Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

Not so long ago, the Mega Man series celebrated its 30th anniversary, and Capcom released several collections on this occasion. In 2015, two collections appeared, consisting of licensed parts of Mega Man, and later the publisher remembered Mega Man X – two sets of four games were released on PC and current consoles. But this is not enough for fans of the robot in blue armor, so Capcom has prepared a gift for them – eight years after Mega Man 10, Mega Man 11 was released.

familiar formula

The eleventh part is so similar to all the previous ones that it seems that Capcom was not particularly worried about the opportunity to attract the attention of a new audience to the project. At a time when platform games offer more and more original ideas and try to stand out from the competition, Mega Man 11 is holding on too tightly to the past.

The plot is again added “for show”, the characters are again voiced disgustingly, and Dr. Wiley again steals eight robots from Dr. Light’s laboratory. This time, the villain has completed work on the Double Gear system and installs it in all the stolen pieces of iron in order to conquer the world and destroy those who try to interfere with it. Mega Man will once again fight eight dangerous opponents, and then complete a series of final levels and defeat the main “boss”.

He will not go on a journey with his bare hands – Dr. Light has an old prototype of the same Double Gear system lying around, which he donates to Mega Man. Its essence is as follows: at any time, you can press the gamepad on L1 to increase damage when firing a blaster or on R1 to slow down time. The first is not very useful for the average player – to be honest, I rarely thought about this possibility, at least at first. But the second often saves.

But do not even think that because of this system the game has become easier than its predecessors – in some places it is still furiously complex, and sometimes no amount of time dilation helps. Although it all depends on the chosen level of difficulty, of which there are already four. The first one is unlikely to be of interest even to the most “casual” players – it gives an unlimited number of “lives”, when falling into the abyss the hero is immediately saved, health is taken away very slowly. In this form, Mega Man 11 is boring to the point of yawning, but as a training for beginners, this mode will do.

Mega Man 11 game review

An animated syringe will instantly turn normal water into poisonous acid.

The third level of difficulty is considered normal, but for those who are unfamiliar with Mega Man, I would recommend the second. It gives out five “lives” instead of two, and the opponents are strong enough so that what is happening does not seem like an easy walk. And after that, you can launch the third one and try your hand at it – it is much more similar to the classic Mega Man than the other modes. The difficulty mainly lies in the smaller number of “checkpoints” – after death, you have to run through several screens again. Well, for the most courageous there is the “Superhero” mode, where there are almost no opportunities to heal and the “bosses” are more severe.

Through the thorns

One of the most interesting features of Mega Man has always been its non-linearity – “bosses” can be killed in any order. And for the victory over each of them, a weapon associated with it is issued: Block Man will leave behind the ability to summon a number of blocks falling from the sky, which is useful for eliminating enemies in hard-to-reach places, and Acid Man will “give” an aura that protects against several hits. The choice is made by pressing R2 or in the pause menu – Mega Man puts on a different helmet, and the color of his armor changes. Each “boss” has weaknesses – if you come to one of them with a certain type of weapon, it will be possible to destroy it in just five seconds. Nothing prevents you from consulting guides, but it’s not nearly as interesting as figuring everything out on your own.

The levels turned out for the most part not bad and have interesting features. When you go hunting for Torch Man, you will meet flying mechanical birds that drop fire drops from above. These enemies are easy to get rid of, but without them, the location will plunge into darkness – you will have to feel by touch where to go next. The level with Acid Man is filled with strange animated syringes that poison the water – if you let them hit right on the target several times, walking on the water will begin to lead to loss of health, but the liquid will kill the sticky spiders that have fallen into it.

But there are also disadvantages. The same episode with Acid Man is annoying with spikes located under water that kill the first time. When I replayed the first Mega Man X in the re-release, I turned on the “casual” mode solely because of the levels with this dirty trick, and even after 25 years, Capcom decided to add it again. I have nothing against the game being hardcore, but these spikes don’t make the gameplay harder – they just annoy and often force you to hope for luck.

Sometimes management fails. Sometimes jumps need to be done with pixel accuracy, and this is especially true for episodes with two beams with a small distance between them – if you get up wrong and jump, get ready for problems. Well, the area with Bounce Man, although it looks funny, upsets the physics of the character when repelled by the balls.

Mega Man 11 game review

Fights with the main and intermediate “bosses” are built on timings – you need to know when to jump or shoot.

To simplify the passage a little, you should visit the store available during the selection of the next level. For the bolts collected at locations, you can buy a lot of goods: extra lives, first-aid kits, an increase in inventory, and a decrease in recoil when a charged shot is fired. There are also one-time rescues from falling into the abyss and impaling on thorns – in case you know for sure that some area at some level will definitely get on your nerves. And this will become known only after several playthroughs of the game, and for sure you will want to return to Mega Man 11 either immediately after the finale, or the next day.

High replayability remains one of the hallmarks of the project – despite the long duration of some levels, several sections unfair to the player, not the most interesting set of additional weapons and other shortcomings, playing the new Mega Man is fun. Try different levels of difficulty, try to go through everything without slowing down time and other simplifications. Many streamers are already speeding through the game without dying, spending less than an hour on it and memorizing each location. It is interesting to determine in which situations which weapon to use, which “boss” is better to kill, how to get an extra “life” that lies on an unattainable platform.

And Mega Man 11 looks great – it’s neither “pixelated” nor modern-three-dimensional. The opponents are well drawn and animated, especially the intermediate “boss” sitting in the excavator in the Impact Man zone. When he tries to hit Mega Man with the bucket, he peeks out of the cockpit, and the rest of the time he looks straight ahead.

Well, the battles with the main “bosses” are completely exciting – the enemies are nimble, dexterous, fast and often require an excellent reaction. Well, or understanding when to slow down time and not waste all the energy of Double Gear – if the device overheats, it will cool down for several seconds.

But the music turned out to be faded – it sounds good in the game, but it is infinitely far from the best compositions in the series.

Mega Man 11 game review

Without the slow, some enemies are noticeably harder to kill.

***

As a result, Mega Man 11 turned out to be the real 11th part of the old series: it is as close as possible to what longtime fans wanted to see from it, and does not try to be like modern representatives of the genre. Once upon a time, Mega Man influenced other platformers, but now he is trying not to change the boring formula much. And there’s nothing wrong with that – the Double Gear system and nice graphics are enough to please fans who want to see an ordinary Mega Man without unnecessary bells and whistles. But even if we evaluate the game from this point of view, it still does not work to call it the ideal numbered part of the series.

Pros: The return of a classic that fans of the series will surely enjoy; most of the levels please with design and interesting ideas; colorful fights with “bosses”; high replayability; different levels of difficulty for every taste.

Cons: the old Mega Man formula is already boring, and the controls are not always convenient compared to modern platformers; a couple of unsuccessful locations and additional types of weapons; not the best musical accompaniment and a nightmarish soundtrack.

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