I love Mega Man but over the last decade, Capcom has repeatedly dropped the ball with the series. The last real new Mega Man games we’ve seen were Mega Man 9 (2008) and Mega Man 10 (2010) which were developed by Init Creates and since then has gotten nothing but re-release after re-release of older Mega Man titles. Now, I don’t criticize because I dislike Capcom, quite the opposite, I actually love what they’ve done in the past and want them to bring back IPs that fans love and treat them with the respect they once did.
While I am looking forward to the Mega Man X Legacy Collection next month, I am really looking forward to finally playing a new Mega Man game after eight years and it was a must for me to play Mega Man 11 while at this years E3.
Mega Man 8 was the last time we got a visual upgrade for Mega Man in 1996 (not counting Mega Man Powered Up a remake of the first Mega Man released on the PSP in 2006) and while Mega Man 9 and 10 went back to the classic 8-bit look of the series, Mega Man 11 looks like a perfect mix of new and old while not going overboard and changing the iconic look of the blue bomber, which can also be said for the game itself.
Mega Man games have always been a mix of challenging gameplay with some challenging bosses that require you to find their pattern in order to survive, that or have a huge supply of E-Tanks.
So let’s look at the some of the new changes in Mega Man 11:
First of all of all is the control scheme, Mega Man can finally summon Rush Coil without the need of entering the menu screen or cycling weapons. Instead it’s mapped to the triangle button, so will the Rush Jet be mapped to circle or will you be able to cycle between the two?
The Double Gear is quite interesting once you get used to it. You have the ability to slow down time or increase the damage output of the Mega Buster. You have a bar that appears the moment you use it and you can switch back and forth between either gear before it fills up and once you do, you are unable to use the Double Gear for sometime.
Welcome back slide! Mega Man lost his ability to slide in Mega Man 9 and 10 as that was given to Proto Man. Well it’s back.
For the demo that was all of the big noticeable changes. Beat, who first appeared in Mega Man 5, makes his return assisting players who fall in the pits by pulling them out (in easy mode) along with the store which was first introduced in Mega Man 7.
Block Man was the only playable stage in the game and honestly I was quite surprised on just how challenging it was. I played on the normal difficulty and I died maybe five times in total, three times in different pits thanks to knock back and twice to Block Man. It’s your typical Mega Man stage with a few more hazards including an endless of blocks falling on conveyor belts, a mid-boss, enemies that jump out of death pits and because it’s a Mega Man game and a few traps that include giant gears that require you to quickly get through a small puzzle and if you don’t it’s instant death. Luckily, with the ability to slow down time with the Double Gear it’s not really an issue.
Block Man played like a typical Mega Man boss, at least at the start as he jumps around and tries to drop blocks on you from the top of the screen. After a certain amount of damage he transforms into a giant version of himself with his only weakness being on his chest requiring you to dodge his attacks and wait until he moves down a bit to get a good shot at him. So how did I die to him, easily actually, in his giant form the punch which was difficult the first few times takes more than a third of your life each time and trying to find a way to dodge took me a bit of practice and a few E-Tanks to survive.
So how do I feel about the game after just one stage? Mega Man 11 is everything I hoped it could be and more. While I’d love to see the return of Bass, Proto Man, more playable characters, and maybe even opponents, right now Mega Man 11 is a game that isn’t just a simple copy and paste but a true new Mega Man.
Mega Man 11 will release in less than four months so come on Capcom! Keep impressing me and I look forward to playing the demo once again at San Diego Comic-Con next month!