Mega Man 11
Preview

Mega Man 11 is a Tale of Two Platforms

Sadly, not all versions of Mega Man 11 are made equal. At the Toronto 2018 Fan Expo, the game was playable on both Switch and Xbox One, performing better on one platform than the other.

The demo was the same on both consoles and should be the same build, though the Switch version shone much brighter. The first notable issue on the Xbox One is the responsiveness. The Mega Man franchise is renowned for being highly responsive with tight controls. When playing on the Xbox One, the game feels slightly floaty, and the inputs feel imprecise. Ground sliding, which is achieved by pressing down and the jump button, is a major part of the game used to dodge attacks and traverse the levels. On the Xbox One, the slide function often felt unresponsive or late to trigger, making the player attempt it again, while on the Switch the action occurred far more smoothly.

Another issue with the demo was jumping. One section that proved much more difficult on the Xbox One had the player jumping through large, self-contained obstacle-course blocks. Several of these blocks have a hole requiring Mega Man to jump up vertically to reach the next platform. On the Xbox One, the character would clip at the bottom of these openings, pushing him into a wall, making for what looked like a slight forward leap rather than a vertical. The only way to get around this issue was to continue moving toward the wall while jumping, before changing direction in mid-air after the collision detection fault is passed. This flaw was not apparent on the Switch. At a later point, the demo calls for the player to jump from pillar to pillar. Again, this section is more responsive on the Switch and thus easier to perform the perfect jump at the edge of platforms for the best distancer. Whether this problem comes from the controllers—as the Xbox One controller is more suited for shooters—or from the particular build of the game cannot be determined.

Mega Man 11

The demo only had the Block Man stage and also featured the new ‘Double Gears’ mechanic. Mega Man 11’s most significant change from its predecessors, aside from the Double Gears, is the updated and modernized graphics, marking the first time a mainline Mega Man title has been visualized in 3D instead of sprites. The game also features with four difficulty settings, including one for newcomers, which helps by lifting players out of holes they fall in and resulting in them taking less damage overall.

The new gear system is an interesting addition to the franchise. By hitting the left lower shoulder button, the Red Gear will engage, giving Mega Man improved attack capabilities: normal attacks shoot multiple bullets in succession instead of one, and the charge shot fires two stronger blasts in succession. Meanwhile, the right lower shoulder button will trigger the Blue Gear, which slows down time but allows Mega Man to move at normal speed. Both gears offer new tactics to the series, but take some familiarization as these are not normal functions for the franchise and need to be managed. If either gear is used too much, it will overheat and enter a cool down state, locking both gears from use.

The gears are a fun way to change up the gameplay but, based on the demo, do not seem necessary. Instead, Mega Man 11 feels akin to its predecessors, as the gears just seem to be an add-on at this stage. While the demo shows that Capcom can still make a good Mega Man game, the demo is not without a few issues. For those excited for the release of the upcoming game, waiting for reviews may be best to ensure the issues are fixed, and to determine which of the four platforms would be best to play on: PlayStation 4, PC, Switch, and Xbox One.

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