Gamestyle Archive intro: all of sudden there is an influx of Megaman reviews in the archive with the latest being Command Mission. A by-product of this review comes in the original format version we have on excel, which includes the banner code for lik-sang.com. Remember them?
Published: November 2004
You have to hand it to Capcom, they certainly know how to exploit their franchises. There’s the endless flurry of Street Fighter games, Resident Evil and the one that must take top spot is Mega Man, Capcom’s little blue mascot. Starring in God knows how many games over the years, the Blue Bomber once dipped his toe into the world of RPG’s with the Battle Network series on Game Boy Advance – and now, on Gamecube, he’s gone and taken the plunge head-first by starring in his first ‘real’ role-playing game. Don’t expect anything new though, this is classic Mega Man all the way.
What is very much an RPG affair still has a number of characteristics that tie it to the Mega Man universe. You have to conquer a total of ten stages, each with their own end-of-level boss, and each one becoming decidedly more difficult as the game progresses. Some well-known allies also make a welcome return (such as Zero and Axl), not to mention a few new characters being introduced. The plot of Command Mission is also a surprise as it actually throws a few twists and turns your way, and will have most of you hooked until the very conclusion. This is no doubt helped by the mostly decent voice-acting and, for once in his career, Mega Man hasn’t been given the speech patterns of a five-year-old child. As with all RPG’s though, it will either rise or fall on how simple and effective the battle screen layout is. Thankfully, Command Mission manages to rise above the pitfalls of other games in the genre and offers a simple-to-use interface that can be seen as an introductory step into the world of turn-based combat. The A button is used as a simple strike, whereas the X and Y buttons both other offer alternate ways of engaging the enemy, and then there is the ever-helpful Hyper Mode and Action Trigger: both deal out damage to the enemy but can only be used at specific times during the fight (thus adding a layer of strategy when timing your strikes).
Planning your moves is also helped by the handy data cockpit found at the bottom of the screen, simply showing the order of moves and how much energy each one of your assailants has. If, however, you find yourself overpowered by an enemy then you’ll be pleased to know that save points are quite a regular occurrence. While at the start you’ll only be able to save the game, at later stages you can be transported back to the Hunter Base where you can recharge your Sub Tanks and Life Energy. Returning to the mission sends you back to the starting-point – but you needn’t be alarmed as you won’t have to fight all manner of sub-bosses again.
Ubiquitous cel-shading is the graphical style of choice for this game, and unlike others it does suit the Anime style of the Mega Man world incredibly well. The only real downside is the rather bland environment, which offers no real detail and, in many levels, the same scenery simply being repeated time and again. Musically, everything is very much in keeping with previous Mega Man games and doesn’t really offer anything new. The in-battle sequences on the other hand can be quite charming at first, but because some fights have a tendency to drag on for a while, the music can grate (especially during the boss fights).
One of the main problems with Command Mission is the overall linearity of it all. For the most part, there’s only one avenue to the end-boss, with no need for exploration – thus making the whole experience a very shortlived one, especially for an RPG. Nowadays it’s not unusual for games of this persuasion to reach the fifty-hour mark; whereas Command Mission will probably only take around 15-20 hours till completion (also accounting for the little side-quests that are included). Despite this however, Megaman X: Command Mission is far from being a bad game. While it may not stand up to the ‘Final Fantasies’ of the genre it’s still worth considering – especially if you’re after a quick RPG fix before the next big release.
Gamestyle Score: 6/10