Almost wholly described as ‘not Mega Man’ *wink*, Mighty No. 9 is a throwback side-scroller attempting to cash in on Keiji Inafune’s success with the franchise, which is owned by Capcom. But can the soul of a beloved manga and game hero really be transplanted into an off-brand run away hit 25 years later? I’m gonna go ahead and say no.
“we as a gaming community hold some responsibility here.”
So here we are again, Tom plays a fandom game he has no business getting involved in and goes on a rant. And usually I would start with a disclaimer about how I’m not the target audience and how my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. Well here’s a disclaimer for you: This is a terrible game. I would add an expletive for good measure, but this was written for on-air.
Where on earth do I begin? Well I suppose we can break this game down into two sections: intentionally terrible, and the rest which seems to amount to an unintentional dumpster fire.
Oh, I know where I’ll begin. With the fact that this game made $4 Million dollars on Kickstarter 3 years ago. $4 Million! And what did they do with that money? Put a raggedy sprite on what appears to be one of those breakfast cereal games you sent away for in the early 2000s. Oh I have a great idea, let’s take a game popular for its character and storyline, hack out the copyright bits and leave you with the game mechanics that people developed this industry to get away from.
Which brings us back to the intentionally bad. This game is excruciatingly difficult, and I get that so were the Mega Man games. But I failed to complete a single level of this game. Why? Cause it has no chill. Players are limited to 3 lives, with possibly an extra one picked up throughout the level. Touch a wall – that’s an instant death. Slightly miss time a jump, that’s an instant death. Allow the vaguely defined edges of a boss touch your character in the second half of boss battle? You guessed it, instant death. And then you’re done, free to go right back to start and do it all over again.
With practise runs I started to be able to make my way through levels more efficiently, using the dash forward mechanic, the one thing added to ‘prove’ that this was not merely a Mega Man clone, to absorb enemies and gain boosts, but there is always one point in each level designed to be so nigglingly difficult that you would hit a wall (sometimes literally) and, knowing that this was the peak of tedium for the level, restart at a checkpoint nowhere near the obstacle in question. It seems to me that the ‘genius’ developers realized that short of adding any depth or breadth to this game, they could just make it impossibly difficult for ‘replay value’. Do you know why most of us played these kinds of games over and over? Cause there was nothing better. And unfortunately for lazy game developers, that time has passed.
I mean, Is this really what we want from a game in 2016? Because we as a gaming community hold some responsibility here. Pre-funding this game clearly gave developers no motive to earn their market place, and instead of looking at games like Duck Tales Remastered to see how it can be done right, they just emulated Scrooge McDuck and swam around in their piles of money.
Speaking of swimming. After crashing out countless times on the first level, I figured I should just move on to one of the others, as the great development of the Mega Man games was the ability for players to choose the order of levels they play. So I move on to the next one, and it’s a water world. Who doesn’t love a water level? As if they weren’t already adding insult to injury, they then decided to go ahead and make the water murky! Seriously? The sprites look horrendous but this isn’t the 80s, you can’t just slap some Vasaline on the lens and call them a beauty queen.
This is quite possibly the worst game I have had the misfortune to play, and that’s a hell of a call with my reviews. If you are looking for a nice, passive aggressive gift to give to someone who wronged you in a previous life, this may be the title for you.