Mega Man 11 comes out 8 years after its previous title and brings with it intense sense of nostalgia in a game that has just ever so slightly been updated to reflect the 2018 sensibilities.
The Mega Man franchise has seen 10 games in 31 years, with the newest coming out after an 8-year long wait. The Mega Man series has for the most part maintained a very consistent look and feel, along with very little changing in the way of how the game is played. When the original game launched on NES, the controller only had two buttons and as such, all Mega Man games were developed with that constraint. However, Mega Man 11 has been updated to the modern times in some regards, making use of the extra buttons not just on the console controllers, but also PC keyboards. Let’s take a look if the return of the classic is worth much of the hype.
The story of Mega Man 11 finds its beginnings when Dr. Wily manages to finish his age-old research which gives birth to the Double Gear System that dramatically boosts the performance of Robots. However, when he and Dr. Light were in college together, work on the Double Gear system was put to an end at the insistence of Dr. Light, who said that the Double Gear system was rather dangerous, thus putting an end to Dr. Wily’s dreams, and sparking his rage. After years, Wily figures out how to complete his Double Gear system and eventually kidnaps 8 of Dr. Light’s robots, transforming them using the Double Gear system into beasts of great power, but all under the control of Wily. After Wily’s fiendish act, Dr. Light decides to install the Double Gear System on Mega Man in order to make him strong enough to set things right, and so, the journey begins.
Game Play and the Double Gear System
Bringing Mega Man to life in 2018 meant that Capcom would need to make some changes at the very least. They decided to take on the one constant of the game; the fighting mechanics. While Mega Man throughout his career has been able to jump, duck and shoot, we now have the Double Gear system, a name you must now be very familiar with. The two gears in question are the Speed and Power gears. The former makes you move so fast that time appears to slow down while the latter allows Mega Man to unleash a more powerful mega shot than he normally can. The downside is, only one gear can be used at a time and they are both timed abilities, meaning there is a cooldown period between uses.
The Double Gear system is by far the largest deviation from the previous Mega Man games. In terms of controls, the game is best played with the D-Pad instead of the joysticks. The gameplay is fast, and many portions of every level require incredibly fast reflexes. There are bound to be some areas in each level that will be incredibly frustrating, but the only way forward would be to keep at it.
If you’re familiar with Mega Man games, then it wouldn’t be news to you that players can choose which boss they’d want to take on first. Defeating each boss gives Mega Man a new weapon, making the order in which each level is played important. Each boss’s weapon drops can be used against another and hence, a wrong choice could also make it much, much harder to take down these over-grown, excessively powerful robots. Each of the bosses is also susceptible to one gear in particular, but we’re not going to give that away and ruin the fun for you.
Part of Mega Man’s charm was the 2D visual aesthetic that had become synonymous with the franchise. With Mega Man 11, the visuals get a new treatment, this time, adding some depth and separation to the elements on screen. While most of the game still feels fairly 2D, active elements have some separation visually from the background elements, giving the game a more…2.5D feel. Surprisingly, Capcom has not gone overboard to modernize the visuals of the game and that is in many ways a good thing. Mega Man has had a very signature look over the years and for Mega Man 11 to retain that is definitely something fans of the franchise can appreciate. For those who are new to the game, it may appear to be a more cartoon-ish style of artwork, but in no way are you going to feel short changed on the visual experience as all elements of the game are very well polished and finished.
The Soundtrack of Mega Man 11 seems to have received the least amount of effort. For a game 8 years in the making, the audio experience could have been more impactful. While playing the game, the score or the most part just disappears into the background and the auditory experience is mostly dominated by the sound effects of the blaster going off, or the sound made by all the robots and traps that are out to get you.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Price: Rs. 2499 (Steam), Rs. 2750
Mega Man 11 – The Bottomline
Mega Man 11 sees Capcom stick to the roots of what Mega Man is in terms of visuals and game play. The company didn’t release the game as a standard 2D platformer, but instead brought some freshness to the visual treatment to Mega Man 11. What’s more is that the Campaign isn’t all there is to the game, but you also get multiple timed challenges as well, which should keep you occupied for hours. There’s definitely hours of fun and frustration here and plenty more to justify the Rs 2750 price tag for the game.
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