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Mini-Review: Mega Man X: Official Complete Works

Mega Man X: Official Complete WorksSince I was so impressed with UDON Entertainment's Mega Man: Official Complete Works art book, I had to go ahead and purchase the next volume in the series in which it is Mega Man X that enjoys some time in the spotlight.  Covering all eight main Mega Man X games (plus the Maverick Hunter X remake of the original Super NES game for the Sony PlayStation Portable), the two Game Boy Mega Man Xtreme titles, and the Command Mission RPG, this edition of Official Complete Works follows a similar template as the first book.  Unfortunately, the previous volume set the bar a little too high, as Mega Man X: Official Complete Works starts out by offering the same kind of fascinating content as its companion, but instead seems to grow bored with itself and go home before the party is supposed to be over.

There's plenty of artwork to enjoy in X's take on Official Complete Works, but much less of it compared to the classic Mega Man book, while comments from the artists are fewer in number and less insightful (a recurring motif seems to be Capcom producer and Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune remarking on how he didn't contribute to the Mega Man X game in question).  Moreover, while the Mega Man book clocks in at over two hundred pages, the X book stops short before one-hundred fifty pages, and while there are certainly fewer X games than classic Mega Man games, the X book omits the impressively sized Gallery and Rough Sketch sections and opts to just include what feels like a sampler from each (the Gallery is only two paltry pages!).  Unlike the classic Mega Man book, there are no character profile sheets or lengthy promotional image galleries.  Moreover, the collection of international box art has been pared down to a single image: the North American version of the PlayStation 2 edition of the Mega Man X Collection

While I enjoyed Mega Man X: Official Complete Works for the hour that it took me to read it, I was expecting so much more.  The included material is interesting and enjoyable, but if forced to choose between the two books, I'd choose the original Mega Man: Official Complete Works every time due to its comparatively expanded content.  Publisher UDON has a few sample pages for review over at their website, and once again I'll leave you now with examples of some of my favorite artwork from the book via The Mega Man Network's extensive archive.

Sigma (Mega Man Maverick Hunter X)

Storm Eagle
Storm Eagle (Mega Man X)

Thunder Slimer
Thunder Slimer (Mega Man X)

Crush Crawfish
Crush Crawfish sketch (Mega Man X3)

Split Mushroom
Split Mushroom (Mega Man X4)

Mega Man X8
Promotional image (Mega Man X8)

Zero (Mega Man Xtreme 2)

Mega Man X
 Mega Man X (Mega Man X2)