CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD
Mega Man 11 dropped two weeks ago. I picked it up the following day, struggled immensely to beat two bosses, and had a few thoughts about the experience overall. First of all, definitely do not select Block Man to start. Just don't do it. It's counterintuitive as he's the first guy and all.. but still, I would start elsewhere. Second of all, get ready for this sweet three-pronged thesis statement. The features that instantly stood out to me were the absence of Autosave, the Double Gear system, and the new powerups. Third of all, there is no third so let's get started.
The absence of Autosave is the feature I never knew I wanted. Something about navigating to a separate screen and choosing a save slot that needs to be updated after each new progression, while seemingly annoying, really does bring on all those retro feels. Plus, it makes the game just a tiny bit harder. There are in-level checkpoints that you can restart from, but only during the current session. Once you exit the level, you lose all progress and start from scratch. Not to mention the fact that I'll save my game when I want to, thank you. On the other hand, the new save system is also a giant step up from writing down passwords. I'm glad Capcom didn't go too retro there.
Double Gear Solid
The Double Gear system is the basis of the game. Without giving too much of the plot away, the Double Gear system allows robots to perform at higher-than-normal levels. One gear component increases speed; the other increases the power of the Mega Buster. The introduction of the Double Gear system adds an entirely new dimension of gameplay to the Mega Man series. Speaking of new dimensions, the franchise's decision to depart from Mega Man's 8-bit art style is interesting. However, I think it actually worked out very well. The gameplay definitely feels revitalized. But, I digress.
Back to the Double Gear system. You kind of get hit with the Double Gear system twice when you first start the game, which is great. There's the initial "What the hell is the gadget and let me figure it out" phase. Then, when you've finally defeated your first boss, you get this second wind in the form of powerup. Aside from general gameplay, the best part of the Mega Man series is conquering each boss and snagging their cool, new, special ability. The Double Gear system multiplies that by two, literally. Each boss, from what I've gathered so far, has two main attacks which you now inherit and use via the Double Gear system.
The Best Mega Man Ever
The new features in this game diversify it enough that's it's definitely worth picking up. So, in short, no autosave + enhanced graphics + enhanced gameplay = the best Mega Man in the series to date. Hopefully, the storyline is as good as the features of the game.