Overall - 70%
Mighty No. 9 suffers from spreading a great idea too thin and thusly not allowing it to thrive in its own right. It was a promising first start but in order for this to be a future franchise I feel like more focus will be needed. At just over 7 hours of a campaign time, Mighty No. 9 is not a bad game by any means, and for $20 it is extremely worthwhile. It just isn't the great game we wanted and instead is a hopeful good game with promise. Here's hoping it gets a sequel.
After a 4 million dollar successful Kickstarter, Mighty No 9 released on 21 June 2016 following 3 delays and a terrible marketing campaign. Does our new little blue bomber stand a chance against today’s standards? Check out our Mighty No 9 honest game review and decide for yourself.
Mighty No. 9 Review
I first got my hands on the Kickstarter backed video game Mighty No 9 after it finally released for STEAM at 10 AM on June 21, 2016. Not trying to nitpick here but I play 100 Games in a Year and am used to having a game at 9PM PST when it is available at 12AM EST on the East Coast on the night before release. After some research the game was in fact released at that time for PS4 but I will let bygones be bygones… for now. Having not backed the kickstarter campaign myself, I was prepared to just have fun and enjoy a game from one of the industry veterans responsible for decades of Mega Man. For the record, Keiji Inafune is not the creator of Mega Man but was arguably the most influential figure behind the franchise.
For this review I played Mighty No. 9 via my PC using an Xbox One controller. First booting up Mighty No 9 I was greeted with a familiar city Level that is extremely reminiscent of Mega Man X. A little still frame un-animated story with kind of cheesy dialog followed and then I was off to the races. With my new little Blue Bomber it was immediately apparent that this is a faster game, being prompted immediately to use my new “AcXelerate” to collect power from weakened enemies using my blaster. AcXelerate acts not only as a means of finishing off weakened enemies but also as a form of in air Dash. Lots of fun right! The 1st level ends with a rather weak boss but that made sense since this was just the beginning.
The first problem I had with Mighty No. 9 began with the cut scenes following the first level. See a game doesn’t need to have cut scenes to be great, Dark Souls proves that. What it does need to do is maintain the attention. Unfortunately as soon as the levels end the story is told using lifeless character models and terrible voice acting. It completely disconnected me from any story being told which kind of sucks since I wanted to care for these characters and now couldn’t. This is a game for platforming and special weaponry though, so again I let it go. After a suggestion from User: MannySlain in my Twitch chat to switch to Japanese voice acting and Retro Soundtrack, much of the pain was gone. By the way it should be noted that the soundtrack was ok at best till I switched to Retro. Once I did the game felt and sounded so much better.
[testimonials user=’JJ David’ email=” name=” position=” photo=”]Unfortunately as soon as the levels end the story is told using lifeless character models and terrible voice acting.[/testimonials] What followed within the game was a standard Mega Man like experience with 8 boss levels to choose from displayed in an order from Mighty No. 1 to Mighty No. 8. I went in order for half and then switched it up and went in a different order for the rest just to see if anything changes. What I did really like about the levels were that if you did them in a secret correct order (not 1 through 8) you got help from certain bosses in the level where their power would be a weakness to the end boss. Not only do you get help but the Mighty No that is helping has dialog and is featured within the level running around in the background smashing bad guys. Was a nice addition. What I did NOT like was that the levels are mostly pointless enemies in succession that can almost all be skipped within the entire game. I found that after having died once I could mostly skip and dash straight through each level to the end without much in the way of any significant challenge. This was the first sign that this game was developed with 8 year olds in 2016 in mind and not 31 year olds that have scars from the 8 bit generation.
While the levels were a bit bland I did find that they were at least fun to try to go as fast as possible to the end level bosses. This brings up the next aspect of Mighty No. 9, the bosses. It is your job in Mighty No. 9 to face off against 8 of their other Mighty No. bots that have been corrupted. Sadly I was able to effectively break more than 3 of these bosses by spamming my buster shot within a close range and defeating them before they could do enough damage to me. My favorite 2 bosses were Dynatron (electricity) and Aviator (Flying). These were the only 2 bosses that I found with actual game play mechanisms requiring thinking, precision and timing. Other than these 2 bosses though, the bulk of Mighty No. 9 was pretty simple without the need for anything more than simple platforming or any form of skill. It was a little disappointing given that Mega Man is known for its heart crushing difficulty in certain games.
I think one of the saving graces of Mighty No. 9 was the difficulty spike following the first 8 bosses. While going from a simple platformer to an unforgiving one is to a detriment in this case for pacing, I was grateful for the difficulty spike in the final 3 levels especially the final boss. It was by no means as hard as Mega Man X’s final boss, it was however a testament to what could be done with this game. The final boss was far and away the best part of the game, utilizing platforming, precision, timing and just a little bit of luck.
Since its release I’ve seen a lot of disappointed people criticizing this game for many reasons. I can definitely tell you that even though it felt polished, it felt like half of a heart. In my opinion Comcept,(Keiji Inafune’s Company), bit off more than they could chew by creating a game across as many platforms as this game released on. Its no wonder why it had 3 delays seeings as how it released on PS4, Xbox One, Playstation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PS3, Xbox 360, Steam, Linux, and Mac OS. If I have one wish for future kickstarter games (Bloodstained), please polish your game and release it on one platform then port to others. Mighty No. 9 suffers from spreading a great idea too thin and thusly not allowing it to thrive in its own right. It was a promising first start but in order for this to be a future franchise I feel like more focus will be needed. At just over 7 hours of a campaign time, Mighty No. 9 is not a bad game by any means, and for $20 it is extremely worthwhile. It just isn’t the great game we wanted and instead is a hopeful good game with promise. Here’s hoping it gets a sequel.