Today, I have something new for my readers: this is my first preview article. I will be covering my impressions from the Mega Man 11 demo. I won’t give this game a score, since the full game isn’t released yet, but I will let you know if I am looking forward to its release. I will try to cover the features mentioned here, and give a quick opinion of the game.
The Mega Man games are a tricky bunch. There’s a lot of nostalgia out there for them, myself included, but not all of them have aged well. While the basics of game-play in most Mega Man games are solid, there are the occasional Mega Man games that get the design wrong. Many that do are the more challenging games in the series, and most of the time, this means the older games.
The main series Mega Man games are the most susceptible to high difficulty and poor design with an otherwise solid foundation. They are generally more formulaic than the Mega Man X series, and have fewer features too. Mega Man 11 does have some new game-play features, which mostly includes the “double-gear” system. By pressing a button, you activate one gear. One slows down time, while the other super charges your attacks. Either one has a limited amount of time that it can be used, and can be deactivated so that the corresponding meter can cool down. In addition, if your health is low you can activate both gears at once to make Mega Man even stronger, but at the price of when time is up, Mega Man’s attacks are weaker for a while.
Oddly, these additions, at least in the demo, don’t add much to the classic Mega Man formula. You would figure there would be more enemies or obstacles to require the time slowing, or extra power to clear. These new tricks are most noteworthy in the boss fight with Brick Man. Brick Man has multiple forms in this fight, requiring you to understand the gear system well enough to get in more hits against him. It is sort of shameful that most of the rest of the demo doesn’t cleanly require or help teach the player how or when to use these new features.
For better or worse, the level design of the Mega Man 11 demo feels like a classic NES Mega Man game. It has some challenging set-ups that the game should polish some more, or leave out entirely. The graphics are OK, but not bad, and the voice acting is something that the Mega Man games rarely get right (in this case, it is almost as bad as Mega Man 8, complete with corny one-liners that fit the bosses thematic abilities). In the end, I am not excited for the release of this game. It feels outdated on several levels, and unless there is much more to the full game, I may not be inclined to purchase it day one, limiting my ability to review it on a timely manner.
Those are my quick impressions on the Mega Man 11 demo. What do you think of this game so far? Would you buy it day one? What do you think could make this game better. Tell me why in the comments below!