Mega Man 10 – The PS3 Attitude Review
When Mega Man 9 was first revealed, the gaming community was left in shock due to the 8-bit design. After the game was released, it was clear that going old-school was more than just a gimmick. For the first time in years, fans were given one of the best entries in the Mega Man series.
Capitalizing on the success of Mega Man 9, Capcom has delivered another retro-styled Mega Man game. This time, the NES visuals and gameplay in Mega Man 10 are not as surprising as they were in 2008.
Has the nostalgia worn off or is Mega Man 10 a sequel that is truly worthwhile?
The year is 20XX. The world is in trouble yet again and it’s up to Mega Man to save the day! This time, however, Dr. Wily doesn’t seem to be the one behind the chaos. Instead, a virus called Roboenza is spreading across the globe. The virus causes fever-like symptoms and has corrupted many robots. This results in the robots malfunctioning and attacking everything in their path. Dr. Wily created a cure for the virus but it was stolen and Mega Man must get it back. This task is too much to handle alone, even for the Blue Bomber. Proto Man decides to assist his brother on his quest to save the world. And so begins Mega Man’s latest adventure.
If you are new to the Mega Man series, here is a basic summary of how each game plays. There is a level select screen with the faces of the eight Robot Masters that you must defeat. Once you choose a stage, a catchy tune plays and then you are warped to a level. After a series of hellacious obstacles and enemies to deal with, the end of the level contains a boss battle against one of the Robot Masters. After you beat all eight levels the final stage unlocks. There are numerous levels inside the final castle itself. The last stage forces you to face all eight Robot Masters again one by one until they are defeated. After completing this demanding task, the final boss is revealed and a multi-part battle commences. Mega Man 10 follows this exact tradition.
Each boss has their own unique power that Mega Man can learn after destroying them. The enemies in the game also have their own weaknesses against certain abilities. You can use this to your advantage by figuring out the best order to beat each Robot Master in. This will make their fights a lot easier and it’s fun trying to guess which ability will work best. You can also exploit the weaknesses of smaller enemies and even the bosses in the final castle.
You can choose to play as either Mega Man or Proto Man right from the start. Mega Man retains all of his abilities from Mega Man 9. He cannot slide and he cannot charge his buster cannon. Proto Man, on the other hand, can charge his weapon, slide, and block incoming attacks with his shield when he’s in the air. Even though it sounds like Proto Man should be easier to play as, that’s actually not the case. He takes more damage and he bounces back far more than Mega Man does. This can cause many deaths when on a small platform or when trying to jump over an endless pit. Proto Man also only shoots two pellets, while Mega Man can shoot three. This means that you have to be less reckless with each shot.
One new addition in Mega Man 10 is the ability to switch weapons instantly during gameplay. In Mega Man 9 you had to pause the game in order to switch to a different weapon. This time you can switch by using the L1 and R1 buttons. This makes the game feel faster as there will be less downtime. There are moments when pausing is more ideal. If you are in a sticky situation and can’t afford to scroll through the list of weapons, simply select the one you want from the menu screen. It works exactly how does in past Mega Man games. Just like before, using the menu actually can create shortcuts to use to your advantage. Either way, being able to use the shoulder buttons is a simple, yet great addition to the game.
Unsurprisingly, Mega Man 10 is a difficult game. However, the difficulty seems to be more legitimate than ever before. You will find yourself in less situations where you are forced to die if you make a mistake. The actual challenge comes from successfully overcoming the odds. There was never a point where the game felt cheap or unbeatable. Despite this, the game is still hard and you will die a lot, there is no doubt about that. If you really want to test your skills, try playing as Proto Man. His gameplay differences takes some time to learn. You have to be more cautious and calculating when playing as Proto Man.
Mega Man 10 has three difficulty modes this time around. You can choose to play on either Easy or Normal as soon as the game begins. If you have ever been intimidated by how unforgiving Mega Man games have been in the past, Easy mode was made just for you. Not only are there less enemies to blast through, but they are slower and have less complex patterns to deal with. The actual level design also changes when playing on Easy. There are a few moments when the game encourages new players to take risks, but for the most part there will be safety platforms at pretty much every bottomless pit. This makes death by falling nearly impossible. Throughout each level Capcom’s legendary Yashichi powerup will appear, generally after reaching the midpoint of a stage. The Yashichi will recharge all of Mega Man’s health as well as the energy of all of his weapons.
To further help newcomers to the series, there will be more Bolts to collect throughout each level. Bolts allow you to purchase different powerups from Dr. Light’s shop. The half damage powerup and Beat’s rescue ability can pretty much make Mega Man invincible on Easy. If you ever do fall to your death somehow, Beat (a robotic bird) will grab Mega Man and then you can guide him to a safe platform. The items in the shop are available on all difficulty modes, but the advantages are more profound when playing on the Easy difficulty.
After you beat the game with Mega Man or Proto Man, you will obtain their shirts to wear in PlayStation Home. The items are for both genders and they look pretty nice. Check out the gallery at the end of the review to see what each shirt looks like.
After you beat the game on Normal, the Hard difficulty option unlocks. This mode is absolutely brutal and will satisfy hardcore fans. There are more enemies in each location and they are faster than before with new patterns at their disposal. The Robot Masters themselves will have attacks that are exclusive to the Hard difficulty mode. These new tactics are no joke and they will require you to come up with new strategies. Just like on Easy mode, the level design also receives some minor changes. There will be more deaths to deal with since certain areas will now have additional traps.
Mega Man 10 also features a Challenge Mode that is similar to the one found in Mega Man Powered Up for the PSP. The first few challenges are pretty easy, with tasks such as reaching the end of an empty level. These challenges will help new players familiarize themselves with the gameplay mechanics. There are 88 challenges in total and they quickly rise in difficulty. What was once a helpful training tool for newbies becomes a test of patience and precision for advanced players. The Challenge Mode will keep you occupied and enjoyably frustrated for many hours.
The Time Attack mode from Mega Man 9 makes its return. Not much has changed but this mode allows you to choose any stage you have completed. Your attempts at beating each level as fast as possible are saved on an online leaderboard for everyone to see. Time Attack is a great mode for the hardcore Mega Man fan. It easily becomes an addiction trying to obtain the best time in the rankings. We imagine that there will be a lot of competition just like in Mega Man 9. There are actually three hidden Time Attack stages that cannot be unlocked through normal gameplay. It seems like these stages will be available as future downloadable content.
The in-game manual reveals that Endless Attack will also be returning. It will be available as DLC sometime in the future.
The soundtrack contains music from each composer throughout the series ranging from Mega Man 1 to 8 and even Mega Man and Bass. Unlike the music in MM9, this game actually has an original soundtrack. The music takes some time to get used to but there are many great tracks to listen to. Solaar Man’s stage easily features some of the best sounds that the series has to offer. As does each stage in the final castle. It’s only the Challenge Mode theme that tends to become really annoying. While the music as a whole isn’t as memorable as the tracks found in past Mega Man games, it grows on you and it’s unique.
Unlike in Mega Man 9, if you’re playing on a widescreen TV, there are borders that surround the screen in Mega Man 10. There are a few different images that are displayed that vary depending on the mode you’re in. During gameplay the image will feature either Mega Man or Proto Man and all of their special abilities. You cannot remove the borders unless you manually change the XMB display settings so that it isn’t widescreen anymore. The border is not much of a problem for Mega Man. However, Proto Man is a different story. His border is bright red and it’s pretty distracting. It would have been nice if the user could toggle the images on or off, but no such feature exists. It’s an unfortunate oversight.
So what’s the verdict?
If you are unfamiliar with Mega Man or have been put off by the extreme difficulty, this is the perfect game to use as an introduction to the series. Unlike Mega Man 9, which was very similar to Mega Man 2 in the way that it sounds and plays, Mega Man 10 manages to maintain its own identity even though its more of the same. While it’s not a drastic leap for the series, it doesn’t need to be. Mega Man is at his best when in 8-bit form and this game is no exception.
The music is great, the gameplay is as precise as ever, and there is tons of replay value. There are cameos of classic characters and even references to Mega Man X. While many of the weapons don’t seem as useful against anything else other than specific bosses, they are pretty neat. The final castle could quite possibly be the best in the series. There was a constant feeling of epicness that just didn’t exist in Mega Man 9. Simply put, the game is always a blast to play.
Without a doubt, Mega Man 10 is a must have title.
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