Saturday, December 31, 2022

Mega Man ZX: Advent (Nintendo DS, 2007)


The last ZX game is a little bit divisive. Some people like it, some don't like it at all. I think it's a step up from the previous game just because you don't get lost nearly as much. However, there are some big downgrades here. The voice acting is horrendous and the transformations / special weapons tend to not be as good as the previous game.

Regardless, for the Eleventh (My God) Day of Christmas I took a stab at it for the second time ever, let's go.

Two choices of who to play as this time. There's a guy(?) with goofy-ass shorts...

And a girl with a lot of tude. I'm goin' with her, thanks. The guy(?) is your standard Mega Man character: He fires 3 normal bullets at a time and has a normal charged shot. The girl can only fire 2 bullets at a time with a slower fire rate, and they're bigger/more damaging. So there's a big difference between them which gives it some replay value. The girl also has a Gemini Laser as a charged shot which is kind of interesting.

Ashe is obsessed with booty. All she cares about is finding some booty and just absolutely burying her face in it.

Yeah, you thought I was exaggerating.

Ashe is going to smack that booty like it owes her money.

"Megaman Megaman!"



The intro stage boss is this somewhat unique mech. You use the side platforms to get higher up and blast the face. It's a bit more complex than your usual intro stage boss in these games.

Ashe is going to eat a bowl of Frosted Flakes off of that booty.

I actually like playing as this chick WAY more than I liked playing as Vent in the first game, so it's got that going on.

The same bad guys from the previous game show up here. Yeah, it basically just repeats the same story. Your character finds biometals that let her cosplay heroes of the past, these Slither Inc bad guys want the biometals. Well, Slither Inc is no more, but some of the goons from it are still around.

Daaaamn! This is a more grown-up Mega Man game. THIS one should have been called "xtreme"

So the booty in question turned out to be Axl's Biometal, which the bad guys are also here for. The biometal wakes up and springs onto Ashe, like some sort of Venom symbiote.

Ashe announces that they will now MEGAMERGE, which is a lot like Digi-volution. I guess.

We get this Sailor Moon transformation cutscene. It looks like the beginning of the death animation in Super Metroid.

Now Ashe has the powers of Axl and gets to cosplay as him. This means calling everybody "Maverick" like X used to do.

Defeat bosses, and... can literally become them! This is pretty rad. The previous game gave you several very cool biometal forms to switch between during the game, but here, we've got a new form for every defeated boss. Some are good, some aren't, but at least it's trying something new.

Next we meet what I think are the 3 villains of this game, the overlords of Legion Corp. So that's the Slither replacement I guess. The leader's name is Thomas. Thomas Light?

This guy is Albert. Albert Wily. And the weird third guy there is Mikhail, like Mikhail Cossack.

Don't get excited, none of this means anything. It's just references for long-time players to get a chuckle out of. This is still just a game about a kid cosplaying as the heroes of the series and fighting bad guys named after other characters from the series. MEMBER MEGA MAN? MEMBER THE NES?

Freakish miniboss fight here. Now THAT is a spider.

Here's another boss that gives you a transformation (though it's pretty bad overall, it lets you access some new areas). Each of the assimilate-able bosses in this game are "Model W" biometals, relics of the past created by Dr. Weil of Mega Man Zero fame. They contain parts of his soul, as well. I don't know why they couldn't tie this back to Dr. Wily instead of doing this weird "plzdon'tsue" thing. Yeah, I can't get over that.

There's a little bit of follow-up on the previous game. Here, more bad guys congregate in the ruins of Slither Inc to talk about reviving Model W. Which again, has nothing to do with Wily, even though that's the first thing players will think of. Heaven forbid we do anything interesting with this series.

At this point in the game I tapped out, much like I did with the previous game, because it just wasn't giving me any clues on where to go next to move the story forward. At least the map highlighted my destination this time, but there was no way to reach it. I remember this game being a lot harder to get lost in than the previous one, and I did get a bit further, but still, I can't be arsed with it at this juncture. To the file images!

I love the afterimages that the X series started and all the games after that refined.

The next stage is an ice lake where you use the flame not-hyenard boss' power to break ice blocks. This guy is pretty hard to control to say the least. Playing as bosses was a GREAT idea in concept, but they made most of them difficult to manuever with. I'm talking "Frog Suit from SMB3 on land" levels of unwieldiness.

There are all kinds of Mega Men running around. The game actually pulls a Highlander type "there can be only one" thing as this game goes on, basically saying that as the various Mega Men (holders of biometals) defeat each other, they absorb new powers, and eventually only one will be left who has the power of all of them.

Here's the water boss who can also control time. Get his power and it's...very situational.

Siarnaq is more of a normal foe, a ninja-themed biometal.

Elsewhere, the Trinity who are in charge of Legion have a meeting. I expected all 3 of them to turn out to be bad...but I was wrong! Only Albert is.

He reveals to the other two that he's been behind the recent Maverick uprisings, because he wants to revive all the Model W's and combine all their powers to become The One or whatever.

Albert is yet another Dr. Wily red herring, due to the name and him revealing that he's been around for centuries. Is this the immortal body of Wily, here to reclaim all of the Model W's he created over the centuries? No, that'd be interesting. Instead he's just some guy named Albert who has been part of the ruling class of this province for a long time and has a fascination with Dr. Weil's biometals.

Another highway stage! Man, these latter-day B-team Mega Men sure get a lot of mileage out of re-creating Mega Man X's intro stage, don't they? It happens in Xtreme, ZX, ZX Advent, X7, X8...

The last biometal standing, who has the powers of all the others, will be the "Mega Man King"

And it just occurred to me that this was the very last X-series Mega Man game ever produced, if you count it as such. The classic series got several more sequels after 2007, but nothing for the X series. And if you consider the Zero and ZX series' to be extensions of that, which I do...then this is the last one. Kinda petered out, unfortunately. Here's hoping for a Mega Man X9.

At one point Ashe has to battle Vent, the hero of the previous game. After defeating him, he willingly gives up his ZX biometal (which gives Ashe the powers of X and Zero, rather than just lame Axl). It's a huge step up in power.

The giant serpent makes a return, this time in the desert. Ashe's new Zero power is pretty awesome.

These bad guys from the previous game show up a lot and talk complete gibberish. In retrospect they're mostly waxing about the "game of destiny" which is the whole "there can be only one" thing. Do they realize that they'll also have to fight each other at some point?

In this game, you think they're working for Albert now, but it turns out they're only out for themselves. So they're like the third faction in your battles with Albert, and alternately help/hinder Ashe depending on the circumstances.

They KILL ALBERT, and then you have to fight both of them at once. They share a life meter, making the fight easy. Ornstein and Smough, this isn't.

Albert pops back up and reveals that the body they killed (and the one you've been seeing all game) was just his decoy! What is he, Sephiroth?

The final act of the game has you attacking the new sky fortress of Albert, which is comprised of all of the Mavericks on the planet being called together to fuse or something. They're trying to squeeze some Xenogears into this world.

The sky fortress is basically a regal mansion, where you fight all the bosses again two at a time.

Reach the deeper levels of the fortress and it turns into this creepy organic-looking domain with a constant heartbeat sound.

Find Albert, and he makes a STUNNING REVELATION!

He is...Ashe's great great great great great great great grandfather.

The Skull Tank of this game is a giant metal hydra, which looks pretty good in action.

Albert is the final boss, and he goes full Xenogears with Zohar for wings and various angelic imagery. He's got the power of a ton of Model W's now, but Ashe also has the power of a ton of them. Who will triumph?

The arena for this final battle is tremendous, right up there with the final boss of Metroid Dread.

Maybe I just have a thing for sunlit final boss rooms.

Albert is defeated, and like, dies. He doesn't become software like Dr. Wily (presumably) or Sigma, he just keels over.

Ashe and Vent meet up to talk about stuff, and I think the indication here is that these two might end up going out. Axl's biometal is kind of hovering around as a third wheel though, while Ashe refers to him as her booty.

Ashe then runs off while Vent does a Sieg Heil.

So, thoughts on this one? It's a step up from the previous in some ways and a step down in others. They had some really interesting ideas, and the whole "there can be only one" subplot, even though it went absolutely nowhere, was at least a new concept for Mega Man. I still don't understand why this series tiptoes around connecting any of the stories to the past. They've been doing that since X6, after the games before that straight-up told us that Wily was still around and pulling the strings. If I want a coherent story, I'm barking up the wrong tree. As a game, this is fine and has more of the Mega Man Zero action. Still don't think the "Metroidvania" design works with Mega Man, so I'd take any normal Mega Man game over the ZX duo.

Here's the "how far can I get" video for this one. Had more fun this time, though I still feel like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel of Mega Man games with these posts as of late.

And lastly, read my original 2010 review of this game HERE. I felt like it was a big step up from the first and I still do (though the overall critical reception disagrees).

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