Review – Mega Man X Dive Offline

Mega Man X Dive started off as a free-to-play, microtransaction-infested, gacha-themed mobile game where you would play dumbed down iterations of old Mega Man X levels in order to acquire morsel-sized amounts of currency and spend them on new characters, gear and skins. You would eventually reach a roadblock, which would force you to either spend ungodly amounts of time repeating the same levels in order to grind for XP and currency, or just spend real-world money on shortcuts. The classic F2P conundrum.

Mega Man X Dive Offline is that same game, but with a few differences. First of all, it’s not a mobile exclusive anymore; we are reviewing this on Steam, after all. Secondly, this is not a F2P game; its in-game economy has been rebalanced, microtransactions have been removed, so you are getting a gacha game where you can theoretically get everything the game has to offer by just playing it, just for less time this time around. As a result, Mega Man X Dive Offline is kind of the closest to a proper new Mega Man we’ve had since the release of Mega Man 11 five years ago. In theory, an exciting event. Let’s just see if Capcom was able to remove enough of the F2P mobile stank in order to let the game shine on its own merits.

Mega Man X Dive Offline

It looks like what a PS2 remake of Mega Man X would have looked like.

When I say “dumbed down”, boy, do I mean it. You have to understand that Mega Man X Dive Offline has its roots on mobile gaming, so its levels are linear and bite-sized. You can finish them in about a minute. Controls are simplified, but all the bells and whistles from a Mega Man X game are present: you can run, shoot, slide, double jump, and even wall jump. The difference comes at tinkering with your arsenal, as you aren’t here to to tackle bosses in any order with the weapons obtained from them. Nope, this is mobile territory, so your equipment and stats come in the shape of single-use cards, permanent upgrades, and slight RPG elements.

If you are here for level design or any semblance of challenge, look elsewhere. The main appeal of Mega Man X Dive Offline, and I do mean the offline version in specific, is to go full Pokémon trainer and catch ’em all. By “them all”, I really mean “them all”. If you want to play as the Legends, EXE, OG versions of Mega Man, you can. If you want to play as, say, Bass, Proto Man, Zero (both the original version from Mega Man X or the GBA versions of him) or even Axl, you sure can. Hell, if you want to play as Tron Bonne, you are able to. You just need to rack up the necessary money to unlock them all. It is a monstrously arduous task, but I won’t deny, there is something about being able to play as these classic characters in revamped Mega Man X levels that makes this game oddly appealing.

Mega Man X Dive Offline characters

Everybody is here. That’s no joke. Even Tron Bonne.

The appeal comes at the fact that you are not exactly at the mercy of an RNG. The store is there, and the characters can be unlocked whenever you want, as long as you complete some prior criteria (e.g. completing a specific level) and having enough cash to afford their unlocking tickets. In all honesty, whilst there is a lot of grinding involved, I have played fair worse games, even non-F2P ones. Of course, if you want to go straight for the famous fellas, their unlocking costs feel a lot steeper. If you want to start off by unlocking, say, Roll from Mega Man Legends, however, you will be able to afford a new character quite quickly. And yes, you can actually play as Roll, for some reason.

Getting a look at your characters in the prep menu is a blast. Unlike most mobile games, Mega Man X Dive Offline does feature some decent visuals, with everything being polygonal and running fairly well. Granted, the levels themselves look like what a PS2 remake of Mega Man X would have looked like, but considering its origins, it’s actually quite good. What impressed me the most about the game, however, was its soundtrack. I mean, I shouldn’t have doubted about the quality of a Mega Man game’s soundtrack, but I wasn’t expecting some great rearrangements of classic X tunes. There is a lot of voice acting as well, but it’s in Japanese, and overexaggerated, like an anime.

Mega Man X Dive Offline bosses

It might have boss battles, but they are pretty easy to deal with.

There is just one other thing I need to point out, and it’s a bad one. The game’s menu interface isn’t just underwhelming, it’s downright terrible. Everything is cursor-based, even when playing it on a controller, and to make matters worse, using the controller just makes you move around your computer’s normal cursor; the game didn’t even bother creating a new one. The B button doesn’t mean “cancel”, the Select button does. The cursor velocity is annoying, and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Considering how a good chunk of Mega Man X Dive Offline is spent on menus, this becomes tiresome very quickly.

Mega Man X Dive Offline EXE

This is probably the best way to play as Mega Man EXE in a 2D game. The less we say about that Gamecube game, the better.

Considering its origins as a money-hungry mobile game, I have to say I expected a lot worse from Mega Man X Dive Offline. It’s still painfully dumbed down and far from being one of the best Mega Man games released over the past few years, but there is fun to be had with this “gotta catch ’em all” take on the franchise’s long history. It is bogged down by some repetitive grinding, but being able to play as pretty much everyone you can imagine, without having to overspend like a whale, is indeed appealing. If you can put up with some grinding and some terrible interface controls, then Mega Man X Dive Offline is a good pick. Or maybe just wait for a Switch version, which would indeed be the ideal place for a game like this.

Graphics: 6.5

It just looks a bit better than the Mega Man X games on PS2, but runs smoothly. The character models look more impressive in menus than during actual gameplay.

Gameplay: 7.0

A dumbed down version of Mega Man X in terms of level complexity and mechanics, but they are all there, and the controls are responsive. The menu interface, on the other hand, is downright awful.

Sound: 8.5

Rearranged versions of Mega Man X classic tunes. Can’t complain about that. There is a lot of voice acting, but it’s in Japanese, in that classic “overly loud”, anime-like style.

Fun Factor: 6.5

There is a lot of content, but it’s bogged down by some boring and repetitive grinding. It’s fun in short bursts, but it would have been a better suit on the Switch than on PC, given how its interface wasn’t even made with a controller in mind. It doesn’t have microtransactions, at least.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Mega Man X Dive Offline is available now on PC and mobile.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Mega Man X Dive Offline was provided by the publisher.