Anyone who was too intimidated by Mega Man 9's maddening difficulty curve but wanted to enjoy the nostalgic goodness should keep tabs on Mega Man 10. Lessons have been learned from Mega Man's return to the 8-bit era, based on my time spent with Mega Man 10 at CES 2010.
Capcom wasn't giving us much to play with at CES (only Mega Man and a short slice of a single stage were playable) and to add insult to injury, I'm not even allowed to talk about which boss stage was actually available -- that reveal is coming soon. I can tell you it involved robots throwing baseballs, something I don't recall seeing in another Mega Man video game before.
What's more important is not only the addition of an easy setting but tweaks made to normal. Mega Man 10, like its predecessor, is designed to test your patience and tendency for throwing controllers at the ground. No doubt, I will spike at least one controller when the finished product is in my hands, but during the CES demo, it was classic Mega Man: enter a screen, die, learn the pattern, move onto the next one. Without having played more stages from Mega Man 10, it's impossible to say too much, but it's an encouraging sign that I finished the demo. That didn't happen with Mega Man 9.
I also gave easy mode a spin. It would have been simple for Capcom to simply make the enemies take less shots and make Mega Man nigh invincible, but the response to Mega Man 9's difficulty must have went to heart; the level design is actually different when easy's selected. In one section, you're jumping on shifting robotic hands that position you to take out the robot's head. On normal, there's m annoying soccer ball bouncing around the room to distract you. On easy, that's removed. Enemies also take longer to shoot and require fewer direct hits, but actually modifying the level design shows an attention to detail that's sure to be appreciated.
Of course, you're a sissy if you pick easy mode, but, hey, I'm glad it's there. There was no option to play as Protoman in the CES demo, either. Maybe next time.
You'll never hear me complain about more Mega Man. So far, Man Man 10 isn't changing that.