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Mega Man 10 - PS3 - Review

Last year, Capcom unleashed Mega Man 9 on gamers, bringing the series back to the salad days of 8-bit gaming. The game was not only a great bit of nostalgia, but the love and care that went into its creation made for one of the most compelling downloadable experiences around. Now, Capcom is releasing its follow-up, Mega Man 10, on downloadable platforms, offering up the same brand of old-school charm and obscene difficulty that made Mega Man 9 such a hit.

As with the other games in the franchise, Mega Man 10 offers up a cadre of robot villains for you to take on at your choosing. Part of the fun of the Mega Man franchise has always been discerning the correct order in which to take them on, as defeating them will get you special weapons that come in handy when taking on the others. This can be done through simple trial and error, or by the modern luxury of hitting the web and looking for an FAQ or walkthrough video (hint, hint).

The Mega Man franchise has always offered diverse and interesting robot bosses to take on, and the 10th entry doesn’t disappoint in this regard. You’ll face off against such foes as the ice-themed Chill Man, the baseball chucking Strike Man, the odd Sheep Man, Commando Man (I hope that doesn’t have anything to do with wearing underwear), and so on. Each boss has their own specific stage that plays off of their themes, which makes each area a different experience and a fun one at that.

Mega Man 9 separates itself from its most immediate predecessor in two key ways. Anyone who played it last year can attest that Mega Man 9 was an absolute beast, an extremely difficult game that was nearly impossible to beat for all but the most die-hard fans of the series. For everyone else, Mega Man 10 offers an easy mode. This mode not only makes the robot bosses a bit more easy to defeat, but also simplifies the actual stages a bit, offering some changes to the mini-bosses and adding in some ledges to the more difficult platforming sequences in the game.

The Easy mode is a fine addition, ensuring that less-seasoned gamers will now have an opportunity to complete the game. However, the Easy mode is a bit too easy, especially compared to the massive difficulty spike when bumping up to Normal mode. If only there was a more gradual difference between the two.

For the hardest of the hardcore out there, the game also offers a Hard Mode, unlocked upon completing the game on the normal difficulty. It goes without saying that this mode is incredibly difficult, but if you manage to beat the game on the already tough-as-nails normal mode, then you might be ready to partake in the challenge. The game also offers up a Challenge mode, that is a bit more fleshed out than the challenges in Mega Man 9. This time, when you reach a robot boss in normal mode, you’ll unlock their corresponding challenge, which requires you to do things like defeat them without getting hit and so on. There are 88 of these challenges total, and they add a nice element for completionists out there.

The other major addition in the game is the ability to play as Proto Man. A fan favorite of the series from the early days, this is a great addition for nostalgic gamers looking to take the reins of the character. Proto Man has some added perks that make the game a slight bit easier to complete, including a shield that makes him impervious to bullets while jumping and the ability to slide. Using Proto Man turns of online leaderboards, which is understandable considering that the character changes the gameplay and makes it a touch easier to play. It should be mentioned that Bass, another character from the Mega Man universe, will be playable through DLC, but was unavailable at the time of this review.

Graphically, the game boasts all of the 8-bit charm of the franchise’s glory days. To be sure, it looks like a 20-year-old game, but a really good one at that. The robot bosses boast the same attention and personality as those in earlier games in the series, and the environments are varied and colorful, making for a fantastic homage to the old-school franchise.

The sound effects and music have also gotten the same degree of attention. The series’ token music is of the same bleepy-bloopy vein as classic Mega Man games, and the sound effects are pulled directly from the original NES series. All in all, a great bit of nostalgia.

Mega Man 10 is yet another great addition to the franchise, harkening to the by-gone days of classic NES gaming. While you might not get the same pangs of nostalgia while playing this one as you did Mega Man 9, this is still among the best games in a series that has undergone a successful retro retooling.

Great

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Steven Hopper
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