Review by SMuffinMan
"Mega Man continues with the series' roots!"
With the success of Mega Man 9, Capcom just couldn't resists giving us another awesome 8-bit style Mega Man game. I think it's fair to say they'll be continuing this trend for some time because let's face it, Mega Man 9 and 10 have provided some very well-received fanservice, and rightfully after Mega Man 7 and 8, which deviated from the norm with insanely large sprites and odd mechanics, while at the same time they could do the Mega Man X series just right, go figure. Capcom made the right decision with Mega Man 9 and 10 by creating games that resembled their NES predecessors, and here we'll be discussing the latter of the two games.
Story: 10/10: The game starts off with a cutscene of Mega Man catching his arch nemesis Dr. Wily's UFO resembling ship as it almost comes to a crash. A global pandemic has engulfed most of the robots in the world, even Dr. Wily's! Dr. Wily reveals that he was in the process of making a medicine-producing machine that could cure the virus known as Roboenza (an obvious mirror of H1N1, which is kinda cool I think that they took a bit of real life and spliced it into the game's universe). While Dr. Wily was still in the process of making the machine, his own robots attacked him as they too were infected, which causes robots to go mad. Mega Man must defeat the robots that stole the machine from Wily so he and Dr. Light can develop a cure. Mega Man's own little sister, Roll, has become infected as well, so time is running out! As Mega Man sets off to find the machine and get the cure, his brother Proto Man shows up and offers to lend a hand. Mega Man gladly accepts and the two go off together on a mission to save all the world's robots! There is an obvious twist in the story that every Mega Man buff will see coming a mile away, but there will also be another that nobody expected, which I'll have to resist from spoiling, haha.
Gameplay: 10/10: As I mentioned in the title and the start of this review, Mega Man 10, like it's renowned predecessor, Mega Man 9, is in classic 8-bit platforming style. You play as Mega Man, the infamous Blue Bomber. There's the classic stage select screen where you have the choice to pick any of the eight levels available, denoted by the boss' face of that stage, known as a Robot Master. You'll get a catchy intro tune before you enter the stage and you're off! The Mega Man series is famous for it's linear non-linearity. While the levels will be the same, you can go to them in any order you want. Upon defeating a boss, you'll be granted the ability to use that boss' special power from there on out. Each weapon has limited capacity though, and this game is notorious for it's weapons' low capacity. Some see it as a weakness, I see it as making you have to strategize. Each boss is weak to another boss' weapon. You'll have to figure out their weaknesses which can often depend on their element, unless they're a non-elemental boss, which can sometimes be confusing or make it hard to tell what their weakness is.
In between levels you'll be able to stop at a shop (unless you're playing the final stages of the game, as they permit no breaks to go to a shop, and if you save here, you'll start back at the beginning of the final stages). You can purchase various items such as Energy Tanks, which refill your life meter. There is also the Weapon tank which refills a weapon of your choice completely. There's also the spike guard which permits you to touch instant kill spikes once, which can come in handy quite often. You can even purchase free lives here. The screws in this game are rather abundant compared to Mega Man 9, which s a nice change of pace. You shouldn't find yourself too short of cash and you can always replay a level once it's been beaten if you need to collect more screws. As you do certain things in the game, you'll complete or unlock a challange. And there's even a challenge menu where you can play mini-levels or boss fights that require you to do certain things to complete the challange. This adds a lot of replayability value.
The game also features something that hasn't been seen in the classic series since Mega Man 2. That would be a difficulty setting! This makes it great for newcomers as there is an Easy Mode. Easy Mode often places large platforms over spikes and bottomless pits so you won't see yourself dying too often. In addition to that, they've placed full-life refills all over the game in this mode. If you're too used to that and it isn't challanging anymore, you can move up to normal mode, or just start with normal if you're a Mega Man vet. It doesn't quite hold the player's hand like easy mode does. Beating Normal mode will unlock Hard mode. I can only recommend hard mode for those of you who are die-hard Mega Man vets like myself and can handle it. And even then, it's still pretty rage-inducing. That pleases me to no end though as hard mode provides a legitimate challange by giving the bosses new attacks, making it so you take more damage, and there's less useful items around. In addition to all of this, you'll have the chance to play as Proto Man right off the bat instead of having to wait for the DLC to come. We had to wait for Proto Man mode in Mega Man 9 and this one thankfully just gives it to us. Proto Man plays a bit differently than Mega. Mega Man has not had his slide and charge shot since Mega Man 8. Proto Man, however, now has these two abilities. Also, when he jumps, he pulls his shield out and this will deflect and block enemy projectiles. Beware though as Proto Man takes much more damage when he is hit and he receives double the knockback. There is however a third character on the way with the DLC, Bass! It's been some time since we've seen him, sans a little visual easter egg in Mega Man 9. There will also be three special stages available and the return of the Endless Attack stage.
Graphics: 10/10: I know what you're thinking, "A ten for graphics that resemble 8-bit!?". And the answer is, yes. They did a phenomonal job in making the in-game graphics look 8-bit, while not truly being 8-bit. This is pretty obvious in the drawn cutscenes, but they still fit perfectly. Also, graphically, this is where Mega Man belongs, Mega Man 7, for instance, had large character sprites and the game overall felt really sloppy because of it. If they had gone the same route they did with Mega Man X, I feel that Mega Man 7 would've turned out much better. Thankfully they brought back the solid 8-bit style look where everything is in proportion and not a massive giant. This also makes projectiles a lot easier to dodge then they were in Mega Man 7. Mega Man is no longer a giant target and for this I am eternally grateful. Hopefully the classic series will continue in this fashion and I'm sure they will, with all of the positive reception they've been getting for it. Beware though as I've heard that on some large HDTVs, the game can look rather blurry.
Sound: 10/10: As far as the soundtrack goes, Mega Man 10 has a different feeling than that of Mega Man 9. Mega Man 9 tried more or less to emulate Mega Man 2 with a catchy soundtrack. And while they did a good job doing so, Mega Man 10's music fits it's atmosphere much better. Several of the tracks, one might even call epic. Two of them for sure. If you're looking for the catchy, fast, pop-ish beats that were present in Mega Man 9, you won't find them here. Instead, the music fits the stage. Either way I'm fine with it, as I love pretty much every song in the classic series franchise, especially the 8-bit ones. The sound effects in the game are pretty typical of the 8-bit/8-bit style Mega Man games. You'll still hear the iconic, echoing sound of Mega Man or a Robot Master dying. Proto Man's charge also sounds pretty unique compared to the old games where Mega Man can charge. I'm not too picky when it comes to sound effects in the Mega Man series though, I'm too busy listening to the awesome tunes!
Overall: 10/10: Mega Man 10 certainly delivers in nostalgia and fanservice while still managing to feel new and fresh. And if you're unfamiliar with the fanchise and want to familiarize yourself with the series, Mega Man 10 s a great place to start because of easy mode. The game is cheap as well, available for only 1,000 Wii Points ($10). The DLC, all of it combined, will come to $8, making the price of the full game plus extras a mere $18, as opposed to the $50 we had to pay when the classic series was still on the NES. It's cheap and the fun factor is great, bringing back the 8-bit platforming style that we all know and love. So if you're a die hard Mega Man fan or even new to the series, this game is a must-have. Here's hoping for a retro Mega Man 11!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/22/10
Game Release: Mega Man 10 (US, 03/01/10)
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