The Mega Man formula hasn’t changed much in 30 years, which is a testament to the strength of its original concept. During our trip to Capcom’s headquarters for our recent Mega Man 11 cover story, we had the chance to play through two stages of the game. Here are the 11 things we learned during our hands-on time.
1) Same Mega, new look
Since Mega Man 9 and 10 both paid homage to Mega Man’s roots with an 8-bit inspired art style, Mega Man 11 is delivering a more modern anime-inspired look.
2) Pick eight
In classic Mega Man tradition, players will get to choose which of Mega Man 11’s robot masters they will tackle first, and they can choose from all eight robot masters right out of the gate.
3) Classic Mega Man action
Despite the new look, Mega Man 11’s controls feel as precise and tight as one of his 8-bit adventures. Mega Man can still charge up his shots and slide to quickly dodge enemy attacks or move from one end of the screen to the next.
4) Music to match
Capcom isn’t ready to reveal who is composing the music for Mega Man 11, but we can say that the soundtrack is full of toe-tapping tunes that will likely please old-school fans.
5) A worthy challenge
The original Mega Man games offered a challenge that was in line with games of the NES era. As the industry’s trends have changed, Mega Man games have retained their classic challenge. Mega Man 11 doesn’t break this trend. Thankfully, the action also feels fair. We died several times during a few sections, but we overcame even the trickiest platforming sections with a little practice.
6) A challenge for everyone
Capcom knows that hard games aren’t for everyone, which is why the developer is offering four different difficulty settings. We played on normal, which offered a traditional Mega Man experience, but fans who really want a challenge can tackle superhero mode. Players looking for an easier experience, or who might want extra platforms during tricky jumping sequences, can try the casual or newcomer modes.
7) A room with a new view
Mega Man purists might notice a minor perspective shift, which gives players a slightly higher view of the action. Fortunately, this doesn’t affect gameplay. However, the camera has also zoomed out a bit, which gives players a better view of the playing field.
8) Dressed to kill
Mega Man has traditionally changed color every time he equips a new robot master weapon, but Capcom originally envisioned that Mega Man would have a more drastic change in appearance. For Mega Man 11, Capcom is returning to this concept, and Mega Man’s helmet will change shape when he equips different weapons.
9) Slip and slide
Pressing down and jump at the same time allows Mega Man to slide across the screen, which is a useful way to dodge enemy attacks. Capcom hasn’t finalized the controls, but the team is toying with the idea of putting the slide move on a single button, which might be easier for new players.
10) Weapon wheel
Managing Mega Man’s eight different robot master abilities is tricky. In the past, players had to cycle through these powers on the shoulder buttons or jump into a menu, which was cumbersome. Mega Man 11 allows players to quickly hot swap between Mega Man’s weapons with a flick of the analog stick. All of Mega Man 11’s weapons are attached to a direction on the right analog stick, which makes swapping to your favorite weapon much quicker, and might even allow players to string together robot master attacks like a combo.
11) Game-changing mechanic
Mega Man 11 features an entirely new gameplay mechanic that will impact Mega Man’s moment-to-moment action. Unfortunately, we can’t talk about this feature, but we feel that it’s a nice addition to the action and helps balance the difficulty. The gear icons featured under Mega Man’s health hint at this new mechanic.
To see our entire month of Mega Man 11 coverage, click in the banner below and bookmark our hub. We’ll have several stories to add to it in the coming days and weeks.