Capcom’s Mega Man character has been in the public eye ever since his creation back in 1987. Over the years we’ve seen several iterations of the character and even a sequel series spawn in the SNES days. Now the blue shooter is back in Mega Man 11 and it’s as fun and difficult as any other game in the long running series.
Fans have been clamoring for a proper Mega Man sequel since Mega Man 10 came back in the year of 2010. Eight years later we finally get a proper sequel as Capcom has released Mega Man 11 on all current major platforms. Is this new addition to the franchise going to appeal to fans both young and old?
Well the first thing to take note about Mega Man 11 is the fact that it still feels like an old school Mega Man game at heart. It still features the same old story of Dr Wiley and his evil plans with Mega Man needing to go out and save the world like he normally does. There are eight different stages for you to select at any order and after you beat every stage, you get to unlock the final boss which is Dr Wiley himself.
Sure the story of the game is nothing special, although most fans don’t play Mega Man games for the narrative. I will say that the English voice acting is still pretty bad as it sounds like amateur voice actors were cast for most of the characters. Thankfully, the game does not feature many cutscenes so you do not have to listen to the horrible voice acting for too long.
After a brief cutscene at the beginning of the game, Mega Man is then free to choose one of the eight selectable levels. The cool thing about Mega Man games is that the player has the freedom to try out all of the levels in any order you choose. If you are struggling on a level, you can always quit and go back and choose another less stressful one to try and tackle.
This freedom of choice is pretty cool because you can trial every level and get a lot of practice. Not to mention whenever you beat a level and its end boss, a new weapon type will be added to Mega Man’s arsenal. Attaining new weapons is essential because they can aid you against the harder enemies and bosses that might prevent some players from progressing any further.
What I admire most about Mega Man 11 is the fact that each level looks and feels different from the next one. No two levels are the exact same design because each stage as its own theme and set of rules. For example, in Block Man’s level, the main gimmick is for you to try and avoid the blocks that come charging at you. There is also Tundra Man’s level which has an all-ice theme to it.
Arguably the best type of level in the entire game belongs to Bounce Man. This level was my personal favorite one because it features an entire stage that is full of bouncy balls. Mega Man can use the bouncy balls like a trampoline to access higher levels and platforms. I have rarely seen this gimmick used in recent games and I had a ton of fun jumping all over the place.
That being said, not every level is a walk in the park because Capcom cheekily adds in several other gimmicks that might tear you hair apart in frustration. There are a lot of cheap gaps and other traps that are sure to annoy lots of gamers in this game. Some traps are way harder than others can you will lose a lot of lives during the course of the entire game. It pays just to trial and error the levels first in order to see which the best route to take is. This is far from a simple game where you just need to run from left to right while spamming the fire button!
Speaking of firing, Mega Man 11 introduces a new gimmick that allows him to shoot guns differently. Firstly, there’s the Speed Gear setting that allows you to slow down time for a short time to shoot enemies easily. The other setting you can set is the Power Gear which allows you to increase the firepower of your particular guns. Alternating between the two settings is essential because the enemies and bosses come in all shapes and sizes!
Another thing I like about the game is that it’s more forgiving for casual gamers. There’s a new beginner difficulty in the game that gives you infinite number of lives and the checkpoints are more forgiving. This allows new players to familiarize themselves with the gameplay before they go on to tackle the harder difficulty settings.
However, the game is still pretty hard to play no matter what difficulty you choose. If you’re a gamer that usually sucks at playing hardcore 2D style of shooters, you’re better off playing something else.
Outside of the gameplay, players will love the new look of Mega Man 11. It ditches the old 8-bit looking graphics for something more modern for the HD era. It looks like a 16-bit era game with HD textures and the overall graphics look great as a whole. Not to mention every level looks different due to the many themes that they are based on.
As much as I liked playing Mega Man 11, it isn’t without its few flaws. For one thing, Mega Man 11 does not really add anything new to the franchise because he still can only shoot in one direction and he lacks some of the jumping abilities that X has in the SNES games. It’s also disappointing that Mega Man is the only playable character in this new game as I would have liked to have played as someone else too.
Another thing I dislike about the game is that some of the levels are super cheap. The Block Man level made me want to throw my controller because the traps that are set in the game are devilishly evil! It’s hard to explain in words, but the level is sure to frustrate many other gamers to try and tackle it.
Overall, Mega Man 11 is a great addition to the franchise featuring very fun level design and challenging gameplay that is sure to test the skills of any gamer. That said, only hardcore gamers should play this game as it’s not going to appeal to very casual gamers. Anyway, Mega Man 11 may not introduce many new features, but it’s still an enjoyable game for older fans of the series.