Back when Mighty No. 9 was announced I got super excited. Developed by ex-Capcom employee Keiji Inafune (the creator of the Mega Man series) Mighty No. 9 seemed destined to take on the role of successor to Capcom’s blue bomber. Keiji’s new company ‘Comcept’ received plenty of media buzz during Mighty No. 9’s development, which resulted in a huge Kickstarter response and plenty of pre-orders. So how does the game fare with all the hype and media attention? While reviewing Mighty No. 9 for the Wii U I kept reminding myself of 2 things : 1st – this game is being developed by a industry veteran, 2nd – how does Mighty No. 9 compete with the Mega Man series.
Mighty No. 9 is a Mega Man clone, at least that’s what the goal seems to be. Playing as a good robot named Beck, your job is to fight eight other robots who’ve become corrupted. The game holds no restraints on how it copies the Mega Man series, from gameplay, character design to even smaller story elements like a Dr. White in Mighty No. 9 being awfully similar to Dr. Light from the Mega Man series. One thing I tried to focus on when playing the game for the Mighty No. 9 review was that maybe Keiji Inafune thought he was justified in copying the Mega Man series because he’s the series original creator. While other reviews seem to give Comcept and Inafune a pass on originality, I don’t think that’s fair. Any gamer who plays Mighty No. 9 on the Wii U will definitely see the connections between Mega Man and Mighty No. 9. Games will often times borrow ideas from other franchises, but Mighty No. 9’s seems lazy – with almost everything –story, gameplay and characters seemingly ripped off from the Mega Man universe.
Mighty No. 9 plays more like Mega Man X, with a dash ability that becomes the center of all the action in the game. You’ll use Beck’s dash ability to cross large obstacles, defeat level bosses and to solve small puzzles. Enemies defeated using Beck’s dash ability provides “Xel”, which provides Beck with extra speed and other benefits (buffs). Some parts of the stages work well with Beck’s dash ability, but unlike Mega Man X Mighty No. 9 has to many level breaks and other level design issues that make it next to impossible to speed-run through using Becks dash ability. Beck also has a traditional laser shot similar to Mega Man’s. This default weapon doesn’t provide a ton of fire power by itself, but along with the dash ability players can quickly power through the games different enemies.
Similar to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9 allows Beck to obtain new abilities and attacks. Some provide very cliché benefits, like being able to freeze enemies; others provide passive abilities to Beck – like the ability to fall slowly. Overall, none of the abilities that Beck can acquire surprised me, following only the most rudimentary abilities found in a basic Mega Man game.
Mighty No. 9 offers several side modes, all of which seemed to have been added on late in the games development. There’s a challenge mode that requires the player to accomplish certain mini missions, a boss rush mode which pits the player against the game’s different bosses and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode offers the chance to work cooperatively with other players online. Mighty No. 9’s multiplayer lags on the Nintendo Network (which seems to be on-par with other services like Xbox Live and the Playstation Network). When playing online in the co-op challenge mode one player plays as Beck and another plays as Call. Mighty No. 9 also has an online race mode that pits players against each other in a race through the games different stages. None of the online components we’re winners in our review, but at least extend the game’s replay value for a short while.
If you’re looking for amazing Mega Man inspired chip tunes look elsewhere, Mighty No. 9 is plagued with almost non-existent music, which is a huge disappointment. The developers we’re nice enough to supply Might No. 9 with some decent voiceovers, but these fail to save the games boring / Mega Man cloned storyline.
In conclusion Might No. 9 attempts to become the spirt successor to the Mega Man series. Designed by the creator of Mega Man and having huge buzz during it’s Kickstarter days didn’t save Mighty No. 9 from a mediocre launch. While something’s could be better there is some silver lining in this review. Mighty No. 9 provides the Wii U with another retail release, something it’s been in desperate need of. Secondly, Mighty No. 9 is playable, and challenging due to its own shortcomings. The difficulty can be either good or bad on how you look at it. If Comcept is planning a Mighty No. 9 sequel hopefully they’ll spend more time on perfecting the gameplay and level design and less on early promotion and Kickstarter promises.
Mighty No. 9 Review Score – Wii U
- Gameplay : 5 / 10
- Graphics : 5 / 10
- Sound / Music : 6 / 10
- Replay Value : 5 / 10
- Final Score : 5.25 / 10