If your life wasn't consumed by Spider-Man over the weekend (and I hope at least a few of you played Dragon Quest XI), you might've played the Mega Man 11 demo.
The demo lets you run through the entirety of Block Man's stage and then take on the brick-based boss, who howls a Pink Floyd reference at you before the fight starts (bless). Maybe you liked the demo. Maybe you didn't. Maybe you're like me, and you find Mega Man 11's mechanical shift a strange (but not unwelcome) change.
Mega Man 11's demo had people riled up for reasons beyond the Double Gear system, however. See, as per series tradition, Block Man's final lair is guarded by two shutter-style doors. Since day one, it's been Mega Man tradition to leap into said doors, which freezes Mega Man in a jumping position, Matrix-style. But when you try to jump through a door in Mega Man 11, gravity cruelly slams both of Mega Man's feet flat on the ground before the door opens. Forcing Mega Man to walk through the Robot Master's shutter-doors effectively puts an end to 30+ years of airborne boss stage entries.
There's been a lot of to-do about Mega Man 11's omission on Twitter. Some of it is in pure jest, but there are definitely fans imploring Capcom to fix the "broken" doors in between jokes. "If I don't have [airborne door entry], and just have a game with buster pellets and robot masters, how do I really know it’s a Mega Man game?" asks Kotaku's Heather Alexandra. "Since Mega Man 11 is still in development, let’s hope this is fixed before it comes out on October 2nd."
Others who've chimed in on Mega Man 11's door controversy note it's stupid. Games writer Joe Fourhman also points out it might not be a good idea to bear down on Capcom and tell the company it's "doing it wrong" when Mega Man's been on hiatus for close to a decade.
Capcom, a company fans berated for years because they had abandoned Mega Man (to the point that fans followed a MM designer into an ill-considered Kickstarter for a Dollar Store Mega Man game) has lasted exactly one demo before being told they're doing it all wrong again.— Joe Fourhman (@fourhman) September 7, 2018
How about it, then? Are Mega Man fans justified in their confusion, or are they over-reacting? Both sides make good points. Any manner of anger towards Capcom on the door issue is unnecessary (any manner of anger towards a game developer is typically unnecessary, period) and might harm Mega Man's budding revival. At the same time, Mega Man's physics-defying manner of entering boss doors is a constant across most of his 2D games. Jokes about Mega Man floating into battle (which you could even do with immense style while performing a Top Spin in Mega Man 3) have been part of internet culture since the '90s. Having it all yanked away feels…odd.
One Mega Man fan admitted the omission of the door-jump made him worry a bit. If it's gone in Mega Man 11, what other classic Mega Man tropes are being done away with? Do the developers working on the game truly have a grasp on all the little quirks and jokes that've kept the Mega Man franchise alive even during its darkest moments?
Personally, I'm excited about the changes Mega Man 11 brings to the classic series, but jumping through Impact Man's boss door and immediately finding myself ground-bound made me feel like I'd just taken a bite of pizza that tasted like plasticine. Mega Man 11's unorthodox door mechanics are hardly a deal-breaker for me—but shoot, I do hope they're fixed.
Just a kind, gentle suggestion from a long-time fan, Capcom. Many hugs and hearts (please don't kill Mega Man again oh Lord).