Mighty No. 9 Review:­ The Throwback You Didn’t Want

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Was Mighty No. 9 really that bad or are we just being exaggerated? You can find out right here.

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Mighty No. 9, thanks to the many issues that swarms its development and release, has become quite the whipping boy online. The massive support behind it turning sour because of the many problems it gave back along the way, with people jeering the title to do terribly. So as we load it onto my PS4, will we find the audience’s rage against it grounded or exaggerated? In the interest of keeping this objective, let’s throw the already present notions about the game to the backseat and give Mighty No. 9 an honest go on the PlayStation 4.

Production (1 / 5)

  • ­ Graphics are nowhere near par
  •  English voices are cringe­worthy
  • ­ While terribly dated, seems purposeful, at least in motion. ­
  • ­ OST is okay if you can manage to hear it

The graphics in this game are terribly dated, let’s get that out of the way. Sure, they may animate pretty okay but it’s hard to appreciate this when you’re constantly bombarded by graphics that look like a mediocre college project. Maybe you can argue that there’s an aesthetic they’re going for but that’s no real excuse for poor execution. If you never grew up with the predecessor games this would be very difficult to accept as a game on the PS4 console. It’s like they literally went with the weakest platform they were releasing it on and kept it that way as they developed for stronger platforms The audio experience on this game is also just pretty underwhelming, the music may be decent if but it’s barely audible and the English voice acting needs to be sent back to the 1990’s. It’s those rare times that I have a heightened appreciation for the skip option for cutscenes even if I’m just viewing the scene for the first time.

All this and it’s rather appalling that there was a few times I noticed frames dropping while playing through the game.

Mechanics (2.5 / 5)

  • ­ Does not appear to offer anything new
  • ­ Occasional Bugs
  • ­ Controls work well except for the weapon switch menu
  • ­ Unique boss interactions
  • ­ Recognizes when you’re playing well ­ Softly adjusts difficulty when you’re doing badly

The game plays out as a retro platform/shooter with several game mechanics designed for speedrunning. Standard Mega Man controls with the run and jump and even a dash, it makes me wonder why they forewent the charge mechanic for the regular buster when it’s present in one of the special weapons anyway. Also if you played older games, you’d probably recall having an annoying time switching weapons on the go. Well get ready to miss that because they’ve made even doing that unnecessarily more difficult. Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine how they managed to do that, but they did.

The new weapons are also as uninspired as they can be. You’ll probably find 2 or 3 of them useful while the rest of them are simply gimmicky and only useful on specific situations. All of them are direct shots that don’t really change how you play, it doesn’t present you with new options for problem solving or boss fighting, they just basically make fighting enemies easier.

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And most unfortunately there were times that the game bugged its collisions on crucial parts, usually leading to instant death. Yes, that was really annoying. Looking at what the game did right, the game recognizes when you’re doing something exceptionally well and rewards you additional points for it. On the flip­-side, if you’re doing badly it’s more likely to throw you handy power-­ups when you respawn without necessarily making the game easier.

The most interesting and part about the game’s mechanics would be how the bosses act appear and help you in other stages after you defeat them. Heck they even make appearances during the final stages working like a team to help you out. Even though it’s all just cosmetic it gives you a glimpse into what the developers had in mind for a culminating climax. It would probably have been highly interesting if this was a further developed concept.

Content (2 / 5)

  • ­ Tried too hard with an excuse plot
  • ­ Fairly well thought level design
  • ­ A few levels quite interesting

Perhaps one of the few things Mighty No. 9 had going for it was level design that at the very least felt decent. Despite the rather forgiving damage enemies give you for getting hit, you’re more likely to be killed by the stage rather than the bosses. The most notable stages were the ones where you chased a sniper around a looping stage and one when I was being chased by a giant drill. Though the game had obvious standard sections which made the level design a little less interesting.

Story and plot has never been a strong point in its predecessors and giving more focus to this only magnifies that. Usually they only give some sort of excuse plot and give tiny developments along the way until the end of the game. However this time they gave an uninteresting cutscene every time you clear a boss, and it’s still an excuse plot that gives little to no development over time. It’s literally just a waste of time unless you want to immerse yourself in awkward voice acting with an awful script. So yes, hit that skip button, save yourself the anguish.

Features (1 / 5)

  • Buggy online
  • ­ Speedrun mode isn’t interesting
  • ­ Additional challenges are okay

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There’s probably not much else that can disappoint more in this game than its features, having online play is available to you only after clearing enough of the game. Conceptually, they sound good. Co-­op play and a head-­to-­head speedrun match are certainly things that would mix up the game’s ace quite interestingly. But again its execution is just horrendous. Matching time already takes long probably due to low player base, but when you get to play with someone the lag is just always around regardless of connection. Even with a higher end connection in the Philippines, the problem persists.

Offline features like challenges are pretty standard considering Inti Creates is also involved on the game’s development. However all it really offers is a ‘congratulations’ for clearing the challenge so unless you’re the completionist kind of player there’s little point in even trying it.

Overall (2 / 5)

  • ­ Does not show anything new
  • ­ A disconnected throwback
  • At best, a dated Mega Man game

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In the end, playing this game felt like going through a playable flashback. Almost everything that was developed through the years with the Mega Man series seems to have been completely forgotten here and returned to its basest form. While it shows some ambition of what could revitalize the old series it simply doesn’t capitalize on it enough to matter. As if it was released just for the sake of completion, and tries to lie to itself that it’s something new. It’s no longer angering, or funny or anything like that, it’s just an awkward flashback you’ll happily forget weeks from now.

Mighty No. 9 on the PlayStation 4 gets another kick while it’s down, scoring a 1.7 / 5

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