Review | Mighty No. 9
While Kenji Infaune may be known as the creator of Mega Man, it’s disappointing to think that many may remember him by the letdowns of Mighty No. 9.
What was supposed to be a spiritual success to Mega Man instead ended up as a simply average platformer with mechanics that never fully hook you.
Mighty No. 9 does feature the run and gun mechanic like other Mega Man games. However, a boosting system is introduced to absorb enemies and grant combo changes by absorbing multiple enemies at once. The boost works fine, but just seems unneeded and can break the flow of the game as you stop to shoot and dash instead of just running through levels for the bosses.
The boosts are needed to give you an advantage in levels, though. They can give temporary speed, power and armor the more you absorb. If you can get some combos, this can be a fun system to delve into. It just never seems to be fully utilized though.
Outside of the boosting, the dash can be used to dodge some instant-kill traps and help with platforming sections. This is when the boost feels best utilized, as you string together impressive runs through areas with death just a second behind you.
Through the game, it’ll feel like you’ve seen most levels before. This is an Inafune game, and some levels honestly feel like stripped down levels of past Mega Man levels. One level that does stand out, though, is the Countershade stage, where you chase a sniping robot with the level changing around you.
Probably the highlight of design in the game are the bosses. Each one had a lot of detail put into them and look great, with their abilities having the standard rock, paper, scissor feel of being strong against another boss. Make sure to take the time to appreciate the boss looks, as levels won’t impress you nearly as much.
Graphically, it feels like levels were dialed in at the last minute. There’s not much detail in the levels or intricacies to take in while rushing to the bosses. It’s not that they’re ugly, just … plain. Also, I’m still not sold on the design of Beck after his original look. The cartoonier feel just seems like it was easier for the team to work with after they kept promising too much.
Speaking of promises, let’s talk about the extra items that are currently available. The Ray DLC is only a level that will probably let you down because of the short length of the level. She does have an interesting concept of needing to absorb enemies to keep her health from decreasing, but the level just has a few short boss fights and small level segments in between.
Additionally, the challenge mode seems tossed in at the last second and unpolished. It takes place on a wireframe area, removes the dash and leaves you with a copy ability. Instead of a challenge mode, it seems more like a glorified training mode.
While the game also has boss rush and New Game+, nothing really screams that it’s an amazing feature that led to delay after delay on release. Add in that the game still has to be delivered to some systems and all this has been so far is a great case study on overpromising items on Kickstarter.
While Mighty No. 9 didn’t end as a complete disaster, it definitely doesn’t live up to the standards of being a spiritual successor to Mega Man. Instead, what you have here is an average platformer that will take up a few hours of your time before you clear it and move on. If you love Inafune titles, Mighty No. 9 may be worth seeing what he has been up to. Otherwise, there are other platformers available to check out.
Final Score: 6.0