Mega Man X8

Mega Man X8, known as Rockman X8 (ロックマンX8) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Sony PlayStation 2 console. It is the eighth and final game in the Mega Man X series. It was first released in North America on December 7, 2004. The PS2 version, as well as a Microsoft Windows iteration, were released in Japan and Europe the following year. On December 16, 2015 it was released on PlayStation Network in Japan. It was re-released for Windows via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on July 24, 2018 worldwide and July 26, 2018 in Japan as a part of Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 (Rockman X Anniversary Collection 2 in Japan).[6][7]

Mega Man X8
Mega Man X8 Coverart.png
Developer(s)Capcom Production Studio 1
Publisher(s)Capcom
Director(s)Eiro Shirahama
Designer(s)Hiroyuki Yamato
Artist(s)Tatsuya Yoshikawa
Writer(s)Makoto Ikehara
Kohsuke Nasu
Composer(s)Yuko Komiyama
Naoto Tanaka
Shinya Okada
SeriesMega Man X
Platform(s)PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Network, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
ReleasePlayStation 2
Microsoft Windows
  • JP: March 10, 2005[3]
  • KOR: April 14, 2005
  • EU: September 21, 2005[4] PlayStation Network
Genre(s)Action-adventure, platform, run and gun
Mode(s)Single-player

The plot of Mega Man X8 focuses on the abduction of a next-generation "Reploid", Lumine 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 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 which differs between each character.

Mega Man X8 abandoned the 3D gameplay of Mega Man X7 for a 2.5D approach. The game was met with mixed reviews.

PlotEdit

In late 21XX, the Maverick Wars continue with no end in sight. To escape the carnage, humans have begun migrating to the Moon as part of an initiative known as the "Jakob Project", which involves an orbital elevator built in the Galapagos Islands. One night while X is out on patrol, one of the elevators breaks off and comes crashing down to Earth. As X approaches the elevator, the doors open, revealing an entire army of Sigmas. Suddenly, a purple-haired Reploid arrives and introduces himself as Lumine, the director of the Jakob Project. He reveals the "Sigma army" isn't what it appears to be; instead, they are new generation Reploids created as part of the project who are immune from viruses and able to use DNA copy data to change their shapes and appearances to assist with space development.

Everything seems to be running smoothly until Vile, who was last seen in Mega Man X3, returns and kidnaps Lumine, causing Maverick uprisings all over the world. While battling the Mavericks, the Hunters pick up hints that Sigma has returned and teasing a concept called "the new world". Eventually, Sigma is tracked to the Moon, where he unveils his ultimate plan: eradicate the "old generation" and re-populate it with his "children". He reveals all of the new generation Reploids contain a copy chip which possesses his DNA, meaning these 'virus-proof' Reploids are essentially copies of Sigma.

When Sigma is defeated, Lumine emerges from the shadows and congratulates the Hunters on finally destroying Sigma once and for all, before admitting he was manipulating Sigma in order to get his DNA and is behind the entire plot. Lumine gloats to the stunned Hunters that in order for evolution to take its course, he and the new generation Reploids must destroy both the humans and "obsolete" Reploids. After a massive struggle, Lumine is defeated, but he warns them that it is too late to stop what has already begun. As Axl approaches Lumine's body, a tentacle springs from it and breaks the crystal on his helmet, knocking him unconscious.

The ending of the game varies slightly depending on which character defeats Lumine. As the Hunters ride back down the orbital 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. Zero tells X not to let his words get to him, as new generation Reploids becoming Sigma could hardly be called evolution. Furthermore, he tells X that even if they are destined to join the scrap heap when that evolution does comes about, they'll still have to fight, not only against the Mavericks, but against their own destinies as well.

A post-credits scene explains that the news of Lumine turning Maverick resulted in ceasing production of DNA copy chips. However, due to the increasing need of advanced Reploids for space development, production resumed several years later, despite the objections of many. Meanwhile, as the Hunters continue to descend the orbital elevator, a faint purple light emits from Axl's shattered helmet crystal, suggesting that Lumine's spirit lives on.

GameplayEdit

Overall gameplay in Mega Man X8 is mostly similar to previous Mega Man X games and has removed the 3D style from Mega Man X7 in favor of a 2.5D style, although two of the stages, namely "Central White" and "Dynasty", are fully 3D, played aboard a vehicle with a close third-person view. 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. This game also has an option of three difficulty modes, with slight differences between each mode. Normal or hard mode is recommended if players want to observe the ending and fight the "real" final boss.

The player starts the game with access to three playable characters: X, a shooter able to wear multiple armors that can be mixed and matched which opens up possibilities for customizing x's abilities, Axl, a shooter able to transform into enemies and fire in any direction; and Zero, a sword fighter able to double jump. Additionally, Zero can equip additional weapons that can be purchased as chips at the store such as hammers, fans and additional swords after finding a certain rare metal for it, excluding one of the weapons which is only available for purchase upon completing the game with Zero or entering a code in the title screen of the PlayStation 2 and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 versions. Axl's gameplay had been slightly reworked to make him more different from X, such as gaining the ability to acquire new guns after defeating each boss, instead of gaining their weapon and can fire in any direction. X8 introduces new mechanics to the game; the first is Guard Break, which can break enemy defenses when enemies are attacked with certain weapons. The second is Double Attack, where the playable character and the chosen partner character perform a screen-filling attack that causes heavy damage to all enemies on screen. Additionally, X's new armor, the Neutral Armor, can be customized with parts that can either form two new armors the Icarus or Hermes armor, or mixed together for different effects. However, mixed parts of armors are not as effective as complete armors which lack the Giga attack ability, forcing players to choose wisely when building armors.

Two characters can be selected to go to 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 boss weaknesses. 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 as the playable characters by buying chips after completing the game in the Normal or Hard levels or entering the code in the title screen of the PlayStation 2 version and later Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 re-release.

Much like with X7, this game is also equipped with New Game Plus features, which allow players to start a new game from an old save file upon completion of the previous game. Aside from the aforementioned unlockable features, all chips that were purchased in the store during the previous game are retained. Players also have the option of starting fresh by deleting any of these chips and repurchasing them later.

DevelopmentEdit

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.[3] 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.[3] 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.[3]

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.[8] The Japanese opening theme for PlayStation 2 (also available for PC platform in any regional version, including Europe which had received the North American opening theme in the European PlayStation 2 version) 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.[9] However, the theme was not included in the soundtrack and was even omitted on the game's localization in English for PS2 platform.

Rockman X8 Original Soundtrack (1:15:56)
No.TitleLength
1."Theme Of "RockmanX8"" 
2."Noah's Park" 
3."Intrusion Crabz-Y" 
4."VS Maverick" 
5."Troia Bass~Passage" 
6."Troia Bass~Forwarding" 
7."Primrose" 
8."Pitch Black~Sneaking" 
9."Pitch Black~Discovery" 
10."Dynasty" 
11."Inferno~Descending" 
12."Inferno~Going up" 
13."Central White" 
14."Metal Valley~Evade" 
15."Metal Valley~Overheat" 
16."Booster Forest" 
17."Booster Forest~Ride Armor "CYCLOPS"" 
18."VS Boss Demo" 
19."VS 8Boss" 
20."Angry 8Boss" 
21."Jakob" 
22."VS VAVA" 
23."Gateway" 
24."Gateway~Escape" 
25."VS CopySigma" 
26."Sigma Palace" 
27."VS Sigma Demo" 
28."VS Sigma" 
29."VS Lumin~The first form" 
30."VS Lumin Demo" 
31."VS Lumin~The second form" 
32."Paradise Lost" 
33."Intermission" 
34."Dr.Light's Capsule" 
35."Title" 
36."Hunter Base~Going to the front" 
37."Hunter Base~Doubt" 
38."Hunter Base~Wickedness" 
39."Stage Start" 
40."Stage Clear" 
41."Weapon Get!" 
42."Result!" 
43."Menu" 
44."Save&Load" 
45."Option" 
46."Demo~Deepening mystery" 
47."Demo~Sorrow" 
48."Demo~Perplexity" 
49."Demo~Advancement" 
50."Demo~With the Hunter Base" 
51."Ending" 

A Windows version of Mega Man X8 was released in Asia, Europe, and as a download from GameStop in North America.[10] 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 Windows version also features several languages and the possibility to toggle between Japanese and English voices, 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 and as a result, all audio files can easily be replaced by the user.

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings69%[11]
Metacritic68/100[12]
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM6.7 out of 10[13]
Famitsu30 out of 40[14]
G4     [15]
Game Informer8.3 out of 10[16]
GameSpot6.3 out of 10[17]
GameSpy     [18]
IGN7.3 out of 10 [19]

Mega Man X8 received a mixed 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."[19] 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."[17]

According to Famitsu, Mega Man X8 was the tenth best-selling game in Japan during its week of release at 14,927 units.[20] A total of 35,546 units were sold in the region by the end of 2005.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (January 10, 2005). "Capcom's European Plans". IGN. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  2. ^ Surette, Tim (January 9, 2007). "Viewtiful Joe 2, Mega Man X8 double-team PS2". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
  3. ^ a b c d e Mega Man X: Official Complete Works. Udon Entertainment. January 6, 2010. pp. 69–77. ISBN 978-1-897376-80-5.
  4. ^ "Mega Man X8" (in German). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
  5. ^ Carter, Chris (December 16, 2015). "Mega Man X8 is coming to the PSN soon in Japan". Destructoid. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  6. ^ "Mega Man X Legacy Collections Ship for PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC in Japan on July 26". Archived from the original on 2018-04-13. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  7. ^ Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 launch July 24th Archived 2018-04-11 at the Wayback Machine -Capcom Unity
  8. ^ Suleputer staff. "ロックマンX 8 オリジナル・サウンドトラック" [Rockman X8 Original Soundtrack] (in Japanese). Suleputer. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  9. ^ Game Watch staff (January 17, 2005). "カプコン、PS2/WIN「ロックマンX8」主題歌がJanne Da Arcの「WILD FANG」に決定" [Capcom, PS2/WIN "Rockman X8", Janne Da Arc's "Wild Fang" decided as the theme song] (in Japanese). Game Watch. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  10. ^ "Buy Mega Man X8 - PC". GameStop. Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  11. ^ "Mega Man X8 for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  12. ^ "Mega Man X8 Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-02-06.
  13. ^ "Reviews: Mega Man X8". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 187. January 2005. p. 134.
  14. ^ Freund, Josh (March 2, 2005). "News - Latest Famitsu scores - Meteos gets a 38/40!". GamesAreFun. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  15. ^ Smith, D.F. (October 30, 2006). "Mega Man X8 for PlayStation 2 - Reviews". G4. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  16. ^ "Reviews: Mega Man X8". Game Informer. No. 141. March 2005. p. 124.
  17. ^ a b "GameSpot review". Archived from the original on 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  18. ^ Theobald, Phil (December 6, 2004). "Reviews: Mega Man X8". GameSpy. Archived from the original on September 7, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  19. ^ a b Dunham, Jeremy (December 2, 2004). "Mega Man X8 - PlayStation 2 Review". IGN. Archived from the original on March 18, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  20. ^ Freund, Josh (March 17, 2005). "News - Japan: Weekly hardware & software sales for March 7–13". GamesAreFun. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  21. ^ "2005年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500". Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2010-06-20.

External linksEdit