Mega Man 10 Review (Xbox 360)
Posted by Jim Cook, Apr 05, 2010 08:17
When a game is ported to multiple systems and is virtually the same on all of them, there is only so much one can say that hasn’t been covered in the review for another system’s version. But not every gamer has every system, so a review like this has to both try to cover the differences between various versions, and still summarize the game up for those who overlooked the original article. In Mega Man 10’s case it’s fair to say that this is the same classic-style 2D platforming action that the Wii received, and it’s just as fun on the Xbox 360. What differences exist are minor; the Xbox 360 version has Achievements (not a big deal) and slightly upscaled graphics to fit better on the 360’s display, but is otherwise almost identical.
Those of you who have played a Mega Man or Mega Man X game know what to expect, but a brief summary may be justified for the newcomers. Intentionally built as a ’retro game’, Mega Man 10 puts you in the role of a humanoid robot who fights his way through several side-scrolling stages, then fights a level boss and copies their weapon for his own use. Each boss is different to another boss’ weapon, so much of the appeal lies in picking the right one for each situation. The graphics and sound are an intentional, well done throwback to the 8-bit NES days when the series was in its prime, and this is definitely part of Mega Man 10’s charm.
If Mega Man 9 scared you off, take heart; this game is easier in many ways. Normal Mode remains a reasonable challenge, yet tones down (but does not eliminate) various mean-spirited level design that troubled MM9; there are fewer instant death traps, enemy placements to trick the player, and other such abuses. This doesn’t mean Mega Man 10 is strictly easy, but it’s not as mean as previous entries in the series and that’s a good thing. Additionally, an optional Easy Mode may be used to take away most of what few ’abuses’ remain by installing special platforms over tricky jumps, giving you more rewards, and so on; it’s a great choice for newcomers or those not used to old-style 2D platformers like this.
The game play is basic but not entirely devoid of depth. You can pick between the titular Mega Man or Proto Man; the former takes more damage to kill and is the only ’legal’ choice for certain challenge modes, while Proto Man is more agile, can charge his weapon to do more damage, and has a shield that can protect him from many attacks while he’s jumping. DLC will likely be adding Bass as a third playable character in the near future, so players should get reasonable variety here. This is good, because Mega Man 10 is as short as its predecessors. You get eight main bosses to fight then about a half-dozen additional stages to complete the game, and each one only lasts about five to fifteen minutes. Your first run through the game can be plausibly completed in two or three hours, and future runs can easily take less than an hour... Mega Man 10 in fact encourages speedruns and other displays of skill with its various challenge modes.
Levels, regular enemies, and bosses are admittedly a mixed bag. Some of them are the best the series has seen, while others are not the least bit creative and even a little frustrating. Fortunately the good far outweighs the bad, and Mega Man 10 should prove an enjoyable romp for most. There is even a little more to do than just trying for more efficient runs through the main game, as the challenge mode has been greatly expanded from that of MM9. In addition to challenging you to beat the main game in various ways (under an hour, losing no lives, etc.) there are several special rooms set up where you have to demonstrate you have truly mastered a skill. These range from precision jumping to clearing areas without firing your weapon, and many of them are pretty fun.
Most of the differences between the Xbox 360 version and other releases of Mega Man 10 are minor. The game content seems to be identical, the graphics only different in that they’ve been scaled up for HD TVs (and even then still look understandably basic, being NES style visuals), and the music sounds about the same. Thus, which version you buy is more a matter of which system you prefer; the Wii’s default controller is superior to the Xbox 360’s for this game, but the 360 version is certainly playable as is. On the other hand, the 360 version offers the system’s usual perks; I enjoyed being able to chat with a friend through my headset while playing even though he had nothing to do with my Mega Man 10 run. And the controls weren’t a major issue; the 360’s default pad can be used to play this game well, and it’s even more fun on a controller meant for 2D genres.
Ultimately the question isn’t whether you should buy Mega Man 10 or not; you definitely should since it’s a lot of fun. The real question is which system you want it for, since it’s $10 on all of them and the game content is pretty much the same in each case. Thus the only real factors to consider are outside conveniences (Wii’s default controller is better than the Xbox 360’s for this game, but the 360 has Xbox Live access and it’s not hard to find a better 360 controller), or perhaps to simply go with the version for the only system you own. Regardless, Mega Man 10 is an excellent game and easily earns its $10.
Rating: 5.0, votes: 1