Mega Man 11 is a Triumphant Return for the Blue Bomber

first_imgSubscribe and watch’s live Let’s Plays every Friday at 3 PM EST over on Facebook and Twitch.TV! Purchase Mega Man X Legacy CollectionLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Capcom has done much to win over fans in the past couple of years. From new titles like Resident Evil 7, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Monster Hunter: World, and all of the classic anthologies, the legendary developer is on a roll. To that end, it’s fitting that the company is finally resurrecting its former mascot, Mega Man, with a brand-new game. Mega Man 11 is a return to form for the long-running series. Not only does it honor the past, but it also lays down a solid foundation for the future. Mega Man 11 is the best video game comeback story of 2018.Mega Man 11 contains everything the series is known for. This means intricately designed stages which test one’s platforming and shooting skills, challenging robot masters to defeat, and unique weapons obtained from the masters. The overall package has a decidedly modern look, but has the core mechanics fans have come to love. Like I said in my preview, Mega Man 11 is the Mega Man sequel we deserve.As with the past ten installments, the story of Mega Man 11 centers on the Blue Bomber stopping the evil machinations of Dr. Wily. The not-so-good doctor has once again reprogrammed otherwise peaceful robots into killer machines and sets them loose to wreak havoc on the world. The big difference this time is that each robot master uses the doctor’s experimental Double Gear system, which makes them faster and stronger. In order to stop these enhanced androids, Mega Man must also utilize this unstable system to augment his own abilities.While simplistic, I enjoyed the slightly greater emphasis on story. We actually get to see Dr. Wily and Dr. Light during their college days as they debate the merits of the Double Gear system. The game also contains a number of short cutscenes that help move the story along. If you wish, you can skip all these and commence with the shooting and the jumping, but I appreciate that Mega Man 11 has more story than usual.Mega Man games are notorious for their extreme levels of difficulty and Mega Man 11 is no exception. Normal and Superhero difficulties will test all of your shooting and platforming skills. Despite the challenge, the game isn’t unfair. After playing through each level enough times, you’ll learn how to avoid environmental hazards and enemy attacks. This isn’t to say you won’t experience your fair share of unexpected deaths. You’re going to die, a lot. But with enough time and patience, players will find the best way to reach the bosses relatively unscathed.Newcomers or those who haven’t played Mega Man in years can choose between Beginner and Casual difficulties. Beginner is tailor-made for folks who aren’t too familiar with platforming games. Enemies die quicker and it is impossible to die from falling into a bottomless pit or landing on spikes. There’s a little bit of challenge, but nothing overwhelming. This mode is for those who just want to have fun. Casual difficulty ramps things up. Enemies don’t die as quickly, pits and spikes kill instantly, and lives are finite. Despite bearing the “casual” moniker, this difficulty still demands a high degree of skill. If you want to make things even easier, you can purchase power-ups like extra lives and E-tanks from the in-game store with bolts found in each level.Mega Man 11‘s boss battles retain the rock/paper/scissors system the series is known for. Each robot master is weak to a specific weapon from another robot master. Figuring out which weapons work best against the bosses is half the fun of playing Mega Man. Though bosses have specific weapon weaknesses, players can defeat all of them with the standard Buster Cannon. This isn’t easy, since Mega Man’s trusty weapon does minimal damage to most bosses, but it is possible. Boss battles are truly epic, and go through several phases. Just when you’re used to its pattern, the boss will switch things up mid-battle. Some of these fights can get a bit tedious (and cheap), but for the most part, boss battles are a highlight.The Double Gear system alters the way the actual game functions. Players can ignore it if they want, but Double Gear is a welcome addition to the series. This mechanic lets Mega Man temporarily slow time down or enhance the power of his attacks. The system complements the core gameplay nicely and gives users more options during tricky platforming sections and enemy encounters. When close to death, Mega Man can initiate the Double Gear Technique which simultaneously boosts his firepower and slows down time for a short while. However, doing this leaves him weak afterward. The Double Gear system is a natural addition to Mega Man’s arsenal and one players will appreciate having.Outside of the core game, there’s a selection of challenges for players to complete in Extras. These range from completing stages as quickly as possible, using a minimal amount of jumps and buster shots, collecting items, a boss rush mode, and more. You can see how well you’ve done compared to others in the leaderboard. The Gallery shows you all of the enemies and bosses. Each has a brief bio, and bosses have audio samples to listen to. There isn’t a whole lot regarding extras, but the challenges alone should add additional hours of playtime.The last two Mega Man games returned to the 8-bit graphics and sounds of the NES era. For Mega Man 11, the developers went with a modern-day visual and audio presentation. At the same time, they didn’t want to veer too far from what players are used to. To that effect, the game employs a 2.5D art style. Levels and characters are polygonal, but the gameplay is 2D. Despite the enhanced graphics, it still very much looks like a Mega Man game should. The added lighting and environmental effects serve to enhance the relatively simple art style. Besides Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8, this is the best-looking title the series has ever produced.The Mega Man franchise has some of the most memorable video game musical tracks ever produced. The soundtracks of Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3, in particular, are modern day classics. Unfortunately, the themes in Mega Man 11 won’t exactly set ears on fire. It’s not that the themes are subpar. They do a respectable job of giving each level a specific tone and feel. Sadly, they are rather forgettable, even after repeated listens.Speaking about audio, Mega Man 11 features full English and Japanese voice-overs. If you still have nightmares from Mega Man 8 and the later Mega Man X games, rest assured that the English voice work here isn’t cringe-inducing. Some dialogue does border on the corny side though, especially the pun-tastic lines from the robot masters. Most of the time, the voice work is top notch. I’m sure some may not want any kind of voice work in Mega Man, but I think it makes the characters feel more believable and endearing.While I enjoyed the imaginative level design, I wasn’t a fan of how long they take to complete. These are easily the longest levels in Mega Man history. Just when you think you’re near the end, you realize you’re not even halfway finished. If you’re playing on Normal or Superhero, checkpoints are few and far between. Levels do not feel as long after subsequent playthroughs, though. You’ll learn how to navigate each in the quickest, most optimal way possible. But the fact remains that playing levels for the first time can feel like a gauntlet of never-ending challenges. It’s possible some players will love the extended levels. They definitely help expand the game time. If you’re like me, you’ll wish for the brevity of the classic levels.Mega Man is one of the most important characters in video game history and it’s great to see him return in such a fantastic new game. As the success of the Mega Man Legacy Collections has shown, the world isn’t tired of the loveable blue android. Hopefully, we’ll get new games on a regular basis from now on. Mega Man 11 is 2018’s greatest video game comeback story. Stay on targetcenter_img ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President last_img

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