Hey everyone! I got to play the demo at Pax West for Mega Man 11. The newest installment of the Mega Man series available on October 2, 2018 across all platforms. To be fair, after the legendary Keiji Inafune departed from his longtime role as the producer of Mega Man the announcement last year of this game had me worried where the direction of Mega Man would go with him gone. Would Mega Man ever be the same? Would it have the details that we look for in all the previous Mega Man games? I think I got my answer after the demo and was pleasantly surprised. The demo featured the bosses in the release trailer plus two more with their own unique challenges that one of the exhibitors defined when I walked up to the screen. Stating that Block Man seemed to be the easiest for people to conquer, but the level challenged and really provided the old Mega Man style platforming to get the feel of the game. Fuse Man provided a challenge to your reactions and how you handled yourself in snap decisions. Blast Man challenged your ability to pre-plan for his next round of attacks with placements and movement. The last boss, due to noise on the Pax floor, I missed, but it provided another challenge to the player. With that being said, his next words are that most people don't challenge Fuse Man because of its difficulty on the floor. So what did I do? I challenged Fuse Man to test my old reaction times and to prove to all the other onlookers that I still got it and still can roll with the best of them. Speaking of difficulty, the game if I am remembering correctly have five different levels of difficulty that could be selected before we got to the world select screen. From Hardcore down to Easy mode, each provided a different level of challenge for you to play how you want to play. I did not remember seeing any on-screen prompts that explained the differences between each level of difficulty, but I chose the middle ground of Normal play. After jumping into Fuse Man's level, I was introduced to the controls of the game that resembled the other numbered Mega Man games, they felt odd to a person like myself that was used to the X series as his primary Mega Man series. Yet I quickly picked up on the controls and it felt like I was riding a bike. The only complaint I could honestly have with the control system is I really do like having the dash on a button so I can spam it for that speed boost. Mega Man 11 didn't have a dash button, but a combination to do a slide dash that didn't seem fitting. Yet it became a key part that I had to pick up quickly to dodge many attacks. The level felt polished, well colored, and designed, killing the fears of it being a successor to Mighty Number 9. The game that Keiji Inafune designed after leaving the franchise. At the same time it felt like it was a toss in the face of Mighty Number 9. In how the art style and color happened to be, a little smirk came from my normally stern face as it seemed to be saying to me, “Mr. Keiji Inafune may have departed us, but we can still do what we have always done, will continue to do, and here is the proof compare away if you wish.” This is the level of 2D or in this case more of a 2.5D game that I demand. I want people out there still to this day making competitive games in this style because us older gamers really love to get back to our roots that made us fall in love with gaming. If this is how we are going to get more, better, and improved games of the genre then by all means. Have your quiet slap fight in the background as you are developing great games for all of us to play. The platforming appeared to be easy from the start, but this colorful game had some dark hidden secrets. Telling me as I traversed the level that if you don't take me seriously, I will make sure you suffer and a few areas I really did! I died in two areas and had to take a step back to really figure out how the area was speaking to me before I passed on. At the same time, I wasn't using my gear system to assist me along in the level. Making it even harder for me, the exhibitor stated, but he was impressed by how I got by without it. I felt really rewarded when I cleared a room, and really felt that I had to study the ones that I messed up on. I loved it, and it made me wonder how the hardest difficulty would have been. When finally reaching Fuse Man, I felt challenged even on Normal mode. I will admit, he kicked my butt the first time as I learned his patterns. Yet the second time is when I finished him. As he dashed around the screen I had to focus on one single point of the background using that peripheral vision to its fullest to dodge his incoming attacks and the other persistent threats that were going on during the fight. Then something happened. Something I wasn't expecting and I noticed it on all the bosses before as I was standing in line for the booth, but it didn't hit me until he did it. He experienced what I would say was a phase two mode, or a rage mode. Where all his attacks changed, the speed changed, the patterns changed. I was caught off guard as I couldn't dodge some of them, then some sign from above or maybe it was an exhibitor whispering in my ear. I heard, “Use the Slow gear Darktide, use it to dominate this boss and come out a victor.” After picking myself up with an E-tank I came back to the fight with a renewed vigor and a different strategy. The slow gear activated by the right bumper on my remote gave me that split second slow down to figure out where he was going and make the proper adjustments to counter. As well as I enjoyed there being a set limit on how long you could use it, punishing me for overuse. After the final charged blow was struck I was granted the customary new buster, look, and something I haven't seen before a mini screen to try out the attack and how to use it before moving on to the next level. All in all, this game brings the nostalgia that I have been missing for the past eight years. That other games have been filling effectively. But they are just not Mega Man! Thank you Capcom, keep it coming! I want it and I know too many others that want it too. I can’t wait for the full release on October 2, 2018. Learning more about the gears, and how the gears will play a larger role in this new release and more. Plus, who doesn't like a little extra spice with their perfect game? Well done Capcom. Darktide.