Mighty No. 9 fails to deliver a true Mega Man experience

mighty_no_9

The bright Manga style graphics and the visual treatment of the hero of this tale, Mighty No. 9, can leave you in no doubt that this is a game that owes a great deal to the classic action platformer series, Mega Man.

Everything is great in No. 9’s world. People are living in peace and robots are humankind’s pals. Unfortunately, as does happen in such stories, things have gone awry and all manner of robots have gone all killy, including the Mighty No. 1-8 robots. It’s up to good ol’ No. 9 to stop them.

Gameplay-wise this is trying it’s darnedest to recreate the 8-bit joy of a tough, but rewarding platformer. However, the promising visuals in screenshots are lacklustre when you actually play and, even worse, slowdown on such a visually basic game is unforgivable. That’s not to say there aren’t glimpses of potential here. The basic controls allow you to shoot and stun enemies before rushing at them at stealing their skills. This is particularly useful as using special skills picked up give a much needed advantage when in a boss battle.

The difficulty of levels can be reduced with the ability to increase how many lives you start with as well as the inclusion of frequent checkpoints to make sure you don’t have to replay vast swathes of each level when you inevitably die.

As a game that’s come from a small developer, it’s tempting to give Mighty No. 9 a little more slack, but this is a game that reached around the $4 million mark when receiving funding on Kickstarter, so this really should feel a lot more polished. Add in games such as Super Meat Boy and Fez, which were both created on a shoestring budget yet are both beautiful (well, bloody at least in Meat Boy’s case) and true testament to the ability of tiny studios/stressed and tearful people sat in their bedrooms.

Mighty No. 9 isn’t terrible, but it’s also nowhere near as good as it should be. That said, reaching the end of a level and winning against one of the challenging bosses gives that same sense of achievement familiar to anyone who grew up in the age of the NES or SNES and the bastard-hard 8-bit titles of the era. That is at least for an hour or two until you get sick of dying all the time.

stars3
Deep Silver
PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, PC
£15.99 – £23.99 (12+)