Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Mega Man 11 (All Systems, 2018)

I played this over two years ago and I'm just now getting around to doing a post on it. It's the final Mega Man game to add to the site! least until we get Mega Man X9.

Remember Mighty No. 9? This is sorta like an alternate-universe version of it. No Inafune, but honestly, it's probably better off for it.

Instead of political intrigue with an evil president, this game starts with backstory surrounding the League of Scientists. On the left is Young Dr. Light, on the right is Less Young Dr. Wily. In the middle is a sexy scientist...and also some lady.

Actually, Dr. Light IS right.

...Because his name is Dr. Right in early translations of the series. I'll show myself out.

Back in the present, Dr. Wily is haunted by dreams. Dreams of war, dreams of liars, dreams of dragon's fire.

IN A.D. 20XX


This game does something that none of the others in the series have done, to my knowledge: It shows you the various robot masters in their original, non-psychotic states. This set are all Dr. Light creations, after all.

Block Man is off to work in the construction yard, where his job is to whistle at female robot masters.

...except there aren't any. Well, eventually Splash Woman might flop past the yard.

More importantly than all of this, why does Auto look so sad? Someone should ask him how he's doing.

Dr. Wily shows up in his capsule to act evil.

He then proceeds to kidnap Block Man, absolutely ruining Block Man's already-nonexistent chances with Splash Woman.

Now that Dr. Wily has stolen all of our robot masters to turn them to evil, Dr. Light introduces the chief new mechanic of this game: The Double Gear system. This gives you some new abilities, like power shots and time-slowing capabilities. The latter is a huge difference-maker, once you get used to using it properly.

Time for Mega Man to swing into action! GET YOUR WEAPONS READY!

Your eight bosses for this game. They're diverse in terms of elements and whatnot, yet roughly all of them are callbacks to previous boss-types in the series. Torch, Tundra, and Fuse Man are your fire, ice, and elec bosses, respectively. Blast Man is your Napalm/Grenade Man style explosives expert. Bounce Man is a Clown/Spring Man esque buffoon. Impact Man is your roughhouser/melee fighter. Acid Man is your poison/slime boss. Block Man is basically Stone Man before he got buff.

In other news, the stage select music is incredible. One of the best in the series. I might even give it #1 overall.

Here's an 8-bit rendition of it.

Here's the actual track in this game. Just outstanding.

Speaking of Block Man, he's the Toad Man of this game. Pretty much the easiest first boss. As usual, there are any number of different paths through the game.

This is also one of the easier stages to get through. This game is -not- easy, so an easier first stage to ease into it is a must.

Once again, the music here is outstanding. This is going to be a recurring topic.

The best trick for totally gimping your way through this game is found right here in the first part of Block Man's stage. Run to the right, grab this bolt with Rush Coil, then jump in a pit and start over. Each time, you get quite a bit of currency, and a half hour or so of collecting this bolt over and over will let you buy most of the good items from the shop.

In other news, we now learn that the Mega Buster is solar-powered. On one hand, this means Mega Man is environment-friendly. On the other hand, it means someone found a military application for clean energy. That's one way to get it funded, at least.

Behold, the regular shots. They've got a nice glow to them. This is sorta an update along the path Mega Man 8 was traveling, with higher-tech 2D visuals. I prefer this to trying to get all cute with 3D like the later games in the X series.

Here's the charged shot. It's impressive, as it should be.


The backgrounds are so rad.

The Skynet Pyramid?

I usually like to leap through boss doors so the screen freezes mid-leap. Here, I blast the door instead!

Block Man himself is a chump, and almost a gimme fight compared to the other bosses.

That is, until he pulls a Zarbon and transforms into his beastly second form! Luckily, this is the T-600 to the Yellow Devil's T-1000, a primitive foe that still isn't too difficult to take down despite its large size. Certainly not a nightmare like the Yellow Devil is.

Got my first weapon. No relation to the Rocker Dropper of WWF fame.

Here's the shop. With all of those bolts I farmed, I can buy a few key items. If one is having trouble getting past Block Man, it doesn't hurt to bop over here and buy an E-Tank or two.

Here's some of what I got, besides Lovin. The Spike Boots are a MUST for the next stage...

...the icy lands of Tundra Man's domain. I noted in my Mighty No 9 post that some of the stages, especially the ice level, felt really low-rent. Not the case here. This is a gorgeous level.

It follows the old-school Ice Man motif of having a ton of small platforms to jump across and an abundance of spikes. The grip boots mostly negate the slippery floors and almost make this feel like any other stage, though there are still small adjustments to be made.

This definitely brings back original NES Mega Man vibes.

ICE MINIBOSS. It's a mammoth skeleton on a sled. The Devil's hands have been busy.

We get a particularly difficult section here, and I find myself really missing the wall jumping of the X series.

Tundra Man is actually weak to Blast Man and Fuse Man's weapons, so I'm doing this out of order. He's easily one of the more badass-looking foes in this game, but it was ruined when they decided to turn him into a figure-skater.

After getting the ice weapon, the next target is naturally Torch Man. Sorta doing this in order now. His stage is... a campground in the woods?

OH MY GOD IT'S ON FIRE. All those years Smokey Bear fought, all for NOTHING!

Another tremendous stage theme here. This one takes a little time to get going, but it calls back a lot of the desperate momentum of some of the great past Mega Man stage themes.

FIRE MINIBOSS. It's a flaming rooster. I don't wanna talk about it.

The nightmare was just beginning, though. The next area is pitch-black. And has pits. It's the one glaring game design misstep in an otherwise alright game. Who thought of this one? On a scale of 1-10, the game loses 2 points just for this idiotic stage. Thinking back on it now, there's probably a weapon that lights the way. However, even if that's the case, every stage should be completable without any special weapons.

Get through that and the game gives you this E-Tank... that you have to die to get. YOU INSULT ME, GAME. So far this is definitely the worst stage, like it was made by the B-Team. The music saves it.

Mega Man takes out his frustrations by blasting a bunch of tents. Suck it, campers! I bet the kids are "making out" in those tents.

Torch Man himself. I was briefly worried that this guy would be another Flame Hyenard, but luckily that isn't the case. Fun Fact: Flame Hyenard had the same voice actor as Mega Man.

A visually-impressive boss fight. Stop setting forest fires, asshole!

A look at the "Get Equipped With" screen. There's a lot of Fire Man in this design. I like how the weapons change your look more than a simple color swap.

Next up is Fuse Man's stage, an electric hell of power grid towers. It's like driving down the Jersey Turnpike.

This stage makes heavy use of beams. It's a pretty solid electric stage. The enemies and traps would feel right at home in an early NES Mega Man, much like the ice stage.

Normally these bat enemies are a minimal threat. Not so much when they're descending on you from directly above. You can tell by how smug this one is that he's well aware Mega Man can't lift his arms.

What a fun sliding puzzle. Surprised this is the first Mega Man game to do this.

ELEC MINIBOSS. Are those Bret Hart shades?

This guy has a bit of a Saiyan Armor thing going on.

One last glance at the rad beam traps of this stage... before we get the hell out.

From the makers of Elec Man, Spark Man, and...Plug Man: Fuse Man, who channels the electricity to impressive visual effects. He's weak to the bouncing ball weapon, which I don't have yet.

Now that we're at the halfway point of the 8 bosses, Dr. Light chooses THIS time to tell our hero about his ED. "I went into robotics to find a cure...and the closest thing to a success was Block Man! My wife wants nothing to do with me! She calls me useless and storms off to the vodka! Sheila! SHEILA!!"

Look, I'm sorry about this, but it really isn't the time.

Next is Acid Man's stage, which doubles as the water-themed stage. It starts out innocuously enough, with spike-lined underwater areas ala Bubble Man.

Things soon take a turn for the truly nightmarish, as most of the walls get replaced with death and Mega Man must swim through pee.

PEE MINIBOSS. Looks like a refugee from a space shooter. Speaking of which, I'm thinking about doing Shooter Week II this year. Though I might have to rename it. Shmup Week? Space Shooter Week?

This part combines a number of deadly threats: Pee, Spikes, and Jets. The last one is the worst, and makes these jumps exceedingly frustrating. Luckily I'm not above cheating, so I summon Rush Jet and fly over all of it.

Rotating platforms help our mega hero stay high above the pee, which has now returned as radioactive pee.

Things get even more spiked as the level progresses. It seriously wants me to make that jump without bumping any of those spikes?

I made the jump! ...and there's an even worse one right after that. This stage is awful.

Acid Man: He is what he is.

Next up is TNA Impact Man, seen here getting his weekly 1.3 rating. Back in 2009 the internet guffawed at their inability to break the 1.3 barrier while RAW was doing 3x that. Over a decade later, RAW hovers around 1.6 and Impact is on a channel no one gets.

Hey, I remember you! You're that hard hat dude!


I like these construction worker bots. They're in the X series too. Not such a fan of the homing-missile-dispensers. They can go to hell!

This was a bland stage. Very much in the same mold as Guts Man / Hard Man. As for the boss...

...he uses high-impact attacks and stomps on you with a giant mech. It was a bad time.

Next up is the requisite clown stage, complete with bounce-ball platforms.

One fun thing to do here: Fire a charged shot through a row of balloons.

The main threat in this stage are these spanking-hands. They're ideal for a firm spanking, no doubt a present Dr. Wily made for Dr. Light's wife. Don't leave him! SHEILA!!

BOUNCE MINIBOSS. another present for the wife, from the looks of things. You know what, I don't even want to know.

Lots of colors, the walls are fun to bounce off of, there's an easily-accessible E-Tank... I like this stage. At least I took some shots of it, unlike the previous highly-forgettable stage.

The boss...feels more like a miniboss.

Impact Man's weapon totally floors this guy.

Blast Man's stage is full of exploding things, which makes for...

...some really cool visual effects. Current-gen 2D is rad.

I remember these Imperial Walker esque enemies from the early games in the series.

One of the tougher minibosses is this pair of racers. Reminds me of a boss in Cuphead, one of the very few games I ever gave up on. It just got to a point where I couldn't be arsed with it anymore. If it were a Mega Man game, I'd have found a way.

Things get weird later in the stage, as we see these bizarre "mobster silhouettes" in the background. Fun Fact: One of them is played by CM Punk.

This is another weaker stage. Not much to say about it, except that it has that B-Team vibe. That...that Mighty No. 9 vibe.

The fight with Blast Man is completely bonkers. He unleashes these harmless-looking Morph Balls everywhere...

...then they blow up. RUN, MEGA MAN!

Has anyone seen a gigantic skull-shaped castle around anywhere?

Oh, there he is. Way to just ignore Auto and Roll! LOOK, YOU'VE MADE AUTO CRY!

The iconic saucer-laugh. Did Mighty No. 9 have this? No, no it didn't. Plzdon'tsue

Oh yeah. Skull Fortresses have a special place in one's heart.

This is what you want your inventory to look like going into the fortress stages.

As a reward for getting this far, the game immediately kicks the player in the pants by making them do one of those disappearing block rooms.

Followed by falling DEATH-CORRIDORS.

...Followed by more disappearing block rooms. What circle of hell is this?


It's the rotating gear platforms from Castlevania 3 except smaller. So far this is WAY harder than the eight stages. They wanted to ensure that 60% of their players wouldn't be able to get through the fortress, I think.

The first boss here is the Yellow Devil (yet again), seen here immediately killing our hero.

Do a little damage and you find out his terrible secret: He can now split into lots of miniature versions.

They jump all over the place, which calls for the new slow-motion Gear Power. Use that and it becomes much more manageable.

Looks like four stages.

The next one puts our hero in a high-speed chase, fleeing from a giant death-skull.

This chase goes on and on, adding spikes and more foes to the mix, until...

...this skull pillar miniboss. Dafooq.

Is everything in here skulls? Yes.

I remember this thing from one of the NES games.

It comes apart easily enough, and we're on to... favorite part of every Mega Man game: The eight-boss rush.

Special mention to Block Man, who I can now use the proper weapon against. That's one of the things I like about boss rushes, you can see what a pushover that first boss is against their weakness. Usually the first boss is the toughest of the eight in any given Mega Man game the first time you fight them.

The very last stage is an odd one. It's very mechanical and doesn't really hold a candle to the stages before this in difficulty.

After a long descent, we reach Wily's lair.

Now that's a high-def Wily logo.

I mean, the whole issue is that you keep letting him get away with it. Which is great because it gets us more of these games.

Final battle time. This Wily Tank is a multi-form monstrosity.

It's pretty standard fare as far as Wily Tanks go. I'd love to see one of these games really innovate for the final Wily fight and give us something crazy that catches the player totally off-guard. Last time we had something like that was...Mega Man 2?

I defeat the skull tank! Time for...

...the saucer of doom, which they made extra-creepy this time.

He actually does have some new tricks for this form, like barriers.

BOOM. Yet another Wily defeated. Now I've covered every classic/X/Zero series Mega Man on the site! Except, again, for the weird ones like Mega Man Xtreme. ...which I want to check out now just to see how the X series translates to the weird inter-game hybrid style of the portable Mega Mans of that era. Flame Stag and Chill Penguin sharing a stage select? Could be interesting.

The morning-after pill?

That's the breaks.

Dr. Wily escapes, setting up a sequel! Except they never made a 12. Might as well have just let the good guys capture him at this point, or had it finally tie into the X series. Or maybe I speak too soon, and 12 is on the way.

That's it! Mega Man takes off to the sky on Rush.

On a final note, you may want to visit the Mighty No. 9 post. I found this game to be directly comparable to that one in a lot of ways. Mega Man 11 wins easily in most categories, though.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the Sublime reference.

    That mammoth skell is radical, dood.

    Did the rooster try to BURN you?

    Yeah, Mega Man's appearance changes beyond a color swap is something that makes complete sense to have in a modern game without limitations.

    I get that CM Punk reference!