First thing’s first, I have to give Capcom some huge credit for taking the leap that they did with making Mega Man 9 such a retro throwback game. In an industry where high-def graphics and motion controls rule the day, it seemed like a gutsy move to embrace the retro idea the way that they did. Since Capcom went so all out with the 8-bit styling for Mega Man 9, I naturally expected something slightly different out of them for 10. Instead, what I got was a relatively by-the-books sequel to an incredible game that still manages to be a whole bunch of fun in its own right.
Everyone knows Mega Man games are grueling. Gamers push themselves to the limit to master each and every level so that they can breeze through in no time at all. I personally find the level of challenge in the main series of Mega Man games to be perfect (the X and Zero series are a different matter). In this respect, Mega Man 10 continues the tradition. The game is just hard enough that challenges feel difficult at first, but are perfectly surmountable with a little grit and determination on your part.
In fact, it seems like this focus on “surmountability” was one of Inticreates' (the development studio) main tenets when designing this game. Everything in the game feels like it can be done perfectly using just your Mega Buster, a thrilling sensation if you like to really challenge yourself. In fact there’s even a Challenge for getting through the whole game without taking a single lick of damage. I don’t see how I’ll be completing that one any time soon, although it does sound like a fun goal to go after.
Speaking of the challenge modes, let’s talk about how much Inticreates got right with the feature set of this game. Out of the box, Mega Man 9 was a pretty barebones package. Thankfully, Mega Man 10 changed this by offering a whole slew of great content right from the get go. Not only are there a series of almost 100 different challenge modes, but that there are also two playable characters right off the bat. If you’re even wondering for a second who the other playable character is, I can tell that you’re no Mega Man fan. That’s right, Proto Man is available to service eager gamers as soon as you boot up the game. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m honestly a bigger fan of Proto Man than I am of his younger brother. I just wish using him didn’t feel like cheating (what with his shield, charged shot, and slide).
The core gameplay of the game is entirely reminiscent of former titles in the series. You run, you jump, you shoot, and you love every second of it. The platforming is incredibly tight and the boss battles are insanely fun. Unfortunately, although things are certainly tight in this game and there are definitely moments where the level design truly feels inspired, there aren’t any obstacles that are nearly as tricky as some of the harder ones in Mega Man’s last romp. Mega Man’s challenges constantly threw players for a loop and I wished that we could have seen more of that in this game. Sure Nitro Man’s level with the careening robot trucks of doom was pretty great, but as a whole, I actually was craving something a little more clever in its design.
Another area where it seems that Mega Man 10 outshines its predecessor is in the weapon upgrades you acquire from the eight Robot Masters. The weapons in 9 felt way too all-purpose. There was hardly ever a reason to use your Mega Buster during the levels, instead of just B. Bombing and T. Blowing your way through each and every stage. Mega Man 10’s weapon selection on the other hand is less useful except in very specific situations. Certain minibosses and enemies will fall prey to your vast selection of guns, but for the most part it’s honestly more fun to push yourself and use the Mega Buster through most of the game.
Aurally speaking, the game has the same chiptune-style soundtrack as Mega Man 9, except this time it’s less interesting. All of the bleeps and bloops are recreated perfectly from Mega Man’s 8-bit outings, and the vibe is certainly lively throughout. Unfortunately, the compositions as a whole are somewhat less than stellar, and some are downright terrible (Strike Man’s stage theme comes to mind). This is actually a big letdown for me, just because Mega Man had a freaking killer soundtrack.
All things considered, Mega Man 10 is another fantastic entry in the esteemed series. All of the additional content that Capcom stuffed into the game out of the gate makes it an even more appealing package than Mega Man 9 was last year. Despite my slight issues with the somewhat straightforward level design and the occasionally grating music, I had a great time with Mega Man 10. My only real issue at this point is that I really hope Capcom doesn’t go the 8-bit route with Mega Man’s next outing. While I certainly appreciate the design sensibilities of these past two games, I really would like to see Capcom move into the 16-bit era the next time they bring forth the Mega..
Note: This game was reviewed on Wii
Developer: Inti Creates Co.
Genre: Platformer, Action
Release: March 1, 2010
Available On: Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Similar Titles Played:
Mega Man 2 - Loved
Mega Man 9 - Loved
Mega Man X - Liked
Mega Man Zero - Liked