It’s time to take a look at the blue bomber’s last hurrah! After the first 8 Mega Man games there was such a long gap until the 9th game that I’m sure a lot of people had begun to lose hope in it ever coming out. Well, Mega Man 9 and 10 did eventually come to grace us with their presence, but they were digital only and really fell under the radar. That all changed once 11 came out. This time it got a lot of mainstream attention and a physical release. It’s not an amazing title or anything like that, but it does bring you right back into the nostalgic world of Mega Man and succeeds in what it was aiming to do.
The plot is pretty basic as Wily remembers a time where Light rejected his idea and decides to make it come true in the present. It’s a double gear system that makes a robot both stronger and faster. Light realizes that this invention actually is brilliant and quickly gives it to Mega Man as well. Mega must now take down these corrupted robots and stop Wily once and for all. Can he pull it off or has Wily finally surpassed all of them?
It’s a very bare bones plot and there aren’t any fully animated cutscenes. Mega Man 11 is definitely going for a basic approach so that you can just think of it as another installment, but with pretty graphics. The actual campaign is also very short as a result. It’s about 3 hours give or take which isn’t bad considering what kind of game it is. It’s just like the older ones in that regard as you fight all of the bosses once and then you head on to the final level. Each level can range from a few minutes to around an hour depending on how long it takes for you to beat it. So while 3 hours is reasonable if you’re a Mega Man veteran it may take you considerably longer if you are new to the series.
As mentioned earlier the graphics are definitely very nice though. The character designs are very bold and colorful. The stages really pop out at you and the soundtrack is also pretty solid. I wouldn’t say that it is particularly memorable, but there’s definitely nothing to complain about in that respect. You’ll be too engrossed in the levels to worry about it. The levels do have some really tricky sections though. I dare say that the levels are a little less forgiving than in previous games. It’ll take everything you’ve got to complete these with the 3 lives that you are given. Torchman’s level took me many lives and game overs before I finally beat it. However, the game was a cake walk from there.
The reason for that is Dr. Light’s Lab. After losing the first stage so much I had enough screws to buy all of the upgrades in the store. That includes double speed, longer lasting power ups, and much more. I also bought a bunch of beets which save you from falls and maxed out on energy tanks and lives. Hey, if it’s in the game then using it is fair game right? No boss can beat you when you essentially have 10 life meters. It’s also not like I actually needed it for a bunch of the bosses. Some of them you can still just beat up without those extras anyway. They all have patterns although they are admittedly harder to react to than in previous games because of the double gear system. These guys are playing for keeps.
I also think it’s a good thing that the lab was here because the levels definitely could have gotten frustrating otherwise. The actual levels are a little too long so when you get a game over and have to start from scratch it feels a bit tedious. I’d actually say that it would be more tedious than in Mighty No 9 which never got to that level. That said, I would still take this game over Mighty No 9. That one may have had the more expansive story but this one still has the better gameplay. Capcom did a good job of designing the game and making sure that the lab covered any of the suspect parts during gameplay. Once you’re fully powered up then you can really jump into the action.
There isn’t a whole lot of replay value in the levels except for gathering trophies. In fairness, that should take you a reasonable amount of time because there are over 50 trophies to obtain in this game. I’m sure that some of them will be very difficult as well because the Mega Man games are perfect for that kind of challenge. It’s always nice to have an incentive to keep on playing and Mega Man 11 definitely delivers on that front. There’s not much more to say about the game except that it’s a peaceful/nostalgic trip down memory lane. I definitely hope we do get more Mega Man games in the future although I definitely admit that I’d like to see more of a plot or at least a longer game in general for 12. This was like the test run so next time we need the AAA experience.
Overall, Mega Man 11 is definitely a game that I recommend checking out. If you start to lose a lot of lives in the beginning don’t worry about it. You keep all of the screws that you obtain even when you die so that means you’ll eventually have enough to buy whatever you need. The game is quite generous with the screws so you could potentially buy everything (Not counting items which aren’t unlocked yet) by the end of the first level. I recommend buying the upgrade that gives extra screws first. It’s a rule of thumb for me that I always buy the upgrade that gives extra coins/exp first since it’ll help you for the remainder of the game. Mega Man 11 may not be very ambitious but it does remind you that just having solid gameplay can always take you far.