mmzx.jpgWith Nintendo’s Wii and DS, the features that make them standout (the stylus and motion sensing control) also turn out to be their biggest liabilities. Developers often feel obligated to make use of them regardless of how well it can be implemented. As a result, we end up with games with mediocre playability due to the fact that the developers shoehorned Wiimote/stylus functionality into what would have worked just as fine (if not better) without it. This is why we should be thankful for games such as Mega Man DX, as it proves that DS and Wii games don’t necessarily have to make extensive use of fancy new features to be good.

ZX is the first DS entry into the Mega Man series that doesn’t involve card battles. It’s a spin off of the Mega Man Zero series on the Game Boy Advance, and it adds a brand new formula to the series. For one, you don’t play as a robot. You have your choice of one of two human heroes as you fight the mavericks. The game is a lot less linear than previous Mega Man games, being more along the lines of Metroid or the more recent Castlevania games. You select a mission, then make your way to the mission site. At times it tends to get confusing, since you have to figure out how to get where you are supposed to go. Teleport stations are scattered about to help you find your way, but most of the areas have to be discovered by trial and error. Still, there is enough variation between the zones to make them stand out. Oh, and instead of simply gaining a weapon when you defeat a boss, you gain a whole new form, each with it’s own special abilities, which you can change into at any time. As I stated, the game only makes minimal use of the stylus and touch screen. It serves as an extension of the powers of each form. For instance, one form uses it as a radar while another uses it to customize the shape of it’s special blasts. It’s bare bones, but still cool to have.

Mega Man ZX is one of those games that may not reinvent the wheel, but it adds it’s own special twist to the conventions of the mega man series. Pick it up now while it’s cheap, and get ready for the sequel, Mega Man ZX Advent, which is hitting this fall.