Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mega Man 10 Review

This may not come as a surprise to many, but I’m going to say it anyway; Mega Man 10 is ridiculously tough. Of course, that’s how Mega Man rolls and is probably why people like me keep coming back to it.

If you’re any kind of a Mega Man fan, or have at least played a couple of the original games, you already know what you’re getting yourself into. The tenth installment, like the rest of the games, offers a unique attempt by Dr. Wily for world domination. This time a virus called Roboenza has been unleashed which causes robots to go all crazy and it’s up to Mega Man to prevent the robots from taking over the world.

Standing between Mega Man and bringing Wily to justice is the standard eccentric cast of eight robot masters. When you have to fight against a robot sheep that controls cyberspace and electricity, eccentric is the only word that can possibly describe the situation. As usual, the robot masters all have a severe weakness to another’s power and finding that certain weakness makes the game infinitely easier. Easy though, as I’ve been saying, is not the word used to describe this game. Realizing this, Capcom decided to implement a brand new easy mode for the people who just can’t wrap their head around how game difficulty used to be. It’s certainly nice for newer players and people who just want to be done with it, but Mega Man was meant to be hard. Something is lost when running through a stage with sparse amounts of robots and platforms preventing your untimely death on the spikes below. Death, my friends, is what Mega Man is all about.

Putting aside my splendor for sadism, Mega Man is known for its pretty rockin’ soundtracks and 10 definitely delivers. Among my favorites are Strike Man, Nitro Man, and Blade Man coming in close behind. There’s a great deal of other excellent tunes and a lot of them, like Pump Man, are very atmospheric. What’s even better is the ability to play as Proto Man or Bass instead of the Blue Bomber. Both characters have specific play styles, like Proto Man can charge his weapon, slide, and even block certain enemy shots while jumping. Bass can fire in multiple directions, dash, and can even fly when combined with his dog companion Treble. And if you’re a real aficionado for DLC there are special stages and an endless mode on the way. All in all, there’s definitely reason to play through the game multiple times.

Compared to the rest of the Mega Man games, I can definitely say that the bosses in this one are among the toughest. Mega Man 9 had some very tough fights but 10’s bosses do more and follow erratic patterns which make it rough. Solar Man was the toughest boss to fight with the Mega Buster. I swear, whoever concepted that guy has no soul. I’m thankful though because the Challenges have been overhauled. Instead of finishing a stage and having random messages pop up like, “You’ve finished a stage in constant motion!” you can now visit individual rooms that challenge you to beat a boss like Solar Man. It’s good practice and lowers frustration since you don’t have to go through the level to get to him. Believe me, if you’d been through a level as many times as I have only to get your ass handed to you by the stage boss… there’s nothing better than those rooms.

Mega Man 10 succeeds in, once again, revitalizing the wonderful 8-bit formula. It’s everything you’ve come to expect of a series known for its rockin’ music and sadistic difficulty. Mega Man 11 can’t come soon enough.

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