Another 16-bit Capcom classic receives a Game Boy Advance makeover with this new addition to the long running Mega Man series, entitled Mega Man Zero.
A traditional take on the classic Mega Man X series, Zero is a fast and furious 2-D side-scrolling action game, which claims to be designed initially for hardcore action fans, yet features specific elements geared to make it more accessible to your (excuse the phrase) casual gamer. This is achieved by what is known as the Cyber Elf system - a series of power-ups, collected throughout the levels, which can ease the difficulty at the push of a button.
In the game itself, Mega Man Zero awakens after 100 years of sleep to a world where Reploids are unjustly attacked by an organisation called Neo Arcadia. This new government has turned the world into a place where it is extremely hard for Reploids to live and where they are punished for trivial suspicions. Those who have managed to escape from the regime flee to an old city that now lies in ruin, but the evil Neo Arcadia's hands are advancing. A genius scientist named Ciel tries to revive the legendary Mega Man Zero, the only guy around capable of saving the world.
As with the previous titles in the series, play itself is very much centred on the standard 2D affair: run, jump, shoot your way from one end of the level to the other. Take out the bad guys, avoid the myriad bullets, bombs and lasers, and then take on the huge, screen-engulfing end-of-level-boss at, you guessed it, the end of the level. This is not intended to be detrimental, however, as this is classic 2D arcade gaming at its finest, on the only platform that wouldn't get criticised for it.
The GBA seems to be enjoying a plethora of quality titles of late - this is another one, and one worth getting hold of at that.