Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Played: Mighty No. 9

Some levels are definitely better than others, but all feel like they're from a Mega Man game.
Mighty No. 9, the much anticipated spiritual sequel to Mega Man games of yore, has had a troubled development to say the least. Numerous delays and unreasonable detractors aside, the game is now out and I've beaten it so how is the game itself?

Well, to start with the obvious, the character models are a bit too static. During the numerous cut scenes of the game, characters who are on screen barely emote and even when speaking their mouths don't move. I know this sounds like a nitpick, but it's really jarring.

Speaking of dialog, the characters don't have much interesting to say; and sometimes their lines don't make much sense considering who is talking. Early on in the game when you first absorb an enemy, the main mechanic in the game, the character who created the main character is astounded that you can absorb enemies. Of course I can, doc, you should know. Little disconnects like this are persistent and frequent. It'd be one thing if there was an option to turn off all the dialog, but there isn't.

Those are the only major complaints I have about the game though. Sure, I have other nitpicks: the choice of 2.5D graphics over 2D sprites leading to ambiguities about the environments, a few poorly placed enemies and platforms throughout the game that lead to frustrating deaths, none of the boss powers are ever that useful to the player, etc. But the core jumping and shooting gameplay is there and when you chain it together with your dashes, it just feels good.

Mighty No. 9 isn't the train wreck or betrayal that some like to pretend, but it certainly isn't the lofty heights of your best memories of growing up with the blue bomber. That said, lots of people complaining about this are remembering a specific Mega Man game and not a lot of the middling entries in the series. This is more Mega Man 8 (or 5 if you prefer) than 2. If you want an okay Mega Man type game with a fun dashing mechanic, you could do a lot worse.

You can find Mighty No. 9 on almost any platform with an MSRP of $29.99

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