Mega Man 10
  • Genre:
    • Platformer
  • Developers:
    • Inti Creates
    • Capcom
  • Publisher:
    • Capcom
  • Released:
    Wii
    • US 03/01/2010
    • UK 03/05/2010
    • JP 03/09/2010
    PS3
    • JP 03/09/2010
    • US 03/11/2010
    • UK 03/11/2010
    360
    • US 03/31/2010
    • UK 03/31/2010
    • JP 03/31/2010
Score: 80%

This review was published on 06/29/2013.

Mega Man 10 is a side-scrolling platform game released for the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It's a digital release that is sold on each system's online stores, in the same fashion as Mega Man 9. Due to the unexpected success and critical acclaim of Mega Man 9, Capcom gave the green light for another one. Mega Man 9 was a love letter to fans of the original Mega Man games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and 10 is pretty much the same thing. It's done entirely in 8-bit graphics and sound to try and match the NES' specifications as much as possible. The game play also tries to match the 8-bit games with en extremely unforgiving difficulty. Mega Man 10 takes most of its inspiration from the first two NES Mega Man games, so it even eschews the advances made in later 8-bit titles. This game has a very specific audience in mind, and it goes all the way in pleasing their every desire. However, Mega Man 10 isn't quite as good as the previous one, as it feels like the development team was already burned out by this point.

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So Mega Man, the robotic hero of this series, has stopped the evil desires of resident mad scientist, Dr. Wily, for like a million times. There was a brief respite after Mega Man last took down Wily, but like usual, it doesn't last long. All of a sudden, many robots all over the world start malfunctioning. Apparently, a virus known as "Roboenza" is infecting robots everywhere and is causing them to attack their human creators. I guess it's sort of like a computer virus, though the game makes it seem more like an illness. Even Mega Man's robotic sister, Roll, succumbs to the virus. Dr. Light, Mega Man's humble creator, is at a loss at what to do. Out of nowhere, Wily appears and makes a suspicious claim: the robotic epidemic supposedly wasn't his doing, and he was building a machine to cure it. Wily claims that the machine he was building was stolen by an infected robot, and now he needs help retrieving it. Before I continue, I'd like to remind everyone that this is the man who tried to take over the world over 9 times in a row. Mega Man actually decides to play along with this obvious sham and sets out to acquire this mythical machine. I can't believe the good guys are this stupid. Some fans postulate that this was supposed to be the precursor to the Sigma virus in the Mega Man X series, but I think that's giving this game's story too much credit. It's really just another silly excuse to go out and bust eight more robots. Mega Man 10 doesn't try hard with its story, but it doesn't need to.

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In Mega Man 10, you can select either Mega Man or his robotic brother, Proto Man. This is one of the only games in the series that allows you to play as Proto Man. Mega Man plays exactly like he did in Mega Man 9; he can jump, shoot, and that's about it. His ability to slide and charge up the Mega Buster are long gone. That's where Proto Man comes in. Proto Man can slide to avoid certain attacks, and he can charge up his shots for more damage. The catch is that he takes double damage from everything, which honestly kind of ruins the point behind him. Proto Man also has the ability to block certain projectiles with his dinky shield, but that's only if he's in mid air. The additional characters don't stop there, though. You can also play as Bass, Mega Man's rival from Mega Man 7, if you buy the DLC. Bass is the most interesting character to play as, because he differs vastly from the rest. I should also note that this is one of the first times Bass has been seen in 8-bit form. Anyway, Bass has the groundbreaking ability to shoot in seven directions; that includes up and diagonals. This ability alone kind of breaks the balance of the game, as the game isn't designed to take this into account. Bass' gun also rapid fires like a machine gun when the button is held down, which eliminates the need for a turbo controller. As if that weren't enough, Bass can dash similarly to X from the Mega Man X series, allowing him to jump much greater distances. Talk about overpowered. Bass' weaknesses are that he can't move while shooting, his shots can't pass through walls, and his individual bullets do less damage than Mega Man's. None of that stuff really matters, though. It's too bad Bass is DLC only, because he adds a lot of replay value to the game.

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As always, there are eight new stages to select and eight new Robot Masters to take down. Taking down a Robot Master earns you its special weapon, and all three characters can do this. That kind of makes Mega Man's signature ability a little less unique, doesn't it? Mega Man 10's strange cast of Robot Masters consists of Strike Man, Blade Man, Commando Man, Chill Man, Solar Man, Nitro Man, Pump Man, and Sheep Man. Whereas Mega Man 9 went for more conventional designs, Mega Man 10 opts to go with the weird. I mean, seriously, what's the deal with Sheep Man? For whatever reason, Sheep Man's special power is electricity. Yeah, I don't get it, either. Pump Man is literally a water pump, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And Strike Man is a baseball themed robot that throws balls at you. As strange as some of these Robot Masters are, there are a few cool ones, too. Blade Man is all about the blades, which automatically makes him super cool, and Nitro Man is a robot that can transform into a motorcycle. It seems obvious that Nitro Man is inspired by Turbo Man from Mega Man 7, which is inspired by the Transformers. Wherever the inspiration came from, Nitro Man is awesome. The special weapon you get from Nitro Man is also really cool; it's a spinning saw blade that can be used to climb up walls. Most of the other special weapons aren't very good, though. Mega Man 10 is sort of a step down from 9 with its Robot Master designs, but it does have a few good ones.

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Stage design is Mega Man 10's strong point. The stages in this game aren't as unforgiving as they are in Mega Man 9, but they're also not as well designed as they were in that game. Still, the stage design in this game is very compelling. A lot of the stages have gimmicks, but none of the gimmicks are obtrusive. One example is Nitro Man's stage; throughout the stage, there are vehicles that come passing by that can cause you major damage. There are multiple ways around this situation, one of which consists of freezing them with Chill Man's weapon. The other method is to get above them somehow, sometimes jumping onto the vehicle and riding it out, getting off before it gets destroyed. That's overall a very well designed stage. The stages all have cool themes, too. Strike Man's stage is set in a baseball stadium, and it's got a lot of neat enemies and obstacles all themed around baseball. It's a little corny, but I like it. I also like Blade Man's stage, which is a castle laden with dangerous traps and weird gadgets. Even some of the more generic stages have interesting gimmicks, like Chill Man's stage. The chilly stage has these ice platforms that crack whenever you jump onto them, and they break after a few goes. You have to be really strategic in this one, not making more jumps than what's necessary. Mega Man 10 gets a 10 in stage design.

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The shop makes yet another return in Mega Man 10. It's pretty much the same as it was in Mega Man 9. You can buy Energy Tanks, Weapon Tanks, Spike Shields, extra lives, and some other stuff here. The currency is bolts and bolts can be found hidden in stages or inside of blown up enemies. Energy Tanks restore your life energy while Weapon Tanks restore special weapon energy. The Spike Shield is an excellent item that protects you from instant-death spikes. You can also buy items to call the robotic bird, Beat, to pull you out of pits in the event that you fall into one. These items are all consumable, which means you'll have to buy more once they run out. It's worth it, though. There aren't as many pits and spikes in Mega Man 10 as there were in the last game, so Beat and the Spike Shields aren't quite as useful here, but they still help a lot. The Energy Balancer makes a return, again providing the convenience of managing your weapon energy automatically. It's kind of expensive and not really worth it, but it's there if you need it. In addition to all of that, there is an item that temporarily halves all damage taken. That's a good one to stock up on, if you suck at the game like I do. The shop kind of interferes with the game's delicate balance, but it's an awesome feature nonetheless.

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The sales and acclaim of Mega Man 9 prompted a sequel, but that brought about mixed feelings among fans. Mega Man 10 continues what Mega Man 9 started by further extending the retro revolution. Unfortunately, it's not quite as good. There's also the fact that the 8-bit hysteria that surrounded the first game started to wear thin once this one came out. Mega Man 9 was a big deal because it was revisiting a concept that hadn't seen the light of day for well over a decade, but Mega Man 10 is retreading on old ground. Maybe Capcom got cocky and thought they could get away with releasing another six Mega Man games in a row. While Mega Man 9 felt sincere and inspired, Mega Man 10 feels a little insincere and uninspired, as if there was pressure to exploit the popularity of the last game. Whether the pressure came from Capcom or fans, Mega Man 10 didn't hit a home run the way 9 did, but it did come close.

Word Count: 1,715

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