Megaman is one of those who are no longer presented in the video game universe. He is the hero of the eponymous saga started in 1987 which has survived the ages by being available in a multitude of games, whether or not they are linked to the original series. It is moreover the latter which welcomes this month a brand new eleventh episode, breaking with the 100% nostalgic orientation that Capcom had married with episodes 9 and 10. mega man 11 promises old school brought up to date. So, promise kept?
It’s in old pots that we make the best robots
The main plot of the software revolves around the squabble between Dr Light and Dr Willy. The latter wakes up abruptly after having dreamed of an old quarrel between him and Dr. Light at the time of the university. Once, the two scientists worked together and disagreed on the direction they should take with their new prototype of sophisticated equipment, the Double Gear. Neither one nor two, the villainous Dr. Willy develops a new Double Gear and leaves to take revenge on Dr. Light. Obviously, this is where our dear Megaman comes in, who will also find himself in possession of a Double Gear, but a prototype version otherwise it’s not funny.
Megaman therefore resumes service and rushes in pursuit of Dr. Willy, but before facing him, he will have to defeat his servants.
Megaman 11 has been able to make an artistic shift without distorting its origins.
8 + 8 + 8 = 11, and there it is beautiful
Eight robot minions, eight levels, eight powers are what awaits you before the final rush a few more levels leading to the big bad megalomaniac. Each level offers a theme and an associated boss. For example, you will cross an area under construction while being harassed by Impact Man, a city caught in the ice like “The Day After” or even a world made of toys and balloons as walls. There is no denying, in Megaman 11 we see the country and above all, it’s downright pretty.
The 8bits are thrown into oblivion in favor of a modern and colorful artistic direction that works wonders. The emblematic enemies of the saga are recognizable among a thousand, the newcomers are just as friendly, while the bosses benefit from a design that fits perfectly with the universe. The animations are fluid despite the obvious old school imprint.
On the other hand, a bit more work on the backgrounds would not have been too much, some being frankly successful when others are really austere or even completely empty, although this absolutely does not impact the pleasure of play. Despite this it must be said, It is obvious that Megaman 11 has been able to make an artistic turn without distorting its origins.
Precursor to hair pulling
Difficult and/or demanding games have been back in fashion for a few years, and we often talk about Souls-like. This obviously echoes the Dark Souls series from From Software, which has been able to repopularize demanding games without concession.
But long before that, there were platformers that literally swarmed in the 80s and 90s and for some, their difficulty was diabolical. Megaman was one of those, demanding from start to finish with his millimeter jumps, his bosses who required furious reflexes and his level design as perverted as possible. Today in 2018, Megaman 11 achieves a tour de force by offering a monstrous challenge and real accessibility for neophytes who discover the license. How is it ? Well, it quite simply offers several difficulty modes to choose from before starting your game.
The level-designers had a field day and nothing is left to chance
Are you nervous or new to Megaman? Start the game in Beginner mode, your resistance will be increased, the enemies less dangerous and you will be fished out by falling into the void. Similarly, deadly traps will not push you to Game Over. By increasing the difficulty by a notch the damage becomes greater, no one will save you from the void, and touching spikes will mean death. These two modes are absolutely perfect for those who are not particularly comfortable with the big difficulties.
The others will turn to the Normal mode which offers an already tough challenge. Basic enemies are threatening and inflict more damage, while bosses will destroy you in about four hits. Finally, masochists, purists, challengers or those who got lost in the menus will start in Hardcore mode and that’s another story, because you’ll have to know the game like the back of your hand to avoid falling into the Game Over.
Please Capcom, pimp my Megaman
To make the difficulty of the software even smoother, you can improve your hero via Dr. Light’s Lab by buying different modules there to increase your equipment. Some improvements may seem trivial, but others are really interesting, such as no longer staggering after an impact or the removal of recoil during charged shots. All these little things will allow you to no longer die stupidly during platforming phases where enemies are trying to kill you, which represents about 99% of the game.
To this modular arsenal are added the powers of the bosses who act as new weapons and which we let you discover, as well as the famous Double Gear. With this equipment, you can use two very useful faculties. One allows you to slow down time for a short time, ideal for better understanding the danger, the other will increase the power of your shots and even modify their attributes, the effect being seen especially with weapons obtained from bosses. Finally, when your life is very low, you can use both powers at the same time as a last chance, very practical against opponents at the end of levels.
Go bald in three steps with Megaman 11
Step 1 – Dealing with the level design. Like his elders, Megaman 11 benefits from a mastered and absolutely infernal level-design. Arm yourself with patience and train yourself to have very good reflexes if you want to go through the game in Normal mode or higher, especially since lives are not unlimited, and a Game Over is synonymous with returning to life. square one and it’s not nothing when you see the size of the levels.
The level-designers had a blast and nothing is left to chance. The jumps will have to be precise and dosed, and the enemies eliminated intelligently since some can even help you reach otherwise inaccessible passages.
Step 2 – Being put under pressure. Don’t think about taking your time, you will generally be forced into the movement. Whether it’s a patrolling enemy, deadly lasers, or outright a firestorm, you’ll never be safe. As a result, it will not be uncommon to die here and there, giving the game a Die&Retry aspect, a true signature of games of the time. But where your nerves will be put to the test is during the sometimes very long levels which at times include mini-bosses to fight before rubbing shoulders with the real villain in chief/boss. Which means thatin Normal mode and above, you will use your lives to test the waters before starting a perfect runwhich is no mean feat.
Step 3 – Realize that you have to start over since you haven’t saved. Finally, when you are done with the main campaign, a myriad of modes and challenges will appear for the biggest scoring fans. Also note that it is imperative to save your game manually in the level selection menu, otherwise you are good to start your adventure again at each game session.
- Successful new artistic direction
- Find the feeling of a Megaman
- Modern and old school
- Demanding but open to all
- Levels sometimes too long
- Manual backup otherwise nothing
- We want more !
Back in force for Megaman with this eleventh opus. Although thirty years old, the series shows that it is not dead and that it has more to offer than a shovelful of compilations every two years. Megaman 11 is one of the best in demanding platform games today, and icing on the blue helmet, it even allows itself to be accessible to the greatest world while allowing fans to find a real difficulty well properly. Hats off, welcome back to us Rockman.