'Mega Man 11' is flawed but modernizes the Blue Bomber with fresh energy

Written by: Jon Castillo

Games | Oct 10, 2018

Mega Man 11

"Mega Man 11" is a damn good game. It's not a small attempt by Capcom to recapture the essence of classic MM 1-4 titles. If anything, "Mega Man 11" is Capcom's middle finger to Keiji Inafune's "Mighty No. 9" which was his middle finger to Capcom. 

It's a long story. But basically Capcom ripped Keiji Inafune's "Mighty No. 9" and did things so much better, because they have the manpower and the resources to do so in their own time, without the fear and risk going out of business before the final polish of the game even comes out. That's what happened.

What similarities are there between the two? The aesthetics for one. "Mega Man 11" had bright colors with character designs that know how to charm. The robot masters are among the coolest presented here compared to basically every MM title. No more bosses that look like a giant tree-trunk or some random dude cosplaying a snake. The robot masters are actually memorable and pop on screen in style. Some of them are even jabs or homages to other media. Bounce Man for instance is a clear inspiration from Luffy's Gear Fourth "Bounce Man" form from the anime, "One Piece." Impact Man is a reference to combiner super robots and Blast Man, for some reason is reminiscent to Axl, a very much disliked third playable character from the "Mega Man X" series. 

Levels feel organic with a strong sense of geography in place. For instance, in Block Man's stage, you spot a pyramid in the distance, and the farther you go, the closer the pyramid gets. 

Mega Man is notorious for its difficulty. For myself, I've underestimated on how everything can go wrong in a stage. There's a lot that can happen, alongside a few tricky platforms. But for the most part, once you get used to the stage, they're an ease to breeze through. 

The Power and Speed Gears are interesting additions to the game. Power Gear allows you to finish off enemies faster while the Speed Gear helps you navigate through obstacles easier by slowing down time. (Actually it's making Mega Man ultra fast, but whatever.) While the game can be completed without using either Gears, they certainly make things easier. Take out the Gears and it's almost a generic Mega Man game with modern graphics. 

The Challenge mode offers a wider set of fun, pushing players to excel at the game. There's even a Leaderboard that shows you who you need to beat. It's solid competitive fun.

The game is not perfect, there are some flaws like how jank some of the hit boxes are. And "Mighty No. 9" still has the more memorable boss music. (Even the indie MMX-inspired "20XX" has a more memorable boss music). 

But this is a good place to start when it comes to re-igniting interests for Mega Man. It had taken Keiji Inafune and his Kickstarter for "Mighty No. 9" to make Capcom realize people still want good old fashioned platformers. What's missing in "Mega Man 11" are other possible opportunities such as Co-Op and Vs Co-Op, which were features included in the fan made "Mega Man 2.5, so there's really no excuse for Capcom not to include this. Also, bring back the level constructor from "Mega Man Powered Up." 

About the author: Jon Castillo

Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.

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