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E3 2015 Hands-On: Mighty No. 9

Jonathan Higgins

There have been so many Kickstarters created in the same spirit as Mighty No. 9 since comcept first revealed it to the world. There“s “Not Castlevania”, “Not Banjo-Kazooie”, “

” and possibly more where those came from.


But... what do you all look for most, when it comes to judging a game based on the thing it“s trying to closely emulate? Do you judge Beck and friends based on personalities and characterization, as well as plot? Do you judge presentation-related elements like visuals and sound? Or is gameplay all that matters in the end?


When it comes to these various “Not” projects, I tend to examine physics and gameplay elements before anything else. I even made a point to play some of Mega Man Legacy Collection immediately before getting my hands on Mighty No. 9 at the Square-Enix booth. I“ll talk presentation first, though.


These visuals are somewhat difficult for me to describe. It“s indeed an attempt at modern design, but I“m honestly not sure if I“m happy with how the character and enemy models themselves turned out. I am, however, satisfied with the various environments they populate. And at least the two mesh well together.




I may not be able to pinpoint what I don“t like about the visuals, but the soundtrack is completely satisfying. I only really got the chance to immerse myself in an ice level, but I made a point to play every level in the demo so I could hear its music. The level I did play featured some fairly well-written dialogue that was filled with puns and the kind of humor you“d expect to find in a Mega Man game. Ultimately, the presentation side of things is consistent, even if I“m not necessarily a fan of certain aspects.


Is Mighty No. 9 a successful attempt at recreating Mega Man“s gameplay? The answer is yes. If you“re looking for a specific comparison, I“d say to expect the gameplay of Mega Man: Powered Up, except you can burst forward infinitely versus a limited amount. Enemies go down easy, but not too easy. The bosses I faced required me to shoot them a lot first in order to weaken them, then charge into them to finish the job. Charging itself--that burst forward--has a combo system attached. Beck moves and jumps like he should.


Ultimately, in terms of physics and how Beck himself “feels” — comcept did not miss the mark. At first, I thought the gameplay was too easy. But by the middle of the level, I was falling down a long-winded path of spikes on either side of me that was very difficult to navigate. I“m not sure if they“ve quite nailed down the concept of “Mega Man hard” with the level I attempted, but it“s certainly no slouch.




All in all, I“d say Mighty No. 9 has been worth the wait. And it“s worth looking into if you never did wind up backing the project during its beginning phases.


I may not consider it a phenomenal, groundbreaking, hype-generating experience, but... if you temper your expectations and peg Mighty No. 9 as simply a return to (Mega Man) form versus something that“s going to be masterful material, you won“t be disappointed. If you want to learn more, check out the official website.

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