2017 saw the 30th Anniversary of the Mega Man franchise. With it, for many of us, came fond memories of sitting on the bedroom floor with our siblings, trying to take out the next robot master. Sadly, after the success of Mega Man 10 in 2010, Capcom went radio silent on anything concerning the little blue bomber.
In 2017, however, out of the blue (yes, pun intended), Mega Man 11 was announced. But can it live up to the much anticipated hype of the laudable series or will it just fade away into obscurity, as so many video game icons have done in the past? Here is why Mega Man 11 is still one of my most anticipated games of the new year.
Title: Mega Man 11
Release Date: Q4 2018
Mega Man 11 is the resurgence of the run-and-gun hero known as Mega Man. Created and nurtured by Keiji Inafune for the better part of the 80’s and 90’s, this new game to the long-running series will be helmed by a new face, Koji Oda. That isn’t the only change coming to the series. This game will also stray from its 8-bit roots, and will take on a more hand-drawn, cell-shaded design.
Those fearful that the game may become easier due to the new deign and mechanics, don’t be afraid. In an interview with Game Informer, Koji Oda went on to say that, “we definitely have that state of mind that you’re always up against death, but this time you have more tools at your disposal, so you can face death and still have fun”. Hopefully, the currently unknown new mechanics will bring life to a series that could easily become stagnant if left docile for too long.
Mega Man is back after 7 long years of dormancy. While not all Mega Man mainline games are great (we’re looking at you Mega Man 7), it has the clout and history to bring back any long-gone Mega Man fan of the 90s. From the music, to the bosses, to the power-ups, Mega Man has the rapport and fan-base other video game series’ would die for. You can’t count out the blue bomber just yet, even 30 years on.
Hopefully, different ideas from director Koji Oda will bring new life into the series. Starting at Capcom back in 1991, he’s had his hands in games such as Super Ghouls & Ghosts, The Magical Quest Starting Mickey Mouse, and the Final Fight series. While he has a reputation he must live up to, I feel that he is prepared for the task at hand.
As mentioned above, there are many changes coming to Mega Man 11. Both the art-style and the new director bring up some red flags. Starting with the art style, it’s safe to say that it will be divisive for long-time fans. Leaving the 8-bit style behind could also cause issues with the fluidity of the series. Things such as hit boxes and animation timing can all affect the way the game can feel and play. We all know what a bad Mega Man game can look like, and we hope Mega Man 11 doesn’t veer off down that path.
The other main issue some may see with the title is director Koji Oda. Even though he has a great 26-year history with Capcom, this will be his first time going hands-on with the Mega Man series. A set of fresh eyes can always bring new ideas to a lasting series, but if he doesn’t full understand what brings the heart and soul of Mega Man to life, it could be a disaster in the making. Or worse, pure mediocrity.
Mega Man 11 will live and die by its fans. They will be the first to buy, play it, and master its many bosses. It will be their loud voices that will keep this ship afloat. If reviews and customer hearsay is mostly positive, then I feel that Mega Man 11 will be in good hands for the future. While it may seem that the desk is stacked against Koji Oda and his team, I think Capcom will come through in the end. If they are able to breath new life into the franchise as they recently did with the most recent Resident Evil, then Mega Man will have many great years ahead.
Are you looking forward to Mega Man 11? What concerns do you have with the series going forward? Let me know in the comments down below!