30XX early access review for PC

Platform: PC
Publisher: Batterystaple Games
Developer: Batterystaple Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

Batterystaple Games? first release 20XX was a love letter to Megaman games with a roguelike twist. As someone who grew up in the era where those games reigned supreme, I can honestly say that despite having an interesting premise, the title completely flew by my radar and I can pinpoint what was the cause. It was the art direction. I can recall upon seeing Nina in the logo looking like she originated from a doodle from inside a composition notebook, I immediately gave the title no mind. Flash forward 5 years and after gracing all of the major platforms, Batterystaple Games returns to the 20XX universe with a brand new look after recruiting Glauber Kotaki whose works were seen in Chasm and Rogue Legacy to handle art duties. The world of 20XX looks comparable to the worlds that Capcom?s Blue Bomber resides in. It seems all it took was this art change to make me realize that skipping out on 20XX was a mistake and with 30XX I will not let history repeat itself.

30XX takes place far in the future where 20XX took place. Players can still choose between Nina and Ace whose attributes parallel X and Zero from the Megaman X games. Nina being armed with an arm cannon who in this sequel can combine the powers she receives from defeating bosses to make combo shots and Ace welding the A-Saber that enable him to learn new techniques that will not only destroy enemies but aid in traversal. The Standard Mode is still a procedurally generated roguelike, where you need to beat all the bosses (6 bosses are available in the current build) with a single life. Along your journey you will collect cores and augments which will increase your attributes and hopefully improve your chances of surviving the run. However death will mean most of the collected enhancements will be gone. Thankfully the Memoria and Potentia fragments you?ve collected from defeating mid and stage bosses will be retained and those can be used to buy more permanent enhancements.

New to 30XX is the Mega Mode, and the name kind of speaks for itself. Rather than being completely roguelike, it brings a familiar format to the series. Dropped into a hub world with a familiar brady bunch-ish grid, this mode allows you to choose the order you tackle the stages. While dying once will send you back to the hub, your cores and augments will remain making this experience a bit more palatable to those who don?t want to start from ground zero after each death. However with persistence you?ll end up building a warrior which might actually force you to increase the difficulty.

The other major addition to the sequel is an Editor. As the game is procedurally generated, it constructs levels using ?chunks? and this Editor will allow players a chance to build areas which will impede Nina and Ace?s progress. Despite popping a new window, the editor takes advantage of computer shortcut keys to make building chunks a rather initiative process. If players sign up for an account they can even upload their chunks online to be played by others and with enough positive feedback chunks can be verified and included in the core game.

So despite the fact that the game is in early access it is an extremely solid experience, it will be interesting to see who the 2 remaining bosses are and what the endgame will entail. Hopefully the price of entry to incorporate user created content will be lowered because as of right now the cost to unlock the ?multiverse gate? costs roughly 50 Potentia fragments which entails around 50 stage boss wins (less if you pump up the difficulty). Otherwise if you?re looking for some platforming action with endless possibilities, 30XX is sure to occupy your time well into the future!

Note: Batterystaple Games
provided us with a 30XX PC code.