superfluousmoniker's Mega Man 10 (PlayStation Network (PS3)) review

A solid experience but it can't match its predecessor

Mega Man is a video game character who truly needs no introduction. With enough games under his belt to give Bobby Kotick wet dreams, you're bound to have a couple duds here and there. A few years ago, Mega Man games seemed to be going out with a whimper after the horrible later games in the X series and the sub-par games on the DS. Fortunately, Mega Man 9 showed up and changed all that with a bold step back to when Mega Man was great. And now here we are, in true Mega Man fashion, with a sequel that doesn't change much but is still pretty fun its own right. 
 
Mega Man 9 was awesome, and I'm going to be comparing this game to it a lot, because they are very similar. Unfortunately, when compared to Mega Man 9, this game was a bit of a let down for me. There isn't really anything bad in this game, but almost nothing here is better than MM9. From the level design, to the robot masters, to the music, everything pales in the comparison.
 
Let's start with the story. Mega Man has never been big on story, and this game is no exception. However, even by Mega Man standards, this one is pretty weak. Robots are coming down with a robot sickness called Roboenza, Dr. Wily is acting innocent, Mega Man goes to destroy robot masters because that somehow provides a cure. Spoiler alert: Wily double crosses you and tries to hold the world hostage after taking the cure. At least in Mega Man 9 Wily came up with an actual plot to take over the world; here he is just an opportunist. And the ending is completely lame.
 
Mega Man games almost always have great music. Here, it's OK, but again it has nothing on Mega Man 9. In MM9 every level had an awesome and memorable music track, and while MM10 has a few gems, the majority of it I found pretty bland. On the plus side, they took out the repetitive menu music that plagued MM9 for something that is much less of an assault on the ears.
 
The weapons were disappointing compared to MM9. First of all, MM9 had a couple of weapons that were pretty much sure-kills that could get you out of a sticky situation (Tornado Blow and Gravity Bomb). There is nothing in 10 that even comes close to matching the power of either, and some weapons are nearly useless. Sheep Man's weapon is almost impossible to use. Solar Man's is gimped by the delayed trigger of the shot. Nitro Man's had potential but moves too slow. In short, the weapons in MM9 made me feel like a powerful badass with an arsenal of death to choose from, while MM10s feel weak and lukewarm by comparison.
 
On the bright side, there are a few new features. There is a challenge mode that teaches the basics of the game, mastery of the weapons, and adds some replay fun. Also, you can fight any boss in the game as many times as you want in the challenge mode, which is great for perfecting your strategies on the harder bosses without having to run their levels constantly. A couple of the weapons are pretty neat, like the Commando Bomb which can the direction mid-flight, and the Bubble Shield works better than the Diamond shield in MM9 in some ways.

Overall though, there is just less 'wow' here. It's a solid Mega Man game, and fans of the series will not be disappointed... as long as they don't compare it to closely to Mega Man 9.

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