I never paid much attention to the Mega Man series. By the late 2000’s when I had fully committed to the whole gaming thing, Mega Man just wasn’t as big of a deal as it was in its heyday. Mega Man 9 and 10 happened, but I rarely, if ever, downloaded games onto my PS3, so I missed those due to their exclusively digital release. I knew about Mega Man, I had just never played any of the games. At least, not until my senior year of high school.
Senior year stressed me out. My GPA was much, much lower than I would’ve liked, college rejections kept coming in as fast as I could send out applications, and worst of all, I was falling out of love with my favorite hobby: video games. I still played the new releases like Uncharted 4 and Overwatch, but the medium was growing stale to me. The excitement I felt when I first played Sly Cooper or Metal Gear Solid just wasn’t there anymore. That is, until one night, when I probably should’ve been writing an essay or something, I checked the eShop on my 3DS, and there it was, featured prominently in the new releases section: Mega Man X.
Having heard great things, I picked it up and was absolutely blown away. The level design, the tight controls, the music, oh man the music (please the soundtrack this a listen, not a single track is bad), everything came together to form this masterpiece of game design that had been hiding from me all these years. I finished it in one sitting. As the credits rolled, a thought came to me. There were years and years of games I had missed out on because they were before my time. Chrono Trigger, Link to the Past, Final Fantasy VII, even newer releases I had missed because they weren’t huge, mainstream releases, like Persona. There was an entire world of good video games that had just been hiding in plain sight from me this entire time.
I’m currently attending college, and I love video games more than ever. I replay Mega Man X every now and then, and it puts a smile on my face every single time. Even though Mega Man X doesn’t have the sweeping orchestral scores or ridiculously high polygon counts of modern games, it’s still a phenomenal experience. All of its parts play off of each other to create an incredibly focused and rewarding experience. I thought I was going to quit video games soon after graduation. I thought I had finally grown out of them, just like my parents said I would. All it took was a trip to a simpler time to remind me why video games are so cool. Mega Man X made me fall in love with the medium all over again, and for that, it will always hold a very special place in my heart.