As of last week, Mega Man 10 is now "complete": all announced DLC has been released, and it doesn't look like we should expect more. This second and last update came with three extra stage to play as Mega Man only – two additional Special Stages and an Endless Stage, which was also downloadable for Mega Man 9.
Here's what we think of it all:
Special Stage 2 – 100 Nintendo Points
The first Special Stage was based on a level from Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge, so as you might expect, the other two are based on stages from two other Game Boy Mega Man games.
This one is based on a stage from the third Game Boy title, once again changed in various ways so as to make its rather claustrophobic handheld outing fit a bit more with the rest of the console games. Like the previous Special Stage, the developers seem to have gone out of their way to make your life as much of a living hell as possible – three very long rooms in the level are filled to the brim with instant death traps, which you'll want to avoid as well as you can to avoid having to start all the way from the beginning due to the lack of a checkpoint.
For the rest, it's mostly just a reassembly of various parts from the rest of Mega Man 10, with enemies and obstacles from the Game Boy game being replaced with similar enemies and obstacles from 10. The only thing you won't recognise from the rest of 10 is, once again, the boss. This time, it's the second Mega Man Killer, Punk, who still sports his signature red armour and silver mohawk. He's surprisingly tough if you don't use his weakness – all other weapons you have, aside from the Buster, will just bounce right off him, and he's got a bit of an unpredictable attack pattern as well. Thankfully, the stage has an E-Tank to be picked up, something which Enker's stage did not.
Defeating Punk gets you his weapon, the Screw Crusher. When used, it throws out screws in front of you in a small arc. It's only notably useful against one boss, but it's quite decent against most regular enemies – in a similar fashion to Mega Man 2's Metal Blade, it consumes almost no weapon energy at all, which means you could probably go all out with it in any stage of the game and not run out of energy.
Punk's stage is a bit more fair than Enker's. Although it has about an equal amount of death traps, none of them are as cruel as the ones seen before – there's no falling down long vertical passages with spikes awaiting you at unknown spots at the bottom, nor are there long, unknown patterns of disappearing blocks over bottomless pits. The level also features a nice rearrangement of Punk's theme, but it's probably the weakest of the new tracks. Punk himself puts up quite a good fight which you'll want to try and get through – his weapon is probably the most useful of the three additional ones on offer in the Special Stages. Our score: 8/10
Special Stage 3 – 100 Nintendo Points
Based on a level from the fourth Game Boy game, this one's no exception to what seems to have been a conscious design decision, as just like the other two stages it's chock-full of possible swift death spots – spikes and bottomless pits are the tools of choice this time.
It is, strangely enough, the only one of the new stages to feature something from its original game aside from the boss. It's not really an obstacle that will pose a major threat, but it was featured in a fairly memorable part of the Game Boy game, so if you've played it you will very likely instantly recognise it. The boss here is Ballade, the final Mega Man Killer. He's got the easiest to figure out pattern of the bunch, which you should be thankful for – in his original appearance, you actually had to battle a second form after his health got low enough. When you reach the end of the level, he'll randomly appear in either his normal or second form as a nod to this, but it doesn't make any difference for the battle – his attack pattern is the same for both.
Upon victory, you get the Ballade Cracker, a bomb-like weapon that can be thrown in multiple directions. Like the other two Mega Man Killer weapons, it's not really great against anything but one single boss – it works well against most standard enemies, but unlike the Screw Crusher, you've only got a fairly limited amount supply to throw. At least it's better than the Mirror Buster!
Punk's stage feels just right in terms of challenge, but Ballade's is a bit on the annoying side – the tiniest mistake can knock you towards your doom in most of the rooms. Thankfully, if you manage to get through it, Ballade isn't too hard to take out, and you'll get a decent but on the whole fairly unnecessary weapon for your effort. Possibly the best thing about this stage is the music, though – an arrangement of Ballade's theme, it is a serious contender for the best track in Mega Man 10. On the whole, not great, not bad. Our score: 7/10
Endless Attack – 300 Nintendo Points
If you purchased any DLC for Mega Man 9, you should be familiar with this mode. Featuring around 30 completely new "mini-levels," you'll go from one to the next until you lose a single life, after which the total amount of screens you cleared is saved as a record.
Every weapon in the game is at your disposal to achieve this, so don't be afraid to use Rush Coil and Jet to get past tough sections. Just beware – health and energy pickups seem to be a bit rarer than they usually are, so if you want to recover lost points, you might have to go back and forth between screens and grind for a bit. Just like in 9, a number of rooms are actually (intentionally) exactly the same as areas from other "classic" series Mega Man games. See if you can recognise them all!
After every 20 or so screens (not levels) you'll have to battle one of the eight Robot Masters from the main game, so we hope you still remember their weaknesses and attack patterns!
There's not much else to say about Endless Attack – if you'd like to get 30-ish new, smaller levels to play over and over trying to get a new high score, it does its job just as well as the same mode in Mega Man 9 did. Obviously, if you think you'd get bored constantly seeing the same rooms, then there's not much point in getting this. At 300 Nintendo Points it's the most expensive of the DLC, but it's also the one that will potentially give you the most extra playtime. Our score: 8/10