Published on June 5th, 2018 | by Zorbz
Megaman 11 Preview
Hey Guys, welcome to a special Gamebug preview. Trixanne and myself were fortunate enough to sit down and try out a demo build of the upcoming Megaman 11.
So first things first, the Megaman franchise is celebrating its 30th anniversary, yes you read that right, 30 years of Megaman games ranging from the NES all the way now to current platforms. Megaman has become a truly iconic character beloved by fans worldwide and it’s this love from the fans that the series is still running and producing quality titles.
That sweet nostalgic layout
Now myself and Trixanne were able to sit down and play a PS4 demo build of the game which consisted of two levels to try out, both ‘Block Man’ and ‘Fuse Man’ stages, and just like the games of old, the layout is setup exactly as you remember it with the boss icons surrounding Megaman so that you can choose whatever boss you would like to tackle first. For those of you who have never played a Megaman game, the premise is to take down the evil robot masters which have their own distinct power and ability and once defeating them, Megaman takes on their ability and can use this to make certain boss encounters easier, for example using a water based weapon against a fire based boss. Pretty simple in premise, but in execution, not so much as Megaman games are known for being notoriously hard, especially the NES entries.
Now we can both confirm that this new title is no exception as both myself and Trixanne had great difficulty defeating both bosses available to us in our demo experience on the regular difficulty mode, however for fans and new comers alike, there are some difficulty options to select from, which personally for myself was a relief because I always found the original games too challenging and much preferred the Megaman X series of games which I found a bit more forgiving. Lowering the difficulty down to casual I was able to defeat the bosses but it still provided enough challenge that it didn’t feel like a breeze. Difficulty is handled by how much damage you take from enemies as well as how much you dish out and the easiest difficulty known as ‘Newcomer’ provides some minimal challenge but with a big change, falling into pits no longer kills you instantly as you have a little flying robot that picks you up and enables you to control where you want to be placed whilst only taking a single health bar off your meter. This mode is perfect for new comers and also for people not familiar with action platformer games. There is however an even harder mode then the base normal difficulty for all those insane speed runners that want to show off their skills or also for those who just like punishment and stress.
Beautifully hand drawn environments
Mechanically Megaman 11 feels very much like it’s old school NES counterparts as you have your jump and shoot button, but you also have the slide made famous in Megaman 3, the charge up buster shot and you also have access to Rush, Megaman’s robot canine companion. Level design is also very reminiscent of the older titles, offering simple yet challenging layouts that are distinct from one another following the theme of the boss you are tackling. One main change though is the new Double Gear system which offers up a unique twist to the whole game with Megaman sporting two gears he can access during both the platforming sections and boss encounters. The ‘Power Gear’ allows the Mega Buster to be charged up to a new level as well as providing more damage when shooting foes. The ‘Speed Gear’ allows Megaman to slow down time, helping to navigate tricky platforms and also to help dodge incoming enemy attacks. Both of these gears are only able to be used for a short period of time before a cool-down icon appears, making you wait before you are able to use it again which offers a challenge within itself forcing you to think before using it. Both Trixanne and I felt that the gameplay was tight and responsive, which is very refreshing to find for an early build of the game and all the errors we made were because we timed something wrong and not because of poor design. The enemy variety was in full force too with enemies sporting their own unique attacks, making you tackle each opponent differently, forcing you to think fast and employ different tactics.
Visually Megaman 11 is sporting a new 2.5D design direction with all characters and environments being completely hand-drawn, giving a very nice cel-shaded, anime aesthetic as opposed to just a bland 3D model on an animated background. Trixanne and I both loved the art direction and thought the characters were very well designed with some of the backgrounds and environments really shining. One environment in particular that blew me away was at the start of Fuse man’s level which sported rows and rows of big electricity polls looming in the background, creating a very grim/moody atmosphere. For all its cute colourful charm, the nice mix up of this desolate power station really changed things up. Trixanne loved all the particle effects on display and being an animator herself appreciated all the smooth animation from all the characters and enemies on display.
‘I gotta fight that?!?’
A lot of love and care has been put into this new iteration and just from the brief time Trixanne and myself played, we both can’t wait to get our hands on the full version of the game when it is released October 2nd for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox one, Playstation 4 and PC.