I’m sure by now, many of you have heard about Mighty No. 9, whether it’s the overly negative comments and reviews of it or from the minority of players who actually enjoy the game. I’ve had the game for about a week now and while I had high hopes for the game based on my first 30 minutes of gameplay, which you can read here, Mighty No. 9 ultimately was not a game for me. The main issue is that the game just wasn’t very fun for me and I’ll explain why.
But first, lets get some of this other stuff out of the way first. Mighty No. 9 is supposed to be the spiritual successor to Capcom’s legendary Mega Man series. Mighty No. 9 is created by the same man who created Mega Man all those years ago, Keiji Inafune and his development studio, Comcept. Funded on Kickstarter almost 3 years ago and finally released despite numerous delays, Mighty No. 9 was supposed to give fans the next evolution of what Mega Man was supposed to be, but did it?
Above is the video from my first 30 minutes with Mighty No. 9 which mainly consisted of the short introductory “tutorial” level and boss fight along with parts of the Pyro level. I put tutorial in quotes because it actually does very little to teach you how to play. You learn how to shoot, jump, and dash here. You also learn how to adsorb Xel from enemies. Absorbing enemy Xel can temporarily give you their powers but no explanation on what those powers are, how long they can last for, and how to use them. You kind of just figure this out on your own through trial and error. And even then, you’re still not entirely sure.
The first tutorial level is also a bit misleading when it comes to the rest of the game. That first level and boss you face makes the game look fairly easy when in fact, it’s not. The rest of the game does everything it can to make your experience frustrating, difficult, and not very fun.
Take for example the Pyrogen stage, who is considered to be Mighty No. 1. If this is the first stage you choose, you’ll be greeted with a level where it almost seems like the developers placed every single item on the map to get some cheap hits on you so that you would lose health and die. It almost seems like enemies start attacking you before even you have a chance to see them and react. Also the way they attack you give you almost very little room to avoid. For a first time run, this would make any person super frustrated. I didn’t even make it near the end boss in my first run. My second run was a bit better because I remembered where all the enemies were and got more accustomed to the layout of the level.
However, upon reaching the boss I was met again with an almost impossible challenge. Pyro seemed like a pretty straight forward boss at first but proved to be much more than that. You see, with most platform games and games in general, the end boss has some kind of pattern that you can pick up on. Not this guy.
At first it seems like he’ll run straight at you a few times so you figure okay, I’ll just jump and dash over his next attack. Wrong. As soon as you do that he decides to use his other attack that is a jumping attack causing you to take damage. Okay, lets learn from this. So maybe there’s a pattern to when he decides to do this. Wrong again. After dying the first time, he completely switched up his attack pattern and decided to do jumping attacks first which requires a standing dash. After a few times of this, he switches back to a running attack, but with no real clear pattern of when he switches attacks from what I could see. After dying a few more times, you kinda just get the feeling that his pattern is completely random. I’m sure there is a pattern or a way of spotting what his attacks are going to be before he does it, but it’s very hard to figure out the first few times you play him. I will say though that despite the boss being difficult to read and challenging, I found the boss battles to be the best part of the game.
Which brings me a major problem with this. Let’s say you get to the boss and you are feverishly trying to figure out his attacks but use up all your lives. You’ll have to start all over from the beginning of the level to make your way back to the boss again to give it another go. That’s probably another 10-15 minutes wasted. It would have been much better to allow for a restart right back at the boss or at a later checkpoint, but instead you have to suffer through playing the regular level again just get to the boss and most likely get beat down again. This adds to the frustration of the game. I can understand they did this probably to make the game more challenging, which is fine, but not if the game is really frustrating.
So if you’re been paying attention to this so far, the game is really frustrating. If you’re not very good at platform games, Mighty No. 9 will be a nightmare. If you are good at them, it’ll be slightly less of a nightmare. It’s still not very fun though. The overall level designs are pretty mediocre and not very exciting and seem to be overly tough for no real reason other than to reduce your lives to zero before reaching the boss. The boss challenges I’m okay with really as they should be difficult. They are actually kind of fun despite their difficulty. I just wish they’d actually let you continue from the boss battle when you run out of lives instead of returning you all the way back to the beginning of the level, which is the part of the game that is just plain bad.
I really wanted to like Mighty No. 9. I used to be a fan of old school Mega Man games, and wanted to relive those good old days. Sadly, my memories of those good old days must be twisted or something because if this was how Mega Man was back in those days, why did I ever play it? Might No. 9 makes it incredibly difficult I think for most casual gamers to get into. In my opinion, most of the levels are overly difficult and frustrating which makes getting to the bosses a chore. If you do happen to make it to the bosses, you’ll get to play what is probably the only really fun part of the game. If you don’t beat the boss with the lives you have left, you’ll have to start all over from the beginning which takes you out of the fun zone and back to the crap zone.
Mighty No. 9 has more to dislike about it than there is to like about it and that’s a shame. I really wanted to like the game. In the end, Mighty No. 9 wasn’t a game for me. I couldn’t even play more than a few hours of it. Again, there are some good parts to Mighty No 9, I just couldn’t deal with the rest of it.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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