The fundamental reason what makes Mega Man 11 so lovable and proportionately enjoyable is the high level of nostalgia that it brings.
Seeing the blue bomber respawn as the latest gen title makes us gleam with joy but if you’ve never bothered yourself with the series, this won’t make you a know-it-all Mega Man fan today.
So if you’re done with Dark Souls punishment and mastered Cuphead, here’s a mild tonic to challenge your senses until the next Cuphead drops.
There’s not much happening in the storyline to hook you in. The gameplay is what you want to focus on. There we said it and now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the fun part.
In typical Mega Man fashion, this platform side-scroller is devilishly punishing but only till you beat your first ‘Man’ and gain some confidence to grind through the other levels and get your fingers accustomed to them. After I beat Blast Man, Block Man’s level took me just three tries. There are eight robots that basically look like variations of Mega Man with different powers and really nice character design.
From what we've seen, each of the eight levels is also a variation of each other. I was a bit disappointed by it because I expected more variation and originality from these levels. Acid Man and Bounce Man levels were slightly different but nothing that would grab your attention with awe. Compared to Celeste and Cuphead, Mega Man 11 has levels that would only bother your attention to get through with them, not to be completely star-struck by them.
A manly prosthetic
Power upgrades come from beating the other ‘Mans’ as the final boss in each of the levels. Aside from changing the colour on Mega Man, these upgrades let you use their powers too.
Blaster upgrades won from boss battles are nicely varied and can help you get through some tough situations when you want to compete in time trials after finishing the game. Blast Man’s amplified explosion after activating Power Gear lets us seriously damage bosses without having to pinpoint the blaster’s aim at them.
The useful upgrades are at Dr Light’s Lab where you can buy extra life, health refill and ammo refills. You need to collect Bolts and spend them in the Lab to purchase anything. Honestly, I didn’t realise there are upgrades until I got frustrated and decided to look for something else in the game because I couldn’t even beat one level at that point. After which it was just a matter of just getting till the boss and then figuring out his pattern, then stocking up on items to help you get through the stage and the boss. It’s one way to beat the game but we urge you to try without doing so. The victory feels that much more satisfying.
Geared for the new generation
You can jump, slide and blast your enemies to get through the level but that would just mean Mega Man 11 is a lame imitation of its predecessors. So this time, you get a new power called the Double Gear system which lets you slow down time and amplify your blaster’s power. You can activate both together but it’ll last for a shorter time.
The trick is to ration your use perfectly with timing. If you overuse it, it will go into cooldown before activating again. Slowing down time gives you good breathing space in between enemies and it made the game’s levels that much more enjoyable.
The 3D graphics are also pretty neat. We really liked it and those interesting robot character designs are perfectly vibing with the Mega Man franchise.
I think Mega Man 11 is a worthy buy for anyone looking for a challenging platformer and for Mega Man fans, it’s a must buy. The delightful graphics and challenging gameplay are some of Mega Man 11’s strongest attributes.
The satisfaction from defeating bosses is there but nothing that will make you remove your tee and run four laps of your living room yelling in joy.
That said, Mega Man 11 serves as a nice base for any upcoming Mega Man games but I expect Capcom to crank up the level design. I really liked when Block Man became a giant monster during the boss fight because that adds a bit of a surprise and even burns into your memory unlike the rest of the boss fights.