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Posted on Sep 1st 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Mighty No. 9, Mega Man, Inafune, Platformer, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, Kickstarter, Capcom, Review

I want to take a brief break from my usual blogs about my store to talk about Mighty No. 9 now that I've had several weeks to take it all in. If this is something you'd be interested in reading about please click the link below. If not then we can't be friends......

So rewind back in time to nearly 3 years ago and it's an exciting time. Keiji Inafune has left Capcom and is Kickstarting the Mega Man-esque game we've all been waiting for years to see. So much hope and optimism is thrown into this project. It makes four times as much as it needs in order to get funded and the development gets delayed multiple times to iron out the bugs and add on features. With its recent release, the reviews have poured in and as of writing this blog they range from 46%-53% depending on the platform. What happened?? Is it really terrible?? How could this happen with all that time and money invested??

I was one of the tens of thousands of people that backed this project and eagerly awaited picking up a copy. I have a good friend that loves Mega Man as much as I do.  Together we planned our day; the plan was to rush to my house as soon as we both were off work, tear open that plastic, and pump in some Mighty No. 9 on release day. A couple days prior to the launch, all of the terrible reviews started to hit, and someone even traded in a copy to my store....the day before it was released! After speaking with him, he was so concerned with the reviews that he didn't even want to bother playing the game he had paid full price for and waiting 3 years to obtain! To him, it wasn't even worth opening up and he wanted to get what he could for it while it might still be worth close to retail. I couldn't believe it, but happily handed him some cash and decided to keep his copy sealed, so that now I could feel even happier about ripping mine open that night.

As my friend and I sat down to play, I warned him about all the bad press I'd heard and the bizarre copy that had come into the store the previous day. Somehow we still went in optimistic. Inafune has rarely done us wrong for decades, so we still believed. After the first hour of clumsily figuring out how the dash mechanic worked, we were really getting into the grove of things. We started to knock out some levels, got some great combos which equated into more power ups, and were making some terrific progress. Determined to beat the game in one sitting, we braced ourselves and took turns and food breaks as necessary until we had finally beaten all of the "master robots" and gotten to the "wily stages" of the game. As we had hoped, they cranked up the difficulty and forced us to explore our new weapons in order to get through these stages safely. After wrapping up the final boss, it dawned on us that we hadn't really discussed what we thought of the game while we were playing. We just kind of got lost in it. And then, like a couple of 10 year-olds, we high-fived and simultaneously said, "That was awesome!!!"

Was it missing some classic Mega Man tropes we would have loved? Sure.
Were parts of it unbalanced? At times.
Music somewhat on the bland side? Uh-huh.
Certain enemies copy and pasted out of past Mega Man games? How are these enemies legal?
Did we have fun?........Heck yeah we did!!

I feel kinda bad for the guy who brought this to me after waiting for so long and not even giving it a chance. Maybe he wouldn't have liked it in the end, but after waiting for years, how could you not be curious enough to take a little taste? I've long said that reviews are largely meaningless to me. Lots of games I love go under the radar or are just widely discredited as "bad games," even when they are quite enjoyable. Not every game has to be a masterpiece to be good, but far too many of us seem to be in an AAA-only mindset. I find most AAA games to be far too safe for my tastes. I'd rather see the flaws that make games unique, challenging, and sometimes even frustrating. I love when developers take ideas and run with them for good or bad. And I can't wait to see what Mighty No. 9-2 has in store for me!!

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Still haven't even tried my copy yet.
interesting. I have to be honest, you're the first person I've heard say anything positive about this game. I have several friends who also Kickstarted it and they seemed really disappointed. And then... everyone just seemed to even stop talking about it at all. At this point I think it's just on my "wait for like a $2 Steam sale" list, y'know?
It's already getting discounted a lot at retail. Not sure how long it takes for digital to follow suit. I really do understand all the hate the kickstarter got, but I think too many people let that feeling flow over onto the game after also. It wasn't perfect, but it did what it set out to do (plus a bunch of extra crap nobody really asked for) and was just fun.

I've said it many times before and still stand by it. Even bad Mega Man is better than everything else Smiley
Funny, I have never heard of this. But I love me some "Mega Man", even if it's not exactly the real thing. I will check this out, thanks for bringing it to my attention.
As much as the oppressive haters of any form of media annoy me, typically the staunch defenders (see most recent Ghostbusters movie) probably annoy me more. You know, those people who defend something, just to defend it to be on the lesser side and get attention. However, having been a friend of Crabby's for a while now and having met him last year at RWX, I know how laid back and easy going he is and as such, I take his reviews to heart as opposed to with a grain of salt.  I know Crabby is a HUGE Mega Man fan, but we've talked about this game over texts before, and the way he always patiently waits for the game to "come to him" before judging is all I ever need to know before putting a game he recommends on my wishlist. I'd be worried about rose-colored glasses with most, but not you good sir.

With that said, I'm not a modern gamer. I heard about Mighty No. 9 through the grapevine, but other than it's relationship to Mega Man, I no next to nothing about it. However, I'm the type of person who WILL NOT, under any circumstances, allow things for my childhood that I deem dear to be tarnished. I've never seen a Michael Bay Transformers film, and if you put that new Robocop film in front of me, I'd immediately walk out of the room.  I know this about myself, maybe it's a flaw, but I really don't care, some things are just sacred to me.  However, when it comes to spewing venom on social media about things like this that I dislike, I just don't participate; I neither have the energy, nor do I care. 

With that said, I loved the Mega Man series as a kid and this "reboot?" certainly peaked my interest (somehow I'm softer on video games than TV/film).  However, there are others out there who get so obsessed in the hype surrounding a rebooted/remade game, that their expectations become too grand. In fact, sometimes no matter how good a game is, it's never going to be good enough; it will never be the same game you played when you were younger with simply a different physical appearance.  And if it were, some people would still complain.... Sadly, we're just in an age where it's "cool" to complain about things and make spectacles of ourselves behind avatars. If we do it loud enough, perhaps people will join in and hitch themselves to our wagon.

Anyway, great article Crabby, I can't wait to check this game out.  See the rest of you at the Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night b@#$hfest. Smiley     
THANK YOU CRABBY.  Seriously, thank you.  Your thoughts on MN9 practically mirror my own.  I have it for two systems and very much enjoy it.  Its pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be; not a MM2 or MM3, but I enjoyed it more than many in the 'canon' series.  This post is a breath of fresh air; I was starting to wonder if Redd and I (and our gaming crew at home) were the only folks who enjoyed it.

@singlebanana:Alright, Banana, I'm not a 'staunch defender' and I don't visit many forums because of the negative nonsense, but here it goes:

I grew up with (and enjoyed) Robocop, Ghostbusters, and Mega Man.  And I enjoyed the new incarnations of each.  Same with Pete's Dragon, Abram's Star Trek reboot series, Star Wars: tFA, the later Willy Wonka (though the original is in my top three favorite movies), and I think the latest incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (on Nickelodeon, not Bay) is the best since the original black and white comic.

I also very much enjoy No Man's Sky.  I like Bloodborne more than every Souls game, even Demon's.  I enjoyed the new Tomb Raider Reboot and sequel far more than any of the originals.  I played through or almost completed every Resident Evil game and didn't start enjoying them until 4.  Resident Evil 6 is a blast co-op.  I enjoyed Bioshock 2 as much as the first.  I prefer the arcade version of Tecmo Bowl.  I never thought FF7 was the best FF, but still a good game.  Ocarina of Time will always sit lower than Link to the Past on my best of Zelda list.  I think Evolve is one of the most fun current-gen titles.  Burnout Paradise did nothing for me while 3 and Takedown are two favorites.  I enjoyed the original Xbox more than the PS2 except for RPGs.  I enjoy 3DWorld more than Galaxy.  Rock Band felt so much better I lost interest in Guitar Hero.

I could go on, but I think the damage is done.  Perhaps my only saving grace is that I did not enjoy Bay's reboot of Transformers (although the TMNT reboots were... OK, and not evil.)

I'll understand if you require my resignation via shot-out-of-flaming-cannon.
Well written and great post Crabmaster. As slackur said above, I too enjoy this game, and I enjoyed it enough to play the Ray Expansion too, which I recommend anyone who likes this game to do anyway. Smiley
oh I'm excited about Ritual Of The Night. But I was also always a huge Castlevania fan.
@noiseredux:  I'm excited for it too.  My comment was on the lines of, people will be complaining about that too.
Thanks for the awesome comments guys. Had a feeling that when I wrote this no one may care. But it felt cathartic so I did it anyway Tongue.

@singlebanana - that is high praise. Means a lot. I don't take that comment lightly. So happy to count you among my fiends.

I backed Bloodstained as well. Nearly as excited for that one too Cheesy

Glad that I'm not alone too. Glad to have you on board Slackur and Redd!! Although after seeing Jess's comments about 3D World>Galaxy and Rock Band>Guitar Hero I may still keep a bit of distance Wink

Inafune has said that despite the bad reviews and complaints he still plans to do a second one. Really hope he finds a way to keep them coming
@Crabmaster2000:But, but, 3D World could be played by four members of our family together vs Galaxy's two player, and while I used to play Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2 literally every day for the first few years, Rock Band's Drums and downloadable songs meant a much more robust group game.  Galaxy and Guitar Hero will always have high status in my book though. Smiley

Oh, you're too far away to hear...
Expectations were too high I bet. I hope the same doesn't happen to Bloodstained when that comes out.
@slackur:lol, both of those seem to stem from the multiplayer experiences, which I can't really comment on. In your opinion do you feel the same with them as a solo player?
@Crabmaster2000:Cool that you asked. Smiley
EAD's Galaxy and Galaxy 2 have some of the best level design anywhere, and they are superb games.  The co-op is limited but inventive.  My only negative is that I personally never got comfortable with any 3D Wii game that used the Remote and Nunchuk.  I dunno if it is my left-handedness (I did try switching hands) or how I couldn't get used to my hands free-floating in air independently in lieu of both holding a controller, or what.  But every 3D game that required that control set-up never grew comfortable for me, including the Zeldas.  Personal issue, but its there.

Whereas 3D World is, to me, the perfect 3D Mario game.  Gorgeous, inventive, charming, lots of secrets, and tons of fun solo or multiplayer.  I think it is one of the most under-appreciated mainline Mario games.

As for the Guitar Hero/Rock Band rivalry...

I pre-ordered the first Guitar Hero months before release.  I played that and the sequel daily.  Then we got both Guitar Hero III and the Rock Band full kit, and the difference was immediately noticeable.  GH III had an EXCELLENT song list, and I still enjoy the goofy art style and tone, but Neversoft changed the note-algorithm patterns to be more 'game' like by simply adding more buttons to press for harder difficulties.  Harmonix's algorithm always 'felt' more like an actual attempt at replicating the guitar chords and note structure as best they could on the fake guitars, and scaled the difficultly differently, in some cases rewriting the note tracks to better get that feel depending on how many buttons were being used.  (These are generalizations, not universal.)  And because RB guitars had the buttons as frets instead of discreet raised buttons, playing felt more natural to me as well.  I don't know if its because I play an actual guitar or it just seemed more natural to me in general, but I immediately appreciated what RB was going for.  The drumming was also surprisingly sublime, even in the first iteration.  The 'story' startup-band in-jokes were so familiar to our own band, we laughed and nodded alongside the developers who clearly had been down the same road.  Add the fact that we could (and did) download so many songs we wanted to play, and RB became the exact bonding experience for us that Harmonix clearly designed it for.

GHIII got quite a bit of attention, but every time we 'swapped' to it, it felt a bit limited and lesser of an experience.  Still great for parties and replaying "La Grange" and "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" to this day.

Incidentally, RB4 has been a total let-down thus far, and I appreciate the completely new direction FreeStyleGames took Guitar Hero Live.  GHL is such a different experience than RB or previous GH games, and really is refreshingly different.  Not better, mind you, but between the rethink of the guitar controller and the music video setlist that refreshes and updates, it is very much a different design no-one expected.  We pop it in every now and again, but it can't overtake our love of the older titles and with its dependency on online servers, I'm resistant to invest too much time into it.
I really felt like 3D world was just the most bland and safe Mario to come out possibly ever. Even the multiplayer. We would always revert to one of the New Super Mario Bros games when we had a hankering for some 2-4 player Mario. My favorite part of 3D World was the Toad levels which thankfully got its own game so I no longer have a reason to boot it up anymore. Really felt like it was missing that hook and just overall imagination that I get with nearly every other Mario game.

As for GH vs RB. I never think of those games as social games. It's an old school highscore challenge to me. Just trying to squeeze in those extra notes or use your star power more efficiently was always my goal. I felt like GH has always had a mich better track listing and higher level of challenge as well that suited what I want put of those games. Also being a nearly exclusively hard rock/metal kinda guy I heavily (pun intended) favor the GH tracklists to the RB ones which have always featured songa that were recognizable to most people, but I wouldn't know 90% of the songs and most seemed far to simple to play. Also hate the RB guitars. The strum bar feels like mush and the fret buttons super unresponsive. This is also coming from someone with years of experience with real guitars. GH2 and Rocks the 80s are perfection in my mind. When they tweaked the mechanics in 3 and went with a "safer" tracklist that really started my moving away from both the series.

@Link41: I think you're on the nose here.  I didn't back Mighty No. 9, though having read this review, I may finally pick it up for Wii U.  I've been thinking about it, since it's a budget title, but it seems like I might have fun with this, despite its flaws.  I'm relatively easy to please, and if it has an old school play style, as this seems to, I'll probably enjoy it.  I DID, however, back Bloodstained, though so far, even the alpha demo that was released seems to be getting positive feedback from fans, so I hope they take as much time as they need to develop it, and when I get my Wii U physical copy in hand, I'm going to try and not have an instant nerdgasm when I pop it into the console and boot it up the first time.  I will try to keep my expectations in check for that one.

Thanks for the heartfelt review, Crabby!  You have honestly made me want to think more seriously about picking this one up.

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