Android Hunter A is a throwback game made in the style of the classic Mega Man games that were made by Capcom during the NES era. The audience has been, relatively speaking, underserved in this modern age. So that’s where developer/publisher DigiPlox steps in with their new game serving up a game that harkens back to the good ole’ days and that means both the good and the bad. Does this game reach the heights of Mega Man 2 or does it come off undercooked like Mighty No. 9? Read on to find out in this review of Android Hunter A.
Much like the NES Mega Man games that came before it, the story is largely irrelevant. For a modern game that has in-engine cutscenes, the story is actually difficult to follow. I didn’t actually read the game’s description on the game’s Steam page and in hindsight. I should have because it did a better job of telling me the plot of the game than actually playing the game. The game’s tutorial just thrusts you into the game in the middle of a chaotic/hectic situation and it is really difficult to get your bearings (plot-wise). There is a character that functions like a “Navi-Esque” helper directing you in a general direction of what to do but not very helpful.
The bosses say a generic line about being a traitor and none of it really makes sense just playing the game. This ultimately didn’t matter to me because the story isn’t the reason to play the game. But if you really need to know the story here is a quick selection from the game’s Steam page. “Corrupted machines flood the streets of Future Earth, previously a haven for humans and androids alike. As cities fall, a new force is created to fight back – the perfect Android Hunter.” So TLDR, a robot uprising is occurring and you are an android hunter fighting back against it. Side note, although I beat the game I’m not actually sure I really did beat the game because I may have gotten the “bad ending” but because I have a review copy of the game. I can’t just turn to the internet for a guide on what else I can do. I look forward to seeing more about the game after it launches and hopefully I’m proven right about my theory.
It’s really hard to make catchy tunes that will stand the test of time and become iconic. Being compared to the likes of Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3 whose OSTs have reached iconic status is a tough act to follow. Ultimately this game fails in that regard and it might be an unfair comparison. So just judging this game’s audio on its own merits the judgment is still relatively the same. The game’s soundtrack is fine. Nothing that will be remembered after a week of not playing the game. But while playing the game, the music fits the mood. I encountered no audio glitches or any desyncs. So this game’s audio meets expectations and nothing more.
The game was developed using the Unreal Engine. The graphics aren’t intensive so the game should work on any modern machine. There isn’t much pizazz in the game’s presentation as particle effects and enemy destruction is basic. But credit should be given where credit is due, the game runs smoothly and during my playtime. I ran into no dropped frames or any visual stutters. The game’s art style is good and fits well with the anime motif of the game’s trailer and character portraits used throughout the game. A lot of care was done on those metrics and it shows. This game looks like a modern Mega Man game and I mean it as a compliment, its visuals work for me.
I only had two minor glitches that involved the in-game camera, one of which did not affect gameplay. The first one was where I beat one of the game’s bosses and the camera decided to zoom in on nothing. The game just finished the ending jingle before going back to the stage select so no harm, no foul. The second glitch happened during the boss stage. For some reason, the camera went to the bottom as if my character was at the bottom of the stage when I was clearing jumping at the top of the stage. Thankfully, It happened in a place that didn’t matter so if you fall to the bottom, you can easily jump back up. To not end this section on a sour note, I want to give a shout out to a visual nod the game does to the original mega man games. When Mega Man enters a boss room you can jump as Mega Man and he will freeze mid-air while transitioning to the next room. The creators of this game must really love Mega Man because they programmed the same exact thing into the game and you bet I did it every time too.
This is where the money is at. For better or for worse, this game is faithful to the Mega Man formula. Your character can’t shoot diagonally or straight up unless allowed by a specific weapon, just like the classic games. To me, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it’s being faithful but on the other hand, it is not modernizing the game design. Having played the classic games I wasn’t phased by this but younger gamers might not be so forgiving. The game also borrows from the Mega Man X games because you can wall jump just like X. Much like your typical Mega Man games you have eight stages to choose from in any order you wish to tackle followed by a final boss fight. The game’s stages are linear with a couple of corridors to be explored for collectibles. Some of these corridors can’t be traversed without an appropriate weapon so you will need to replay a stage once the appropriate weapon is in your arsenal.
Other additions include a dash, a super move, and the ability to increase your power and speed with a rage mechanic that can be built up by simply moving. If you stand still the meter goes down. I never used the rage because I found the character was too fast to precisely control so I just opted for the super move which helped clear the patch as well as making quick work of boss fights. The boss fights are difficult when first starting the game, but once you learn the language of the game (as well as their patterns) you can make quick work of them.
Every time I beat the boss I felt very satisfied with “figuring them out”. Once the boss is beaten you can take their power/weapon for you to use. After beating each stage you can use your in-game currency that you collected to customize your character. These include various skins, hats, effects, etc. After clearing all eight stages, the final boss appears and the gameplay suddenly shifts to an F-zero like racer where your character is on a motorcycle driving through a road filled with obstacles. There are signs of rushed development or scrapped ideas in this final fight. I don’t believe that what I played was planned that way because it would appear to be a waste of development resources. That being said, the final boss was really difficult and I got so many game overs just trying to beat the game. I initially thought the game stepped over the line to the unfair territory but the dopamine rush was so worth it when I did finally beat the game.
Ultimately the gameplay was on point and I only have minor nitpicks that don’t detract from how I feel about this section. But some of the nitpicks I have are the controls, which wasn’t precise enough for me, the character would turn to face the wrong way when shooting at times (although it could be me). When I died during boss fights I spammed weapons from other bosses and the energy didn’t replenish on a new life. Which meant I had to beat the boss with just the standard gun. Lastly, on certain levels, the game’s camera didn’t pan down to show a floor that I can safely jump to and so I had to take a leap of faith that I was supposed to go down. This led to some uncalled-for deaths because I took a leap of faith thinking that I can explore. That’s not to say these nitpicks didn’t also exist in the classic games but they were also running on an NES. The modern game design could have fixed it but I’m still going to let all this slide because the game felt so good to play. The game features an online leader board so replayability is all about getting better runs, scores, ranks, and cosmetic swag.
I’m going to summarize this game as succinctly as possible and say this. Android Hunter A scratches that Mega Man itch, so if you are a classic Mega Man fan, then this is right up your alley and is an overall good game that doesn’t need to measure up but still stands on its own. 7/10.
The game is out right now on PC on Steam and was reviewed on PC via Steam
The review code was provided by the developer/publisher DigiPlox for the purposes of the review.
Android Hunter A0.00
- Great Homage to Classic Mega Man games
- Challenging but fair gameplay
- Solid art style
- no microtransactions - all cosmetics are earned through playing the game
- Controls are rough around the edges
- Endgame/post game is lacking
- game's camera doesn't pan down to show a floor beneath you at times
- weapon energy doesn't recharge after dying