Mega Man ZX Advent

Mega Man's already had a decent run on the Nintendo DS with last year's release of Mega Man ZX, but that just doesn't cut the mustard for Capcom. No, they want something more on the system, and now that's just what they've set out to do. The company is not preparing one or two but rather three new Mega Man games for the system. The first two will be taken in the Battle Network context, nicknamed Starforce and featuring concentrated RPG-like battles. The third, however, should please Mega Man purists, as it brings traditional platforming action back to the forefront. Welcome to Mega Man ZX Advent.

The game allows players to take control of two different warriors, either Grey or Ash. Both of them harness powerful abilities that run along the lines of Mega Man's, complete with a devastating cannon and some athletic moves to jump and slide out of danger. Over the course of the game, players find themselves challenged by boss enemies, with a purpose. Once these enemies are defeated, players obtain new key items, as well as the ability to transform into Biometal formations. Using these formations helps the player stay alive in later parts of the game, along with utilizing new firing techniques. For example, a new homing attack comes in handy when the screen begins filling with enemies. And it looks pretty damn neat, too.

Over the course of Advent, you can switch off between Grey and Ash, depending on who suits which situation better. Both characters carry different storylines, but they somehow link together with the events going on in the course of the game. You can also access Biometal and Map navigation screens, to keep an eye where you are in the level and to switch off between certain powers. As you go through each level, new areas open up, giving the game some added depth with additional quests and bonus missions. Many of these will probably end up being a lot tougher than expected.

The graphics in Mega Man ZX Advent look familiar to the first game, using a 2-D graphic engine that brings out vibrant color and detail on the DS. The music is traditional Mega Man fare, futuristic tunes with some nice touches here and there. The in-game movies appear to be just as stunning as ever, complete with small anime-like touches that fans of the original should want to hug.

Last but not least, Mega Man ZX Advent will introduce two player action, a first for traditional action in the series. Players can either go head-to-head or try their luck in co-op, battling robots and, on occasion, each other. Two cartridges are required to take part in this battle, although those stuck with just one cartridge can try out an extra downloadable mini-game.

Mega Man ZX Advent looks like a winner thus far, especially to those who loved the original games and the previous Mega Man releases before it. It may not have the actual Mega Man character in it, but it carries the essence that makes the game so important, so that's something. The game arrives later this year, and it should be quite an Advent-ure.