THE FLASH

Hands-On: ‘Mighty No. 9’

The spiritual successor to ‘Megaman’ is almost here, but does it live up to its potential?

Comcept / Deep Silver

BORN MIGHTY

Mighty No. 9 might be one of the biggest success stories in recent memory, with Keiji Inafune, the Father of Megaman, creating a new studio with a dream of a new, modern Megaman game. And after shortly after launching a kickstarter for the project, Inafune found himself with more support (and money) than he and his new company Comcept ever thought possible. The project grew from a small digital release on the PC to a much bigger endeavor, shipping on almost every platform imaginable, complete with voice acting and a DLC campaign.

However, as is often the case with kickstarter projects, how the game is portrayed in trailers and concept art can often differ from how the game actually plays. And the game’s recent trailers have received an understandably mixed reception. While a beta has been available to people who backed the more expensive tiers on kickstarter, a full demo was playable at E3. The good news is Inafune’s vision for a modern action platformer is intact and pretty awesome. Gameplay in Mighty No. 9 uses the familiar Megaman mechanics of shooting projectiles to destroy enemies and running and jumping to dodge enemies and cross gaps. In the midst of classic mechanics lives a new one: dashing. By dashing through damaged enemies, Mighty No. 9 protagonist Beck can collect “Xel,” which fuels a meter that allows him to use special weapons inspired by the game’s bosses. Xel also helps Beck build momentum, and when you get into a nice groove, you can zip through the level without a care in the world.

Comcept / Deep Silver

Comcept / Deep Silver

Much like how the ability to wall jump opened up a world of possibilities for Megaman X, dashing in Mighty No. 9 makes the whole experience feel a lot speedier and adrenaline-pumping as you suck up and zip through corridors, dashing through gates and crawl spaces to reach your objective. Boss battles are pretty fun too, providing a healthy challenge and clever uses of abilities and dashing. Where the game doesn’t shine as much, though, is in its presentation. The graphics look fine for the most part, with the art style making Beck & friends look like a cross between cel-shaded cartoons and metallic tinker toys. However, it’s not quite up to the standards of things like Super Mario 3D World or the new Ratchet & Clank, despite running at 1080p on a system as powerful as the PS4. Plus, the story, while quirky and charming, proves to be a bit intrusive, as the cutscenes that play before the demo are unskippable and require you to wait for every line to be said before you can move on. While it’s nice to see the story is a focus in the game, being able to press a button if you don’t want to hear the whole spiel the game’s villain gives would be nice. Finally, the controls are fluid for the most part, but doing moves like ledge grabs can be tricky, as they’re mapped to the right analog stick rather than a button. It takes some getting used to, and being able to map it to a different button would be welcome.

Mighty No. 9 certainly has some awesome ideas, and fans of Megaman will definitely want to check it out. While it has its flaws right now, if some of them can be worked out by the time it ships in September, we’ll have the Megaman successor we’ve always wanted.

Do you think ‘Mighty No. 9’ is headed in the right direction? Tweet me @MaxMielecki. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded.

About Max Mielecki (157 Articles)
Max Mielecki is a TV writer at YouNerded and does comedy for the interwebs. He knows Han shot first. For further ramblings follow him on Twitter @Maxmielecki.

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