Mega Man X8
|Mega Man X8|
PS2 Cover art
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 1|
|Publisher(s)||Capcom/Taito Corporation Japan|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
|Distribution||1 DVD (PlayStation 2), 2 CD-ROMs (PC)|
Mega Man X8, known as Rockman X8 (ロックマンX8?) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom for the PlayStation 2 console. It is the eighth game in the Mega Man X series and the most recently released game in that series. It was first released in North America on December 7, 2004. The PS2 version, as well as a PC iteration, were released in Japan and Europe the following year.
The plot of Mega Man X8 focuses on the abduction of a next-generation "Reploid" from the construction site of a space elevator, and the subsequent pursuit of his captors. During the course of game play the motivations of these captors comes into focus, and it is up to the heroes, led by Mega Man X, to stop them. The gameplay of Mega Man X8 is similar to the other games in the series, in which the player must complete a series of stages. Defeating their bosses will earn that player character its special weapon.
The story is set during the late 21XX. The Reploid rebellions across the past years continue, seemingly with no possible solution. To escape these troubles, mankind has begun the next generation of research and development by constructing an orbital elevator able to take equipment and handwork to the moon which they seek to colonize. This operation is labeled as the "Jakob Project", with the orbital elevator bearing its name, and a Reploid named Lumine is placed in charge of the project. As another part of the project, an advanced generation of Reploids is dispatched to the moon surface in order to work on the project. These New Generation Reploids are able to use DNA data to change their shapes. They are the perfect workers because they can change their shape according to a task, and have subroutines built in to prevent them from going Maverick. (In Mega Man X7, it was revealed that Axl is the first of his kind, a prototype next-generation Reploid.)
Everything seems to be running smoothly until Vile, who has apparently been resurrected from his earlier defeat in Mega Man X3, kidnaps Lumine for unknown reasons. It becomes the Maverick Hunters' mission to rescue him. However, what the Hunters do not know is that Sigma has returned. Contained on every single copy chip in these robots is Sigma's own DNA, meaning that the next-generation 'Maverick-Proof' reploids are in fact able to go Maverick. Sigma seeks to remove the "old generation" and repopulate it with his "children". When Sigma is defeated in his palace, Lumine steps in to take the entire operation over and kill the Maverick Hunters. Lumine gloats to the Hunters that, in order for evolution to take its course, he and his fellow new-generation Reploids must destroy both humans and "obsolete" Reploids. After a massive struggle, Lumine is defeated. When Axl walks up to Lumine's body, however, he is shocked as a tentacle springs from it and damages the crystal on his head. As the three different characters ride back down the Jakob Elevator, Zero wonders if he no longer has to fight now that Sigma is dead for good, while X ponders Lumine's words on evolution. Axl is unconscious, but his shattered crystal can be seen glowing with a tiny fragment of a crystal shard.
Gameplay in Mega Man X8 is similar to previous Mega Man X games and has removed the 3D style from Mega Man X7 in favor of 2D style. After an introductory stage, Mega Man X8 presents the player with a choice of 8 stages, with a Maverick robot serving as the stage boss. After defeating the 8 bosses, a series of fortress stages open up for the player to complete in linear progression until the final boss is defeated.
The player starts the game with access to three playable characters: X, a shooter able to wear multiple armors that can be found hidden in the stages; Axl, a shooter able to transform in the enemies; and Zero, a sword fighter able to double jump. Two characters can be selected to go a stage while a navigator can be assigned to assist the player. Depending on the navigator's qualities, the character will be informed about the stages' hidden paths or bosses. In every stage, the characters can obtain items that can be used in a shop to buy upgrades. The three navigators can also be unlocked by buying chips.
Mega Man X8 was developed by Capcom Production Studio 1. The game's direct predecessor, Mega Man X7, was the first entry in the Mega Man X series to feature full 3D graphics, as well as 3D gameplay. However, as stated by Capcom producer and original Mega Man illustrator Keiji Inafune, the development team chose not to pursue 3D gameplay for Mega Man X8 simply because of its graphical style. Inafune himself was not involved in the production of Mega Man X8, although the game's art designers did consult with him before changing the overall style of the characters. The game's main illustrator, Tatsuya Yoshikawa, was responsible for designing the protagonists, the Maverick bosses, and the newer ancillary cast. Yoshikawa took into account what the characters may resemble if they were toys, and even imitated the joints of Revoltech figures.
The musical score for Mega Man X8 was co-composed by Yuko Komiyama, Naoto Tanaka, and Shinya Okada. The 51-song Rockman X8 Original Soundtrack was released in Japan on April 13, 2005 by Suleputer. The Japanese opening theme is "Wild Fang" by Janne Da Arc; the band had previously done television advertisement themes for Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Battle Network 2. However, the theme was not included in the soundtrack and was even omitted on the game's localization in English.
|Rockman X8 Original Soundtrack (1:15:56)|
|1.||"Theme Of "RockmanX8""|
|17.||"Booster Forest~Ride Armor "CYCLOPS""|
|18.||"VS Boss Demo"|
|27.||"VS Sigma Demo"|
|29.||"VS Lumin~The first form"|
|30.||"VS Lumin Demo"|
|31.||"VS Lumin~The second form"|
|36.||"Hunter Base~Going to the front"|
|50.||"Demo~With the Hunter Base"|
A PC version of Mega Man X8 was released in Asia, Europe, and as a download from GameStop in North America. This version can run in windowed mode, in addition to full screen, and includes mouse and keyboard features, although it does support using a controller. The PC version also features several languages, which can be changed from the main menu or after starting a new game. All of the music and cutscene dialogue is encoded in Ogg Vorbis format.
Mega Man X8 received a generally positive reception. It was generally praised for returning to a more classic style of Mega Man gameplay and removing the criticized gameplay elements of Mega Man X7. IGN praised the game for its mixture of 2D and 3D, and its camera system, saying "Thankfully the transition from one plane to another is pretty seamless and isn't the bothersome chore that switches in X7 were. It's an easy and totally acceptable gameplay method and one that should have been used in 2003 to begin with." On the other hand, GameSpot criticized the game for its level design, which often made the game extremely frustrating to play. They also derided the story, remarking that it "dabbles in a lot of nonsensical anime-style ramblings about things that are of little importance to the actual game."
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