Keiji Inafunes', Mighty No. 9.

Mighty No. 9 is a Japanese side-scrolling action game from the creator of Mega Man, Keiji Inafune.

Do you like awesome things that are awesome?

Mighty No. 9 is one of the most successful video game Kickstarters of all time.

In Mighty No. 9 You play as Beck, the 9th iteration in a line of powerful robots, and the only one who is immune to the mysterious virus that has caused all other mechanised beings to run rampant and divert from their primary functions. In typical Inafune Mega Man-esc fashion you cannon blast and symbiotically transform your way through a number of stages and the order in which you decide to tackle those stages is entirely up to you. Upon completion of each instance Beck earns new weaponised abilities based on which Mighty No. he was able to defeat.

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Mega Man enthusiasts, those to whom Inafune directly appealed with the Kickstarter campaign will be happy and reminiscent in Mighty No. 9’s familiar rhythm and structure. From the offset you will not be confused as to which game this was meant to be a spiritual successor to, the problem is thou, it feels more like a not so great imitation rather than an unofficial official development of the Mega Man franchise.

As the game’s name implies the boss battles are rather mighty, with each battle requiring a strong handle of Beck’s controls and pin point timing to avoid that dread educing ‘Retire’ Button. Becks primary abilities I find are the best tools to take down each boss as some of the other mighty No.’s abilities leave a lot to be desired when implicated in a practical sense.

For the true sadists there’s a few tiers of insanity you can climb when going through the game, ‘normal’ mode; ‘Hard mode’, ‘Hyper mode’ and last but by no means least, ‘Maniac mode’ (there is a one shot mode….yes….one hit…. death….)  your performance on each stage in typical 2D scroller fashion is ranked and I have to admit my efforts so far have not warranted anything higher than an ‘A’.

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If you Kickstarted this game, you’ll likely be left with a mixed taste in your mouth, on one side of your pallet you will be fairly satisfied with how Mighty No. 9 turned out based on the fact that it does have some ‘rose tinted’ Mega Man-esc moments of pure platforming bliss, like chaining a dash combo mid air and racking up a nice combo to bad those high-scores, but, on the other side, you will be let down by the lack of growth in the game. Mega Man was a ground breaking game on release and is one of thee most well known gaming franchises on the planet and achieved that through innovation in level selection, solid, enjoyable platforming experiences and an amazing art direction with a beautiful design and simple yet alluring story.

What I hoped to see from Mighty No.9, a game destined for greatness, backed in mind and soul by the genius behind the original Mega Man is a game which at it’s core contained that special sauce, a game which included minor tweaks to improve performance based on decades of Mega Man play and the millions of hours we as players have racked up on it. Mighty No.9 was Inafune opportunity to go back and perfect his masterpiece, to use heinsight and retro actively make the game he wanted to make if he could go back today and give young Inafunes all the wisdom he had acquired over the passing years, Instead what we have is not a game which is not great, but also not bad.

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The Good

- Addictive fast paced gameplay
- Mega man nostalgia

The Bad

– archetypal level design
– Questionable voice acting
– Dated design

The Verdict

Keiji Inafunes legacy of is a strong and classic one. Mighty No. 9 unfortunately doesn't do it the justice we all hoped it would based on the Mega Man series. With that being said it is fun, fast paced and addictive, i can't help but think if this wasn't a child of Inafunes' with such high expectations the disappointment wouldn't feel as bad as it does based on the fact that we know what he is capable of. It lacks a finesse, from the choppy mechanics to the bad voice acting it feels like the brush used for detail and fine strokes was a painting roller.

5.9