Mega Man 10 pretty much follows the same pattern as the previous games in the series. You're presented with eight robot masters, each with their own specifically designed level. You can tackle these stages in order you fancy and, with each master you defeat, you gain a shiny new weapon for the obliteration of other enemies. Stages are filled with all sorts of devilish traps. Spike pits, vanishing blocks, speeding trucks and quick sand are the norm here with most stages being pretty tricky to traverse if you're not careful. The Mega Man series has always been known for having to pull off pixel perfect leaps of faith and a degree of muscle memory to get through. Luckily, Mega Man 10 throws in an easy mode for those who want to ease into the game. Pits are no longer so big and spikes are easier to avoid as well as bosses having a lot less health. However, to get the real Mega Man experience, you need to feel the controller smashing, teeth gritting frustration that comes with it. The payoff is so worth it.
The design aspect of the game just feels a bit weak. The stages are great; they're extremely challenging and a lot of fun to play through, but the rest of the game just feels half hearted. Mega Man 9 had an amazing soundtrack whereas the soundtrack to 10 just feels lazy and sluggish. There's no sense of joy and excitement that previous Mega Man soundtracks have added to the game, and the bosses. My god, the bosses. They're just ridiculous. Previous bosses have at least had some credibility behind them but who builds a robot sheep with a gun that fires clouds? Dr Wily really is getting lazier in his old age. They're original at least but probably because nobody was insane enough to think them up in the first place. Having said this, all the bosses are a lot of fun to battle. They require a lot of strategy and, even the ones considered to be the easiest, can provide a challenge even when using the beefed up weapons that all bosses drop. Some of these weapons, particularly those of Sheep Man, are not really effective because they're just a bit stupid. Enemies need to stand below the cloud for any damage to be given. Personally, I'd stick with the Mega Buster!
Once you kick the robot masters and Dr Wily into their place, there's plenty more to keep you occupied. You have the option to play through the entire game again but this time around you're timed and need to do it as fast as possible in Time Trial mode. Then there's Challenge mode which throws a set number of obstacles in your way each time. They could be a simple jumping challenge where you need to make a pixel perfect jump or combat challenges where you need to take down a set number of mini-bosses. It's especially good for toning your skills in preparation for the elusive "Beat the game in 1 hour" achievement. Proto Man, who you had to pay to play as in 9, is available for free here and adds a whole new way to play through the game.
There's very little else to say about Mega Man 10. If you played and loved 9 then I highly recommend you pick up 10. It's pretty much more of the retro Mega Man you loved. The bosses are a bit weird and the soundtrack is uninspired but it's still as fun as ever to pick off the robot masters and try to through each level as quickly as possible with as little damage as possible. It's the fun/frustration you had as a kid on your Xbox 360. So if you want to see if you've gained tougher skin since childhood, pick this up and relive the controller biting past.
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