Mega Man 11, as you’d expect from the title, is the 11th main game in the Mega Man series and is available to buy for, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows – Developed By Capcom and released on the 2nd of October 2018, Mega Man 11 is a visually appealing, fun and at time utterly frustrating 2.5D side scrolling platformer; it’s really reasonably priced as well, with a bit of shopping around you can get it for about £20-25.
So let’s get down to it (Spoilers ahead… ish) – When I was asked if I’d like to review this game, I’d never even heard of it, I had and still have no clue about the background history or lore of the franchise, but I thought, “Why not, let’s branch out a little Clarissa”, and went for it and I’m really glad I did! The game starts out with a nicely voice acted cutscene that gives us a little bit of a background on the rivalry between Dr. Light and Wily (How this ties in with previous story I of course can’t say) – I really enjoyed this little cutscene and the voice acting in the game overall is pretty good! We see Wily waking up and having a lightbulb flash back moment, remembering an invention from his school days that he reckons he can use now to get one over on Dr. Light. Wily bursts in on current day Dr. Light who happens to be checking on all the robots that day, abducts all the robots and of course reveals exactly what his plan is, like all great monologuing bad guys do. Dr. Light of course knows what the mysterious college invention is, and he pulls out plans to help out Mega Man, and thus a new ability is born, Double Gear!
Double Gear is pretty simple as far as extra abilities go – One gear powers up your attack, and the other speeds up your movement (Everything else goes slower). It can be a pretty useful skill on some levels where you have maze-like obstacles to navigate through whilst being chased by a spinning spikey pole of doom… However the great thing is it’s completely optional; all levels are doable without the use of Double Gear, which adds a little extra difficulty for those challenge seekers out there. Speaking of difficulty, there are four featured – Newcomer (Which basically gives you unlimited lives and use of this cute little bird that picks you up when you fall, checkpoints every couple of screens and you’re way harder to kill), Casual, Normal and Superhero – Personally I think these difficulties give the game a wide range of accessibility for younger family members, given the franchise’s rock-difficult origins, allowing them to easily play on Newcomer whilst seasoned platformers can get a challenge by cranking up to Superhero and ditching Double Gear. This is a big plus for me! One important thing to say about Double Gear is if you max out your usage of it, it “overheats” and you have a greater cooldown period before you can use it again, so it really pays to keep an eye on that meter.
Something that took me an embarrassing time to find and utilise is the upgrade shop; in-level enemies will drop bolts once in a while and these can be used for upgrades – There’s loads of useful upgrades like extra lives, Double Gear upgrades (Such as a cooldown upgrade) and other power ups that can be super handy mid level.
Speaking of levels there are 8 main Boss levels and 4 Wily levels (Which I haven’t quite gotten to yet) – You can pick which level you want to start on, which I really enjoyed, and is, as I understand, a series tradition; as you run through the level there a couple of mini-bosses and then you get to the main Boss, basically an amped-up version of one of the robots that was in for a check-up with Dr Light. The Boss fights are pretty standard, you just have to learn the patterns to defeat them and watch out for the switch-ups. Once defeated you gain an extra weapon, specifically the bosses’ weapon, which can come in handy on other levels. The levels are really nicely designed, and each one is unique to the Boss character which I really liked – Bounce Man is my personal favourite, as the level manages to be cute and childish without being creepy!
+ Double Gear system feels fresh and natural
+ The choice of level order lends to replayability and player choice
+ Fair price point
– Some frustrating jumps
So what didn’t I like? Well, not a lot admittedly. The game can be frustrating, there are some really tight jumps and bits where you have to line up just so, which can be super frustrating, and there are also a few glitches that I’ve noticed where I’ve gotten stuck in an endless loop of difficulty… But that’s it.
Overall Mega Man 11 is a really likeable game. It’s visually appealing, difficulty can be adjusted to all gaming needs, it’s reasonably priced and I like the freedom to choose my own direction throughout the game – I can see this game becoming a firm family favourite, at least from my newcomer’s perspective. It’s not a revolutionary, new, game-changing or different platformer, but it is fun. Yeah there are a few bugs, but nothing that makes the game unplayable. For this, I’ll give Mega Man 11 a good…