Capcom offered another portable Mega Man experience via Mega Man x DiVE. This new title focuses on classic platforming action, while using touch screen controls designed for mobile devices. While its story is somewhat lackluster and may not satisfy die-hard fans, it provides short bursts of gameplay that feel uniquely satisfying with mechanics that continually build upon one another. That being said, due to it releasing on mobile devices with a gacha mechanic, it does come with some caveats.
Mega Man x Dive is perhaps one of the better, modern Mega Man titles currently available on the market and is packed with fan service to appeal to generations of Mega Man fans. A plethora of designs and characters are available to obtain through gacha banners, with both entirely new designs and fan favorites like Zero as part of the roster. My exposure to the series came from diving into Mega Man X once I was old enough to get my hands around the SNES controller, so I was elated to see Zero immediately available. Additionally, several versions of Mega Man himself are available to obtain as well, which span through the length of the series. It offers a little bit of everything to its primary audience, which is of course fans of the series.
However, those who are completely unfamiliar with Mega Man will find this a proficient platformer. Players use the touch screen to activate jumps, double jumps, and dashes. Attacks are also activated through the touch screen through rapid presses. The controls are simple enough, but as stages evolve and eventually become more elaborate, movement ends up requiring precise execution. This includes the addition of moving platforms and standard Mega Man fare that eventually builds upon itself in more complex ways. Each Stage has its own unique design and theme, with the first area primarily composed of basic platforms set against a night sky as skyscrapers tower in the background.
Gameplay consists of equipping weapons that will provide different skills. These include different blasters that have different attack stats and sub weapons like beam sabers. Shooting and using special attacks have cooldowns, but don’t take longer than a few seconds to refresh and keep the pace of Mega Man x DiVE fast. At fist I was worried I would have limited ammunition going into stages, but thankfully after depleting all of the ammo for your blaster, the weapon is put on a short cooldown. Players can also tap their sub weapons to switch back and forth between their main weapon quickly and easily. Characters each have unique skills that they bring into the stages with them. For example, Marino has a dash and can throw shuriken. It’s a fairly basic system that serves the game well enough.
The environments themselves are similarly fairly basic, but communicate the level design of each individual stage with distinctive platforms and coherent visuals. The characters fit in nicely as well and, while the designs lean more towards the visual style of Mega Man Battle Network, they remain distinct from one another. I was fortunate enough to roll an A-rank Marino immediately, and her design has been adapted to suit this visual style well. Character models appeared well-rendered and smooth on my smartphone, though quality may vary depending on what device you’re using.
Though while the game looked great, I unfortunately had a fair amount of crashes. For example, the tutorial would cause the game to immediately close in the middle of the sample stage. There were more than a handful of instances where I would run into walls and sometimes get stuck on platforms due to the game crashing in the middle of gameplay. While Mega Man x DiVE is mostly functional and fun, these issues end up creating an incredible amount of frustration. I had to constantly restart stages due to these crashes, which I hope will be resolved in the future because it could potentially be a truly great experience without these bugs.
Similar to other gacha titles, Mega Man x Dive has a shared character and weapon gacha system. Both characters and weapons are obtainable through banners. This can be an issue, as currency is not the easiest obtain. Several banners are available, with one using the Elemental Medal in-game currency and the others requiring Z coins. Purchasing currency to roll on banners is quite expensive, costing around $38 for a ten pull if players are willing to dip into their wallets. However, at the very least Mega Man x Dive does guarantee at least one A-rank weapon or character per ten pull, with S being the highest rank.
Characters can equip weapons and armor, which increases their total power level. Naturally, Mega Man x DiVE does have something of a power creep, which incentivizes players to grind or potentially even spend money on the banners. But going through Stages is still achievable, even if it’ll feel like a struggle diving into anything below the suggested power level. While finessing a stage is completely possible, it isn’t advised unless you want to feel like you’re running headfirst into a wall. And the power creep does begin fairly early on, with it immediately wanting players to pour resources into weapons and characters as soon as you progress past the first few levels.
Players can also use the Lab to research weapon and character shards that can be created using materials found through Stage completion. This is an easier way to acquire lower level ones. This feature is on a timer, with different research taking more time and more valuable materials depending on the shards you’re looking to acquire. The game offers a fairly comprehensive tutorial for this, and other features.
And this is where I have to praise Mega Man x DiVE once again. The tutorials in this game are extremely thorough. You cannot miss any potential feature, as it effectively railroads you through the first segments to make sure that you’ve learned the ins and outs of the game. This makes it easier of the player to set themselves up for success and choose how to increase their power without wasting any valuable resources.
Mega Man x DiVE offers a decent enough time and a fun game to play casually. I found it nice to sit down with in the evenings, playing a level or two while watching Netflix. That being said, with the constant crashes and the game sometimes going unresponsive, I can’t see myself dedicating a lot of time to it in any serious way. It feels like a shame and something that could potentially prevent Mega Man x DiVE from reaching its full potential and a broader audience. Still, this is a proficient platformer that builds off of an already sold base and mixes stock and standard gacha elements in. It doesn’t do anything wholly unique on either spectrums of the genres it samples from, but is an enjoyable experience all the same.
Mega Man x DiVE is immediately available for Android and iOS devices. This playtest was done on a Huawei Honor 10.