The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Time machines are expensive. They don’t even exist, so you have that
working against your budget from the get-go. Don’t worry – Capcom has
your back. You don’t need to time-travel back to the NES era to play
the newest 8-bit Mega Man game; the tenth entry in the Blue Bomber’s
classic series has arrived on the downloadable market, and it’s packed
with even more old-school goodness than its predecessor.If
you’ve played any Mega Man game in last two decades, then you already
know the basics. Eight robot masters are up to no good, spreading havoc
and corrupting mechanical minions across their themed levels. The
bosses of Mega Man 10 are some of the best in the series, featuring
tight, rhythmic battles; the likes of Sheep Man and Nitro Man make for
some gripping fights, though Dr. Wily’s final forms leave a lot to be
desired. Diehard Mega Man fans will be disappointed by the ease with
which the mad scientist’s ultimate weapons are destroyed, but abused
gamers may find the softened finale a nice break.
Weapon selection in Mega Man games has traditionally been performed in
menus or by using the shoulder buttons of modern controllers. Mega Man
10 plays well across the board, but if you use the Wii remote, beware
that the A and B buttons have been mapped to on-the-fly weapon
selection. The game is hard enough without having to worry about your
finger slipping and firing Rush Jet at your enemy. Be sure to play with
a classic controller or nothing at all on Wii. To compensate the 360’s
terrible d-pad, I recommend snagging a Genesis-esque controller
designed for fighting games. As usual, the PS3 controller is perfect
for Mega Man. Choose your weapon wisely.
Each level of Mega Man 10 is polished to perfection. Capcom had
8-bit game development nearly mastered back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but
its skills have somehow gotten better with time. In Commando Man’s
stage, you’ll intentionally sink into quicksand to destroy entrenched
enemies. Navigating the fragile platforms of Chill Man’s glacial level
adds an interesting don’t-break-the-ice suspense. Additionally, Dr.
Wily’s fortress is among the best in the series, containing the most
satisfying mini-bosses I’ve ever dismantled. Even the infamous boss
rematches are a blast, as you finally get to deduce all of their
weaknesses.If Mega Man 9’s unrelenting difficulty held you back
from enjoying the game, this is the perfect entry to try again. Mega
Man 10 incorporates a straightforward easy mode; tricky spike pits have
convenient platforms floating above them, enemy numbers are reduced,
and robot masters pull a few punches. The real beauty of the reduced
difficulty is it curbs the frustration while preparing you for normal
and hard mode playthroughs.
The core game of Mega Man 10 is easily worth the price of admission
by itself, but there’s even more to sweeten the deal. Proto Man returns
as a playable character, but this time he’s selectable immediately
instead of as DLC. Mega Man’s older brother adds diversity to the
simple gameplay mechanics; he can charge shots, slide, and block
projectiles with his shield, but at the cost of receiving double damage
and shooting fewer bullets. His unique attributes require you to
rethink how you approach the game, and his vulnerability instills a
constant fear of death. Powering through Mega Man 10 with Proto Man is
as harrowing as it is rewarding. Mega Man 10 marks the debut
of challenge mode, a new feature to the series. Within, you can
complete tons of various skill-testing objectives, each entertaining
exercise emphasizing a different key gameplay mechanic. The simple yet
fulfilling tasks range from navigating perilous platforms to destroying
a set of air-themed enemies. I found challenge mode to be a fun and
refreshing distraction when I got stuck on tough parts of the main
game. After being pounded into the dirt by Chill Man, completing simple
challenges renewed my morale before attempting another assault.
Speaking of Chill Man, after reaching (but not necessarily beating) a
robot master, you unlock them in challenge mode for practice. Not
having to trek through long stages to try your hand at brutal bosses is
a welcome time-saver.Overall, Mega Man 10 offers all the nuts
and bolts a diehard blue bomber fan could want in a retro sequel, while
boasting even more content than Mega Man 9 with all its DLC combined.
The game's technical ambitions are modest and it's not a life-changing
experience, but it delivers nostalgic fun in truckloads. Franchise
newcomers who crumbled at Wily’s merciless hand in the past shouldn’t
shy away from this great downloadable title.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.