I am a huge Mega Man X fan, but I never got around to playing Mega Man Xtreme or its sequel. I recently downloaded the Virtual Console version of the game and played the crap out of it. I beat the game three times in a row on all difficulties, making sure to find every hidden item and upgrade, including the Hadoken and Shoryuken from Street Fighter capsule.

The game released on Game Boy Color in 2001, and other than just being a generally solid translation of the X series to a handheld device, it had a few innovations.

Half the game is hidden behind hard mode

Many games today, especially games from Nintendo, hide the majority of its more difficult content behind walls requiring a certain level of skill to access. Games like Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario 3D World, and the recent Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze have a lot more content than what appears up front, but if you’re just looking for a good time, the game can be beaten without getting into the incredibly frustrating stuff.

To beat Mega Man Xtreme, you only need to beat four of the game’s main bosses before heading to the final levels. You’ll beat Sigma and see credits, and then a note will alert you of the hard mode. In the hard mode you will find additional story details and four new bosses. Once you beat the game again, you can play extreme mode, which opens you up to take on all eight bosses.

You only have to watch cutscenes once

Mega Man Xtreme isn’t a game with a particularly rich story, but it does have dialogue and little intros for the bosses. Thankfully, you only have to watch them once. If you’re stuck on a level or a boss, your retries won’t force you to tap through dialogue to get things going. Once you’ve seen the cutscene once, the game realizes you get the gist and it’s time to get to the action.

New game plus

Mega Man Xtreme didn’t invent new game plus, but it was rare in 2001. If you opt to play the game on hard after beating it once, you can start the game from the beginning with all of your capsule upgrades, heart pieces, and subtanks. It affords you opportunities you didn’t have in the original Mega Man X, like the ability to play through the game’s opening level with all the capsules.

Starting the game a third time on Extreme mode opens the game up to all eight bosses at once, and starts you from scratch.

Extreme mode doesn’t waste your time with cutscenes

In the same vein as only having to watch cutscenes once, when you beat the game on hard and open up Extreme mode, you don’t have to watch any cutscenes at all. At this point you’ve beaten the game twice, so you know the story. If you’re playing on Extreme, you never have to tap through dialogue or any scenes whatsoever. It lets you get straight to the action.

A few tips

I posted these tips on the Miiverse and had some reasonable resistance because these might not help everyone, but I found changing these options to be invaluable.

Changing the button type to simple makes the start button function as the dash button, but doesn’t change any other buttons. Double tapping on the d-pad also allows you to dash, which is the faster dash option as you don’t have to move your thumb away from the fire or jump button. Changing over to simple type doesn’t eliminate the double tap option, it just lets you use the otherwise unassigned start button to dash if you want. I found using the start button to dash was helpful in taking on Storm Eagle and Zain – two boss fights that require a lot of dashing.

Turning these options on eliminates the ability to charge your special weapons, but I personally never use the charged special weapons anyway. What it does is let you hold down the fire button to release a continuous stream of x-buster shots, or when you're not holding down the button, X charges his x-buster automatically. On the few occasions you need a charged special weapon (using Speed Burner to get to difficult areas), you can change the settings back to normal temporarily in the middle of a level.

Some funny screenshots

My understanding is Vile's Japanese name is the much less intimidating Vava, but Capcom overlooked the change for some reason for Xtreme.

Poor translations are always funny.

The credits, which I saw multiple times, have some very strange names.

This occurs when you beat the game on hard. Sigma seems genuinely dejected by his defeat, as though it's time to finally give up. The ellipses really sell the sadness.

Finally, I wanted to include this because I am proud of myself. Extreme mode defeated with everything found.

Mega Man Xtreme 2 releases on May 29, and I will download it right away.