The plot is about as Mega Man as it comes without starring the blue bomber himself. You play as the creation of a kindly scientist, you need to stop several fellow creations gone wrong, and you steal their powers. This would be acceptable were it not for the stilted voice acting and botched translation, marring even the simple story of the game.
The core design is sadly little better, as it proves to be tough but unrewarding. At every stage, you run a hellish gauntlet of foes, often with arbitrarily random death traps thrown in. While in a good platformer a player would be allowed to learn from the experience, here it’s a case of sheer luck overcoming certain obstacles and hoping certain puzzles don’t arbitrarily screw you over. Walls of bullets emerging or areas you can only pass through by taking damage all show-up, and the game is happy to rob you of over half your health in certain moments should you screw something up.
Worst among the game’s failings are the bosses. These should have been the highlight of each level, but instead, they exemplify its worst failings. The slightest error can see you losing a life in an instant, and they often repeat the same gimmicks time and time again. There’s no restraint here, no opportunity to truly learn and progress, and every so often a death will force you to repeat the entire prior level.
Mighty No. 9 is mediocre at its best, and it’s made all the worse by brief shining moments where you can see its potential through inventive platforming sections, memorable foes, and challenging level designs. The problem is, the moment you start to enjoy yourself, you hit yet another brick wall.
No one will deny the gaming industry has seen far worse done with so much more over past years, but this one hit harder than any of those. It offered a ray of hope for jaded and bitter fans of a decaying franchise, only to torment them as their shining new series emerges dead on arrival.
Welcome to the Duke Nukem Forever of crowd-funded games.
MIGHTY NO. 9 / DEVELOPER: COMCEPT, INTI CREATES / PUBLISHER: DEEP SILVER / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 3, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE, WII U, SHIELD PORTABLE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW