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20XX review
by GameItAll

As a fan of the Mega Man series, Batterystaple Games and Fire Hose Games' roguelike platformer 20XX has been on my radar. It doesn't hide the fact that the game is an homage to the gameplay that made Capcom's Super Fighting Robot so popular, it's difficult, it has cool power-ups and it's hard.

As much as it pays tribute, it also improves on everything, making it damn near impossible to put down.

20XX starts out like most Mega Man titles. A city is under attack by experimental robots and its up to Nina, a blue clad lady robot with gun for an arm, and Ace, a red clad sword wielding robot, to save the day and defeat the robot leaders while being judged by discount Dr. Wily.

The game doesn't give you any story to follow but instead throws you into the fray to fend for yourself. While the game shares a similar platforming premise to Mega Man, 20XX improves the formula with Roguelike elements including procedurally-built stages, character upgrades, and a punishing difficulty while still presenting the best difficulty curve that comes to recent memory.

The game is split between four types of arenas - Fire, Garden, Sky, Ice - each with 2 different bosses. The levels hold their own unique threats including projectile traps, laser beams and various bad guys that will just get in your way. With the levels procedurally-built, you're never sure what you're going to get thrown at you.

You'll have plenty of help though as stat boosting items and weapons can be conveniently found all over the place, and defeating levels give you the option of improving your health, increasing your nuts (the game's currency) or taking the Boss' power which can be used in a similar Megaman fashion where one boss is heavily weak against it.

Still don't expect to clear all 8 levels (plus a the final boss run) on your first go. Dying makes you lose everything except for Soul Chips, which can be used at the main base to purchase new permanent upgrades, as well as single run upgrades and the ability to add new upgrades or weapons to your run.

What is really amazing about 20XX is just how smooth the game is. Everything from jumping, dashing, attacking and using your powers are so perfect that if you screw up and die on your run, it's likely your own damn fault. It also does a great job at adding Co-Operative play that doesn't hinder players who may be better than the others, while still rewarding players who work together.

20XX does an amazing job at being a fun roguelike, balancing its great controls and punishing difficulty to the point of "one more run" turns into 3 more hours of playing the game without noticing. Whether you're playing couch co-op, online co-op, tackling its various challenge modes, you do not want to miss out on this great indie title that surpasses it's the game it's playing homage to.

Review from
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
«Better with friends»
«Beaten more than once»

Other reviews4

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Review from 15.06.2017 Looking for a Mega Man X clone? Here you will find what you are looking for! The two Main Characters are inspired externally and in terms of weapons to Mega Man (Nina with Plasma cannon) and Zero (Ace with Laser Sword). The Control is precise and allows for an efficient Fast game, if you want to. It's a rogue like game, so you'll start all over again in The event of Death. However, with previously collected Soul Chips, you can get upgrades (E.g. additional Firepower, Life energy, a "Drone," etc.) for the next Run. In the Levels you can find Screws or get them by destroying Enemies, they can be exchanged for Upgrades and To Replenish your life or Weapon energy. Besides, you don't die immediately if, as with Mega Man, you fall on Spines or into a Pit, but just lose a Stroke of Energy and then immediately show up where you stood before your free Fall. You can save after any defeated Boss and continue playing at the Point later, but as I Said: If you die, you will not start at the Memory point, but from the front. There are 8 Levels and associated Final Bosses. The Levels change with each Run and depending on the Order in which you enter a Level, the Level Of difficulty increases. So there can be more fast flickering Laser barriers, or more and stronger Enemies, as well as the moving Platforms are even faster and the like. There is Also a change in the Case of The final bosses. I don't know if it counts as a Spoiler, but Here's an Example: If you have Death Lotus as a final opponent in the first level, for example, he happens to appear from one of several Openings in the Wall, shoots bit, drives out his long thorny Tendrils, disappears and then from Front. If, in a Run, however, it is only your Final Opponent in about Level 6, it looks different. From the Opening in the Wall can now also get out his Offspring, if you do not destroy them, so more and more. These can also shoot and you soon find yourself exposed to a large Hail of bullets, in addition, the Bottom of the Boss's Room consists to a large Extent of a Liquid that can damage you. In My Opinion, the Bosses will also have more Life Spuntke. I only played the Game from time to time After work and yet realised how I was slowly getting better. Most recently, I invested more Time, so that I could only defeat 6, 7 of the Levels/End area at The level of difficulty "Normal." You can watch the Record times for Runs in the Game, in addition, there are also Daily/Weekly Challenges to complete or one Mode where you can meet one end boss at a Time. This can be used well as Training. Last But not Least, there is even a Multiplayer mode, very interesting and funny, just try it out. At the same time, the further away you are from each other, the smaller the Characters and the Game environment become for your Eyes, so that you can also see everything. It's an early access title, but the £14.99 prize is fair and the Game seems accomplished. I speculate that in the Future, according to the first 8 final/Levels, there could be a large Final Level, along the Lines of the Mega Man series;) The Updates come regularly and Fans of Mega Man will get their Money's worth anyway:) Addendum, 23.07.2018 The Game continues after defeating the first 8 Final Opponents, so another nice Reference to the X-series. Addendum, 22.11.2018 Since August 16, the Game has been out of the early access. The Developer continues to take care of Updates, so for example, he added more Characters and Antipoons To the Game. My Recommendation!
(This is copied from my Steam review.)

20XX is an excellent take on both the "roguelite" genre and the Mega Man series, It's more or less structured like a Mega Man game: eight platforming levels full of enemies, pitfalls, and traps, with a boss at the end of each carrying a new weapon for your character, followed by a final set of levels - two, in this game - ending in fights against the real villains of the game. Likewise, it plays like a "roguelite," featuring fairly short (~45 minutes) runs through procedurally generated levels full of randomly selected powerups, forcing you to adapt your playstyle to the abilities you are given in your current run.

Compared to a normal Mega Man game, it's significantly easier in some senses, with early bosses falling very quickly to basic attacks and no instakill traps (spikes just hurt, pitfalls send you to the last solid ground you were on), but this makes sense given that it's a "roguelite," with death ending your run. The levels are also procedurally generated, rather than hand-crafted, which adds to the replay value significantly but, unfortunately, provides one of the few points of frustration I have with 20XX: some layouts are absolutely obnoxious without a "proper" set of mobility abilities, and can't be forced through at the cost of health due to either falling down during a climbing section or being sent back a good distance by a pitfall, leading to the very few unfair-feeling losses I've had.

Compared to a normal "roguelite," it's a fairly standard setup with persistent unlocks between levels, both in the form of a limited set of permanent upgrades, and new random items you can make available for your future runs. (You can also spend the persistent-unlock currency on a small selection of bonuses for your next run only, so it never stops being useful.) It's also on the more merciful side, with a low difficulty mode which offers you three lives before your run ends and the ability to save a singleplayer session between any two stages, though it also features quite a few extreme difficulty options for players who want to rise to the challenge, through a customizable challenge mode system, as well as fixed-layout daily and weekly levels with leaderboards, both in normal difficulty and challenge-mode difficulty.

Mentioning "a singleplayer session" hits on my favorite thing about 20XX, though: it has two-player cooperative multiplayer, both local and over the internet, and it's amazing. Despite the "loading some sketchy netcode" loading screen, by the end of Early Access the netcode for 20XX has actually been quite stable, though with occasional glitches, and multiplayer Mega Man is one of those things I never knew I needed until I had it.

All in all, 20XX is a good entry in the indie "roguelite" category, and a very good Mega Man-like game. It comes in highly recommended for any "roguelite" fans, and recommended for fans of Mega Man if they're not opposed to a version focused on replay value rather than polished, hand-crafted level design. Even if you're not particularly into either of those, it's a fairly solid action platformer - probably a bit harder than average, but significantly easier than Super Meat Boy or something, and I would still recommend it even at full price. (Which isn't that high: only $15.)
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»