With E3 just around the corner, gamers everywhere can feel hyped for a myriad of reasons. Whether one looks forward to a sequel such as The Last of Us Part 2 or the reviving of a dormant video game property such as Spider-Man, there is a lot to be excited about. Some games fit both features. Such is the case with Mega Man 11, and I am hyped for what Capcom has in store.
Mega Man’s Retro Evolution
As strange as it may seem, Mega Man has evolved with the concept of video games itself. The modern concept of what constitutes a video game is relatively new. As such, there still exists many people who do not consider video games as a legitimate form of entertainment or art. As time goes by and people grow, that number shrinks. The people who grew up playing video games are now making them. Old ideas are given life thanks to new technology.
The franchise may have gone back to a more retro look, but these newer games improve the formula. Mega Man finds a way to build upon simplicity. Having fun jumping and shooting, all the while absorbing enemy powers, built the entire franchise.
Players used to find that only one or two enemy weapons were required to beat the game. By the time we reach Mega Man 9 and 10, however, players find use in most of the extra weapons by the end of the game. For example, Concrete Man’s weapon allows Mega Man to create an extra platform to reach other areas. Mega Man has a proven track record of doing more than just jumping and shooting. I believe the evolution took shape with the SNES’s Mega Man X (Not the same as Mega Man 10).
Mega Man’s Success Could Lead To Better X Games
Building one robot can lead to a world where AI lives alongside humans, wanting nothing more than to have equal rights. This is the world that captured my imagination as a kid. This is the world of Mega Man X. He jumps and shoots like the old Mega Man, but he dashes and climbs walls too. The story became more important as well, but when has story mattered more than gameplay in Mega Man?
When Mega Man 11 hits E3 this June, I cannot wait to see how Capcom has evolved the original Mega Man. The brilliant 2.5D graphics look almost like a love letter to the SNES Mega Man games. My imagination runs wild with the idea of more Mega Man success leading to a GOOD Mega Man X sequel. With Legacy X Collections 1 & 2 out soon, this seems even more likely.
Mighty No. 9 Can’t Hurt Mega Man
The hype for this new entry in the franchise runs even stronger when one realizes that a new mainline Mega Man game has not come out for eight years at this point. “Father of Mega Man,” Keiji Inafune left Capcom at that time. He went on to use the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, to fund a game in the spirit of Mega Man called Mighty No. 9. Most of Inafune’s fans went on to consider the game a failure.
As cruel as it may sound, Capcom is past learning lessons from Mighty No. 9. Mega Man 10 did not have the bland villains, mandatory tutorials, and poor level design of Mighty No. 9. When one thinks of Mega Man, however, one thinks of polish and quality.
As it must be clear by now, I grew up playing Mega Man. I was a kid when video game rental stores were still around. Whenever I would be allowed to pick out a game for the weekend, I knew that I could get any game with the blue bomber’s face on it. Mega Man meant quality. With Mega Man 11 on the horizon, the future of the blue bomber looks brighter than before.
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