Mighty No. 9 Review – Nega Man

URGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

URGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

URGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

01

Developer: Comcept, Inti Creates
Publisher: Deep Silver
Format: PC (reviewed), PS4, Wii U, Xbox One
Released: June 21, 2016
Copy provided by publisher

Mighty No. 9 feels like a cheap Mega Man clone from a man afraid to stray too far from his best known creation while fearing accusations of sticking too close to what he was best at.

It feels cheaply presented, frustrating to play, and devoid of definitive direction.

Let’s start with the most immediately deficient aspect of Mighty No.9’s presentation, the dialogue and voice acting. A perfect example of the game’s wonky narrative is showcased in the very first spoken line of VO in the game:

“It is the current year..”

Yep, the game opens up by vaguely stating that you are playing in a world set in “the current year”. Ignore the fact the game world has sentient AI machines, a massive robot fighting colosseum, and is far more technologically advanced than our world today, it is very definitely “the current year.”

The writing rarely improves from this point. A particular highlight of the introductory mission sees a professor shocked at an ability our heroic robot is able to use before remembering that he actually programmed that ability and should not have been nearly so shocked that it was being used.

The writing is constantly contradictory, stilted and disjointed.

02

Voice acting quality doesn’t ever seem to improve either. From terrible line reads that seem to have been recorded in isolation without any thought for how emotional tone would carry between lines, to awkward pauses in VO that hamper pacing, the voice acting in Mighty No. 9 always feels like a budget product from a team struggling to pull together enough cash for their story.

I love when video games use their boss fights to push players to their limits, testing players abilities and pushing them to retry an encounter over and over in order to overcome a tough but fair challenge.

When done correctly, like in Dark Souls, Shovel Knight or Undertale, these encounters are a memorable and unique joy to overcome. Bosses throw unique challenges your way, pushing you to switch up your gameplay style until you discover a way to push through to a unique and satisfying victory.

Mighty No. 9 is tough, but not in any kind of way that feels rewarding. Everything about Mighty No. 9 screams that the lesson it took from modern gaming was that difficulty was popular without implementing any of the frustration-saving solutions modern games have developed.

Where Shovel Knight has no defined penalty for death, with anything lost when dying to a boss theoretically retrievable, Mighty No. 9 features a lives system that punishes boss deaths with needing to replay complex platforming sections every two or three attempts.

Where Undertale bosses are varied in the attacks they throw at you and the skills needed to survive, Mighty No. 9 bosses always seem to throw the same challenges at players, requiring the same steps to survive.

More than a few bosses feature the same section in their fights where they shoot projectiles that can freeze the player, initiating an impossibly timed button-mashing sequence that, when failed, results in losing an entire half of a health bar.

If, like me, you are not fast enough at mashing A quick enough for such harsh demands, many of Mighty No. 9’s boss fights might well become functionally impossible to survive.

Where Dark Souls allows players to apply persistent upgrades to themselves over time, ensuring even failed runs make future chances of success higher, Mighty No. 9 sets up brick walls and gives players no option but to bash their heads against the problem until it is gone.

In no regard is Mighty No. 9’s difficulty rewarding, it’s simply frustrating.

03

This is most disappointing because the gameplay running up to boss fights feels like classic Mega Man with a dash of speed running tech thrown in.

The jumping and shooting are responsive, enemy designs are memorable, platforming is fair if challenging and level designs are unique and instantly recognisable.

The introduction of dashes allows boss runs to be completed more quickly as you learn layouts and the idea of absorbing enemies to temporarily power yourself up adds an interesting tactical element to the order in which you kill enemies.

It’s just that the vast majority of levels end with infuriatingly tough bosses who would feel a whole lot more manageable if I had started the game with an option to shoot upwards, dash upwards to deal with bosses that cheaply move out of range, or be free of an arbitrary number of lives.

The fact that most bosses wielded an attack I was not fast enough at tapping A to effectively avoid meant that early progression was slow, infuriating and made me want to punch my screen.

This set of issues was somewhat alleviated as progression was made, but the opening segments of the game felt almost insurmountable.

Oh, and half the time Mighty No. 9 completely fails to mention mechanics available to players. The fact that regular enemies freeze on the spot when ready to be dash attacked but bosses do not is never addressed, causing early boss fight confusion. Several power ups and collectables never have their effects explained.

The fact that you can defeat enemies to build up healing items which are stored on your pause menu and can be used even when your character is unable to move is never explained. Multiple vital aspects of the game are just never effectively introduced to players.

04

What’s perhaps most annoying about Mighty No. 9 is that Inafune clearly knows how to fix many of the problems present in the game. There’s a DLC transformation that allows attacking upwards from the beginning of the game and an additional DLC boss which throws out the gimmicks and just relies on skilled combat movement to fight.

There are examples in Mighty No.9 of Inafune designing content that feels rewarding, but it’s often set aside as optional DLC rather than being a core aspect of the game’s design.

Much like an anime fan on prom night, I would rather be at home playing Mega Man than here. I would rather be playing Shovel Knight. I would rather be playing most games in this genre.

Mighty No. 9? More like Shitey No. 9!

4
Subpar

Nemrex
Guest
Nemrex

WHAT!

A 4!

AND NOT A 4/10!

Honestly what are reviewers coming to these days. What without the the slash punctuation how can I comprehend that this could either be a 4/5 or a 4/10?

hyjinx17
Guest
hyjinx17

Wait wait wait, the game beat its kickstarter goal by how much? But there’sa already DLC? Fuckin hell.

Jamesworkshop
Guest
Jamesworkshop

Did this game really cost 4 million $ to make

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

No. The studio spent that much, but it definitely didn’t cost it.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

Even after so many delays, they never took time to polish the mechanics or visuals, even leaving some improvements out to be made as DLC (free or not), instead focusing on online match-making and leaderboards. Bad voice-acting and writing made from extra funds that Comcept wanted makes this game more like Mega Man 7 and 8 than 1-6.

Mighty No. 9 is the indie game equivalent to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

whiskytangofoxtrot
Guest
whiskytangofoxtrot

Remember that, while Keiji Inafune was involved with the Mega Man series from the start, it was mostly as a sprite artist in the early games and he didn’t start actually leading the games’ design until later. There’s a reason why this feels more like Mega Man 8 than Mega Man 2.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

Hence why Mighty No. 9 looks, sounds and plays like shit.

gunsrlove
Guest
gunsrlove

Looks like all the Kickstarter bakers cried LIKE ANIME FANS ON PROM NIGHT….

yeah….

Fish
Guest
Fish

Wait… Kickstarter owns a bakery now? xD

Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie

If you kickstart my bakery, you can expect a dozen cupcakes to be delivered to you in a year’s time. Expect multiple delays as I develop the frosting though.

gunsrlove
Guest
gunsrlove

..and thats how ideas are born

HippeusOmega
Guest
HippeusOmega

Inafune had one job and he blew it.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

He should work with Konami.

Watchmedance
Guest
Watchmedance

If he was a prostitute, his job would’ve been performed perfectly…

Rob
Guest
Rob

A 4? Wow you are really trying your best to troll here aren’t you Jimfat.

Nemrex
Guest
Nemrex

Yeeeeeeahhhhh, hate to break your…”clever”…jab there pal but this one was written up by Laura.

Dosbilliam
Guest
Dosbilliam

That implies any reading was done other than the score.

Rob
Guest
Rob

I can’t believe all these idiots like you are implying Jim had nothing to do with this review. I bet Laura is fat too anyways.

MJC
Guest
MJC

How much do you bet? I could always use a little extra cash as long as you’re giving it away because you’re a fucking idiot.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Look out boys we’ve got a badass over here.

Benj
Guest
Benj

Everybody playing troll commenter bingo mark off your “tired meme reference” square.

[I checked the rules and it still counts ever when he’s forgotten to use the image]

Uzuki
Guest
Uzuki

Is that really a meme? I’ve been saying that sarcastically way before the internet got a hold of it.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

I bet you’re a drooling cretin in real life too, as well as here.

Warmadillo Inc.
Guest
Warmadillo Inc.

Aw, fuck I really need a bandage right now. Got a real deep cut from that edge.

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

because body fat is defuinitely proof of ones legitimacy as a person. when you’re mentally 5.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

The game is shit. Accept it!

Rob
Guest
Rob

I accept that this SJW glory project turned out shit but Jimfat and his new minion are still trolling with a 4.

Even Luck
Guest
Even Luck

…….Yeah, no, just…just fuck off.

Imp Emissary
Guest
Imp Emissary

Wait. If you believe the game is bad, why do you take umbrage with it getting a 4?

Also, Laura is Jim’s friend. You may have heard of these in tales and legends.

Benj
Guest
Benj

… Kickstarter is SJW now as well?

Shit, I’d better add that to the list.

Rob
Guest
Rob

No my ill informed friend it was the people they hired. Especially their community manager. Not kickstarter but certainly the incompetents who made this game.

Benj
Guest
Benj

Well my overly opinionated friend I’ll bow to your clearly superior knowledge on the subject and I’ll continue to not bother playing the backseat HR manager game.

Xanco Gaming
Guest
Xanco Gaming

NOT SJWs! NOooooo! THe world! IT’s burning! ARRGGHH! NOOOOOOO! URGHHH! I’m meeellltttiiinnggg!

Terriosaurus Hex
Guest
Terriosaurus Hex

I…erm…Do you even know what SJW means? I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Jonathan Roth
Guest
Jonathan Roth

I think it means “The Jews” these days.

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

Bwahahahahahahahaha

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

It deserves worse because Keiji Inafuckup and Cumcept brought Shitey No. 9, you whiny-crybaby-anime-fan-on-prom-nighty.

Uzuki
Guest
Uzuki

Serious Question: Are “SJWs” and “Feminazis” really out to destroy modern society? Can you explain it to me?

Rob
Guest
Rob

There is a difference between SJWs and Feminazis. I don’t think they’re out to destroy modern society they just don’t want us to have fun playing video games. I don’t consider Jim a SJW he just is an advocate for more diversity in games.

Uzuki
Guest
Uzuki

Why wouldn’t they want other people having fun?

Rob
Guest
Rob

Bitches man. Who knows?

Uzuki
Guest
Uzuki

So what exactly is the end goal of the “SJW”?

Rob
Guest
Rob

To turn all men into cucks.

Uzuki
Guest
Uzuki

Why? What does making wives cheat on their husbands accomplish?

Scott Neil
Guest
Scott Neil

Except it’s not Jim it’s Laura.

Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie

What a fail. Not even worth the effort.

Benj
Guest
Benj

I think Jimfat is the most half arsed attempt to come up with an insulting nickname I’ve ever seen.

I don’t think anything is ever going to beat “who is this fat lesbian?” for funny insults directed at Jim.

Sapphire Crook
Guest
Sapphire Crook

Is it me, or does that one enemy’s face look like the Deadpool symbol?

The Guy
Guest
The Guy

So after all that hype, all the delays and money, the game is mediocre at best, and that’s being VERY nice.

I’m not the type to wish failure on anyone for anything, but this particular bit of schadenfreude is delicious.

ChaoticPesme
Guest
ChaoticPesme

The hype is never a good gauge anyway, it’s more of a warning sign : The highest the hype is the more chances the final product isn’t going to live up to it. I can’t imagine what Star Citizen will be at the end.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

3 years ago…

“THE HYPE IS REAL!”

In the current year…

“THE HYPE IS A LIE!”

MJC
Guest
MJC

Not for me. I backed this stupid thing. 🙁

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

And I didn’t. PARTEY! But cheer up, you get a free imaginary Pina Colada at the party.

El Minotoro
Guest
El Minotoro

Mighty number nine? More like a mighty number two.

Nemrex
Guest
Nemrex

It’s a mighty turd for sure.

Matti Berntson
Guest

Mighty No. 2 is Cryophere. 😛

(The robot that looks like an unusually cute Big Daddy.)

*kills the joke*

Warmadillo Inc.
Guest
Warmadillo Inc.

That joke makes me want to play Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

Rashed Mokdad
Guest
Rashed Mokdad

“Where Shovel Knight has no defined penalty for death, with anything lost when dying to a boss theoretically retrievable, Mighty No. 9 features a lives system that punishes boss deaths with needing to replay complex platforming sections every two or three attempts.”

Mega Man games always had this though. Wasn’t that the point of Mighty No. 9? To feel like a classic Mega Man game?

Wraithy2773
Guest
Wraithy2773
Maybe, but look at DOOM-open-bracket-2016-close-bracket. It didn’t just try to do Doom, but with modern graphics. The devs knew that wouldn’t be as good. They took the good of the old Doom games (secret areas, fast-paced combat) and combined it with the good of modern FPS’s (ability upgrades, finishing moves, collectables) to create an utterly fantastic experience. Because, lets face it: If we wanted to play Mega Man again, we’d just play Mega Man again. The whole point of doing a modern version of a classic style is that you have the opportunity to take all those excellent design decisions… Read more »
Rashed Mokdad
Guest
Rashed Mokdad

Hmm I suppose so. But then you’ll have the purists who want that challenge. I mean I played a lot of Mega Man games (including X series) and to me it’s always been about reflexes and surviving. If you’re gonna have infinite lives and reach the end it kind of defeats the purpose.

Matti Berntson
Guest

Peeeersonally I find the finishing moves in the new Doom rather off-putting. The game seems to have way too much focus on them, and I don’t like the idea of a Doom game where I have to let the game take away my control and play a little cutscene every time I kill an enemy in the most effective way.

Tamás Juhász
Guest
Tamás Juhász

Did you play the game?

Matti Berntson
Guest

I haven’t, but I might whenever I can justify a purchase. My backlog is too big, free time too sparse, and like I said… I find the finishing moves off-putting so it’s not anywhere near the top of my Most Wanted game list.

Before I’ll even bother with the new one, I’ll probably replay Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom. (Oh, and I never finished playing the PC port of Doom 64, so I’ve got that too.)

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

The finishing moves are rather quick, and if you want to be a purist, it is possible to just shoot the monsters dead, but try it if you can, as they managed to not make you lose speed and the flow of play while executing demons.

Wraithy2773
Guest
Wraithy2773

What I like about the finishing moves in DOOM is that they force you to vary your approach to combat, rewarding you for jumping into melee range briefly. It also helps that the finishers are really quick, mostly a second or so long. But personal taste is a thing, understand if you don’t like it :).

sillyskeleton
Guest
sillyskeleton

I disagree. Doom is a great example of a classic franchise being brought into the modern era of gaming, but this doesn’t need to be the rule for every classic inspired game. Megaman 9 and 10 were well received love letters to fans that played like they had just been taken out of a vault from 1992.

Rashed Mokdad
Guest
Rashed Mokdad

Yes, exactly. Not to mention having infinite lives would break the game.

MJC
Guest
MJC

So all those things in Mega Man 9 and 10 that wouldn’t have been possible on the NES were just my imagination?

Also, the limited lives was crap in Mega Man 9 and 10 as well. It was crap in Mega Man 1.

Nobody's Fanboy
Guest
Nobody's Fanboy

That’s the first I’ve heard that…care to explain? It was my understanding they didn’t just program it to mimic an NES, they straight-up wrote an NES emulator for them.

Wraithy2773
Guest
Wraithy2773

Yeah, I guess I get that. I just think it’s important that a new game released now should be more than just an appeal to nostalgia. Like, Pillars of Eternity was fun for me as a Baldur’s Gate like game, and won me over purely on the nostalgia front. But I wonder if someone not as steeped in love for the Baldur’s Gate style of RPG would’ve enjoyed it at all.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Finishing moves are a bad aspect of modern FPS.

Also I’m going to throw it out there that Brutal Doom is a shit mod. Why would anyone ever want something that takes something as great as Doom and shit all over it by adding all the worst elements of modern FPS games?

Anton
Guest
Anton

As weird as it is to say – I was against this before I played the game – the finishers in DOOM really work. They fit in seamlessly with the breakneck pace of the game.

Gurp
Guest

Not to mention you can get an upgrade that makes them go faster.

Gurp
Guest

What’s wrong with finishers?

Wraithy2773
Guest
Wraithy2773

They can be a bad aspect, but they were done well in DOOM. The general purpose of them in DOOM is to reward you for taking risks. You can finish off all your foes from long range, you still might need SOME healing from the occasional hits you just can’t avoid… but doing so opens you up to some attacks. It should be noted that the animations are nice and quick, about a second long, so it doesn’t interrupt the flow that much at all.

Dibol
Guest
Dibol

Depends on the context of the character you are playing and how well implemented the finishing move is. If I’m playing a character like Marvel’s Punisher, I’m expecting my melee kills to take a quarter second to execute. If you’re talking about the “fatality” format that Doom 2016 implemented, I can see both the pros and cons behind it after playing the demo. I didn’t mind it too much and found it miles better than relying exclusively on health packs to restore health.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

But not THAT aspect of Mega Man? Why bring limited lives back? There are some things in the old era of gaming that just didn’t work and Shovel Knight not only captured the magic of these games, but also surpassed them with modern day elements that worked in Shovel Knight’s favour. I tried to play Mega Man 2 but the limited lives hindered my experience while Shovel Knight was just an absolute blast.

Rashed Mokdad
Guest
Rashed Mokdad

Then maybe Mega Man is not for you? I mean lots of people suck at Dark Souls but they eventually get good at it. For the record, as someone who played the game, the energy packs and health drops are extremely generous when compared to the classic MM games.

Also can we please stop comparing this to Shovel Knight? That’s like comparing Sonic to Mario. They’re both completely different types of platformers.

MJC
Guest
MJC
No, we can’t stop comparing this to Shovel Knight, because the two big comparisons made about Shovel Knight when it came out were “It’s like if you crossed Mega Man with Duck Tales”. And do you know why people eventually get good at Dark Souls? Because it doesn’t have an antiquated lives system that sends you back to replay stuff you already beat if you die too many times. So there’s no reason to ever stop pushing forward. If you got sent back to the beginning every 2-3 deaths in Dark Souls, people would get frustrated and stop playing, just… Read more »
Rashed Mokdad
Guest
Rashed Mokdad

When say beginning you make it sound like it’s the beginning of the game. The levels aren’t long. The way I see it you have this many number of lives to survive to make it at the end and beat the boss. If you’re just gonna keep repeating checkpoints it would break the game. Might as well use cheats, really.

Tilde
Guest
Tilde

You can excuse any aspect of game design or try to contrast it with its polar opposite to give it some credit. That doesn’t make it good.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

Sonic was made to compete with Mario, so of course there’s comparisons for the last 25 years. Both Mighty No. 9 and Shovel Knight drew influence from Mega Man but only one of them did it right and more while having its own identity.

ENAY
Guest
ENAY

Shitey No. 9! Classy!

ShogunMamoru
Guest
ShogunMamoru

I felt Azure Gunvolt did a better job at scratching that Mega Man itch. Would love to know where all that 4 million they raised went to.

Maybe Recore will turn out better for Inafune……That or all the Kamiya references start pouring in.

xenodyne
Guest
xenodyne

“Maybe Recore will turn out better for Inafune…”

“Would love to know where all that 4 million they raised went to.”

😉

ShogunMamoru
Guest
ShogunMamoru

…..Kamiya was right…….Clever bastard.

xenodyne
Guest
xenodyne

I’d imagine they’re old acquaintances. Note I don’t say “friends.” :3

Error 52
Guest
Error 52

The 4 million probably went to developing for the 80 billion different platforms the game is on.

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

I’m gonna have to play more of Azure Strike Gunvolt on Mighty No. 9’s European launch.

Deef
Guest
Deef

I honestly have to believe that this all came from the over the top amount that they got from the KickStarter. They overreached, causing a lack of foundation and good development. End result: this.

Berserker66666
Guest
Berserker66666

Looks like they will be crying like crap developers on opening night.

LMMN
Guest
LMMN

Well that’s a shame.

Not Lord Atkin
Guest
Not Lord Atkin

you know, I generally do not wish for game projects to fail. I really don’t. Even when Activision handed development of THPS5 to Robomodo, I was still hoping it would turn out well (while fully expecting the worst).

So why does this one particular failure feel so oddly cathartic? I feel liked a bad person now for not being particularly gutted.

raphsere
Guest
raphsere
Because one love to see what one perceive as hubris, arrogance and deceit, be met with mockery and shame. We came to see this project as “everything wrong” with Kickstarter, and it feel so nice to finally see ourselves vindicated. On the contrary, if the game had been a hit, it would’ve meant you can bank solely on nostalgia, mismanage a project to hell, be arrogant and almost never communicate properly to your fans, and STILL manage to make a good product. While it would have been nice for all the people who backed the game, this wouldn’t have been… Read more »
gantarat
Guest
gantarat

Wii you review Umbrella Corps ?

Jed Whitaker
Guest

Aerosmith in this?

Drakeonian
Guest
Drakeonian

Damn… This summation seems to be pretty universal too. Inafune seems to have really dropped the ball here, and worse yet he took a bunch of his most loyal fans money to do it. A shame, I really wanted this to be good…

xenodyne
Guest
xenodyne

But hey, at least he got the fundraising together for an animated series nobody is going to give a fuck about.

amphy139
Guest
amphy139

Can you just smell all that wasted potential?

StanClaas
Guest
StanClaas

Maybe the “current year” is so advanced in this game because they originally planned to delay it until 2020?

Infernofire
Guest
Infernofire

“Should I buy Mighty number…”
“NEIN!”

anxie
Guest
anxie

I shall use my money to buy Mai-tais, Summer Wine and other drinks.

Nemrex
Guest
Nemrex

Glad to have back here reviewing Laura.

Kritarion
Guest
Kritarion

I am so sorry for making this game possible with my Kickstarter money.

Zombirate
Guest

Live and learn. :p

toadie
Guest
toadie

Hanging on the eeedge of tomorrow?

Chris Grych
Guest
Chris Grych

Yeeesssss.
Let’s play that game instead of this one.

Pocket
Guest
Pocket

Trouble is, what is there to actually be learned from this? Just never back Kickstarters, even the ones that have everything going for them? Because it sure seemed like this one did.

Bilateralrope
Guest
Bilateralrope

Indeed. Kickstarters are always going to be a gamble.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Yep, that’s the lesson. At worst, you get no game at all. At best, you’ve preordered a game. And we all know the rule about preordering video games: don’t do it.

So also never kickstart any video games.

InspectorNorse
Guest
InspectorNorse

Yes, we should only allow big publishers to pick out our games. They are doing a bang up job. There is going to be some games that are failures but I still love the idea of Kickstarter and other independent means of making games happen.

Fen
Guest
Fen

Everyone makes mistakes. A shame this was one of the most promising kickstarters, given who was behind it, but oh well.

HelixShade
Guest
HelixShade

You speak as if you’re the only one who regrets backing things on Kickstarter.

Trust me, I speak from experience when I say “You’re not the only one”.

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime

Well, I still have a little while to see if I do. The only projects I’ve financially backed thus far are currently unreleased (Yooka-Laylee and the MST3K revival).

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