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Mighty Number 9 review:Beck may not be a super fightinig robot, but he's not a bad one.
Mighty number 9's title screen.
Note the video was captured of my game play using a capture device. The pictures are taken from that video and edited using photoshop.
I got Mighty Number 9 a few days ago after it launched. I should also say I was a kickstarter contributor to this game, and got it free for contributing 20 dollars to it. So after playing through this game what do I think of it? It’s not has good has I hope, nor is it as bad has I feared. Going through some of the YouTube reviews you would think this was one of the worst games ever made, and that it can’t compete with any of the Mega Man franchise.
Now let me say I reviewed a ton of Mega Man games about this time last year so I could do a timeline of the series video. Playing through them I realized one thing, a handful of the Mega Man games are really great, most of the Mega Man games are merely good to decent, but there was only 2 that I have played that are absolute crap and one of them so bad that I still deny it’s existence, despite having reviewed it. My point being that while the Mega Man series usually brought some solid fun, fans should not delude themselves into thinking that the whole series was some sort of pinnacle of greatness that never went wrong, trust me it went wrong a plenty. And while this game does change up quite a bit of the formula in some of the basic gameplay design to the point where I can understand while some Mega Man fans are saying it’s not Mega Man, and has much I would say an easy defense of this is that it’s not supposed to be Mega Man it’s supposed to be Mighty Number 9. But it’s hard to say that not only by the way the whole Kick Starter campaign ran but the oh so many times it just steals from Mega Man in the story line and character designs. The final achievement I got for beating the games story was called Super Fighting Robot for crying out loud, and if you got that reference congratulations you’re old. So it’s hard not to make the comparisons, Mighty Number 9 wants to be something else, and still be Mega Man at the same time. And if you can’t tell by my rambling here my thoughts on this game are kind of mixed. So lets go take a detailed look at this game
The game story opens up that in the future we have robots and for the most part most war and violence is down because of them, any fighting is now done in a special coliseum. However one day the robots go berserk including Dr. Light… I mean Dr. Whites powerful robots which he calls the mighty numbers. All except for his newest and smallest creation named Beck which he calls Mighty Number 9. Beck manages to avoid going berserk and most stop all the other Mighty Numbers from taking over the world. He will also have the support of Dr. White and his assistant, along with a robotic assistant named Call, get it Beck and Call, yeah almost has lame has Rock and Roll.
A lot of this is taken right from the original Mega Man. All of Mega Man’s older and more powerful robots are taken and start rampaging, Mega Man is left alone because he is consider to weak, and it’s up to him to stop the others. There is even a press briefing by this guy which automatically sets up obvious villain. Well he is and he isn’t, rather he accidentally opens robotic Pandora’s Box and is having a hard time closing it. And the fact that his company is named Cherrydine should be obvious to anyone who has watch The Terminator what that name is parodying and what type of evil Beck will have to step in and stop by the end of the game. Also by the end of the game the story does seem to take a different and a bit more darker turn then what was found in most Mega Man games. And I am anxious to see if there is a sequel and what it will do.
Anyways like I said plenty of stuff taken from the Mega Man the basic plot is the original Mega Man with a few changes towards the end. Even the robotic puns and artwork look a lot like Mega Man. Call here could easily be Rolls big sister.
Call could be Rolls big sister
All right well let’s start with what they took from Mega Man, well the classic formula is still here. Brief opening stage then select one of the 8 levels and battle robot master for their power, then find a stage where that robot is weak against said power and beat it for another power and continue until all 8 are dead and then proceed onto another stage. The formula is here and it still works. On the good side once you get past the clunky menus use to change power where I have to press the LT while the game is still going to select said power up and then press Y to transform and yeah it’s a pain in the ass. Like typical Mega Man most of the powers are merely ok and boss fodder only but I do get to liking this bomb power up that is a bit op and can take out multiple enemies. Also another change for positive is that you don’t kill the bosses. Rather Beck saves them and they will help you out on the stages with the bosses weakness. Take this example here, the weakness of this enemy is the sniper scope, and if I pick the stage after having the weakness power up this will happen on this scene. If I don’t have it this will happen. There small changes but it does help you figure out the boss weakness a bit easier, and having former bosses help you out later in the game does kind of actually mean Beck isn’t a hypocrite talking about not wanting to fight while blowing away what is essentially his family member unlike some other robot is a nice touch. It also gives you a good hint where to go to next.
I guess I should talk about the biggest change in the game next and that is how you kill enemies. Personally I think your either going to love this feature, or hate it. Me it just depends on the stage and situation. Now on paper this is a good idea on how to keep an old formula fresh, in practice not so much. Ok so in order to kill an enemy you first have to shoot them with your blaster, after a few hits they start to glow, then you have to charge into them. This gives you bonuses for a while like increase speed or defense, it also helps refill your special move sets. The game does have an arcade esc score system and the more you combo and the more enemies you kill at 100% the higher your score goes. The score system may end up entertaining some fans more than others. But it’s what Mighty Number 9 is using to expand its replay ability. While I myself may not care for the score system I do like the idea of getting little power ups that boost your speed by doing it.
That said though there are problems with this system. In areas where you are allowed to dash freely this system works fine, but in areas where you’re on tight platforming yeah it will get you kill. I wish they had allowed you to kill enemies normally, or had other things you can equip to collect that energy.
But this system really shows its ugly head in boss battles. Yeah in order to beat the bosses at certain times you have to dash into them and collect their energy otherwise they refill there life bar until you do. Now doing this refills your special so I don’t mind, but that recharging life bar makes no sense to put it in there other to frustrate the player.
If you don't dash into enemies they will refill there life bar
Another thing I should complain about is the fact that the stages are long enough to where repeating them will be annoying, and game over screens which happen frequently will send you back to the beginning. That said Mighty Number 9 does do one thing right in this area, and Nintendo might want to take notice, because here is how you help out players who are having a difficult time. Whenever you die too much a helper robot will appear and give you some power ups before bosses, or difficult segments. These powers ups are temporary and they are no way free passes, but they do help out a lot and can get you through trickier areas, and I don’t mind help when I stuck, I do however hate free passes and I am glad Mighty Number 9 recognizes this.
I guess before I leave I should mention this game does have a few buggy areas, or areas that are just frustrating. Take this for example here I have to shoot these things to become blocks, and then destroy them and jump before they heal. But they heal right away unless I shoot them and wait for that random time when they don’t respawn to get through. Yeah this is what I call what comes out of the back end of a cow folks and it’s just asinine to think that they would put that in this game.
Yeah let’s talk about the graphics; I don’t quite get the look of this here. The graphics look more like they belong on the first Xbox and not the Xbox one. I can understand retro graphics I have reviewed games like Shantae Risky Revenge before after all, but these look sloppier then retro or charming with the pizza shape explosion, blocky character models, and cut scenes with character’s that don’t have animated mouths. It looks early PS2 era but that’s not what people think about when they think about Mega Man, unless there thinking this and it’s better not to be thinking that (download Mega Man X7 review). The backgrounds in some areas are just ridiculously outdated looking, and so do the character. It’s such a shame the way this game looks really brings it down a level, if this game was an XBLA game which is what I thought I was funding I think I could be a little more forgiving but a 30 dollar Xbox one game this is not.
The Explosions and Fire Effects.
A lot of people have complain about the English vocal, and like most of the time when I hear anyone complain about anime voice acting the people complaining the most understand has much Japanese has I do which is almost none at all. We’ve got some pretty good talent Yuri Lowenthal who has done work on things like Naruto to the Prince of Persia does a good job on Beck. We even got Steve Blum doing a voice over so over all it sounds nice. The script is horrible though with many lame jokes. And usually when the script is funny it’s unintentional, the biggest laugh they got out of me was Dr. White being amazed that his creation can do what it was built for. Yeah you do exactly what I build what a shock; next thing I know that boxer I have been training for several years will tell me he knows how to throw a punch.
Yeah one of the reasons why this game was delayed was to add in an online mode…WHYY. Yeah it kind of sucks from what I could gather the idea is to race through a stage and kill has many enemies has possible and get a higher score. Just from the way both me and the other guy was playing we both didn’t know what the hell we were doing. And we got to the end well before time ran out. It’s lame and buggy to say the least, and most importantly entirely not needed. A lot of the bad press was due to the delays this game faced, one of the reasons for the delay was this online mode, that would have been better scrapped.
A lot of people seem to hate this game, and they compare it to the best of the Mega Man series the original X, Mega Man 2 and 3. And it doesn’t hit those heights, I say it’s about has much fun has a Mega Man X5 or Mega Man 6. It has a lot of good points and strong areas, it also has some areas that are frustrating and need fine tuning. Hey you know what game I could use to say the same thing about. The original Mega Man; yeah Mega Man didn’t start to achieve greatness until his sequel so I do hope we get a sequel to MN9 which they can fine tune some of the things. Bring the frustration down a notch, change the way the charge is used on the bosses, and a few other things. In the meantime should you get Mighty Number 9 well steam has it for the price I would pay for it 20 dollars provided that the PC version isen’t buggy has hell. But yeah I would wait for a 10-15 dollar price drop before getting it because the price I put this game at is about 15 dollars.