Tag Archives: Mega Man

Mighty No 9 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, PC & Android)

Developer(s) – Comcept & Inti Creates

Publisher(s) – Deep Silver & Spike Chunsoft

Director(s) – Koji Imaeda & Kinshi Ikegami

Producer – Nick Yu

Released following an immensely successful Kickstarter campaign and a series of delays, Mighty No 9 is the brainchild of Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, as well as several personnel from the development team of the original game In the series. Highly anticipated by Mega Man fans, it was released in mid 2016 to mixed to negative reviews by critics and gamers alike, and dramatically failed to live to it’s budget and expectations. Having played it, I can under stand why many of the original Kickstarter backers were deeply disappointed with this title.

Graphics – 6/10

Although the game was an independently developed venture, the visual quality of the game does not match the budget the developers were given by backers of almost $4,000,000. Besides which, the game also suffers from a number of technical issues; especially concerning the Wii U version of the game. One of many insults to the backers is that the developers clearly didn’t send the time needed to polish the game before it was released to markets; especially coming as it did from a team of developers who experienced internal frustrations themselves from Capcom’s powers that were. From a conceptual standpoint, the game also fails to impress, with the developers seemingly taking basic elements and ideas from the Mega Man series, and building upon them in a very half-hearted manner.

Gameplay – 5/10

The game’s play also doesn’t live up to Mega Man standards, let alone those of the industry as a whole. Intended to present players with the traditional level of challenge the famed series was known for, this game at times can be even more unnecessarily unforgiving, as many casual players may struggle to get past even the first level. At least with Cut Man’s stage in the original Mega Man game, it was an appropriately fair introduction to the rest of the series, but with Mighty No 9, it seemed to have been designed with only veteran Mega Man players in mind, which for a lot of potential newcomers, causes needless problems.

Controls – 8/10

The original Mega Man game did suffer from minor issues with the controls in terms of unresponsiveness. But Mighty no 9 suffers with the same problem, but to a slightly greater extent, again, causing a lot of unnecessary frustration, potentially to both newcomers and veteran Mega Man players. Even throughout the fist level of the game, there are a great deal of platforming obstacles the player has to overcome in order to progress, during which unresponsive controls can cause a multitude of different issues at different points in the game; especially as it is based on a number of lives the player has, hearkening back to old-style gaming.

Lifespan – 5/10

Clocking in at around 6 hours, despite the fact that funding for the Kickstarter project was supposed to have been enough to reach stretch goals required to bring DLC to the game, Mighty No 9’s lifespan also criminally short; especially for a modern game. Most 2D platformers that are typically developed by Nintendo for example can be easily be made to last 15 to 20 hours given enough substance in gameplay; New Super Mario Bros U and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze are textbook examples of this. Six hours may have been impressive by 1987 standards, when the original Mega Man game was released, but in this day and age, especially against other kinds of games, it doesn’t hold up the same as it once may have done.

Storyline 3/10

Basically mirroring the plot and basic premise of Mega Man, the game’s story centres around a robot named Beck, the ninth in the Mighty Number android line-up, who has been tasked with eliminating his fellow Mighty Number robots after they have been infected with a computer virus; almost identical to how Mega Man must neutralize the robot masters. Almost every aspect of Mighty No 9 story was taken directly from that of Mega Man’s, as was the conceptual design, and has had not a great deal of real thought put into it. It’s especially underwhelming given the fact that the main appeals the developers wanted this game to have also failed to live up to thei respective expectations.

Originality – 3/10

Taking everything into account, the only hints of uniqueness this game has about it is in the conceptual design, which whilst may have been heavily borrowed from the Mega Man series, does minimally well do stand out among other games in general; but certainly not enough to make it do so to any great extent. Although this game certainly does not spell the end for challenging 2D side scrollers, since the likes of Rogue Legacy continue to impress gamers everywhere, it spells a particularly grim future for Comcept, as their latest project, Red Ash, failed to each it’s Kickstarter goals

Angrii

To sum Mighty No 9 up, I would describe it as a gaming travesty; a middle finger to Mega Man fans, as well as the Kickstarter backers. Though it may have been a once-promising game to players, especially those who played the beta, the end product is certainly something to be forgotten.

Score

30/60

5/10 (Far Below Average)

Mega Man (Nintendo Entertainment System)

Developer(s) – Capcom

Publisher(s) – Capcom

Director – Akira Kitamura

Designer – Akira Kitamura

Before I played Mega Man for the first time, I had a pretty decent ideas of what I would be getting, but I wasn’t prepared for was it’s relentless level of difficulty. For how innovative and groundbreaking it was for the time, I couldn’t help but think that like the original Castlevania, it would’ve done better if it had appealed to the more casual gamer as well as gamers looking for the challenge. But regardless, this game had become a cult classic, and I decided to judge for myself.

Graphics – 9/10

The visuals not only hold up in comparison to indie 8-bit games developed today, but for the time, they were revolutionary. The most notable technique Capcom used was to give the character sprites black outlines, which was something rarely seen on the NES prior. A problem with the original Nintendo was that it had a limited colour palette, and game developers had to compromise accordingly; but with Mega Man, Capcom simply realized that colours could be made much more distinctive from one another by merely separating them with thin lines of black between the scenery and the character sprites, and it worked flawlessly. Not only that, but the diversity in level design was also top notch, with the game taking place in locations like futuristic laboratories and vast, rocky canyons.

Gameplay – 5/10

This aspect is where the game posthumously fell short on in my opinion. My feelings towards it are too mixed. On one hand, this game incorporates so many innovations that would go on to become industry standards, such as non-linearity, giving players the choice of which order they complete levels in, and variety in the array of different abilities that the player can acquire throughout the course of the game. But on the other hand, the game is notoriously hard, and for the most, I just felt marred down by its level of difficulty. It’s because of that, I found it too hard to enjoy, and in turn, hurts its replayability overall. I think part of the problem has to do with that back in the time of it’s release, video gaming was a much more casual interest in America and Europe than it was in Japan, and the Western world wasn’t used to such challenges in video games. But there were a few of these games, like Mega Man and Castlevania, that were met with a decent reception, and so they worked for many players, but not for all. This is part of the reason why Nintendo were apprehensive about release the original Super Mario Bros 2 in the Western world, so they took another game they previously developed called Doki Doki Panic, and re-imagined that game as our version of Super Mario Bros 2, and the original Japanese take was re-released as part of Super Mario All-Stars, where it was called Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. Although there is much more to the story than that, the fact of the matter remains that Mega Man was just far too hard for me to enjoy overall.

Controls – 9/10

Like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, I did sometimes find the controls to be somewhat unresponsive, which made it hard to time jumps properly and not fall from platforms and lose lives. However, for the most part, it is down to player’s own individual skill, and my advice to anyone looking to try this game out is to be prepared and to be patient, because players will inevitable die over and over again.

Lifespan – 5/10

As I alluded to before, past linear 2D side scrollers don’t tend to last for overly long periods of time, and Mega Man is no exception. I think experienced players are able to complete this game in about four hours, but for inexperienced players, most time will be spent dying. And as I said before, the game’s level of difficult will inevitable hinder its replayability for many players. Also, as Mega Man is not exactly a linear 2D side scroller, giving players the choice of what path to take, I think the game’s short lifespan is made that little more intolerable as a result.

Storyline – 7/10

For a time when there was considerably less emphasis put on story in video games, Mega Man’s storyline is actually fairly well done. What made it different is that there is a little bit more back-story in Mega Man than there was in other games at the time. It follows a humanoid robot called Mega Man, who is deployed by his co-creator, Dr. Light, to stop his former assistant Dr. Wily. The two scientists created Mega Man and six other humanoid robots for industrial labour, but Dr. Wily chose to use the other six humanoid robots in a bid to take over the world, and Mega Man must prevent this from happening. An interesting fact about the story is that Mega Man was originally going to be called Rock Man to fit in with the other six humanoid robots, but also as a reference to rock music. But the problem was that the developers were afraid of the name Rock Man being mistaken for a reference to drugs, and so it was changed. This is also why Mega Man’s sister is called Roll, as it would have been Rock and Roll if the name change hadn’t happened.

Originality – 7/10

Although I found the game too difficult to enjoy playing, the fact of the matter is that a lot of innovations were made in this game that would become stable elements of video games to this very day, and I have to at least respect it for that. For me, it loses marks for the fact that the more difficult games back in the time appealed to a lesser demographic overall, and therefore the game was different, but in a more negative way. I can’t help but feel that if they’d toned down the difficulty for the Western release of the game, then it would have done better at the time.

Happii

Happii

In summation, whilst it’s not a terrible game, it is only open to specific kinds of gamers; the kind who don’t mind the challenge of playing through such a hard game. But for a lot of other people, it will just become nothing but frustrating to play. But with its outstanding visuals for the time, and groundbreaking gameplay features, it most definitely earned its place in video gaming history.

Score

42/60

7/10 (Fair)