It’s been almost eight years since the previous entry in the Mega Man franchise, which at one point was so prolific it bordered on market over-saturation. But now the Blue Bomber has returned with Mega Man 11 and hasn’t lost a step.
The series’ classic gameplay of running, jumping and shooting through eight selectable stages is ever present, and now comes with the ability to slide and charge your shots that were missing from nine and 10. On top of that is the new Double Gear system. At any point while traversing stages you can use either Speed Gear to slow down time or Power Gear to increase the power of your shots and copied weapons.
This mechanic seems like it would break the game, but the two gears share a cooldown meter. Use them too much and you’ll be unable to use either until they cool down.
This system is something the game very much wants you to use as the stages, while just barely beatable without Double Gear, are made far easier with it. The difficulty of classic Mega Man is here in full force and unless you are a Mega Man veteran, you’ll have an extremely difficult time unless you begin buying upgrades for yourself in Dr.Light’s lab.
Aside from the overabundance of sound effects drowning out the music, the game does suffer from two other flaws. First, the stages tend to outstay their welcome. Many times I found myself wondering when a stage was going to end or I died and lost a devastating amount of progress due to a lack of checkpoints. Second, there aren’t enough stages. While I know that is a strange complaint to have considering what I just said, it ultimately means there aren’t enough environments and what is here sticks around a bit too long. But what is here is a fantastic time.
Mega Man 11 is a great return to form for the little blue dude, and while the game does have its share of issues, it’s still a blast for the price that you’ll replay again and again.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.