Historically speaking, Mega Man games that moved away from the squat, pixelated, grimacing Mega Man art style have had mixed results. While I never fully warmed up to Mega Man 11’s cutesy, highly-detailed graphical style, the new look didn’t interfere with the classic feel of Mega Man as it did in Mega Man 7, a beautiful, but slow and clunky game. There are some fantastic robot designs, like massive skull-faced pillars that shoot lasers from their mouths, a wooly mammoth on a hoverboard, and an ostrich that’s on fire. These recall the art of early Mega Man games while filling out contemporary 16:9 wide screens (a series first!), dwarfing Mega Man. It’s a great effect to make me feel nimble as I’m sliding around with time at a standstill to avoid giant, crazed bots.
The series has inspired numerous game developers. Fable creator Peter Molyneux considers Final Fantasy VII to be the RPG that "defined the genre" for him. BioWare founder Greg Zeschuk cited Final Fantasy VII as "the first really emotionally engaging game" he played and said it had "a big impact" on BioWare's work. The Witcher 3 senior environmental artist Jonas Mattsson cited Final Fantasy as "a huge influence" and said it was "the first RPG" he played through. Mass Effect art director Derek Watts cited Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within as a major influence on the series, and BioWare senior product manager David Silverman cited Final Fantasy XII's gambit system as an influence on the gameplay of Dragon Age: Origins. Ubisoft Toronto creative director Maxime Beland cited the original Final Fantasy as a major influence on him.
There’s a cleverness and care that seems infused throughout Mega Man 11, and numerous creative touches surprised me as I played. Bounce Man’s rubbery body is flecked with bits of metallic confetti, like a bouncy ball from a toy vending machine. Block Man’s level is inspired by Mayan art and architecture, supporting the robot’s backstory in which he fantasizes about building his own temple. Each of the game’s new Robot Masters is given dozens of catchphrases and punny quips. “Prepare to diode!” Fuse Man will say, appealing to my inner dad joke enthusiast.
During Linkle's Tale, Princess Zelda learns the magic of the Twilight Realm threatens Hyrule and leads a small group of Hyrulean Forces to stop it while her allies prepare to defeat Hyrule's enemies. Midna however follows her and meets Linkie who shows her a mysterious crystal that restores Midna's true form. Together they team up to help Zelda who is imprisoned by dark constructs of Twili Midna and Zant created by the out of control Twilight magic. Linkie and Twili Midna free Zelda and Twili Midna shatters the crystal to seal the Twilight magic at the cost of becoming cursed once more reverting to her Imp form though she is fine with it as Hyrule and Zelda are safe. Linkie inspired by Midna and Princess Zelda's selflessness decides to continue on her journey to Hyrule Castle instead of simply joining them.
The series portrays an overt romantic relationship between the two protagonists. Link is always begging Zelda for a kiss; however, even when she agrees to indulge him, it never occurs. They are interrupted by monsters, or Spryte, or any number of unfortunate circumstances. It is directly revealed that Zelda loves Link in one episode, and there is no doubt of their romantic relationship in this series. Thirteen of these cartoons were produced before the cancellation of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Princess Zelda was voiced by Cynthia Preston in the cartoon.
When Zelda's power failed to awaken on Mount Lanayru, Urbosa told Zelda not to give up hope as she did all she could and noted Mount Lanayru wasn't her last shot as anything could spark her powers to awaken. When Ganon appeared Urbosa initially wanted to take Zelda to safety but Zelda refused wanting to fight alongside her comrades even without her powers which Urbosa did not object to, understanding and respecting Zelda's desire to stand alongside them against Ganon along with her courage and sense of duty. Ultimately Urbosa was correct about Zelda's powers as the spark she spoke of occurred when Zelda selflessly tried to shield the exhausted Link from an attacking Guardian saving Zelda and Link. Even In death, Urbosa continued to support Link and Zelda as a spirit once freed from Thunderblight Ganon's imprisonment.