Megaman 10 has an interesting little addition to the franchise not seen since 1988's Megaman 2: An Easy mode.
Technically, Mega Man 2's easy mode was called normal mode, while the white-knuckled difficulty typically found in a Mega Man game was called difficult, but it was an easy mode.
The difference this time around is that Mega Man 10's easy mode doesn't just make the bad guys easier to blast, it also changes the level.
I worked my way through the short Mega Man 10 demo at Capcom's CES suite earlier this week in Las Vegas. The first time around I played on normal difficulty, dying repeatedly as I misjudged jumps, firing sequences and bad guy movements. It was every bit a typical Mega Man experience, including a run in with Robot Master Strike Man.
Strike Man is a big-chinned head floating at the top of the screen. You have to dodge the soccer ball he throws at you, and his giant metal fists, long enough to blast him and clear the room to proceed.
I managed to die enough on the normal mode to not make it to the end of the demo.
Then I gave the game a try on easy mode.
This time around the bad guys were easier to take out, and Strike Man was a cinch. But the biggest difference was that in several areas fields of damage-inducing spikes were covered over with metal plating so I didn't have to worry about jumping them.
Perhaps it made things a bit too easy, but it's nice to be able to zip through a Mega Man game occasional to blow off, not build up steam.
Mega Man 10 hits the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 as a downloadable game this March.