It has felt like an eternity since the release of a new entry in the Mega Man series with Mega Man 10 being the last release back in 2010. One of Capcom’s most popular series went silent, with fans hoping that Capcom would develop a new game but instead all we saw was the release of Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 +2 and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2. Finally last year, Capcom had some big news and that was a new entry in the classic Mega Man series was coming with Mega Man 11 and I have to say it was definitely worth the wait.
Mega Man gets a brand new look in the game which is actually very welcome, especially when you think that the last time the classic blue bomber visually got an upgrade was back in 1997 in Mega Man 8 and holy crap am I impressed. It’s a perfect blend of everything we are familiar with when it comes to the Mega Man series and adds new elements that fit in perfectly with the game. Just be prepared to die a lot!
So what makes Mega Man 11 so different compared to the previous 10? It stays true to the formula from the first game leaving players to fend for themselves against various stage hazards, enemies and eventually having to face off against 8 Robot Masters, it also gives two new abilities – Speed Gear and Power Gear.
The Double Gear System definitely adds a new layer to the game and I have to say I came to really enjoy it as it is easy to use but requires some skill to really take advantage of it. The Speed Gear slows down time giving Mega Man the chance to react to bad situations, you’ll be able to dodge incoming projectiles or deal extra damage to enemies before they have a chance to react. The Power Gear gives Mega Man a power boost which means you can unleash powerful charge shot and power up special weapons so they unleash a more powerful attack(similar to Mega Man X where you were able to charge Special Weapons) which luckily won’t drain any extra special weapon meter. The Double Gear system isn’t something you can use infinitely either, the longer you have it active the faster the overhead meter fills and once it is filled it causes the system to overload making it unusable for sometime. So you will want to use it wisely.
Capcom once made the mistake of switching the Mega Man X series into the realm of 3D with Mega Man X7 and it was just terrible, the only game I felt worked in 3D was Mega Man Legends was because the game was developed that way while the Mega Man/Mega Man X series works better in 2D but using 2.5D model works perfectly. It’s a great balance adding depth to the character making them really stand out while retaining a classic cartoonish look and you can really marvel at how much detail went into the game with its gorgeous character designs and beautiful locations as you play through each level.
Mega Man is a game you always want to get better at and beat as fast as possible. I’ve beaten the game about twice now and still plan on playing more and more and that’s thanks to some great level designs, great boss battles, and more importantly a difficulty factor that’s really unforgiving if you aren’t careful requiring you to focus and pay attention, something that’s nothing new if you’ve played any Mega Man game before, just remember to use that Speed Gear to your advantage. Luckily, Mega Man 11 can be pretty generous when it comes to Bolts (something introduced in Mega Man 7) where you can spend collected bolts to purchase items at Dr. Light’s shop which include extra lives, E-Tanks, W-Tanks along with a few very useful tools including one that power up your attacks, improve your cooldown time after using either one of the Double Gear abilities, increase the number of E-Tanks you can carry, and even one that helps you avoid sliding on slippery surfaces like Tundra Man’s stage which is covered in ice. It’s a huge help as you start learning the game.
Capcom did a great job with Mega Man 11, you can tell they put their game in the hands of people who both enjoy and know the game very well. I had one major complain about the game and two minor, my major complaint is the lack of Proto Man and Bass from the game, two characters that honestly belong in the main story in some capacity but chances are we will see them down the line as DLC add-ons. My minor complaint being the story mode of the game which is rather simple and boring but then again I never played the game for the story but I did quite like the final cutscene of the game which is thanks to the voice acting. That’s right, Mega Man 11 features voice acting in both English and Japanese and I have to say I was very impressed with the English voice acting. Ben Diskin (Joseph Joestar, Nigel Uno, Young Xehanort) does a great job as Mega Man which I am grateful after the horrors that was Mega Man 8.
For $30 you get a standard Mega Man game that is well polished and a lot of fun, even after you complete the main game you can take on various challenges to keep you busy although some of them can be a lot worse than the actual game. Now, let’s just hope it won’t take Capcom another 10 years to release a new Mega Man game, maybe we can also get a new Mega Man X game?