Game Info:

Developed By: Batterystaple Games
Published By: Batterystaple Games
Release Date: Not yet announced
Available On: Windows
ESRB Rating: N/A
Genre: Action Platformer/Rogue-like
Mode: One or Two Players
MSRP: Not yet announced

Thank you Batterystaple Games and StridePR for setting up this hands-on demo with a pre-alpha build, and my conversation with Chris from Batterystaple Games!

I’ve been a fan of Mega Man style games since I first played Mega Man 3 back on the NES (back when it was new). The combination of tight platforming, blasting away at robotic foes, and the joy of collecting new powers as a reward for enduring grueling levels and bosses is a time-tested recipe for success. I was a big fan of Batterystaple Games’ last title, 20XX,  for even though rogue-style games aren’t really for me (I find randomized levels enjoyable but progression frustrating), the quality and tight gameplay of that one really sold me on it anyway. Now, I was fortunate enough to get a sneak-peak at their latest game, 30XX.

On September 23, 2020, Chris from Batterystaple Games spent an hour of his precious time to grant me the opportunity to review a two-level pre-alpha demo of 30XX in its current state. At the time of writing, they are busy at the Tokyo Game Show, meeting with many of the press folks like us, busy getting the word out on 30XX. And if this short demo is any indication, it’s gonna be great.


Strong Points: Very high quality pixel art; great music; action platforming feels fantastic
Weak Points: Some may prefer 20XX art style; limited to 60fps
Moral Warnings: Robots blasting robots

Now I have to admit that I was one of the naysayers who felt that I prefer 20XX’s art style over the full retro styling of 30XX. I liked the resolution scaling, the incredible clarity, and the unlimited frame rate of 20XX. And, well, I still do like those aspects of that game. But 30XX’s pixel art is quite excellent, and brings the obvious homage to Mega Man X full circle. The detailed sprites, the smooth animations, and the really active backgrounds are all fantastic and look amazing at 60 frames per second (fps). The assets are also designed for 640x360, which happens to be a pixel-perfect division for virtually all common 16:9 resolutions, and when I tested the game later on a 16:10 screen (1280x800) on my GPD Win Max, it also worked really well.

The base of the game is similar to 20XX. This includes the 2D platforming goodness, the boss battles, the base characters of Nina and Ace (who borrow their moveset from Mega Man's X and Zero characters, respectively), and the rogue-lite gameplay. For those not familiar with rogue-style games, levels are randomly generated, so every time you play you have a new level to explore and conquer. While this led to some pretty crazy levels in 20XX, they have redesigned the level generator significantly in 30XX. They generate levels in phases, where they have a list of the types and order of the sections that they want, and randomize those, so that levels can still have the desired flow that was difficult to achieve before. This should allow a far more coherent and consistent experience, despite still being randomly generated.

They also streamlined upgrades. Rather than having just slots to put upgrades into, you can instead allocate core points towards upgrades, which means that you can even put multiple upgrades of the same section (an example could be air dash and double jump), as long as you have the points to support everything you need.


They also reworked permanent upgrades. You can earn and spend your upgrade points on various things like blaster autocharge, which is remarkably handy. There is a mere skeleton of the future upgrade plans in place at the moment, but the desire is for permanent upgrades to increase player choice, rather than just give them more upgrades from the start. It’ll be interesting to see how that finally pans out.

One new feature that has been announced but is not yet in the Very Pre-Alpha Demo that I got to play is the recently revealed Mega mode. What this allows you to do is treat 30XX like a Mega Man game generator, rather than just a game randomizer. When you start Mega mode, all of the levels in the run, from beginning to end, are pre-created. You then can play from the beginning to the end of this run, without permadeath. Permadeath, or one life per run, is great for competitive and hardcore players, but it made 20XX basically unbeatable for me. No matter how well I did, I could never try it again, learning from my mistakes the first time. By disabling permadeath in Mega mode, I should be able to conquer all the game has to offer – until I get to try it again with a newly randomized game next time! To me, someone who dislikes rogue-likes, this is a massive new feature that I very much look forward to trying out.

I believe the 30XX Very Pre-Alpha Demo that I had the privilege to test out easily forms the basis of what can be an excellent follow-up to the already great 20XX. I rarely get excited about new games coming out anymore, unless they are part of specific franchises that I have a soft spot for. But for 30XX? They definitely have my attention. I can’t wait to see how this game develops closer to release!

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Jason Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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