The Blue Bomber has appeared once again, thanks to Capcom, in order to stop Dr. Wily! This time, our antagonist has stolen robots from Dr. Light so he can implement his gear system into them and create powerful robots that bend to his will. Dr. Wily must be stopped and it’s up to Mega Man to do so.
So, charge up that Mega Buster, we got a mad scientist to hunt down!
Starting a new game, you’re presented with various difficulty options which allows you to customise your experience. This makes Mega Man 11 more accessible to both newcomers as well as those wanting the hardcore challenges which were presented in previous games. Choosing either difficulty option will adjust the settings accordingly so the game will either become easier or harder based on personal preferences. Those who opt for the original mode will be given a decent challenge and more intense boss battles. For those who are wanting an easier experience, the newcomer mode gives you infinite lives and doesn’t punish you for dropping on spikes or bottomless pits. It’s basically ‘Funky Kong’ mode but in Mega Man 11.
The formula to the Mega Man series is still present in Mega Man 11. Starting off, you have eight bosses to select from, all of which can be completed in any order of your choosing. Selecting a boss warps you to their stage which is themed around their ‘type/mechanic’. All stages are set up as a test of your coordination as you leap onto platforms and gun down enemies to progress to the next area, leading up to a mid-boss and then a final stage boss.
The 2.5D graphical approach to Mega Man 11 is perfect and makes the game feel much more modern while still having the classic charm. The detail with each costume change is amazing to see as it’s easy to see what’s changed, rather than just being presented with a colour palette swap. Along with the clean new graphical approach, Mega Man 11 also has a bass-heavy retro soundtrack that fits well with each and every level. The series always puts on a focus on the aesthetics and with this new addition, it still shows.
During the levels, you acquire bolts that are used as currency for purchases to help out. There are items to reduce the slip on ice surfaces, recharge gear, increase the Mega Buster’s energy output, and more. Aside from upgrades, there are also 1-Ups and energy tanks to fully heal your health or weapon gauges. Even with buying all upgrades available plus energy tanks, I still had quite a few bolts left over, so there’s no shortage on them nor are the prices for the items absurd.
A new introduction to the series is the gear system. Mega Man is equipped with a gear set that allows him to perform different abilities which include powered up attacks or even the ability to slow down everything around him. Pressing the gear buttons at the same time enables time to be slowed down while also having powered up attacks. It works along with the Mega Buster or with the enemy skills acquired from boss fights. If the player is having trouble with a particular jump, for instance, disappearing blocks, they can slow down time and be able to progress through.
The catch to the gear system is that there is a gauge that fills up while using either of them. Once it’s filled, a cool down period is required. On normal difficulty, the fill-up and cool down of the gauge was very lenient.
In addition to the Mega Man 11 main story campaign, there is a challenge mode for people wanting to really test out their skills. There is a long list of different challenges, such as time attack, score attack, boss rush, and more. Within each of those, there is an additional selectional to pick which stage to attempt the challenge on. If you feel like you are the king of Block Man’s stage, you can select his level for all the challenges.
Beating these will upload your score to the leaderboards and depending on your performance, it may also unlock the trophies tied to the challenge mode.
There’s a lot of brilliance to Mega Man 11, it offers many ways to progress and move forward. In my playthrough, I ended up beating the game without using any of the boss skills I obtained nor did I use the gear system. Using those skills on another playthrough, I had a lot more of a blast as the screen is splashed with effects from the boss skills.
Mega Man 11 is a perfect addition to the Mega Man series and one which any fan of the franchise should pick up today.