Mega Man 10 Review (WiiWare)
Posted by Jim Cook, Mar 02, 2010 08:32
When I tell you that Mega Man 10 is an excellent 2D platformer, understand that I did not particularly like the previous game; I appreciated what Mega Man 9 was trying to do, but was upset by its clearly mean-spirited level design. Thus while this latest game only takes some of that title’s strong points, it fixes most of the flaws and the result is a less creative but nonetheless very fun game.
Given the series is around two decades old at this point, a quick explanation may be in order for those who have never played a classic-style Mega Man game: The primary goal is to the titular Mega Man (a blue-armored robot) as he runs and jumps across a series of 2D stages. Your primary threats along the way are a variety of enemies you’ll need to either shoot or avoid, as well as stage hazards such as pits and spikes; these are usually instant death for you unless you brought some special items. At the end of each stage you face off against a boss, and if you beat him you get to copy his weapon for your own use. This was pretty novel stuff back in the late 80s, but is now admittedly formulaic for the series. If you’re curious about what games of that era looked and played like, Mega Man 10 is a fairly good example even though it makes some concessions to modern design.
Everyone else is probably familiar with the series however, so it would be best to discuss the details of this particular game. Like Mega Man 9, this one was clearly built to resemble the 8-bit games in sound, graphics, and controls. It does a great job; for the most part things you know from the previous games apply here, and the controls are as good as you remember them. The sounds and visuals are mostly convincing replicas of the 8-bit era, and the few things that don’t quite fit in aren’t really a problem. Much like Mega Man 9, this truly does feel like a classic-series game on a modern system and that’s mostly a good thing.
While Mega Man 10 follows the series’ usual flow of having you kill eight bosses, face a series of special stages, then an end battle, the stages are a little more merciful this time around. There are only a few cases where it’s obvious the level designers were being intentionally cruel to the player, with others being reasonably challenging but not unfair or harsh about it. Very few places call for pixel-perfect jumping and spot-on timing, and series veterans should find this game refreshingly mild without being too simple. Newcomers will be pleased to discover there is an Easy Mode, perfect for younger players or those who haven’t yet developed the skills their peers learned a decade and change ago.
Boss and stage quality is admittedly somewhat varied. Some stages are perfectly laid out, easily some of the best in the series and they have enjoyable bosses to go with it. Yet some of them are entirely unremarkable, and some of the later stages are just plain frustrating due to their mixing oddly timed enemies with instant death traps yet those very same levels have some creative, enjoyable bosses. There are far more high points than problems however, and once you’ve settled into a good groove you should be able to complete the main game in about two to three hours... or less if you’re trying to do a speed run (something the game actively encourages).
The Challenges from the previous game have returned, but in an expanded form. Some of them are of the "clear the game in X amount of time, firing a certain number of shots" variety, but others are mini-stages where you have to demonstrate increasing competence at a skill. There are dozens of these, and they should add some more play time to the package. Being able to go through the game on three very distinct difficulty levels, and using either Mega Man or Proto Man (who maintains many of his benefits and trade-offs from the last game) is interesting as well. The prospect of downloadable content (and enterprising fans have already managed to delve into the game’s data to learn a lot about what that content will be) ensures that not only will Capcom milk us for every cent we’re worth, but we’ll get some additional content on top of what is already a solid game.
Mega Man 10 may not be very creative, but it is definitely fun. This title does little to innovate the series, and some of its design is clearly done by checklist ("Yeah, there’s the disappearing blocks jumping puzzle, there’s the ice stage, etc."). Yet it’s still a very good 2D platformer and while it fails to improve on Mega Man 9’s strong points it definitely addresses that game’s flaws. The $10/1000 Points they’re asking for is a ’just right’ price, and Mega Man 10 is definitely one of the better entries in the WiiWare catalog.
Rating: 0.0, votes: 0