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Mega Man 10 (Xbox 360) artwork

Mega Man 10 (Xbox 360) review


"Today's Word Is: Vacillation."


If I were to describe any Mega Man game without naming them, you'd still know which ones I'm talking about. Remember the hard one with six bosses? How about the one that introduced Rush and the slide move? Terrible voice acting? Or the one with that stupid Proto Man castle? Okay, now pick something unique from Mega Man 10 within five seconds. Yeah? No? If anything, the game will likely be remembered in history as "The one that came after Mega Man 9." That's not to say the game itself is bad, as there's a solid share of stages, sections, and select boss fights that often call for skillful platforming, precise shooting, and constant dodging against anything that, well, isn't a flat ground surface.

For example, Nitro Man's stage, while very low on variety, makes up for it with freeway gauntlets that require jumping on and over speeding trucks and vans. It becomes increasingly difficulty with the influx of death spikes and intrusive, flying Mets. Commando Man's main stage piece involves sandstorms that blanket your surroundings... which happen to be death spikes and pits that spring missiles. Then there's Sheep Man's stage, putting a new spin on the vanishing blocks concept: step on a colored block, and the entire assembly of similar blocks disappear. They play with this concept by turning it into a puzzle, forcing you to touch surfaces of multiple colors carefully to avoid spikes, or to reach a valuable E-Tank hovering over said spikes. And that's just one of several unique concepts in a stage that also features a mid-boss. It's certainly one of the series' best.

The remaining stages waver between mostly ordinary and uneventfully designed, with Chill Man's being the worst of the bunch. There are instances in that stage where you crack through ice blocks by shooting or jumping on them, and the devs made very mundane attempts to surround them with spikes and enemies. Keep in mind, this exists in the very same game that houses Sheep Man's block puzzles... The rest of the stage just pits you against distant, non-threatening enemies, such as MM1's Octopus Batteries in open spaces and snowmen with heads that explode in four directions. Also, Blade Man's castle stage feels borderline vacant, dedicating a huge portion to seesaw platforms that can only move when you jump on each side of one. An interesting idea wasted on flying enemies that come in from off screen at lenient, discreet angles.

If this sounds disappointing in comparison to your favorite Mega Man titles, then Mega Man 10 has a potential solution available after completing Normal: Hard mode.

Granted, needing to beat the game once just to unlock the better experience is lame, but ignoring that, when you experience it firsthand, you realize the devs went out of their way to give this hard mode some genuine care. Chill Man's stage actually functions competently, with faster Octopus Batteries and snowmen situated in awkward, tight spots. The ice block puzzles still suck, though. It's surprising how the smallest of changes can give a location, which meant nothing in Normal mode, more power here; like, count bomb platforms obstruct exits, making you fight for an extra few seconds, some enemies can awaken other foes with their attacks, and tons of thrust platforms in Strike Man's stage now have spikes. And you know how enemies respawn if you backtrack? The devs gleefully play with this several times throughout, punishing runaway players with tough opponents in tight spots.

The means to tackle either a casual or grueling play style is just a fragment of the game's main appeal: diversity. If you want oldschool Mega Man with no slide move or charge shot, he's here, but for those that want them, Proto Man is up for grabs. Looking for an easier experience? Use the shop to buy E-Tanks and 1-Ups, and even choose Easy mode, where enemy appearances are few and additional platforms assist. Mega Man 10 is possibly the most accessible game in the classic line, and yes, I say this knowing Mega Man 9 has these same options. However, that game loses points for making you pay real money for stuff that was readily available in previous releases. Capcom did it again in 10 by making Bass DLC, but it's not as big an insult. It's still a smack in the face, don't get me wrong.

Perhaps my greatest beef with Mega Man 10 are the Robot Masters which, while energetic, are undeniably banal. Nearly every boss is a variation, in either design or attack pattern, of everything that came before, whether it'd be the fire and water bosses, the boss with a shield, or the big guy that likes pounding the ground to stun you. After nine titles, it's inexcusably lazy. Besides that, the game is still a good release, if a bit habitual. I mean, I know the game accomplishes its job of returning to its roots, but in a decades-old franchise spanning multiple spin-offs and improvements, it's still disheartening not seeing anything truly "unique" about this one.

I guess if I were to epitomize the game as a whole, it would be: Mega Man 10 is everything and nothing. It doesn't really offer anything new, but offers the old stuff in spades. It doesn't grandstand, instead fixating on the classic template, giving its take on the formula. It's the one that came after Mega Man 9.

3/5

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (April 03, 2016)

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honestgamer posted April 04, 2016:

When you say that the bosses leave little to the imagination, what you really mean is that they prance about in string bikinis, right?
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joseph_valencia posted April 04, 2016:

I will forever remember Mega Man 10 as the one with Baseball Man. If there's a Mega Man 11, I hope it picks up where 7 & 8 left off. Charge shot, slide, and pretty graphics.
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pickhut posted April 04, 2016:

When you put it that way, Flare Man does seem to give me the vapors.

Baseball Man... That second to last paragraph would have dragged on forever if I mentioned him at all. I was having Top Man flashbacks when I fought him.

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