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Mega Man 11 Review: The Hero We Needed Eight Years Ago

One of the many amusement park themed rooms in Bounce Man’s stage


Dr. Wily has returned stronger and more dangerous than ever, the hero we had all known and loved from long ago had been missing for almost a decade, and just when all hope was lost, he appeared.

The video game Mega Man 11 developed by Capcom is what people have been waiting eight years for, and now that it’s finally here, it has exceeded my expectations.

Mega Man 11 starts by telling the story of a young Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, giving us a glimpse of how they used to work together as colleagues and friends. We then jump to the year 20XX where Dr. Light is giving a checkup to some of his recently made robot masters.

These are, Block Man, Acid Man, Blast Man, Fuse Man, Torch Man, Impact Man, Tundra Man, and Bounce Man, my favorite of the bunch.

Soon after the robots’ checkups Dr. Wily shows up yet again to abduct them and use them for his own evil plans. Mega Man is now the only hope that mankind has to fight against Dr.Wily, but this time he’ll have some help from the double gear system.

Mega Man 11 returns with classic mechanics like jumping, shooting, sliding and a charge shot. Mega Man controls incredibly and while his animations do look a little strange it doesn’t feel strange at all.

I’ve been playing Mega Man for almost 20 years and can say Mega Man is just as responsive as he ever has been, and being equipped with the new double gear system makes him stronger than ever.

The double gear system is a huge game changer, allowing Mega Man to slow down time at will, or power up all of his attacks.

While I had my doubts about the implementation of the double gear system, I found it complements the new level designs.

I had started with Block Man’s stage as he was the robot master who was shown off the most in the opening. I was greeted with an enemy whose weak point was constantly moving, forcing me to use the gear system to slow down time and destroy the enemy.

At this point I knew Capcom had the double gear system in mind. Many enemies that seem difficult to beat you want to use the double gear system to get an advantage and take them out.

Each stage pushed me toward using the double gear system more and more. The time slow down ability helped me get through the difficult platforming in Bounce Man’s stage and power gear made my specials do more damage against bosses like Blast Man.

The stage design complements all the new mechanics as well as having segments similar to the older Mega Man games. Conveyor belts that throw off your momentum, strong winds that push you while you jump and disappearing blocks all return.

Everything Mega Man does feels responsive. Every time you fall down a pit or take a hit from an enemy it is rarely the game’s fault. The game does an incredible job of teaching how an enemy functions before having you fight it in a more dangerous environment. It rewards you for exploring dangerous areas with health, extra lives and E-Tanks that can be used at any time.

The music in each stage isn’t as memorable as past Mega Man games but each song fits well with the theme, and gets you in the mood to jump and shoot your way to the boss. Progressing through each stage brings a new challenge but nothing is as special as the robot master boss fights.

Each robot master has his own personality which is shown through their stages, their entrances to the fight and their fighting style. Each one dynamically enters the screen by tunneling in through the ground or blasting through the roof.

Once defeated each boss gives Mega Man a new weapon, which changes Mega Man’s look, giving him a new outfit, changing his armor and giving him the power and looks of the defeated robot master.

After defeating all eight robot masters the game’s difficulty increases as you start to progress through Wily’s Fortress, heading towards the final confrontation. Bringing some delightful yet frustrating surprises along the way, the buildup to this final showdown is well worth the effort.

After missing for eight years, Mega Man has returned as if he had never left, filling the void many of us were left with. The future is looking bright for the blue bomber opening up many possibilities for more entries in the series. Mega Man is worth supporting once again.