As promised, Capcom held its 30th-anniversary stream for the Mega Man franchise this week, and as it suggested, it was definitely one fans did not want to miss. The Osaka-based publisher produced a handful of announcements that should be enough to silence even the most jaded of its critics, the most important of these announcements being a brand new game in the main Mega Man franchise.
Mega Man 11 will be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018. As for the reveal trailer, Capcom teased us with what looks like a nice return to form for the Blue Bomber. Long gone are the 8-bit sprites of the past though. Capcom has ditched those for sidescrolling character models and flashy, high-resolution backdrops.
In my opinion, I wouldn’t call it perfect. I realize that merely continuing the 8-bit style of Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 would be riding the retro novelty for one game too long, but I was hoping for hand-drawn graphics and a much more expressive character design. 2.5D platformers are a dime a dozen these days, and sweet HD character art would have helped Mega Man 11 stand out in that regard.
I also have a few problems with the scale of the character and enemy robots in respect to the size of the screen, but as is the case with many 2D games these days, HD is a difficult beast to balance. It’s like looking at Mega Man 7 for the first time and thinking that he’s just so darn big. Here, I feel that he’s a bit small.
Regardless of first impressions though, I have faith that this will turn out nicely. I’ve waited too long for this game to approach it cynically, and I’ll happily focus on what I do like. I am a fan of the art style even if the graphics don’t do it for me, and the platforming looks set in place. Plus, the backdrops are already amazing, showing that this will avoid the same pitfalls as Mighty No. 9.
It’s a good first showing, and the only way Capcom could have topped itself was with a revival of Mega Man Legends 3.
But wait… there IS more
Capcom didn’t stop with the announcements at just Mega Man 11. It also confirmed that both Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 would be getting a release on the Nintendo Switch, both of which I will quickly scoop up.
It closed the celebration with another announcement, reminding us all that it was also the 17th anniversary of the Mega Man X series, and it proudly stated that all eight games from the classic spin-off series will be getting a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC bundle with the Mega Man X Collection in 2018.
That makes three nice announcements, especially for Nintendo fans, and hopefully, those go a long way in making this a splendid 30th birthday for Mega Man. I hope it’s enough to wash away a bit of the animosity that brews between Capcom and its Blue Bomber fans.
Mega Man Volnutt might still be stuck on the moon, but Mega Man 11 and all of the classic games on the Switch is a welcome present for this special occasion.