Mega Man gets back his trademark Charge Shot and Slide after losing them for no in-universe reason in Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10. note The out-of-game reason he lost them was to help differentiate Mega Man and Proto Man from each other in gameplay, though the two characters already differed enough that people missed the Charge Shot and Slide.
Ultimately, the creation of the entire game itself counts, considering that previous planned games (including Mega Man Universenote which would have featured various different Mega Man characters, including"bad box art"Mega Man, plusRyu and Arthur, Rockman Onlinenote a Korean 2½D MMO which would have been a crossover between the Classic and X series set in an unspecified future era, and Mega Man Legends 3) were later delayed and eventually cancelled and the franchise as a whole suffered from a long hiatus before the game's announcement.
The fact that you can try out the new weapons as soon as you get them. This not only lets you find out what the weapons do but experiment with them without using weapon energy in a level.
Awesome Art: Many find the new concept art to be fantastic and love how the game looks as well as the designs for the new Robot Masters.
Sniper Joes are way more dangerous than in past titles, as they act like they did in the first game. That means that, if you try to get past them, they will chase after you. Usually, this is not much of an issue unless they appear in your way while you're being chased by an Advancing Wall of Doom.
Tosanaizer V. These things only appear in Bounce Man's level, but are strategically placed in bottomless pits to push you back, which can lead to you falling down into it.
Disappointing Last Level: The Gear Fortress is rather lackluster in comparison to previous Wily Castles, almost to the extent of the one in Mega Man 5note though at least 5 had Proto/Dark Man's castle you had to go through beforehand; there's no such excuse for the Gear Fortress, with only two proper stages, then a stage entirely devoted to the usual Boss Rush, and then a tiny stage leading up to the Final Boss. To make it even more like 5's Wily Castle, all stages share the same theme song just like all the stages of 5's castle note keep in mind that each Wily stage featured between 7, 8, 9, and 10 had its own unique theme (even Mega Man & Bass switched to a new castle theme once King turned out to be Hijacked by Wily after the second stage), so by this point, fans assumed 11's composition would follow suit, and one of the bosses, Mawverne, is even based off of Circring Q9. Finally, the other fortress boss is simply another rehash of the infamous reoccurring Yellow Devil, and one that barely diverges from the first Devil (not that this is necessarily a good thing for the player). Plus, even 5's Wily Castle at least had a Wily fight during the Boss Rush, which Gear Fortress did not.
The pre-order trailer for the game revealing that Wily has night terrors because of the amount of times Mega Man has defeated him.
Dr. Wily briefly "took over" the official Mega Man Twitter and held a Q&A session to promote the game. The whole thread is full of laughs, but special mention goes to his response to being asked "What's Zero?":
One of the enemies is a modern remote-controlled drone, with eyes. The sudden clash of actual modern tech with Mega Man's slightly zeerusty setting makes it a surprisingly humorous enemy. Their bio even indicates that such a strange design's effectiveness is yet to be seen.
Even better; the Wily Machine is based on this design.
The bio for the Eye Ice enemy, which drifts gently down to the ground and gets carried by their stage's wind currents, note that they were made as set dressing for artificially-made snowy environments. The sudden changes in wind speed and direction have resulted in them bumping into patrons on a semi-frequent basis. To quote said bio, "There have been...complaints."
The Tosanaizer V from Bounce Man's stage is noted to have two variants for its hands; ones padded in sponge, and ones that are just metal. The bio then adds on, "(It always uses the metal ones.)"
Most of the Robot Masters have a movement style that fits their theme (Fuse Man zips around at light speed, Bounce Man rebounds across the room, etc.). Block Man is a Mighty Glacier, so he moves by... jogging around at a middling pace, just like he did in the intro cutscene. Since he never jumps and attacks until you fire a shot, you can have some fun by repeatedly hopping over him, as he'll never change tactics and will keep jogging and failing to run into Mega.
After beating four Robot Masters, there's a cutscene where Light explains to Mega Man about what happened between him and Wily in the past. During which, we clearly see Roll and Auto trying to hide in the background and rather obviously noticeable at that.
The Speed Gear makes the Power Gear rather redundant by comparison. The time slowdown not only makes platforming sections much easier, but it also allows Mega Man to shred through anything without invincibility frames by rapid firing the Mega Buster up against them. Even against Robot Masters, you're much better off using the Speed Gear, since it lets you avoid their attacks and sneak in damage without any trouble. Then there's the upgrade that lets you move and attack at normal speed while in Speed Gear mode, which removes a lot of difficulty from Torch Man's stage and others while making it even easier to spam-attack enemies to death.
It's a completely different story once you have the right weapons to augment with the Power Gear, though. Block Dropper creates a hail of bricks that shreds anything without Mercy Invincibility, Tundra Storm wipes the screen of weak enemies and destroys projectiles too, and Chain Blast creates giant bombs with enormous explosion radii.
Genius Bonus: The acid pools in Acid Man's stage start turning from blue, to yellow, then to red as the acid dropper enemies drop more acid into them. Initially, this appears to be a warning to the player, but it's most likely based on a Universal Indicator that does change colors from blue to yellow to red as it gets more acidic.
Mini Shpidy enemies take only one hit to die, but they're extremely small, which makes them hard to hit. They're also released in threes every time a regular-size Shpidy is hit, and both Acid Man's and Torch Man's stages have several areas where Mini-Shpidies litter the floor.
Boyorns, the ball enemies in Bounce Man's stage, don't hurt Mega Man much at all (they only deal about 1 HP of damage) but they have a surprising amount of HP. They constantly bounce, making them annoying to hit, and each time they're hit, they bounce backwards, which can make it more irritating for you to hit them.
Torch Man's attacks have a ludicrous amount of knockback that can easily leave you disoriented.
The Thrill Twins, the mini-bosses of Blast Man's stage, require very precise buster shots, special weapons, or shooting their minions into their rockets to damage them. To make matters worse, once one rocket is destroyed, the survivor's movement patterns abruptly change.
Sparkey (Torch Man's stage) has an absurd amount of health for a mini-boss and his back is protected by flames. He also moves and fires very quickly, and spawns a few annoying chicks to pester you. While his flames can be put out when he takes enough damage, it only happens once when he loses about 1/4 of his health, and a hard-to-reach enemy will spawn to reignite him in due time. You can use Tundra Storm to keep Sparkey extinguished or fire it off a few times in Power Gear to quickly end the fight, but if you need to save your energy for the actual battle with Torch Man or used it up on the walls of fire, it's much tougher.
Dread Spark (Fuse Man's stage) and Cyclone W (Acid Man's stage) will subject Mega Man to Bullet Hell levels of electricity and cleaning robots respectively. Dread Spark in particular has one attack that sends electricity across the arena and requires frame-perfect timing to evade. Cyclone W can be taken care of with Power Gear Block Dropper, while Dread Spark is taken care of with rapid-fire Bounce Ball, though you will need it for the bosses, as they're also their weaknesses.
Frog Balloon (Bounce Man's stage) is very good at stalling and defending its Pump Master with its Poyorns that it releases when it pops. Due to his high health and how he leaps to the other side of the room, it's very likely that the Pump Master will revive the balloon at least once. The balloon also has a tongue attack that the game doesn't explain how to escape from, and can easily take out a third of your health. The rematch has a floor made of balloons, making standing still an impossibility and some attacks become harder to dodge as a result of all the bouncing. Thankfully, Block Man's weapon plus the Power Gear decimates it, not to mention that the Pile Driver destroys the Frog Balloon and the Poyorn in one hit, and Pump Master K in two. Then again, you'll also want to save it up for Bounce Man, and the weapon has fairly limited ammo. And keep in mind you fight two of them during the stage.
Harsher in Hindsight: The opening cutscene where a young Light and Wily are arguing over the latter's research into the Double Gear system, Wily tells Light off for his hopefulness for his independent thought research, stating "We can't build a future on your empty optimism." As futureseries would show, Wily was ultimately proven right in that regard.
Just looking at the retrospective shortly before the trailer. Year upon year of games, then it begins to trail off, and the last two areas...practically nothing excepta failed mobile game. Then Mega Man finds a literal light at the end of the tunnel. He's finally got a new game.
Wily originally wanted to use his Double Gear invention to create a "true hero". All players with knowledge of Mega Man history should know by now was that while it needed a certain robot'sHeelFace Turn, that Wily succeeded in this dream at least.
Heartwarming Moments: In order to combat Dr. Wily's reprogrammed Robot Masters, Dr. Light installs a Double Gear circuit into Mega Man. The very same one that Wily had originally trashed in disgust at Light in his feelings of betrayal. Thomas kept it all this time. At the end of the game, Light demonstrates that even after Wily explicitly tricked him in Mega Man 3, and then kidnapped him (twice!), he still wishes Wily may one day see the error of his ways so they can be colleagues again. To drive the point home, when Wily claims that Mega Man only defeated him this time because of Wily's own Double Gear system, Light does not defute this. Instead, he says that a Double Gear-installed Mega Man is proof "their gears could mesh together." Sadly, Wily ignores this and never renounces his ways, causing Light to lament how things went south between them.
Because of the game's presentation and having Mega Man's appearance change with equipped weapons, it's hard not to think of Mighty No. 9. While the latter game was developed to be a Spiritual Successor to the Mega Man franchise, it could now be argued that Mega Man 11 is (in some people's minds) basically trying to be "Mighty No. 9 done right," especially after the latter's abysmal reception.
Blast Man's memetic "EXPLOSION IS ART" seems especially funny coming on the heels of the "Pizza Explosion" meme from Mighty No. 9, which mocked the poor quality of the explosion graphics from that game.
The fan game Mega Man Rock Force also had a Robot Master named Fuse Man. Fast forward to 2018, and this game has a Robot Master with the same name.
Relatedly, Mega Man Battle Network 6 had a Navi named Blast Man. 12 years later, we get a Robot Master with the same name, though not the same powers.
The Mega Man 3 DOS game had a Robot Master named Torch Man, which is also FireMan.EXE's dub name in the MegaMan NT Warrior anime. 26 years later, Torch Man is now canon. For bonus hilarity points, Torch Man's voice actor is also Mr. Match, operator of the aforementioned FireMan.EXE.
Another fan game, Hard Hat 2, and the cancelled fan game Mega Man F each had a Robot Master named Acid Man. Now there's a canon one.
Yet another fan game, Rokko Chan, had a bouncy/elastic based Robot Master called Rolling Man, whose Rolling Ring weapon was a Hyper-Destructive Bouncing BallSpread Shot. This is pretty much what the Bounce Ball that Bounce Man gives Mega Man is. Furthermore, both the Rolling Ring and Bounce Ball are effective against the games' respective electricity-based Robot Masters.
Wily developed the Double Gear during his time in university, which causes a great deal of damage to robots that use it. In the Archie Comic, Light mentions how Wily performed unethical robot experiments during their time at university together. In the flashback scenes, Wily says that the future can't be built on Light's "empty optimism" and that his Double Gear will allow any robot to become a hero. While it's not clear if Zero inherited any aspect of Double Gear, considering that the peaceful future of the ZX games happened because he killed Dr. Weil, Wily was more right than he realized.
The Ruby-Spears cartoon episode "The Day the Moon Fell" has Wily use a device he and Light collaborated on in college to cause mayhem. In 11, the Double Gear system Wily uses was something Wily and Light worked on in college. Similarly, in "Showdown at Red Gulch", Wily uses energy from a meteor to power up his robots; soon it leaves them drained and weak, but Mega Man must use the meteor to match their newfound strength in the meantime. In 11, Wily's Double Gear system powers up his robots but takes a toll on their body, and Mega Man must match them by using it himself.
After years without a new entry, Keiji Inafune leaving Capcom, and the cancellation of a few high-profile games in the series, few were expecting the announcement of a new game, especially one with a new art style compared to the earlier games in the Classic series.
With the announcement itself, Capcom did an atypical retrospective of the Mega Man series, with Mega Man picking up parts of the anniversary logo over the period, even highlighting the dearth of content over the past half-decade, until they got to Dr. Wily's chamber. Wily does his usual fake-out, Mega Man entering a room with a unknown pick-up, only to teleport out of the retrospective...and into the Mega Man 11 trailer. The fandom went NUTS.
Upon its announcement, quite a few people were quick to sling back some of Mighty No. 9's infamous memes back at it, most notably was that this game would "make Inafune cry like an anime fan on prom night", that "it's better than nothing" note "nothing" in this case either referring to the usual lack of content for the series at that point or, more disparagingly, MN9 itself and praising the game for its lack of "pizza explosions." More cynical fans joke about the game being the result of Equivalent Exchange: for one franchise to live, the other had to die (Mega Man stays dormant while Comcept develops MN9, then Comcept gets absorbed before Mega Man 11's announcement), though these memes died down somewhat after the latter's more favorable portrayal in Mighty Gunvolt Burst.
Ron the Death Eater: Anti-Dr. Light sentiments increased with this game's release, with several fans seeing Wily as The Woobie whose research is lambasted and stolen and seeing Light's objections to the Gears as baseless.
As an offensive weapon, the Pile Driver has gotten this reaction from some gamers as, much like the Top Spin and Sakugarne, Mega Man himself tends to take damage on occasions when the weapon hits but doesn't destroy an enemy (which is at least unlikely, since the Pile Driver deals the most damage in a single hit out of any weapon in the game). It can also cause some heavy knockback if Mega Man doesn't properly pierce through an enemy. However, it's gained points for its Utility Weapon use as a makeshift air dash, allowing some otherwise difficult platforming sections to be bypassed with ease.
The Bounce Ball's Power Gear variant is less impressive than the upgrades the other weapons get, since all it does is produce three extra balls that fire behind Mega Man without adding extra damage. The Tundra Storm is more effective for hitting surrounding enemies, so outside of cramped spaces and the bosses weak to Bounce Ball (since both of them can quickly move behind you), it's better to just just spam the base shot for less ammo consumption.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Zig-Zagged. Mega Man 11 did receive praise for being a non-8-bit Classic Mega Man game that properly updates the fast-paced gameplay of the 8-bit games into a modern dimension. note In comparison to 9 and 10 deliberately scalingback to what was seen in Mega Man 2 due to developer preferences and an appeal to nostalgia. It also managed to do so with none of the hiccups that made the previous attempts at modernizing the Classic series formula (7, 8, MM&B) so divisive to some fans. On the other hand, it cuts a lot of corners at the end,note See Disappointing Last Level above is the first entry in years to only have one playable character instead of two or three, and has little in the way of polish. note Most notably, playing gearless is not acknowledged in any way shape or form, which would be acceptable in a Retreaux game but is a bit jarring when part of the lure of the game was updating the franchise into the current gen. Overall, it feels like a passion project that got rushed and pushed out the door at the end.
When in his Power Gear form, Block Man's overhead smash does an obscene amount of damage, and is nigh impossible to dodge if he does it while he's got you backed into a corner.
Good luck dodging Yellow Devil MK-III's Speed Gear attack without resorting to your own Speed Gear... and even with it, the mini-Devils occupy so much of the screen that it's easy to get stuck and take damage anyway.
Blast Man's bombs eat up a large portion of the screen, and it doesn't help that he occasionally jumps across the room while firing them. His Chain Blast bombs takes up about a third of the screen and is very unintuitive to dodge his pattern when he uses it. Finally, his Power Gear further increases to the size of the explosions massively, further decreasing the amount of space you have to avoid his attacks. And to top it all off, he's incredibly mobile and can be hard to hit thanks to his love of jumping out of the way of your attacks.
Torch Man is absolutely brutal thanks to his aggressive fighting style. He'll often protect himself from damage by shooting fireballs that absorb your shots, zoom towards you and kick you with little time to react, and pull off brutal dive kicks that are difficult to dodge. To make matters worse, his attacks have a lot of knockback, and he tends to get locked into a pattern before catching you off guard with a sudden dive kick. And while his attack pattern while using the Power Gear is predictable, the enormous size of his flame wheels makes them no easier to avoid, even with Speed Gear to slow them down.
Everyone's favorite boss, the Yellow Devil, returns as the first Wily stage boss. It's just as hard as it was in the NES games, with heavily-damaging pieces that can wipe you out in 5 hits, a VERY tight time window to hit its eye (with the eye itself shooting lasers and bombs that make it even harder to hit while dodging), and a Speed Gear boost that splits it into nine miniature copies of itself, which run and jump around the room in hard-to-avoid patterns before reforming. Even having its weakness, the Chain Blast does little to help matters since its slow movement makes it hard to hit the Devil when he's open, and the Power Gear variant goes through a ton of ammo which makes missed shots costly.
Torch Man's stage has walls made of firethat kill you in one hit. During these sequences, it's very easy to get hit by an enemy and have the stun effect from getting hit making you unable to get out of the way of the wall. Not to mention you have to do this THREE TIMES!
In particular, the second sequence can be very tough. Unlike the other two, it's full of tight areas with many obstacles in the way and require as much movement and jumping precision as possible. It isn't help by all of the Air Fires and Tatepakkan in the way. There's also a point after the sole Tatepakken where you'll have to make a quick jump on a small ledge. The problem is that the jump is to the left, which is where the fire is advancing from. This is made even more difficult in a Double Gearless Run.
The underwater sections of Acid Man's stage love their Spikes of Doom, as they're absolutely covering the place, not to mention that you have to dodge them all with a current pushing you backwards or forwards. If you have the Pile Driver, most of these sections become a cakewalk since you can use it as a midair dash that can even cancel your vertical movement, but ironically the Robot Master you get it from, Impact Man, is weak to Acid Man's weapon.
Wily Fortress 1 is the hardest of the Wily stages in the game. Lots of rotating platforms over Bottomless Pits with enemies placed in extremely-awkward-to-deal-with locations that make traversing the stage a nightmare. Even with the Speed Gear being abused, it's still hell because it's designed in such a way to cause the gear to overheat at the worst possible moments. And at the end of it all is the Yellow Devil, who's as tough as always. Fortunately, careful use of the Acid Barrier can get you quickly through the most projectile-dense areas.
There's one especially devious area of Wily Fortress 1 that deserves special mention; after the section where you're first introduced to the series staple reappearing-disappearing blocks, and following a short section of dealing with wall turrets (easily disposed of via your special weapons) you come to a gauntlet of jumps surrounded by Air Nuts. Now, if you've been paying attention throughout the game, you'll notice that whenever you come upon a gauntlet of jumps, you can always succeed if you never stop moving and just keep going forward; the challenge is quickly making the jumps, not staying still to fight the enemies between each jump. The game breaks this philosophy for this jumping section without any warning, as there is one Air Nut deviously placed near the end of this platforming sequence that, if you keep moving, will hit you with its projectile. You'll likely not even notice the projectile is coming since the screen is already incredibly bursting with enemies and platforms. You have to stop on one of the last platforms (one of the ones that falls down if you stand on it too long, by the way, inspiring you to want to jump off it as quickly as possible) and wait for the Air Nut to fire. The complete change in gameplay flow can be like whiplash for some players. Once again, careful use of Acid Barrier can make this trivial, but the game will once again mess with you; since the Acid Barrier takes a moment to set up, there are only four solid sections of this sequence where you have time to activate it. If you activate Acid Barrier on the first or second solid platform, it will turn off in the middle of the platforming section where you have to stop and wait, and you will get hit by that Air Nut and fall to your death.
Being unable to jump through the boss doors. While for most, the lack of this is itself only a mild annoyance at worst, the truly controversial part is where Capcom couldn't be bothered to patch it in despite all the demand for it. Given that it's such a small thing, it strikes many as a sign of bad faith for Capcom to be unwilling to make such a small update that so many wanted.
Wily also never does his trademark Eyebrow Waggle even once. The chimney pipe on his fortress is another little detail that goes forgotten.
Downplayed with the retraux crowd. There remains a small but vocal part of the fanbase that firmly believe that the series should only ever use NES-style graphics and sound, and naturally complained that this game moved away from it. However, much of them have at least conceded that they can just Demake the game and there is currently a serious effort to do so ongoing.
Several people have noted how the Double Gear system could have been far more developed for the Robot Masters and enemies in this game, allowing for more climactic and difficult battles. Only Mega Man and Wily uses both Gears while the Robot Masters can only use one. Not even in the Boss Rush rematch is this acknowledged. The character bios in the gallery explain the fortress bosses: Dr. Wily didn't have the time or budget to outfit them with both gears.
With how dangerous the Double Gear system is played up as, you'd expect it to start having some negative effect on Mega Man as the story progresses, not unlike the previous game's Roboenza outbreak. Nope! Mega Man is no worse for wear than he was when he started the game. Though Auto does break down after overusing both gears at the end of the game.
Win Back the Crowd: The game's announcement itself was this to longtime Mega Man fans who had turned on Capcom after seeing no official releases (barring compilations and rereleases) since Keiji Inafune left the company nearly a decade prior, leading many to write the franchise off as dead. The fact that the game has a modern graphical style and a higher budget as opposed to being an NES-style retro throwback like Mega Man 9 and 10 also did a lot to get people excited.
Downplayed after release however. Some were disappointed with the game's Wily Castlenote While Mega Man & Bass technically had 3 to this game's 4, all 3 were full stages. as well as Proto Man and Bass's absence for Continuity Lockout prevention reasons. The fact that the previous three games had two or three playable characters (with divergent stories in 2 of the cases) to this game's one didn't help. Some fans overlooked this at first, assuming DLC would come along and fix the problem, at least partially. However, Capcom hinted that would only happen if the game sold well, but remained silent once it did.
The Woobie: Dr. Light really needs a hug during the game's events. When you come back from a stage, he sounds genuinely relieved that you made it home safely, and then there's his bits in the story. He laments that Wily's fall was essentially his fault, wondering if it all could have been avoided if he'd tried to work with him instead of saying he was wrong. When Mega Man goes to face Wily, Light appeals to his old friend and offers to collaborate with him, but Wily refuses and vows to have the world kneeling at his feet. The game ends on that note, as Light realizes his former friend is long-gone.