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Mega Man 11 marks the blue bomber’s long-awaited return next year

  • The 3D-meets-2D graphics remind me of those PSP collections of revamped Mega Man games from years ago.
  • Charge shots are back, as are enemies themed around skulls.
  • What would a Mega Man game be without a slide? It'd be Mega Man 2, actually.
  • The long-awaited return of "that segmented enemy you have to avoid as it moves all around the screen."
  • Yup, Rush is here in all his myriad and useful forms.
  • There's something a bit oddly stiff about 2D animation poses rendered in 3D like this…
  • It's not a Mega Man game these days unless you spend some time on a construction site.
  • A lot of stuff to unpack here… Capcom
  • A new weapon shown in the trailer drops four bricks right in front of Mega Man.
  • Welcome back, big guy.

After years in the gaming wilderness, Capcom announced that the venerable Mega Man franchise will be coming back with Mega Man 11 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch in late 2018.

A short gameplay trailer showed that this would be the first core, numbered Mega Man game to feature 3D characters and environments, rather than hand-drawn 2D sprites. Character designer Yuji Ishihara said in a 30th anniversary announcement stream that the company initially considered a more pixelated style for the new game, but that it "felt a little bit off from what gamers were probably looking for." He added that he wanted to "create the illusion of 3D space without a 3D environment" so that players would feel the same familiarity with the classic Mega Man gameplay.

After launching dozens of Mega Man games and spin-offs through the 2010 release of the retro-infused Mega Man 10, Capcom has largely ignored the blue bomber for years now. That's probably in part because of the 2010 departure of series creator Keiji Inafune, who went on to helm the ill-received Mighty No.9 Kickstarter campaign.Capcom's release of a pair of well-regarded "Legacy Collection" re-releases for major consoles in recent years was balanced out by some horrendous mobile phone ports. The utter lack of any new titles featuring one of gaming's most recognizable brands had become something of a morbid joke among longtime fans for a while now."I want to say to the fans, 'Thank you so much for waiting,'" level-designer Masakazu Eguchi said in the announcement stream. "I really think Mega Man is a franchise that Capcom should take care of and a character that is well-loved by fans."

In addition to Mega Man 11, Capcom also announced a collection of all eight Mega Man X games would be coming to the Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC in the summer of 2018. The previous released Legacy Collection compilations of earlier Mega Man games will also be coming to the Switch next year, filling in what was a surprising omission for Nintendo's hot hardware.

Listing image by Capcom

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