MEGA MAN 11

Get ready to rock, man

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENT - @MrOs­carTK

All is as it should be. De­spite mov­ing away from the 8-bit retro-styled throw­back of 9 and 10, Mega Man 11 is whole­heart­edly the 11th game in the Mega Man series. And that’s no bad thing. Move from play­ing one of the re­cent PS4 ports of the clas­sic ’80s games to this one, and it feels the same, only smoother. It’s no easy feat to build on that through-line, and that’s the magic of Mega Man 11.

If you have any fa­mil­iar­ity with the core Mega Man series then you’ll know what to ex­pect. You con­trol the sleek, shiny blue guy him­self as he runs in two di­men­sions from one screen to the next, blast­ing en­emy ro­bots and nav­i­gat­ing tricky plat­form­ing chal­lenges. At first, you’ll get the choice to tackle eight lev­els in any or­der you like, be­fore tak­ing on a more dif­fi­cult fi­nal gaunt­let in the crazed Dr Wily’s fi­nal fortress.

Each stage is presided over by one of Wily’s ro­bot mas­ters, and themed ap­pro­pri­ately. De­feat­ing a ro­bot gives Mega Man its power to use as an al­ter­na­tive weapon, and each ro­bot is weak to cer­tain at­tacks. Part of the fun is find­ing your foot­ing, and fer­ret­ing out these new weapons, so in a sense the first portion gets eas­ier the more head­way you make. Part of over­com­ing the ob­sta­cles is learn­ing their pat­terns as you retry failed at­tempts.

WIN­NING 11

The 8-bit pix­els have been moved aside, but vis­ually Mega Man 11 is gor­geous. Full of bright, vi­brant colours, all the 3D mod­els have a fan­tas­tic smooth­ness. And it doesn’t re­move that Mega Man feel­ing at all. Stages look fan­tas­tic be­cause of this, and are full of char­ac­ter – from Block Man’s mono­lithic tem­ples to Torch Man’s camp­fire trip gone hor­ri­bly, hor­ri­bly wrong.

It’s still tricky like Mega Man al­ways was, but it avoids feel­ing cheap in the same way those old games some­times could. A swathe of dif­fi­culty modes makes it ap­proach­able to ev­ery­one, with a new­comer dif­fi­culty level giv­ing in­fi­nite lives (the game’s check­point­ing is pretty gen­er­ous any­way), and in­fi­nite spike and pit­fall pro­tec­tors. Those can be pur­chased in the main cam­paign, to give you an edge if you find a sec­tion too tough.

The main dif­fer­ence be­tween this game and its pre­de­ces­sors is the dou­ble gear sys­tem, which al­lows Mega Man to tem­po­rar­ily en­hance his abil­i­ties with ei­ther a Power or Speed boost (which both use the same cooldown). You’ll need to make sure you don’t over­heat or you won’t be able to use them for a while, but clever use of both boosts can help you mas­ter tricky sit­u­a­tions, by ei­ther do­ing more dam­age or slow­ing down time briefly for tricky jumps and slides. And boy, you’ll need them for some of the chal­lenges, es­pe­cially if you go in for some of the bonus con­tent out­side of the main cam­paign. It’s a mega pack­age.

“IT’S STILL TRICKY LIKE MEGA MAN AL­WAYS WAS, BUT IT AVOIDS FEEL­ING CHEAP.”

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