Considered by many to be a spiritual successor to the Mega-Man franchise, the Deep Silver published Mighty No. 9 is produced by Mega-Man creator, Keiji Inafune. With the game set for a September 15th release, I took the opportunity to get hands on with Mighty No. 9 at San Diego Comic-Con.
In terms of aesthetics, the game looks a lot like Mega-Man; with a robotic/humanoid protagonist with a Doctor providing oversight. Additionally, like its ‘spiritual predecessor’ players have the option to choose between various platform-focused levels.
Essentially, Mighty No. 9 is what players have wanted for years, a new Mega-Man game. It takes similarities from the franchise even piggy-backs on later iterations in the series. Beck, the protagonist, has a skillset which includes a dash attack, much like Mega Man X. And that’s what those who backed this crowd-funded title have been looking for since its first mention. Players who fit into this nostalgic category will likely not be disappointed. Similarly to Mega-Man, the eight bosses can be defeated in any order, and defeating said boss will allow Beck to incorporate that boss’ powers into his arsenal. There is no required order for defeating the bosses, but some of the acquired powers will work better against a particular boss.
All this sounds familiar, but there are some differences between Mighty No. 9 and the Mega-Man franchise. Primarily, it becomes instantly recognizable that speed is a major gameplay mechanic. Speaking with Deep Silver employees at SDCC, many of them pointed out the game’s emphasis for speed. Mighty No. 9 was developed with the ‘speed run’ community in mind. For those unaware, there is a growing number of players who attempt to complete a particular level or an entire game in the quickest time possible. MIghty No. 9 certainly caters to this select group of gamers. Beck’s dash attack is used to acquire XP which can be used to restore health but is also the most important offensive mechanic. Dashing a wounded enemy will result in an instant kill and allow the player to move quickly through the level.
Another obvious difference observed during my hour long experience with the game, Mighty No. 9 did not inherit the high level of difficulty of its spiritual predecessor. The original Mega-Man, and many of the games that followed, carry with it the level of difficulty associated with the 8-bit era. Within the allotted timeframe, I was able to defeat one of the bosses and play through some other handpicked segments with relative ease.
Overall, I enjoyed my hands-on experience with Mighty No. 9. It certainly will not be the best title released in Fall 2015, but players looking for that nostalgic feel without having to replay the old Mega-Man titles found within Capcom’s Mega-Man Legacy Collection, will certainly enjoy Mighty No. 9.