MEGATech Reviews: 20XX for Nintendo Switch
If you've been itching to play some Mega Man X on the Nintendo Switch, this is the next big thing. And the roguelike procedural levels mean it'll be different every time you play.
  • Familiar, intuitive controls
  • Every playthrough is different
  • Depth of upgrades and power-ups
  • Can be brutally challenging
  • Procedural levels do get repetitive eventually
8.5Overall Score

Before they announced Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch, I had seriously considered picking up Brawlout instead. It’s kinda the same game, but you know, not at all the same game. That’s kinda the same thing going on with 20XX for the Nintendo Switch, as it’s very clearly “inspired” by the Mega Man X franchise. And that’s hardly a bad thing when it’s done this well.

Homage to the Blue Bomber

We’ve already been told that the Nintendo Switch will not getting a Virtual Console, and you may have grown tired from waiting for Mega Man 11 to come out this October. Filling that void is 20XX, a “roguelike” platformer that is almost Mega Man X in every way but in official name.

Before we get to the procedural stages (which we’ll discuss in just a moment), the actual gameplay and art style of 20XX are thoroughly enjoyable. You get that healthy dose of retro nostalgia, but it’s just shiny and polished enough to remind us that this is a new game.

The controls are instantly familiar as you hop from platform to platform, blasting baddies as you work your way toward the inevitable stage boss. Slide along and hop up vertical surfaces, just as you’d expect. Hold down the attack button to charge up a more powerful attack. Tap the R button (or double tap in a direction) to dash, which you can then use to facilitate longer jumps too. All the classic expectations are here.

In the top-left corner of the screen, you get a box showing your primary weapon, your health, and your energy, along with three boxes. Those three boxes hold your special attacks, which utilize your energy. I do find the vantage point to be a little too “zoomed out” for play on the Switch’s 8-inch display, particularly with the tiny status boxes, but that does let you scout out more of the stage at a time. You’ll probably enjoy this game better on the big screen with a docked Switch.

A New Game Every Time

One aspect that really separates 20XX from any other Mega Man inspired clone is that this is a roguelike game. I wasn’t really familiar with the term (or “procedural,” in this context) until I started playing 20XX, but I am familiar with the concept. The idea is that the levels are not pre-determined ahead of time.

Instead, each time you play through this game, the stages are effectively generated randomly using a series of pre-set parameters. You’ll never get an impossible platforming challenge, though, as the “procedural” characteristic ensures that the levels still make sense. The net result is a game that almost feels new every time you play it, across a handful of themes (like fire or ice stages) and three difficulty settings.

Two other elements add even more gameplay value and longevity to 20XX. First, you get to choose between two characters. The blue one has a blaster like Mega Man X, whereas the red one has a slicing blade like Zero. Each has their own set of upgrades and special weapons, making for different strategies when playing. Second, there is a co-op mode that can be enjoyed either locally or online.

Winning Doesn’t Come Easily

MEGATechie Mega Magnificent or MEGATechie Rock Bottom?

While some other games feel like cheap cash grabs, 20XX is both thrillingly original and beautifully nostalgic.

20XX for Nintendo Switch is available now for $17.99 via the Nintendo eShop.

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