Mega Man 11 celebrates the 30th anniversary of the action-platform game series with the triumphant return of Capcom’s mightiest robot, Mega Man. To save the day, Mega Man must battle the eight Robot Masters, obtain their abilities and weapons and defeat the diabolical Dr. Wily.
Dr. Wily’s Revenge
Mega Man 11’s dramatic opening cutscene brings new depth to the plot as we see a young Dr. Light, Mega Man’s creator, and Dr. Wily furiously debating the future of robots. In a clash of wills, Dr. Light’s vision of creating robots with independent thought triumphs over Dr Wily’s dream to build bigger, better robots with the aid of the Double Gear System. With their eternal rivalry reaching boiling point, Dr. Wily vows to one day take revenge on Dr. Light for quashing his genius. “How?” you might ask. Well, by taking over the world of course!
The adventure of Mega Man 11 begins on the fateful day of Dr. Wily’s return. Showcasing the unrivalled power of the Double Gear System, Dr. Wily breaks into Dr. Light’s laboratory and abducts his robots. Once meant to help mankind, they are now Dr. Wily’s Robot Masters in his campaign to conquer the world. Armed with the Double Gear System prototype, it’s up to Mega Man to stop his once mild-mannered robot brothers and put an end to Dr. Wily’s sinister plot.
A Brave New 2.5D World
Mega Man 11’s art style is a refreshing departure from the 1980’s inspired 8-bit aesthetic seen in Mega Man 9 and 10. It ventures into a 2.5D world, with beautifully crafted hand-drawn environments and adorable 3D character models shaded to resemble their 2D counterparts.
Old School Gaming at its Finest
True to the early Nintendo era’s unforgiving degree of difficulty, Mega Man 11 boldly breaks the mold of the milder modern action-platformers by reviving the iconic nail-biting gameplay of the classic Mega Man games.
The Robot Masters
In Mega Man 11 we see the return of the classic level select screen in which we’re introduced to the eight Robot Masters as they guard some of the most fun, unique and challenging levels to date. Each Robot Master is creatively themed from which their name, appearance, environments, weapons and abilities, minions and even their weaknesses can be derived.
The first of the Robot Masters in Mega Man 11 is Block Man, a rotund robot clad in gray bricks. Upon defeating Block Man you’ll receive his weapon, the Block Dropper, giving Mega Man the special ability to materialize four large stone blocks that fall from the sky, spectacularly clearing the screen of enemies.
The second Robot Master is Acid Man, guarding the level which could be the best example of how an environment can be used to one’s advantage in Mega Man 11. Acid Man’s level features enemy minions that spew acidic projectiles that can turn water pools into dangerous acid pits damaging friend and foe. If used correctly, these deadly traps can aid you in clearing the screen of unfortunate minions.
Defeating Acid Man unlocks his weapon, the Acid Barrier, that grants Mega Man the special ability to create a shield of acid which absorbs damage and shoot acidic projectiles.
The third Robot Master is the bomb-wielding Blast Man. This was by far the most terrifying and tortuous level of Mega Man 11 as, you guessed it, everything explodes! Upon defeating Blast Man, you’ll unlock his weapon, Chain Blast, allowing Mega Man to use floating bombs that stick to enemies.
The fourth Robot Master is the electricity-themed Fuse Man. Upon obtaining his weapon, Scramble Thunder, Mega Man can launch giant orbs of static electricity which can phase through platforms and boundaries, dealing devastating damage.
The fifth Robot Master is the adorable Bounce Man. Don’t be fooled by the pleasant appearance of his bouncy balloon fortress. You’ll reach new heights of frustration as you’re bumped and bounced all over the place, usually into deadly traps or enemy projectiles. After defeating Bounce Man, you’ll obtain the special ability of his weapon, Bounce Ball, which allows Mega Man to fire a volley of three bouncy balls, each ricocheting off walls and even enemies before exploding in a burst of confetti.
The sixth Robot Master is the fire-themed Torch Man. With my favourite themed level of Mega Man 11 by far, it takes place at a Summer Camp at night with adorably designed robot owls and bunnies. The pleasant platforming however turns into a desperate race for survival as a wildfire erupts and you’re pursued by a wall of flame. Defeating Torch Man unlocks his weapon’s special ability, Blazing Torch. This grants Mega Man the ability to launch huge fireballs into the air.
The seventh Robot Master is the construction-themed Impact Man. Upon obtaining his weapon, the Pile Driver, Mega Man will be able to dash through the air with a giant jackhammer drill and ram into enemies, causing them to explode on impact.
The final Robot Master is the ice-themed Tundra Man. Beautiful and brutal, he holds the strongest special ability cast by his weapon, Tundra Storm. Obtaining it grants Mega Man the ability to unleash a column of cold air that freezes and destroys all unsuspecting minions in its path.
Time to Power Up!
To face the eight Robot Masters, Mega Man will need every weapon and ability in his arsenal. In Mega Man 11 the brilliant new mechanic of the Double Gear System is introduced. This dual power-meter allows Mega Man to slow down time with the Speed Gear to dodge enemy projectiles and navigate through tricky obstacles, or use the Power Gear to radically power up his Mega Buster blaster and supercharge the weapons obtained by defeating the Robot Masters.
In Mega Man 11 support items like Energy and Weapon tanks can also be purchased using the in-game currency of Bolts which we’re able to collect as we play through the game. These support items come in handy when overcoming tricky platforming sections and intimidating boss battles.
Mega Man 11 is by far the best action-platformer of the year, and is a triumphant addition to the blue bomber’s adventure spanning more than thirty years. With creatively crafted and delightfully difficult challenges, we make our way through levels guarded by unique and adorably designed characters. Truly memorable in every moment, I recommend Mega Man 11 to all newcomers to the series.