Damn, 30XX is a great idea—I’m sorry I missed out on 20XX when it originally released. I’m already a huge fan of the classic Mega Man game formula: choose the boss you want to fight, make it through the level themed after them, and defeat them to acquire their powers. It’s such a specific brand of gameplay, and I’ve been burnt many times by games like Mighty No. 9. I didn’t play its predecessor 20XX, and I didn’t have high expectations going into 30XX, even though I really liked the concept. I’m pleasantly surprised with how 30XX is shaping up.
30XX is a side scrolling action platforming roguelike that can be played solo or cooperatively. Like its predecessor, it’s inspired by the Mega Man and Megan Man X series of games. You play as an android, awakened a thousand years after 20XX. You (and your partner) must fight through a world lost to the Synthetic Mind in an effort to save what’s left of humanity. That means lots of Mega Man style action across procedurally generated levels—and that’s pretty rad.
The mechanics are what you would expect from a Mega Man X style game—and they’re great fun. You can jump, shoot (or slash), slide and dash. The enemies and bosses are also exactly what you would expect from a Mega Man-style game, with each boss dropping a special, equippable ability when defeated. You can bring a friend along to play in co-op, with one person playing the Zero-like Ace with his sword and combo system, and the other playing as Nina with her Mega Man style blaster.
There are two main ways you can play 30XX: either the traditional Mega Man way in Mega Mode, which undoes many of the roguelike aspects like permadeath, and lets you choose which boss you want to face at which time. The Standard mode is the classic 20XX way to play, which means permadeath and newly generated levels each time you restart. Once back at HQ you can spend whatever currency you acquired to buy upgrades before going out on your next run.
30XX is still in Early Access, and that means that it’s not exactly done yet—though it feels like a pretty complete game. According to the Steam Early Access section, the Early Access period will last about a year. There are currently six levels and six bosses, but two more bosses/stages are planned to be added, with finale levels added for a proper ending. There will also be more power-ups and items to find. While 30XX feels like a polished game despite its Early Access status, I would like to see more work done with the level generation. I’ve had some runs where the levels feel hand-crafted, and others where they’re obviously chunks of levels thrown together. Speaking of which, you can even edit those chunks to add to your own game.
Usually when I play an Early Access game for a preview, I tend to play only what’s required to get a decent impression. I found myself playing through the entirety of 30XX a few times, both in Standard and Mega Mode. While it’s not a perfect 1:1 facsimile to a Mega Man game, it is surprisingly close. If you were to tell young me that there would be an endless Mega Man game in the future, I wouldn’t have believed you. This one turns out to be pretty damn good. Time for me to get some time in 20XX until 30XX finishes development.
30XX is available now in Early Access on Steam
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