Mega Man 10 Review

Mega Man’s return to 8-bit has been quite the favorable one. Mega Man 9 brought the franchise back to its NES roots, garnering fan praise and critical appreciation; it seemed to be the right move. By bringing these adventures to us in downoadable form, Capcom can satisfy fans of the original side-scrolling adventures, while still entertaining fans of the Battle Network series through handheld releases.

And let’s face it. The Mega Man formula is better suited as a downloadable game rather than a full priced release.

Mega Man 10 continues the retro throwback that started in 9, and while you may think it’s more of the same, Mega Man 10 deftly makes some changes that make this game a finely tuned experience fans of old school games will love.

Mega Man 10 opens with a wonderfully cheesy setup for the equally cheesy bosses you’ll encounter. A viral outbreak named Roboenza had begun infecting robots around the world, making them sick or turn violent. After Dr. Wily crashes by Dr. Light’s laboratory and confesses his innocence, Mega Man sets out to fight 8 new robot masters that are guarding the cure to the virus.

Strike Man mini-boss

From here, you’ll encounter the standard Mega Man formula: Fight 8 bosses who are all week to a certain weapon that you attain from another boss. Although the formula may sound the same, developer Inti Creates has made a few changes to the level design and bosses to produce a very polished experience. The levels in Mega Man 10 are shorter than previous entries and are better designed to keep difficulty balanced. They are no longer extended, hellish treks where dying either sends you back to the beginning of the level or to a midpoint with a daunting collection of obstacles remaining. They now feel like they contain the appropriate amount of content and are challenging, but not frustrating.

To balance the levels, though, the bosses are a bit harder, a practice I endorse fully. Their patterns are easier to figure out and memorize this time, but just because their patterns are easier on the memory, doesn’t mean they are push-overs. They hit harder and throw in a few tricks every now and then to keep you on your toes. If I was defeated by a boss, I didn’t feel frustrated because of an error the game made. The developers gave me the tools to triumph; I just had to use them. Boss battles have always been the focus of the Mega Man series and feel appropriately epic here.

If the challenge is too much for you, or if you just want to sit back and enjoy the game, then the new Easy Mode is for you and is a welcome addition. Here, the game places special platforms in areas that normally require difficult jumps and reduces the amount of enemies that are present in the levels. Enemies and bosses also deal less damage to Mega Man and he will dish out much more. Bolts, the currency used to buy items in the game’s shops, are more abundant, and the game liberally places power-ups to fill your life or energy bars fully. While the hardcore will balk at this (don’t worry, this mode is not reflected in the leaderboards), it’s great to have a mode like this for the more casual among us to want to just sit back and enjoy (or actually complete) the game.

Chill Man

After finishing the main adventure, there are a few more extra features to keep you playing. Challenges are back, but unlike the last game where they function as achievements, they are no split into two sections this time. “Challenges 1” is a set of 88 Challenge Rooms that test your Mega Man skills, similar to the Bionic Commando: Rearmed Challenge Rooms. Not all of the 88 challenges are available from the beginning, but unlock as you satisfy certain conditions in the main game. “Challenges 2” are the game’s achievements, with some returning from Mega Man 9, such as defeating all 8 bosses with your helmet off or finishing the game without taking any damage. I really loved the Challenge Rooms, and, they even teach you advanced Mega Man techniques. Lastly, Proto-Man is now fully playable from the start and offers a different experience than Mega Man. He can charge his blaster, slide, and block bullets and small projectiles with his shield. He takes double damage, though, and is knocked back twice as far. He also can only fire two bullets at a time, as opposed to Mega Man’s three. He’s more for people who want some extra challenge from the game, but he’s a fun addition nonetheless.

About the only complaint I have with the game is the music. The 8-bit Mega Man games have always had excellent tunes (with the exception of a few), and Mega Man 10‘s music can be filed under the “Meh” category. Nothing stands out like it did in Mega Man 9; it just doesn’t catch your ear in the same way. I was hoping to add Mega Man 10‘s soundtrack to my collection alongside Mega Man 2, 3, and 9, but it just isn’t memorable enough.

Mega Man 10 is a wonderfully challenging package wrapped up in a charming, 8-bit time capsule. It has its tongue planted firmly in cheek and delivers a ridiculously fun experience for all.


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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