Review: Mighty No. 9
It’s here. Mighty No. 9: The awesome game for awesome people, the Kickstarter kid, the Megaman for the mega age. The question on everyone’s minds is whether it lives up to the hype. The obvious answer is no. But if you take away Mighty No. 9’s hype you get a solid 2D shooter which has taken some great cues from the original MegaMan series.
Let’s go down the list of obvious flaws first to talk about what Mighty No. 9 got wrong. Right off the bat, the game’s look and feel is just unappealing. Character designs look like knockoff Chinese anime characters, the color scheme feels strange and ill-fitting, and none of the enemies reach the levels of classic MegaMan bosses. The game also makes the mistake of having voice acting (most indies do it old school and just roll text) and its voice acting is just bland. So right off the bat, we know Mighty No. 9 is not a very pleasant looking or sounding game.
In terms of gameplay flaws, I’d say its biggest issue is the level design. Maybe this is an extension of the game’s unappealing aesthetic, but I really didn’t like most of the game’s levels. They felt like they dragged on too long, and there was just way too much padding. If you go back and play old Megaman games, you’ll notice that the games themselves are surprisingly short; you just need super skill to take the games out, as you’re expected to do it in one go technically speaking. Mighty No. 9 increases the size of the classic MegaMan levels, but it doesn’t fill that space up with something memorable. For the most part, levels started to feel like a slog.
Now we can move on to what Mighty No. 9 got right. I would argue the game has a pretty reasonable difficulty curve, and that definitely opens it up for more gamers and allows more people to enjoy the action. I liked the variety in enemies (not the look, mind you, just the different types) and I felt the platforming was solid (not good; solid). As a 2D shooter, it does its job well and provides solid shooting action.
Mighty No. 9’s piece de resistance is arguably its dash mechanic. This is definitely the game’s standout, and it actually did put a fun twist on the gameplay. Instead of just shooting and dodging, you also have finishers and chained combos, and this lead to some fun sequences. It’s also pretty useful in the boss fights. Speaking of boss fights, Mighty No. 9 definitely didn’t fill the original MegaMan saga’s shoes in that area either. The boss fights vary from clever and creative to repetitive, and there’s not as much of the classic action of MegaMan’s boss fights in this title. Another major disadvantage is the fact that you don’t really *need* any of the boss abilities as much as you did in previous MegaMan games. You get by just fine with spamming fire and dashing, for the most part.
In terms of length, even with its padding Mighty No. 9 is not a particularly long game. This is a good thing overall, as it won’t leave you wanting more. It will give you 4-5 hours of decent enough shooting, and if that’s what you’re in the market for, Mighty No. 9 ticks the right boxes
Mighty No. 9 was reviewed using a PC downloadable code of the game provided by Deep Silver. The PC version was tested by Mazen Abdallah on a PC running Windows 7 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 8GB of RAM. The game is also available on Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Wii U. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Good difficulty curve
• Fun dash mechanic
• Solid shooting
• Good enemy variety
• Voice acting is bland
• Weak level design
• Unappealing aesthetic