for his redesign looks as serious and sternly determined as if he’s aiming to be a medal of honor recipient. Actually, before I become too accustomed to a bad habit, the reason why the Mega Man in Mega Man X vastly deviates from the charming, boyish expressions of the classic iteration is because this one is an entirely different character altogether. Mega Man X is set in the 22nd century, approximately one-hundred years after the general time period during all six Mega Man games on the NES. Every single facet of the Mega Man world we’ve come to know, both the good and evil of it, is now a buried relic of the early years of the futuristic digital age. The metaphor of how distant the days of the NES Mega Man are becomes literal when scientist Dr. Cain unearths this upgraded model of Mega Man, simply referred to as “X” from the ruins of Dr. Light’s laboratory. After living through the era where robots were modeled as vacant puppets designed to perform manual labor, Dr. Light’s progressive consciousness inspired him to conjure up a Mega Man model, “X”, that matched the cognitive and emotional capabilities of human beings. I’m willing to give X the benefit of the doubt that he’s sharp as a tack and sensitive as a poet, but I’d argue that Mega Man has always looked relatively humanoid. What the 16-bit graphics grant to the blue bomber’s heightened humanistic features is sanding off the vagueness of the already rendered facial and body proportions. We can acutely discern pupils on the whites of his eyes instead of cartoony black craters, and there are teeth in his shapely, proportional mouth that no longer resembles an obstruent censor bar. Add an athletic frame on a taller body and X is the adolescent next phase of Mega Man in more ways than one.

Even though we’ve already witnessed him struggle to apprehend his enemies, the post-pubescent X is exceptionally stronger than the 8-bit prototype we’re all familiar with. In saying that, the events of the prologue and Zero’s flinty words that end it illustrate that X’s extraordinary power has yet to reach its full potential. Mega Man X’s arc is one of growth, gaining the physical and mental fortitude to conquer the elevated odds. The physical aspect of X’s journey of personal betterment is rendered as the various upgrades, but they aren’t granted to X as rewards for completing the levels as they were on the NES. An acuter Mega Man must practice finer diligence in his efforts to maximize his proficiency, which involves the player seeking out the upgrades found in the inconspicuous corners of each level. Dr. Light may be dead and buried to everyone’s dismay, but he knew his fancy, vigorous X model needed his assistance in the years beyond what his mortal limit would allow. Unlike when Mega Man donned his dog as a suit of armor and refashioned his functionalities in Mega Man 6, the upgrades in Mega Man X are completely unique supplementary ways to spruce up Mega Man’s strength. The nifty dash move that gave the original Mega Man more flexible maneuverability has unfortunately been omitted, but I’d lament the loss of the blue bomber’s first ingenious addition more emphatically if the spiritual successor dash move didn’t allow X to leap great distances like a robotic frog. The dash also compliments X’s innate ability to stick to and jump between walls wonderfully to further strengthen the amphibious comparisons. Mega Man 6 did its best to nerf the charge shot after its inclusion began to overshadow the robot master weapons, but Mega Man X ditches that initiative in favor of a blast chain of crimson beams that decimate all in its gaping radius when the player charges it to its full capacity. One upgrade allows Mega Man to erode the softer surfaces of both natural and manmade materials with his helmet, whose use only seems warranted to break the barriers between other upgrades. Heart and energy units are scattered about to increase X’s maximum health and special weapon meters respectively, and the four obtainable energy tanks are now a reusable resource powered by the collective surplus of health pickups when X’s meter is full. On one hand, I appreciate the eco-friendly renewability of these ergonomic energy tanks, but filling them completely, especially upon depleting them entirely after a difficult section, verges into tedious grinding territory that I could’ve done without. When every single one of these upgrades is accounted for, the final reward for the player’s meticulous efforts is an additional super move that will shock and awe: a fucking hadouken from Street Fighter. The stipulation in executing this iconic blast of pure palm energy is that the player must press a finicky combination of buttons with X at full health, but anything that comes across its impact will entirely combust. Perhaps the developers were having TOO good a time touching up their blue pride and joy, but enhancing Mega Man with the aid of new gaming technology should be an exciting prospect for everyone involved.

The new challenges X faces in the next century are the mavericks, a league of insubordinate robots whose goal is to eradicate the human race and usher in the age of robotic domination. Evidently, Dr. Cain was touched by Dr. Light’s empathetic approach to robotic intelligent design and copied X’s sophisticated genome to an array of freshly-built machines, the mavericks in question, with the same hyper-human cognition. Any science fiction story with a similar premise always details that once these machines are given these advancements and start dreaming of electric sheep, their intellect will generate radical ideas and become a nuisance for their organic creators. Eight of the mavericks are the repaved robot masters at the end of their respective levels and thankfully, the “man” descriptor that conceptually connected each robot master from the six NES games has been retired. The thematic glue that holds the mavericks together are eight different animals with an elemental type attached, i.e. Chill Penguin, Spark Mandrill, Storm Eagle, etc. Not only do the mavericks encompass designs that the NES robot masters could never feasibly achieve, the way in which they conduct themselves during battle is highly individualistic. The body slams of the bulky Flame Mammoth are as earth-shattering as one would expect from an animal weighing a couple of tons, Sting Chameleon moves swiftly around his arena, and Storm Eagle soars through the air as if he commands the way the wind blows. Their mannerisms in battle exude far more personality than what could be boiled down to the same robot model in different robes and powers from the robot masters that were manufactured by Dr. Wily.

As for the elemental weapons that X absorbs from the mavericks, I can’t say any of them supersede those of Dr. Wily’s robot masters from a standpoint of power or accessibility. Nothing surpasses the unmitigated, divine power of the metal blade even on advanced hardware. That is, until the player realizes that they can charge the special weapons to deadly results like the standard blaster. Launch Octopuses homing missiles can be charged to launch five torpedoes shaped like piranhas to shred through anything on sight, Flame Mammoth's charged fire wave will erupt a chain of flame pillars, and Spark Mandrill’s 100% power potential will unleash a storm of energy that will obliterate everything on screen. At least the scant opportunity to charge the weapon requires skill to execute unlike the one-touch Gravity Hold from Mega Man 5. Other special weapons at their maximum force trigger results that will not result in devastation, but aid X with alternate methods such as the Chameleon Sting granting him brief invulnerability and Armored Armadillo’s weapon shrouding him in a durable shield that proves to be far more effective than any similar apparatus meant to shelter him from the barrage of stray bullets. With Chill Penguin’s ice powers, X can sculpt a sled in the shape of the power’s original owner and ride giddily on it until it is sanded down by the friction and bursts into icy shards. Incorporating stronger versions of the special weapons with the charge mechanic was a no-brainer that I can’t believe didn’t occur to the developers to implement this feature in either Mega Man 5 or 6. On top of increasing the might of each special weapon, offering other uses for these weapons besides pure destructive potential makes Mega Man’s original gimmick interesting again. The charge shot needn’t be watered down afterall: the special weapons just needed to match its firepower.

Honestly, I happily endured the slightly irritating grind sessions I had to undergo in order to refill the reusable energy tanks, for replaying Mega Man X’s levels to do so never wore on my patience. Mega Man’s stages on the SNES aren’t constructed at all differently from those on the previous Nintendo console. X will still move right through a narrow trajectory on the X-axis with the occasional vertical deviations while blowing the enemies to pieces with his arm cannon. I can’t exactly pinpoint what makes the levels of Mega Man X more electrifying than those on the 8-bit console, but there is a constant thrill at every single screen that composes them. It could be due to the heightened graphical fidelity making the explosions look more voluminous or X’s stark physicality, or because the SNES grants these areas that aura of exhilaration with its performance prowess. The answer can be concluded by considering a bit of all of the possibilities. Watching every enemy burst into a mushroom cloud is a more satisfying indication that it's been defeated rather than simply disappearing, and X’s impressive abilities are obviously a delight to execute. Still, what impressed me the most was the developers using the SNES hardware to accomplish feats unfeasible on the previous system. Armored Armadillo’s level prominently features a minecart that careens calamitously through the mineshaft, flattening all that it comes across at a blistering speed. Imagine how awkward the loading screen transitions on the NES would’ve made this section, like stomping on the brakes going one hundred miles an hour? Spark Mandrill’s faulty electrical wiring makes for a natural depiction of turning the lights off on Mega Man as an obstacle than completely darkening the screen, and any instance where Mega Man can climb into a mech feels as free as his own fixtures and bolts (the robotic equivalent to flesh and blood) instead of being tethered to the pull of a scrolling screen like the jet ski from Mega Man 5. The intermediate mini bosses are arguably even as engaging as the mavericks, and I’m almost embarrassed at the amount of times I died to sticky Thunder Slimer or whenever the Anglerge submarine sucked me into the spikes below. The gimmicks of these Mega Man levels are unabashedly bombastic, but that’s why they’re so fun.

One would think all the ample accompaniments to Mega Man’s arsenal would make Mega Man X considerably easier than the comparatively minimalist NES games. Somehow, the developers have managed to balance Mega Man’s tough but fair approach to difficulty in the new era. Well, until X finishes off all eight mavericks and unlocks the final level to face the game’s final challenge. The ascent up Wily’s castle that always served as the penultimate goal of every Mega Man game needed to be remodeled for Mega Man X, for setting a Mega Man game over a century into the future forces the developers to comply with Dr. Wily’s logical, organic expiration date as a human being. The design of the trek up to the final boss doesn’t diverge all too far from any of the mad doctor’s castles, but the newfound frustration stems from how the full expedition is divided. When X defeats Vile after accumulating enough experience, it’s only the halfway point of finishing the first section. One would think the narrative context of vanquishing Vile to allow the player to print a checkpoint, but the level actually ends when X squashes a giant, robotic spider whose vulnerable eye is exposed as ephemerally as the blink of the heinous, PTSD-inducing Yellow Devil. A defeatable Vile is still no slouch, and the tapering climb between him and the spider boss is excruciating. Practice sticking to the walls until X can match the skill of Spiderman. The remaining sections are shorter, but the first one has the player proverbially gasping for air with desperation unlike any other Mega Man game before it.

So if Vile is but a trivial henchman and Dr. Wily is guaranteed not to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes once again with his presence, who is the villainous figure leading the fight against all organic life? At the top of the series of climaxes above a narrow tube that X must, of course, bounce between is Sigma, the commander of the mavericks spurring this violent revolution. At first, Sigma sics his robotic bloodhound on X as a sampler stage before brandishing his energy sword and then piloting a screen-obscuring mech as the ultimate test of the player’s aptitude as Wily would have done. I managed to find an exploit in both the dog and Sigma’s first form in that climbing the walls around the arena would always oblige them to bounce around as well and lock them into predictability, so Sigma proved to be more manageable than a number of Dr. Wily duels. Still, Sigma dwarfs Dr. Wily as an overall antagonist, and I’m not saying this because I’ve become sick to death of the mad doctor. Look at Sigma’s menacing grin and imposing demeanor as he shadows over X before his fight and tell me with a straight face that he doesn’t make you the least bit nervous. On top of his sinister design, we know from the narrative that Sigma’s motivations are fueled by hatred, vengeance, and smug superiority: a collective fusion of negativity that are known to inspire the campaigns of the most ruthless of historical dictators. Sigma is bad to the circuit breaker bone: a political force libel to crush any of his opponents into pixie dust at the first sign of transgressions toward him, a dominating presence that the goofy, one-dimensional Dr. Wily could never exude.

The future is here and the future is now, or at least the future came to fruition in late 1993/early 1994 when Mega Man X succeeded the iconic 2D platformer series of games that made Capcom a household name in the industry. After six games bled the series dry with repeated facets of its formula, Mega Man X is the upgraded model that renders the old one obsolete. It was the game that the series needed to save itself from digging the dearth of a hole it was in on the NES that used to be filled to the brim with refreshing water. Now, with the mechanical advancements of the SNES system, the Mega Man tap could begin anew and strike precious oil. With the riches given to Capcom with this golden opportunity, Mega Man’s facelift has made the series as exciting as it once was, an explosive romp that still bears all the hallmarks of what makes Mega Man exceptional. A gold star for robot boy!
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T20:30:57Z
2017-07-21T20:30:57Z
8.5
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I'm a big fan of the Megaman franchise, however I'll say that none of them are perfect games as I never like the boss rush in any of them to be compelling, this being no exception.

That said, this is a solid entry into the Megaman x franchise thanks to gorgeous art design as well as a cast of great bosses to fight with their own unique weapons that encourage backtracking to each of the stages to uncover hidden weapons and abilities. The story is pretty basic, however the fact that there isn't a bait and switch with who the bad guy is males it the best by default as every game ends up having Sigma as the main villain.

It's a basic game and one that's been overshadowed by the likes up Cuphead, however there's still plenty of fun to be had with this entry.
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Foxylover92 2021-06-23T00:21:06Z
2021-06-23T00:21:06Z
4.0
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Uma aula de level design do começo ao fim. Apresenta todos os detalhes das mecânicas e do comportamento de inimigos ao jogador sem qualquer esforço e o deixa se virar.

Tem muita coisa pra destacar, mas a movimentação ágil e a profundidade das fases deste jogo - um plataforma linear, lembremos - espantam de tão bem feitos.
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gabrielctps 2022-03-10T03:07:01Z
2022-03-10T03:07:01Z
5.0
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Mega Man X was sort of a rebirth of the series. After Mega Man 6, the series was beginning to feel stale and repetitive with each sequel feeling like a clone of Mega Man 3, which was the last innovative game in the original franchise. So X came along after 6 and sort of rebooted the franchise, but not really because the numbered games still came out until 8 in 96, then continued on future generations, but X sort of branched the series off. X was the first Mega Man game on the SNES so it already is a big improvement in terms of graphics. And X feels a lot smoother, the controls feel smoother, the platforming is less rough and Mega Man can wall jump, dash, and charge his blaster. X is basically an upgraded version of the previous games on NES, but it doesn't come without flaws.

The main levels themselves are decent and short enough and each level ends with a tough boss. The bosses all have weaknesses that can be exploited if you do the levels in the right order. There are hidden bonuses that improve the game like one that gives you stronger armor and ones that give you health packs to heal and health upgrades. The problem is, some of these upgrades are hidden super well and if you don't find them, they basically make the endgame living hell. Once you have these upgrades, the game becomes a lot more manageable and the final boss doesn't feel like a cheap asshole. Speaking of which, this game is full of cheap moments, moments where you'll be jumping and an enemy will hit you mid jump and knock you in a pit which will instantly kill you. Sure they aren't as common in this game as previous ones, but they are still here. And there is an annoying sky level as well. The final stage in this is pretty annoying because its essentially a boss rush with annoying platforming segments put between that are more annoying than fun. The final boss in this game hits like a truck unless you have the armor upgrade, and he just feels cheap at times. And the bosses in this game are kind of hit or miss with some being well designed, and others just being annoying and cheap, but then again, that applies to pretty much every Mega Man game. Also one thing I didn't like is that if you get to the final level and get to the final boss and save, the game doesn't let you keep this progress and if you turn the console off and go back you have to do the entire final level over from the start, which is just pointless.

Overall, X is a much needed reboot of the franchise and took the series in a better direction but unfortunately, X got worse and worse as it went on similar to the previous games after 2. X2 was worse than this and X3 was worse than 2 and so on. Still for what its worth X is a decent enough Mega Man game and almost comes close to being as good as 2, but this game is still no Super Mario World or Donkey Kong Country.
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jweber14 2019-07-23T07:43:59Z
2019-07-23T07:43:59Z
3.5
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Mega Man finally fills out
The first game Capcom made to bring the Mega Man formula into the 16-bit age of gaming, Mega Man X does a pretty admirable job of keeping the original spirit of the classic NES titles alive. The new flagship mechanic of the X series is the ability to find permanent visual/mechanical upgrades for your suit throughout the stages, hidden away in secret nooks. Along with Heart Tanks which increase max HP, and Sub-Tanks, which allow you to refill your health with "overflow" health caught by enemy drops, the damage and movement potential of X by the endgame is huge. This huge spike in power makes this a good spot for newcomers - it's easier than most if not all of the mainline games preceding it.

The boss count is upped to 8 from 6, the sprites are large with great animation and fluidity, and the game is much faster paced thanks to the new dash mechanic that you obtain with the boots upgrade. The levels also implement more verticality without being cumbersome thanks to X's ability to wall-jump. The bosses themselves all look like something straight out of Power Rangers, too - huge diabolical animals with an elemental theme/gimmick. They're all pretty fair fights (except Launch Octopus, that dickhead), but just like the original series, it's hard to lose when you stumble upon the weapon they're weak to.

The levels are really well-designed and revolve around a handful of themed concepts and enemies. There are mini bosses, elevator sets, chase sequences, minecart(?) rides, and even (inconsequential) sections where you pilot a mech for a portion of the stage. Expanding on the idea of the rock-paper-scissors boss weakness strategy of the classic Mega Man series is a new concept where entire stages can be altered by completing another before it. Defeating Storm Eagle causes his ship to crash into Spark Mandrill's factory, causing blackouts and making the electric flooring less dangerous. Defeating Chill Penguin makes the lava in Flame Mammoth's cave cool, allowing you to walk on it. While this is an engaging concept that lets you guess how certain stages will interact, it does make the "optimal path" even easier to determine. I personally found the two previous examples completely by accident, never seeing the original versions of those stages on my first playthrough.

My only real complaints are minor. The first is that the game is just far too short. This was the first Mega Man title I played all the way through, and even with my struggles, I completed the entire thing in under 4 hours. Experienced players who know the stages and the optimal routes could no doubt beat this game in around an hour and a half. It's hard to feel entirely fulfilled when the game passes by that quickly, even if some stages are revisited for secrets. I also found the soundtrack to be pretty inconsistent, with as many memorable tunes are there are grating ones. The SNES sound chip had weird limitations, but the synth tone on some of these tracks is just whiny.

Overall, it's a really fun game with a very short length, and it feels a bit like a Saturday morning cartoon in tone, art direction, and narrative. Mega Man X is a super consistent, straightforward action platformer with just enough depth to keep you engaged for long stretches. Recommended.
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the_lockpick 2018-10-12T00:43:36Z
2018-10-12T00:43:36Z
3.5
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I remember I got this game in 6th grade, by trading a couple granola bars with some Chinese kid for it.

Was it worth skipping lunch that day for a game that was, at the time, 15 years old?

Absolutely.
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Travis_Bickle_Abides 2017-01-03T06:32:15Z
2017-01-03T06:32:15Z
4.0
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Catalog

Matthoca ロックマンX 2024-04-12T13:30:28Z
2024-04-12T13:30:28Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kafeis ロックマンX 2024-04-09T18:53:20Z
2024-04-09T18:53:20Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SergLeDerg ロックマンX 2024-04-04T03:16:31Z
2024-04-04T03:16:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
warioman ロックマンX 2024-04-03T18:39:18Z
2024-04-03T18:39:18Z
4/5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
backlog
PhrostByte ロックマンX 2024-03-31T20:56:21Z
2024-03-31T20:56:21Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
adg3 Mega Man X 2024-03-31T20:39:17Z
SNES • XNA
2024-03-31T20:39:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate ロックマンX 2024-03-29T14:11:03Z
2024-03-29T14:11:03Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cnyTevho ロックマンX 2024-03-29T07:06:59Z
2024-03-29T07:06:59Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
2018 Yearly Playthrough Nintendo PSN Steam
rokcman ロックマンX 2024-03-29T01:07:59Z
2024-03-29T01:07:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Muru ロックマンX 2024-03-28T13:35:44Z
2024-03-28T13:35:44Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zanderman ロックマンX 2024-03-26T19:50:24Z
2024-03-26T19:50:24Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MF_IGUIN Mega Man X 2024-03-26T17:29:34Z
SNES • DE
2024-03-26T17:29:34Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Also known as
  • Mega Man X
  • Rockman X
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • Previous comments (9) Loading...
  • HeatherMadhouse 2023-05-14 13:55:56.682225+00
    the most essential game for snes emulators on psp
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  • BoostGuardian 2023-08-18 23:00:39.232201+00
    Third phase of the final boss prevented me from beating the game without health upgrades
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  • Gavel 2023-10-28 10:12:14.158759+00
    Alright! I found a [Perfect Video Game]! It might come in handy.
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  • thereitis 2024-02-14 21:35:45.955422+00
    Needs a 4.00
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  • KesiMiao 2024-03-17 01:06:47.90294+00
    Backlogged has this on par with SMW, Super Metroid or LttP. Nintendo fanboys pls stop, you seem to be too plenty on this site.
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