We all know when Mighty No. 9 was announced that it was a Mega Man clone. The game came to light when Keiji Inafune, Mega Man’s creator, went on Kickstarter and announced that he was working on this title. As expected, the Kickstarter was a massive success, and became one of the fastest backed projects on the website, so everyone was expecting a great game out of this. That being said, subsequent updates regarding the game have not gone down well with the community, so is Mighty No. 9 worth your cash now that it’s finally available?
Mighty No. 9 has a lot of things going for it, first of all it looks like Mega Man, secondly it sounds like Mega Man, and it pretty much is Mega Man in a lot of ways. In Mighty No. 9 you play as Beck who has to play through 8 levels, which feature one main ‘Mighty Number’ boss whose abilities you can take once defeating them, ala Mega Man. Some levels require specific powers to proceed, so although you do have some freedom to choose what levels to play, some are pretty much impossible from that get-go.
The controls work pretty much the same as Mega Man. Beck has the ability to shoot enemies with an arm cannon, and can dash into them to absorb their essence when they’ve been damaged enough. When enemies are in this stunned state, they will be flashing a specific colour, which will give you an idea of what power-up you will receive when you absorb the essence. This can range from increased damage, faster running, health recovery, and jumping higher. The dash function also fills up the energy bar for the weapons you’ve gained from the bosses you’ve defeated.
This is the only new mechanic that Mighty No. 9 introduces, but it probably isn’t enough to keep you interested that long, and can get a little tedious at times. Perhaps because the developers have such a clear link to the Mega Man series, we just can’t help but compare the two, maybe unfairly even, but suffice to say, this doesn’t feel as good as a Mega Man game might.
As you progress through the game, you can unlock new modes such as challenge modes, races, and boss rush mode. The challenges will test your usage of the abilities that you gain from the Mighty Numbers. You can also play these through in co-op mode, which may make things a little easier for some. These are a fun addition, but will not take you too long to complete.
Mighty No. 9 does look very much like a Mega Man game, but there are areas where you can see the lack of a publisher has caused some issues. For example the characters are designed to be cartoon-y in style, but the mouths don’t move when they talk, and it very much feels like they wanted to add this, but couldn’t because they didn’t have the resources to do it. There also seems to be quite a bit of frame-rate issues here, but these are supposed to be patched with the day-one patch now.
The level design is also at times very annoying, and although most of it is what you’ve come to expect, there are sections that require precise use of the dash feature for example, but the dash is just too clunky. You’ll get it eventually, but it’s difficulty due to the oversights in the development, rather than a difficulty that was manufactured into the game. Another annoyance in the level design is that you will at times be told the correct way to do something, after doing it incorrectly. So rather than walking you through how to do it the first time, they expect you to die once.
Mighty No. 9 is a good platformer, the sound effects and music are spot and fans of the Mega Man series will definitely want to take a look. However, whether through lack of resources, quality assurance or time constraints, everything doesn’t gel perfectly in this game, and it’s a shame that we didn’t see something more unique from Inafune’s first solo project.
- Replay Value