Mega Man has evolved a bunch of times since he first debuted in 1987. Each evolution has caused widespread panic amongst diehard Mega Man fans. Some of those concerns have been more justified than others, but I am happy to report that Mega Man 11 is amazing and fans of the series should start counting down the seconds until it launches on October 2nd.
I knew that playing Mega Man 11 while I was at E3 was going to be one of my highest priorities and I reached out to several Mega Man fans for the inside scoop on what they were worried about. The common theme was that the new anime-inspired art style would change the way that Mega Man runs and jumps. They depend a lot on muscle memory that has been built up over the last 30 years to pull off all of their tricks and strategies. Fortunately, all is well in the year 20xx. Mega Man moves and jumps just like he always has. He is also the same relative size compared to most of the enemies and obstacles that he normally is. Everyone will have to adjust to the new game, but I doubt it will take true Mega Man experts long to get there.
Don’t expect a carbon copy of a 30-year-old game formula though. Mega Man 11 celebrates what made the original games great while making some welcome changes.
The first, and most striking, change is the aesthetic. Mega Man has come crashing into the modern era with an anime-inspired, 2.5D art style that looks hand drawn. It looks gorgeous in motion and is a welcome change from the 8-bit pixel art used in previous games in the series. I loved every frame of animation during my demo and it was just Stone Man. His level was visually simple and didn’t have a lot of color to it. The other levels will likely be wonders to behold.
The second big change is the gear system. Mega Man has the ability to literally shift gears. Pressing either the left or right bumper will either increase your attack power or slow down time. Both gears can run out of power though, so you have to carefully balance those powers while traversing the levels and fighting bosses.
There are so many reasons to be excited, but I am over the moon because it sounds like Capcom is finally paying attention to Mega Man again. This is a big deal because previously they had ignored the franchise for so long that the original creator had to make Mighty No. 9 (and that didn’t go very well).
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