Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Evil robots are on the loose, and only a delivery boy can stop them. With the help of precious biometals, this proud minimum-wage employee will put an end to the "Mavericks" that threaten peaceful human existence. Yes, it's Mega Man ZX, the latest side-scrolling, platforming, full-action addition to the Mega Man series. But for the first time, gamers can play as either a boy (Vent) or a girl (Aile). Besides, "delivery boy" is such an old-fashioned term. They prefer to be called "delivery people."

Mega Man ZX uses mission assignments, along with the match-the-colored-key-to-the-colored-door trick, to keep the game linear yet open-ended. Though it's a DS title, it makes very little use of the bottom screen. Even a simple map would be helpful. Certain mechanics—like jumping onto ledges, or shooting at an angle—can also be a pain. Other moments simply seem tedious. Who has time to roam around town chatting with locals about their pets when there are evil robots to destroy?

Beyond the game: Play as Vent or as Aile: There's almost no difference. In particular, the dialogue clearly wasn't tailored for a gender swap. As a result, it's easy to forget about that cute tomboy beneath the biometal.

Worth playing for: The mesmerizing parallax backgrounds. You move, they move. It's just like real life, only prettier.


Frustration sets in when: Mega Man ZX's world-map is extensive. Sometimes that means fun exploration. At other times, hopeless confusion. Where were we going again?

Final judgment: Solid but frustrating, new but unoriginal—like a delivery boy wrapped in biometal, Mega Man ZX goes down hard.

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