Mega Man hit puberty at the tender age of six when he emerged, revamped and retooled, in the excellent Super Nintendo side-scroller Mega Man X. It's true, robots really do grow up faster. But unlike, say, Shadow the Hedgehog, Mega Man X managed to retain everything that made the source material great while adding a little sass. So now, almost 13 years on, Capcom has created a new version of its SNES classic for the PSP. While at first it feels a bit too familiar for its own good, a small but well-chosen complement of new features help Mega Man Maverick Hunter X find its stride and become a worthy game in its own right.
While the series' eternally vigilant maverick hunter, X, looks more mature than the cutesy old Mega Man ever did, the challenges he faces are remarkably similar. Eight renegade robots, the hunted mavericks of the title, lie between him and the big bad guy, Sigma. X has to take 'em down one by one, snatching foes' powers as he runs, jumps and blasts them away. There's also a lot of back-and-forth between conquered stages to uncover well-hidden power-up items, which you'll need if you're going to give Sigma a run for his ill-gained money.
This is all familiar territory for Mega Man fans, especially since Maverick Hunter X is an extremely faithful remake of Mega Man X. MHX makes only minimal changes to the stage layouts, which are nigh-on identical to the originals.