MEGA MAN 11
Get ready to rock, man
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.
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.”
INFO FORMAT PS4 ETA OUT NOW PUB CAPCOM DEV CAPCOM