It’s been over three decades since Mega Man has graced the CRT TV screens of those of us who were alive back in the days of old. The good news for all of us who have enjoyed following the blue hero across many consoles and gaming systems throughout the years is that, in order to celebrate this significant milestone in the franchise’s life, Capcom has a new title in line. Mega Man 11 might just be what the series needs, a breath of fresh air that could revitalize the game(s) and introduce Mega Man as a standalone character to a new generation of players who might know him only from the Smash Bros. series or other fighters such as Marvel vs. Capcom.
You know the drill: you are Mega Man, an android turned battle robot, and your mission is to beat a series of eight evil Robot Masters using your faithful Mega Blaster and the abilities you get from Dr. Wily’s robots that you have beaten. You could go through the levels (which look and feel strangely thematically specific to the Robot Master you’re about to face at the end) on your own, or you can call a helper creature to aid you in a tough spot. Once you beat the stage’s boss, you gain his weapon and add it to your arsenal. At least, that’s how things go when the game is, you know, good, and judging by what we know about Mega Man 11 so far, it just might be.
Mega Man 11 is supposed to take the players back to the fun of the good old days, while moving the aesthetics away from the pixel art, 8-bit style of the previous games. This title will be in so-called “2.5 D” (think New Super Mario series) and feature 3D polygonal characters and environments (see the trailer to get a sense of the new art style).
Judging by the footage that’s available so far, the game looks… well… Not so great, but what matters is that it seems to be just difficult enough to entertain the Mega Man veterans out there. However, the difficulty might be lower than ever if the two latest power-ups that this game introduces turn out to be too broken and end up hurting the gameplay. The game has a unique feature called Double Gear system. It gives Mega Man two additional abilities: the Speed Gear which slows down time and makes it easier to perform more demanding jumps, and Power Gear that is used to overcharge the Mega Blaster and increase the power of other weapons at Mega Man’s disposal. To top it all off, these two gears can be activated simultaneously when Mega Man is at dangerously low health. Doing so will give him one last, extremely powerful shot, but also leave him extra vulnerable afterward. Here’s the catch, though – Dr. Light, Mega man’s creator, has been working on this technology together with the series’ main antagonist, Dr. Wily back in the day, and all of the Robot Masters that Mega Man (and his faithful companion Rush) will be facing at the end of each level are equipped with their own unique spin on Doable Gear technology. As far as the Robot Masters go only Block Man (who builds bricks) and Fuse Man (who is super fast) have been revealed so far. More details (and, hopefully, some more innovative enemies) are to be revealed at this year’s E3 convention.
Here’s to hoping that the feel and excitement of the previous games have remained intact. It has been more than eight years since Mega Man 10 has seen the light of day, and those of you who have played it know that it wasn’t exactly the highly fun mix of jumping, shooting, sliding (and some more shooting) that the games from the original 8-bit era have been.
Mega Man 11 will be released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 2nd 2018. A new Amiibo will be released along with the Switch version of the game. Keep in mind, though, that the Amiibo works with Nintendo Switch only. As a consolation prize, it comes bundled with stage select cloth (whatever that might be), a sticker sheet, and a Dr. Wily patch.
If you need more 16-bit style fun in your life sometime soon, there is the Mega Man X Legacy Collection which will arrive on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on July 24th.