PAX West 2022: 30XX’s Rivalry Update Adds a Notable New Face

Earlier this year, we took a look at a major update to 30XX, a roguelike tribute to the Mega Man X/Mega Man Zero games. Aside from the occasional issue stemming from luck and the nature of procedurally-generated levels, it was still a blast that did the Blue Bomber proud. But with room for improvement, we were interested in seeing what the next major addition, the Rivalry update, would have in store. Plus, it meant a chance to see how the game played in co-op, playing it with developers Batterystaple Games. So what exactly did the new update bring to the table?

The main addition to the Rivalry update is, shock of all shocks, a rival. To be more specific, a new characters by the name of Delta, who can greet Nina and/or Ace at the beginning or middle of a level and offer them a challenge. Complete the challenge, get a reward, but risk possible death in doing so. Classic roguelike challenges. In our run, they showed up in the first stage and challenged us to take a stupid risk: make it through the entire level while dealing with a modifier that causes extra enemies to spawn in, and our health will be completely refilled afterwards. And considering that this is a roguelike where health is vital, you better believe we took the challenge.

Luckily, the particular enemies that spawned in — a series of small, floating robots that shot spikes in four directions — were easy to deal with. It helped that the air-themed level it was taking place in had a lot of room for swift movements, so we could run past the little buggers (it also helped that we were warned whenever they’d spawn in with a little red alert). It was still a nice extra challenge, though, and one that paid off once we had destroyed the boss and earned our extra health.

And naturally showcasing the other half of Delta’s appearances in 30XX, he was found in the middle of the next level, offering a miniboss encounter. If Delta could be defeated, rewards would be ours. We took him on, and much like other bonuses bosses found in the likes of Mega Man X games, they ended up being more difficult than expected, taking away quite a bit of health. Luckily, we came through, and the spoils were ours. It likely helped that we were playing co-op as both Nina and Ace, and while the co-op feature isn’t new, it should be noted that it was a blast to play with a friend in such a game where you can have each other’s backs, and where details like the screen zooming out if there’s distance between the two are welcome touches.

In addition to Delta, 30XX’s Rivalry update added new modes in the form of Rush Job, a boss rush mode, and Seed Racer, where runs are given randomly-generated seeds whose codes you can enter or share with friends. Not much to say about those two, but they’re more welcome additions. There are also more text prompts for characters such as HQ, and more characters being added in general, giving the game and its world even more personality (plus five hidden endings, though we have yet to discover them). So while 30XX’s new update may only seem like minor additions, they actually go a long way towards contributing to the game as a whole, and it shows how this is building up to be an amazing spiritual successor to a legendary series. 30XX is available now in Early Access on Steam, with the Rivalry update now live.

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