Mega Man X DiVE, also known as Rockman X DiVE, is a new mobile title in the works from Capcom Taiwan that we’ve previously discussed. I recently had the chance to get a bit of hands-on time with the game in a closed beta for Android that occurred over last weekend. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play as much as I’d wanted to since I was busy with another upcoming title, but the bit I did get to play… was actually pretty okay? For a mobile game, at least.
Mega Man X DiVE is a very meta celebration of the series
The game began with me, the actual player, discovering the entrance to the “Deep Log.” It explained the Deep Log (with Japanese voice acting included) like this: “We store game data here, and there’s a lot of memory storage, too. Memories of a precious gamer like you, having fun with games and loving them.” However, over time, program errors have begun to occur as a result of corruption, and there is a slight hint that something malevolent might be behind the corruption. In any case, the game data that constitutes the Mega Man X mythos has basically bugged out, and it’s our job to jump back into familiar Mega Man X game locations and fight familiar bad guys. RiCO, the “admin” of the Deep Log, helps us achieve our goal.
At first, I controlled X, but it wasn’t the X; it was just game data that simulated him. This angle is used to explain why you can unlock and use other characters, like Axl, Zero, and Vile. Each character can level up individually (more on that in a minute) and has a couple unique abilities and upgrades, but otherwise, they are able to equip a lot of the same gear, like laser guns. Along those lines, Mega Man X DiVE supports both co-op and PvP, which sounds like a feature Capcom Taiwan is emphasizing, but I did not have anyone with whom to try out these options.
Sidescrolling action with auto-lock on and action RPG elements
Mega Man X DiVE is an action sidescroller like traditional entries, but it introduces RPG elements and an option for auto lock-on for various reasons. On-screen touch controls allow you to shoot, walk, jump, duck, dash, wall kick, double jump, and even dash jump. The default placement of the touch buttons sometimes obscures enemies on screen, but there are lots of smart ascending angles in the level design that try to work around this issue. There is also the option to customize where buttons appear on screen, so Capcom is trying hard to give you a fighting chance.
The controls are fairly intuitive (by mobile standards), but I struggled the most with dash jumping. You can actually drag your finger from the dash button directly to the jump button in order to activate a dash jump, and it seemed to always work except for when I needed it to work, such as with jumping over spikes. Fortunately, spikes and bottomless pits aren’t instant death in Mega Man X DiVE; they just deal a set, somewhat substantial amount of damage. From my perspective, Capcom has made a lot of little concessions to “apologize” for the fact that players are stuck with touch controls.
Along those lines, optional lock-on (which is active by default) makes it relatively easy to just point in a direction and shoot stuff till it’s dead, and the strategy comes in keeping mobile and not getting hit in the meantime. Alternatively, you can equip a sword — which behaves much as it did when controlling Zero in X4, complete with spinning aerial slashes — to deal big damage fast and up close. The gameplay never got overly complex in the couple worlds I had the chance to play through, and levels only took a few minutes to complete. But it never felt like a chore to play, and I expressed glee on occasion when a skilled wall jump allowed me to find a hidden item.
Mega Man X DiVE is packed with different items to find — equippable weapons, currency, various resources used to upgrade gear — and honestly I found it pretty overwhelming. Provided tutorials explained each feature, but I really didn’t retain much of it. There were just way too many classifications of items/power-ups to upgrade and too many stats to follow, even with the individual characters when they level up. It didn’t seem to be a huge deal though; playing nonstop until you’re too weak to continue and then spending all your collected resources to upgrade your gear seems like it will be a viable strategy.
Ultimately, it feels like all the action RPG stats and gear were introduced to provide longevity and give Capcom a way to introduce microtransactions down the line, since none of this is stuff fans typically associate with a Mega Man X game. And I’m okay with all that — gotta make money somehow.
A good start — for a mobile game
Honestly, if you compare Mega Man X DiVE to any traditional X game, DiVE is pretty forgettable. That’s just the nature of a game dealing with mobile controls, end of story. But when I measure the game strictly as a mobile experience, it seems like a fun time-waster. And again, I didn’t even have the chance to try out the multiplayer elements, which will likely be one of the most important aspects. There is good reason to be optimistic about this game as its development deepens.
You can follow the development of Mega Man X DiVE on its Facebook page if you’re curious. We’re a Nintendo site, so I can’t promise ongoing coverage of the game, but I’m rooting for it to succeed — particularly because I’m also desperately rooting for a Mega Man X9.