Review: Remember... 10... not X
Mega Man 9
did a lot when it was released in 2008. Designed with the 8-bit style used in the first six games of the series, the title almost single-handedly created the "neo retro" movement that has spawned games such as Contra ReBirth, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Dark Void Zero
and Excitebike: World Rally
. So it was a shock to no one to see Capcom go back to the Mega-well with Mega Man 10
Once again finding inspiration in the 8-bit days of the Blue Bomber's career, developer Inti Creates has stuck pretty close to the formula for this tenth Mega-adventure. A plague of Roboenza is sweeping the globe, making robots everywhere fall ill. In the aftermath, eight Robot Masters have emerged in an attempt to take over the world. Dr. Wily, pleading innocence, begs Mega Man to take on the Robot Masters because they have a machine that will cure the Roboenza. Of course, after the Robot Masters are defeated, we find out who's really behind the Roboenza virus.
Following Mega Man 9's lead, our hero doesn't have his Mega Buster or Slide move. But he can still call on Rush, Fliptop Eddie and Beat to help him throughout the game. Collecting bolts and using them to buy powerups from the store between levels also returns. New to Mega Man 10 is the addition of Proto Man as a playable character and an Easy Mode.
Even with some of these new additions, if you've played one Mega Man game, you've played them all. The Mega one runs and jumps and shoots enemies. He collects a new weapon from each defeated Robot Master, each of which is vulnerable to a specific weapon. That's not to say Mega Man 10 is a bad entry in the series, but the gee whiz "I'm playing a brand new 8-bit Mega Man game on my Xbox 360!" feeling is definitely gone.
In its place is another solid entry in the long-running platformer series that will have fans happy they spent their 800 Microsoft Points ($10). The levels and the Robot Masters that rule them are all well-designed, although most of them can trace their roots back to a previous game in the series. What's interesting is that many of the design elements seem to be borrowed from Mega Man IV, V
, which gives the game a bit of a different feel compared compared to Mega Man 9, which was inspired by I, II
. As someone who enjoyed IV, V and VI (and doesn't understand the backlash against them in the Mega Man community) this was a welcome surprise.
The game's new features, a playable Proto Man and an Easy Mode, definitely add a little spice to Mega Man 10. Proto Man was playable in Mega Man 9 as a paid download, but now he's playable from the start and his shield, Slide move and Proto Buster make the game feel very different. The Easy Mode also makes the game different, but in a much more noticeable way. Floating platforms are added over spike pits, fewer enemies appear on screen and Mega Man can take a lot more punishment before he goes pop. A true Mega-fanatic can probably polish off Easy Mode in under an hour, but then there's always the (practically impossible) Hard Mode.