Feature: The Summer of X4

Lusipurr.com is relieved to conclude THE SUMMER OF X with The Summer of X4!

Be a Zero... or a Hero! Seriously? Who wrote that awful box copy?
Mega Man X4 Box Art

Mega Man X4 is the fourth in the highly-rated Mega Man X series of games. The Mega Man X series takes place in the distant future, long after the timeline of the Mega Man series. In this future, the world is populated by Humans and Reploids–sentient androids who live alongside humanity. Reploids are themselves the result of the research of Dr. Thomas Light, of Mega Man fame. His last and greatest creation, X, is the ultimate refinement of the technology originally used to create Rock/Mega Man.

The world of Mega Man X4 is significantly influenced by anime, as can be seen from the game’s significant (for its time) cutscenes. The voice acting and scene choices are clearly intended to involve the player in the world of the Mega Man X series in general. This represents a continuation of the shift which takes place in the move from the more two-dimensional narrative of the Mega Man series to the more realised interaction of the Mega Man X series.

As a platforming game, Mega Man X4 excels as one of the shining spots of the entire Mega Man X series, and has often been lauded as the high point of the saga. How do you feel the graphics and sound have aged since its original release? Is the voice acting up to modern standards? Or was it unremarkable even for its time? Do the cutscenes interest you in the Mega Man X world, or are they merely a distraction from the platforming action of the game? Is the difficulty appropriately balanced? Are the new mechanics of the engine interesting, or ultimately just a gimmick to extend the life of the series? Tell us what you think!

We’re looking forward to reading your impressions of this title as Lusipurr.com’s Summer of X concludes. Your comments will be used on the 15 June episode of the Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast. And also, use this opportunity to sound off on any of the games that we’ve played this Summer: Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, X^3: Reunion, or Mega Man X4. Which is your favourite, and why?

0 comments

  1. I fucking love MMX4! Ties with the first Mega Man X as best in the series.

    Am I the only Lusipurr.com reader/MAP listener that actually likes Final Fantasy X? I used to hate it just as much as everyone here, but I played through it in Feb/March and really liked it.

  2. Mega Man X4 really is one of the most impressive games in the series. Its narrative, pacing, depth, and delivery are all first-rate. It also has a great soundtrack, which is all the more notable when one considers how forgettable subsequent soundtracks in the series were.

    I will say this about having played FFX this Summer: I have a newfound respect for the battle system. I still hate having to rotate through all my party members to ensure they get XP, and I still think the sphere grid is woefully constricting, but I think it very solid, on the whole, and much better than, say, FFVIII.

    The script and voice-acting, though? Far worse than I remembered. Awful. Just awful.

  3. What a wonderful summer extravaganza! I especially liked X^3 – who knew such an amazing game even existed?! My favourite part of this four-week wonder has to be the week of X though, before the whole thing went to pot. But that’s just a personal opinion. Good choice of game to round the whole thing off though – top notch! :D

  4. The only disappointment is that there are just too many great games with X in the title to be able to discuss here.

    What about Wild Arms XF? Personally, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s one of my favourite PSP games!

    Luckily, the most important X-game, Xenogears, is getting its own four week treatment this Autumn. Ginia and I are chomping at the bit for this. I can hardly wait.

  5. By mistake I played Mega Man X2 instead of FFX-2 and I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s story probably made more sense than FFX-2’s, which is to say some, but very litle.

  6. Xenogears week?!? I haven’t played that game since back in 1998 when I played through it in about three days.

  7. @evilpaul: Actually, I think FFX-2 and MMX2 both have the same story line. The difference is that one has a pop music intro.

    Also, yes, there will be a site-wide Xenogears playthrough, with roughly ten hours a week (so, four weeks), this Autumn.

  8. I’m going to have to find a copy of Xenogears somewhere. I think I’ve gotten about 10-15 hours in on several occasions now, then dropped it for various reasons. Haven’t played it in at least 5 years, though, so maybe this time I can finish it!

  9. I got to the second disc, but the structural changes to the game at that point made me loose interest. I’ll try to persevere this time though …

  10. …I just shopping googled Xenogears, and it came up for a tidy £225, or $139 on Amazon.

    Anyone know anywhere I can get a decent PSone emulator?

  11. @Kenju: Your best bet would be to find someone dependable in the US to buy a used copy for you, as it is much cheaper (about $40-50) here. Of course, that would be an NTSC version, not a PAL version.

    Ginia knows all about PS1 emulation. But, if you’ll take my word for it, it is worthwhile to drop the change on Xenogears (possibly via eBay instead of Amazon). It really is an do-not-miss RPG experience–as I trust our Autumn playthrough will show.

  12. So, I’ve actually never had any luck emulating Xenogears. I used to run Bleem! and while I had an XG rom, I could never get it to work properly. PS1 emulation can be really finicky, you need just the right settings for a lot of games.

    You’d probably have better luck at *twitch* yahoo answers or something.

    :(

  13. -There is no PAL Xenogears, Kjew would have to mod a console to be able to play it.

    -I find it works just fine on epsxe, and it looks quite decent in HD.

    -Otherwise a hacked PSP can meet your emulation needs.

  14. Leave it to Noob to prove that Aussies are all still a buncha crims!

    <3

  15. Afterthought: Damn, maybe -that- was the emulator I was using. It sounds familiar. I assumed I used Bleem because my ex used Bleem and I think he helped me …

    I still stand behind the statement that PS1 emulation can be annoying. :P

  16. :P

    Just trying to help out a valued reader, suffering at the hands of Squaresoft’s cultural snobbery against PAL gamers.

  17. I don’t think Bleem has had strong support for a very long time now. Epsxe is generally the best emulator that I’ve come across, and in terms of post-5th generation emulators its actually pretty easy to get games running well, it’s just a pain in the butt having to DL all the plug-ins that you’ll need to get it running.

  18. Bleem hasn’t been used for a decade. ePSXe is the standard emulator, and the one I’ve used myself. Getting the plugins downloaded and working is annoying, to be sure, and many games (especially SquareSoft games) need custom settings to work properly.

    Honestly, your best bet for PS1 emulation is to buy a PSP-1000 or PSP-2000 model, and have an enterprising young video game website developer help you mod it.

  19. Bleem! only worked on Windows 9x (aka 95, 98, 98SE, and *cringe* ME). All have been End-of-Life’d by Microsoft for at least seven or eight years. I personally dumped them for 2000 when it was in Release Candidate state. I’ve still got my Bleem! CD in an old rack of computer stuff. But yeah, ePSXe works great and that’s the route I’d go to play Xenogears.

    The only potential issue is does the game prompt you to save when it’s time to switch discs? ePSXe 1.7.0’s disc swapping is broken, so you need to use 1.5.2 for games like Chrono Cross that don’t let you save before swapping.

    Xenogears works fine in ePSXe. I wrote up a short thing on setting it up (mostly GPU plugin related) here: http://evilpaul.blogspot.com/2010/06/emulating-xenogears.html

  20. I did use ePSXe for a short while when playing FFVII, before I got it on the PSP, but I find it quite glitchy, and I’m not great with plug-ins, so I’ll check out your blog there, evilpaul. I’ll work hard, and stick it to the man! No PAL my arse – hacking is the way forward!

  21. Oh, and if you really wanted to get to Wildarms XF, you could start counting in hex. Only 12 more weeks and you’d be there! There’s gotta be some X[A-E] games somewhere, right?

  22. Epsxe has always been remarkably stable for me, it does look absolutely awful with pre-rendered backdrops though.

  23. There’s some glitches with FF7 specifically (like there is with the PS3 from what I understand). FF7, like most games with prerendered backdrops, has stuff you can walk behind and popeye-looking Cloud gets partially occluded. Staircases or whatever in the intro sequence. There’s some broken up green and/or magenta lines with a lot of those sorts of things. It didn’t bother me too much personally when I replayed FF7 in ePSXe again this year, but it’s definitely noticeable.

    Kind of unrelated, but I’m kind of tempted to go and try to play through the SaGa games sometime soon. The Gameboy ones weren’t bad, really. I played most of the characters in SaGa Frontier through to completion, but didn’t do all of them. (Wasn’t there some sort of final scenario thing?) SaGa Frontier 2 I got stuck at the last boss, but thought was a pretty decent game overall. No idea how the weapon system worked though. (Why were there Tree elemental weapons?)

    Fuck Unlimited Saga, obviously. I want the two hours I spent trying to play that back. There was another on PS2 I could probably find for $10 locally though.

    Or this could all be alcohol induced insanity.