New Game Review

Review – Mega Man 11 (PS4)

I'm blue (bomber) da ba dee da ba daa...

Life hasn’t been fair to Mega Man fans prior to 2018. The Blue Bomber hadn’t received a game in years, games like Mega Man Legends 3 had been cancelled, and the leading personality behind the series, Keiji Inafune, decided to leave Capcom in order to create his own studio.

Fast forward to 2016, when after years and years of delays and annoying press releases, Mighty No. 9 was finally released to really mediocre reviews, as well as being tarnished due to that pathetic “make the bad guys cry like an anime fan on prom night” trailer. I can imagine someone at Capcom looking at the complete disaster that Mighty No. 9 turned out to be, told his peers “hold my beer”, and started making a real Mega Man game for the 21st century. Thus, Mega Man 11 was born.

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Nothing like a bunch of electric traps and small platforms to remind you of the good ol’ days.

I’ll start this off by giving the best praise this game can receive: Mega Man 11 looks, plays, and feels like a Mega Man should. There’s no silly attempt to reboot the series’ staple gameplay like the sinful Mega Man X7 tried to do years ago. This is the same as always; choose between eight different 2D stages, beat a boss, get said boss’s weapon, use said weapon to defeat another boss with ease, then proceed to defeat Dr. Wily in a handful of stages that will test your overall gameplay knowledge. While the core concept has been maintained, this is not quite a full-fledged retro revival like Mega Man 9 and 10 were. This game still tries to bring new elements to the aging table.

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Instakill spikes. The bane of any Mega Man fan’s existence.

The main new additions lie in the gameplay. Mega Man jumps, runs, calls for Rush and shoots as usual, without any inclusion of auto lock or diagonal aiming. He’s got two new moves right off the bat this time around. Mega Man can either slow down time and enemies around him, as well as increase the power of his shots for a brief amount of time. Whenever you’re really low on health, you can even activate both powers at once.

This allows for you to experiment with various attacks and strategies way before you defeat your first boss. That also gives you freedom to tackle stages in more than one way, since you can even combo the speed boost with Rush’s coil in order to reach tall platforms and avoid some platforming puzzles, for example. You’ll also have the opportunity to buy some additional perks such as extra lives and a shield with Roll in between missions. With the exception of some occasional collision detection issues (I guess that has already become a series staple by this point), this is most certainly the best gameplay in a 2D Mega Man to date.

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It’s not in broken engrish anymore!

The game has also had its graphics and sound updated to a more modern era, but it’s not exactly wow-inducing. Mega Man 11 looks adorable and extremely colorful with a slight touch of cel-shading in the mix. The framerate is rock solid as well. With that said, I’m not going to pretend Mega Man 11‘s graphics impressed me. It was a good improvement, no doubt about it. If there’s one thing that Mega Man will never need, it’s ultra-realistic graphics, but this could have also been achieved in a previous generation without a sweat. One thing I’ll eternally praise on the other hand, is how the game handles the visuals of your main weapon. Remember how they used to look like weak and useless “eggs” in games like Mega Man 7 or 8? This time around, your shots look powerful and shooting enemies looks visually appealing. Game feel is everything.

The sound design is also good, but when compared to previous outings, it is far from being my favorite Mega Man soundtrack. I honestly consider Mega Man 2‘s soundtrack the best in gaming history. The voice acting is, well… the best thing I can say about it is that it’s much better than Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X7. Take it as you will, ladies and gentlemen.

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Ain’t that logo a nostalgia bomb?

Mega Man 11 is a blast, no pun intended. It might be a bit short, but it’s very fun and quite challenging while it lasts, as well as greatly replayable. This is a true return to form; a game that updates its gameplay with new modern elements without forgetting what made the series special in the first place. If that’s a sign of how future Mega Man endeavors are going to be from now on, I can sleep with ease at night.

Mega Man 11, without a doubt, makes Mighty No. 9 cry like an anime fan on prom night.

 

Graphics: 7.5

The graphics are cute, colorful and cartoony, and the framerate is always solid. There’s nothing here that will wow players, though.

Gameplay: 8.5

The most responsive and least frustrating the Blue Bomber has ever controlled, even if there are occasional collision detection issues.

Sound: 7.0

The soundtrack is good, but definitely not as good as the iconic tunes the series was once famous for. The voice acting on the other hand, is a bit too amateurish.

Fun Factor: 9.0

Without a doubt, it plays and feels like a Mega Man game should. It also adds new elements in order to bring the series to the 21st century. Mega Man 11 is short but very challenging and extremely replayable.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Mega Man 11 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch.

A copy of Mega Man 11 was provided by the publisher.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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