After 3 long years, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune’s new title has been released. Not only were those years long, but they were trying, plagued with delays, lack of effective communication and services, and more. I’m not going to go over all the details, but if you want to see for yourself, just google the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter mishaps. All being said, it’s finally released and ready to rock.
Mighty No. 9 plays like the classic Mega Man games. Mighty No. 9 is a side scrolling platformer. Your main character (Mighty No. 9, Beck) fights his way through malfunctioning robots to defeat the bosses (mainly the other 8 Mighty Nos.) who have also malfunctioned. The stages and enemies are all themed, like you’d expect in a Mega Man game (for example, the mine stage has enemies with drills and mining hats and what-not) and the levels are very well designed. Not to mention the fact the game is visually gorgeous, done in a very cartoony style, kind of like an HD, less pastel-y Mega Man 8 (I now realize I want a Mega Man 8 HD). The first stage is pretty simple as you grasp the controls and the mechanics, but the rest of the stages can be fairly difficult if you’re not ready. Mighty No. 9, for me, required a bit if getting used to; it wasn’t really until about halfway through the beginning 8 stages did I start really getting the hang of thing and was enjoying myself. In fact, until I really got the hang of things, I wasn’t having too great a time with it.
One gripe is the balance between sounds, voices and music. Any retro Mega Man player knows that music is a cornerstone of Mega Man games. In Mighty No. 9, the music is WAY too soft, and even turning the sounds and voices down to around 50% barely helps. There is an option for 8 bit music, but again, you can barely hear it as is. Another concern is how much dialogue there is, especially early in the game. It almost turned me away. And all that dialogue, again, drowns out the music. The dialogue boxes take up a good portion of the screen too, hindering gameplay from time to time. Lastly, controls can be a little a weird (though it may just be the learning curve), with Beck taking an extra step where I don’t want him to. I also did have Mighty No. 9 crash for me once on the second stage.
The mechanics in Mighty No. 9 are pretty similar to Mega Man, with a few changes. You can shoot from your arm buster, and defeating bosses allows you to transform into them and use one of their powers. Unlike Mega Man, however, enemies take a lot of shots to destroy. However, once you’ve done enough damage, they begin to glow with pixels, making them susceptible to your dash attack, which instantly destroys them. This adds a new layer to the Mega Man formula, and allows for an even faster paced gameplay as you run, shoot, and dash through your opposition. The dash can take a little getting used to though, I know early in the game I was over or under dashing pretty often. The more enemies you kill in a single aerial dash, the higher chance of you getting an E-Tank style health replenishment. When you dash through an enemy, you’re actually absorbing them, and some enemies can give you temporary boosts, such as your shot penetrating multiple targets, or the ability to move faster. Bosses are still susceptible to other bosses’ powers, and the other Mighty Nos. will help you throughout tough parts of the stages if you’ve rescued them, often destroying annoying enemies in the background of the stages.
I still need more time with it, but ultimately, I think Mighty No. 9 is a great game to add to the Mega Man collection. If you like Mega Man, I think you’ll appreciate Mighty No. 9 for what it can bring to the table.
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