Monday, March 22, 2010

The Blue Bomber Continues to be at its Comfort Zone... The Mega Man 10 (WiiWare) Review

Mega Man makes its glorious return to its 8-bit roots with Mega Man 9 back in 2008. Capcom made the right call going back to what made those games great in the first place being 8-bit rather than try to hang with today's crowd of using 3D backgrounds. While it is still as challenging as previous games, it still was successful being on the downloadable game services recapturing the nostalgia as well as bringing new players into the fold. It is no surprise that Capcom continues to ride on the success with Mega Man 10 continuing to stay true to the classic formula with a new slate of robots to defeat as well as messing with new weapons. Even though it is still a solid game worthy of the franchise, this one feels a little more experimental, but not as crazy as the later NES games. It is not the best one in the franchise, but Mega Man 10 is definitely not the worst catering to both casual and hardcore players.

Mega Man 10's story is pretty simple as a virus called Robenza is spreading making all robots sick and it is up to Mega Man to save the day once again even though Dr. Wily may seem he is not behind it at all, but you can take a good guess what happens especially if you have been playing these games. The core formula stays the same with another cast of eight robots to defeat at any order even though the recommended order this time seems more logical to figure out than past games, especially Mega Man 9. With this new entry, two difficulties are offered at the gate with the default normal difficulty, which is still the way for purists. The other difficulty is an easier one for casual players that think these games are still too hard. They are still intimidating to play with especially for newcomers, but those that have experience with classic games are sure to take on the normal difficulty as expected even though it still provides a decent challenge. Also unlocked from the start is the ability to play as Proto Man, Mega Man's brother, but expect the experience to be quite different as Proto Man takes more damage when hit, has the slide, and the charge shot ability. Those that want to spike up the challenge would go with Proto Man, but Mega Man is still the safe choice to go with.

As far as the core formula is concerned, there are still eight stages to transverse with their own separate twists such as a sandstorm in Commando Man's stage, the return of disappearing blocks in Sheep Man's stage, and incoming traffic in Nitro Man's stage. The level design is still fine catering to the theme of the robot, but it has been better in previous games. Only certain weapons after defeating bosses are quite useful such as the Water Shield, the Commando Bomb, and the Triple Blade in more situations compared to others besides using them to figure out the weak point of a certain boss. As mentioned earlier, the boss order is a little more easier to figure out, but it does not mean it is a cake walk. Enemies and obstacles are willing to ruin your experience in frustration especially in Hard mode. More replay value is there with time attack mode, along with online leaderboards and replays, various challenges that test your skills, and upcoming downloadable content. Even though it is not as hard as other games in the franchise, Mega Man 10 is still provides a decent challenge for any player, but the classic gameplay is still as solid as it was before.

As expected, the 8-bit graphics in Mega Man 10 still work really well as there is no need to spice things up. It is simple as it gets with colorful levels of varied themes as well as different concepts meshing together such as the sandstorm mentioned previously. The WiiWare version remains as the best looking of all the versions since the 360 and PS3 versions have a border surrounding the gameplay as well as a filter issue if you even notice the differences. The soundtrack is not as good as previous games as it seems like they were still experimenting with establishing different sounds to have new background music, but at least they are willing to take chances with it. Mega Man 9's soundtrack remains as the best since the NES days as it feels close to those glorious days compared to 10. The sound effects also remain the same for franchise standards.

Mega Man 10 feels like the franchise is playing safe even though it is still a solid entry. It is not as good as some games in the franchise, but it is definitely not the worst one. It seems like they are trying to take things in a different direction even though it retains that same classic feel. The increase in replay value with more modes to play through besides the main game does make overall package more worthy of the ten dollars even though there is downloadable content coming in a matter of weeks with new modes and even a new character to play as. For fans of Mega Man and classic gaming, this is still worth it to have in your collection as this generation of consoles still leaves room for these type of games on their rightful spot, the downloadable game services. I am still interested, however, where Capcom goes next with the franchise though whether they continue to ride on the success of this old school approach or not.

Score = 8/10

  • Retains the classic 8-bit feel from the gameplay and the graphics
  • New cast of robots to defeat and weapons to mess with
  • More replay value with various difficulties, challenges, and time attack
  • Still a solid entry in the franchise
  • Not as good as some Mega Man games, but definitely not too bad
  • Soundtrack could of been better

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