Review: This is one Maverick that's a straight side-scroller all the way.
Mega Man debuts on PSP with a remake of Mega Man X, and while Capcom inserted ?Maverick Hunter? into the new title, it's not a radical departure from the original. The graphics have been retouched, the audio remixed and a couple of extras added. Since the changes are mostly cosmetic and because the fast-paced 2D gameplay remains intact, it should please newer players without insulting old-school fans. Albeit short, the game is a successful start for the blue bomber on Sony's portable system, even if it's merely a facelift.
The visuals benefit from being rendered in 3D so that while the colorful levels are played from a 2D perspective, they seem as if they're popping off of the screen. The aspect ratio also fits the genre perfectly. Given the wide-screen display, it's a wonder why PSP isn't home to more than two side-scrolling titles. The game does suffer from a bit of slowdown in the thick of intense action. However, it's a forgivable annoyance given the vibrant and well-laid out level designs. Each stage sees little change from the SNES original and manages to be impressive by today's standards. Similarly, the enemies now sport polygonal models, but attack exactly as they did in 1993. Less forgivable is the respawning of certain enemies, though that issue pre-dates PSP.
The storyline still revolves around Sigma and his robot rebellion against all humans. However, instead of telling it through simple text, an animated opening was created and voice acting was added. The presentation is slick, especially compared to the 16-bit days of slow and silent text rolling across the screen. The enhanced music and sound effects also do their part to fit into the current generation while keeping with the familiar Mega Man theme.
In addition to the opening cutscene, the game contains an unlockable anime that runs a little less than a half of an hour. It delves deeper into the Sigma plot in order to provide the missing details that occur prior to all of the action. Also unlockable is the playable character Vile. Mega Man X fans should appreciate this new addition not seen in the SNES version of the game and everyone should get a kick out of the chance to play the Mega Man Powered Up demo. Included in the main menu, the first level of the original Mega Man remake takes on two forms: old style and new style. Although Maverick Hunter X supports only two players 13 years later, you can let another PSP owner enjoy the Powered Up demo by sharing it wirelessly.