Mega Man 11 - MojoPlays Review

Mega Man 11 - MojoPlays Review

The Blue Bomber has had quite a ride, and while some of his latest games have been hit and miss, Mega Man 11 may rekindle the franchise' spark and show everyone that you can't keep a good robot down. Join MojoPlays for our video review of Mega Man 11.

Mega Man 11 Review by Jess Adel

It’s been 8 long years since the last Mega Man game, and in those 8 years, Maverick Hunter, Mega Man Universe, Mega Man Legends 3, and Rockman Online were all canceled. Also, there was such an evident hole left by the Blue Bomber’s absence that this happened… Yeah… But, in the end, it seems that all the struggles and wait were worth it because Mega Man 11 is a fantastic addition to the Mega Man series.

Like many companies have done in more recent years, this could’ve easily been a mediocre game where they use their Your-Nostalgic-Hopes-and-Dreams Card, promise great things, and not actually come through—Sonic Forces *cough cough*, but with this game that’s definitely not the case. A lot of attention and care very clearly went into it, even for the smallest of details. For starters, Rush has an assigned button for quick access, Charge Shots and sliding have returned, you can switch between Special Weapons with ease using either the trigger buttons or your right analogue stick, and the new Double Gear system is a cool addition to the game. Well, after quite some time of playing the game and getting into the habit of remembering that “oh yeah, it exists”, but eventually you do and it’s pretty cool! Before we get into that feature a bit more, let’s talk about the story.

Well, it’s an old school platformer series, so it’s definitely not the shining feature of the game but, not-so-long story short, Dr. Wily has a flashback dream about a project from his youth, the Double Gear system, and remembered that he was forced to pull the plug on it because while allowed robots to perform past their limits, it also put them in danger. So he awoke from this dream and decided to produce a new one with plans of stealing a bunch of Dr. Light’s Robot Masters, installing the Double Gear system on them, and taking over the world of course. But thankfully, back when Dr. Wily’s prototype was rejected, he smashed the Nintendo Switch on the ground and Dr. Light just so happened to keep, fix, conveniently remember exactly where he stashed it for all these years, and installed that prototype on Mega Man.

Overall, I find that the gameplay feels like a healthy mix of the original Mega Man series and Mega Man X, which honestly feels right. You can’t wall jump and do all the cool things X is capable of, but it doesn’t have the heavy NES Mega Man feeling either, it find just the right balance and speed for a modern yet classic Mega Man platformer. And for the return of a retro series so many years later, it truly doesn’t feel like a rushed game desperately trying to recapture its youth, resulting in clunky gameplay filled with weird glitches or bugs causing you to lose countless lives for something that isn’t even your fault—Sonic Forces! It’s a well-made game and it all just feels right. If you die with these tight controls, it’s 100% your fault. So in true Mega Man fashion, prepare to take the L, learn the lesson, and try, try again. And get good.

Speaking of which, if you’re one of those people who always found that the average Mega Man game is just too challenging for you, well fear not because there are 4 modes to choose from! There’s Superhard, Normal, Casual, and Newcomer (if you’re a scrub) so whether it’s your first video game ever or you’ve played every Mega Man game ever, everyone can find a balance that’s right for them. Also, as a fellow long-time fan of the Blue Bomber, I know that that originally there was only normal and difficult or no option at all so why is there a Super Mega Baby mode in this game? I can hear it already. “People are so spoiled these days!” “It goes against what Mega Man games are supposed to be!” Well, you know what, we gotta accept that the time we live in and that games are easier in general these days but at least Capcom gave us 4 options including Superhard! Are you a newcomer? No! So just don’t pick that mode, keep calm, and keep jumping and shooting to the right.

Wow, okay. The following sentence is really redundant. Please brace yourself. The Double Gear system has two gears… Meaning it has two different modes. The Speed Gear increases your speed so it can help you rack up a lot more hits on an enemy in a short period of time or it can help you out with more challenging platforming, which to be completely honest, I never found myself doing. I really enjoy the level of challenge that the game has to offer so I never wanted to hit the easy button and basically skip what’s fun about the game for me personally. Meanwhile, the Power Gear makes it so that when you use a Charge Shot, it actually shoots two, allowing you a more powerful punch. Pro tip for using this gear, charge your shot first, then activate the gear. Once on, you can always turn either Gear off by pressing the button again and save the rest for later or charge up another shot and reactivate it so you can use the ability to the fullest. Lastly, you can switch between the Gears but you can’t activate both at the same time unless you’re at critical health, which can drastically turn the tables in a matter of seconds.

Again, personally, I’m not a huge fan of using either Gears, but I can definitely see and respect how it’s a fun and interesting addition to the game. If you’ve only got the Mega Buster and you’re getting your butt absolutely kicked by the bosses over and over again, or you’re challenging yourself to a Buster only run, it can definitely come in handy.

Something that Mega Man games have always been good at doing and continue to do very well in this entry is great level design. Nowadays, tutorial stages or obnoxious characters over explaining every little thing is apparently the go-to way to teach a player the do’s and don'ts of their game, but Mega Man 11 doesn’t cave in to these too easy standards. They always present new enemies in a fair way and in a safe environment to allow you to figure out what’s up all by your smart self. And later on when you do get it, they throw a whole bunch of it at you and it’s awesome. Oh, actually, they do tutorial-mode you a few times in the game but the reason for choosing that way to present it to you actually makes sense! It happens when you first start the game so you can test out the new Double Gear system and each time you obtain a new weapon, and this is fine because they only last for a limited amount of time or slowly run out with each use.

Now, the level design of this game overall is just yes! Every single stage offers a challenging and unique experience. For example, Fuse Man’s level has a much more simple, go-with-the-flow design, so if you play smart and patiently you’re rewarded with an extremely satisfying gameplay experience. Meanwhile, Blast Man’s amusement park themed stage is a high-energy good time featuring extra aggressive enemies, a super surprising and fun sub-boss, oh, and lots of explosions!

As for the game’s bosses, you’ve got, Block Man, Acid Man, Blast Man, Fuse Man, a rejected ARMS character—I mean Bounce Man, Torch Man, Impact Man, and Tundra Man. Elsa? And each of these Robot Masters also provide a unique and challenging experience.

At the end of the day, Mega Man 11 isn’t just a great Mega Man game, but it genuinely deserves the title of “Mega Man 11”. It honors its NES roots while also being a well designed classic Mega Man platformer in 2018. Offering just the right balance of fun and challenge that should satisfy newcomers as well as long-time fans of the series.