Mighty No.9 is a Frustrating, Hard to Play, Mega Man Imposter [Review]

By - June 2016

Mighty No.9

When Capcom decided that no longer did it make to sense to continue to make Mega Man games, a 90’s kid like me that grew up on them was disappointed. I didn’t understand the logic and I found it almost inconceivable that Capcom would do such a thing to one of the greatest game series ever. No next-gen? No PS4 or Xbox One remaster or remake? That sucks. The nostalgic part of my DNA hated it until I played Mighty No.9 and now it makes complete sense. I’m glad they never did it.

Am I being a bit harsh? A little bit, but Mighty No. 9 is a harsh game to play because unfortunately and to my surprise it just isn’t any good and it doesn’t offer anything different from what Mega Man was.

Mighty No.9 is the brain child of the creator of Mega Man Keiji Inafune and according to a video interview that I saw with him in the original Kickstarter campaign for Mighty No.9, Beck was what he had always intended for Mega Man but creative difference of opinion with Capcom ultimately gave us Mega Man as opposed to Beck and although it wasn’t what he wanted, it’s been one of the best known series in all of gaming ever since.

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Initially I was excited about the idea of Mighty No.9 especially after playing the beta (I even donated to the Kickstarter). A guy like me who is a bit old school still appreciates a good 2D side scroller, so what if it’s very similar to what Mega Man is? This could work. Maybe. Nope, I was wrong. Mighty No.9 sucks. I wish I could be a little more artful in my description of this game but I can’t. It’s a re-skinned Mega Man with glaring issues that make this game a frustrating experience above all else.

Mighty no.9The stages in Mighty No.9 are exactly reminiscent of what you remember from playing a Mega Man game, shoot some enemies, jump some platforms, maybe encounter a mini-boss and then finally the actual boss fight. Just like the Mega Man games there 8 bosses. Pyrogen, Cyrosphere, Dynatron, Seismic, Battalion, Aviator, Brandish and Countershade. Each of them displaying their own unique abilities and pattern for fighting them. It’s so hard not to play this game and think only of Mega Man. THIS is the problem with Mighty No.9. There is no identity. It has assumed the identity of Mega Man. Mighty No.9 is a bad imposter.

The courses of this game are unimaginative and re-skinned versions of what I’ve already seen in the Mega Man games. The most notable thing about the way Mighty No.9 plays is just how frustratingly difficult the courses of this game are. I must have played every single course in this game and only three times have I been successful at reaching the boss battle let alone defeating one. Could it be that maybe I’m really bad at this game? Possibly, but I’ve completed practically every Mega Man game of this type to date so I get the concept. It isn’t that. This game is just frustrating. So many times I would turn this game on, play a course and constantly die before I said “F–K it” and just turned it off. The point of this game is lost on trying to different. This game is about points and combos, not the adventure and the fight against Dr.Wily and the Robot Masters like it was with Mega Man.

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Beck’s power and abilities in this game are difficult to use and understand. You shoot an enemy take its power and you’re able to use it for a limited time, a very limited time and more often than not I found that taking an enemy’s power was mostly useless and didn’t help at all. Even more so after a boss battle. In Mega Man the best part about completing a stage was taking the bosses power and being able to use that power throughout the game to help you complete other courses and defeat other bosses. So much of that is lost on Beck. For a game that claimed to be what Mega Man wasn’t it took so much of what Mega Man was and screwed it all up. No other way to say it.

I hate that this review has to come across as scathing but a bad game is a bad game. Mighty No.9 is a bad game. I’m incredibly disappointed. Nobody wanted to play this game amongst my friends more than me. I’m a huge Mega Man fan and I wanted the success of Mighty No.9 to lead to a new franchise of games but right now it’s looking like Capcom was right. It’s not over. Maybe a huge overall OTA update will help. There’s a lot of work to be done. Fix the problems with enemy placement, give us more understanding of Beck’s abilities, take away the point and combo system and make it about the adventure. Make the course level more involving and not so boring. It’s a side scroller so there’s only so much you can do. I get that, but in this day and age I have no doubt it can be done better. I wouldn’t recommend this game not even at a $20 price point. FIX THIS GAME. Make it better.

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.
  • Jake

    Sorry man but it seems like you just suck at the game. Were you doing the bosses in order? The weapons really do make things a whole lot easier if you know how to use them. The sword deflects pretty much anything, the helicopter blades stop falling objects, and the bulldozer pretty much makes you invincible to anything in front of you, though the fire and electric weapons do suck.

    I’d say the main faults of this game are the graphics and glitches, not the level design and weapons. I get that it’s bad, most people do, but why even do a review if you can’t beat the game and judge everything it can offer?

    • Mike Bitter

      Because it’s how I (me) personally felt about it. I’m not speaking for anyone else. I also admitted that quite possibly that I could be bad at it. I’ve played Mega Man games all my life and this game seemed quite boring and frustrating as an experience. If you liked the game great. I’m happy about that but again, this is my opinion as are all reviews. I had almost no desire to play this game after awhile and quite a few of my friends who are in the community share my sentiment. I wanted this game to succeed. I donated to the kickstarter. I bought the game so my intentions were to play it as a fan. I spent hours playing it for a few days and then I played Mega Man and I had so much more fun playing Mega Man. I also thought the graphics were fine and I didn’t encounter too many glitches so our issues are different and that’s fine as well. Beating a game is also not a co-requisite to being able to speak intelligently to how it plays. I’m sorry you don’t like the review but I stand by what I said.

  • Ninmast Soletov

    So your review of this game is, “Oh my gosh, it’s so hard, that must mean the game sucks! Oh my gosh, I bought a game advertised to be just like Mega Man, but it’s horrible because it’s just like Mega Man!” You do your profession a disservice with this half-baked article. The imposter here isn’t Mighty No. 9 pretending to be Mega Man. It’s this article pretending to be an actual game review.

    I even have to wonder if you’ve actually played any of the game. You make it sound like Beck copies normal level enemies like Axl in MMX7, but he doesn’t. And not only does he permanently have boss powers once he defeats them, but he doesn’t have a limited energy reserve like Mega Man that he has to constantly restore with pick-ups. He can accelerate the restoration by collecting Xel, but the energy will restore just fine over time on its own. Yes, the levels are difficult, but that’s it embracing the idea that Mega Man games should be Nintendo Hard. They’re not unplayable, they’re not defective, they’re just really hard. If that’s not your cup of tea, it’s not the game’s fault. You’re simply playing the wrong game. I’d remind you that there are people today who can’t get through Mega Man 2 without dying and restarting a hundred times. You can get through Mega Man Classic games because you’ve played them enough times to memorize where the challenges are and how to get past them, but they were designed to be hard. So hard, in fact, that the collector’s editions routinely add an Easy Mode just to shave down the difficulty.

    Honestly, every single “review” that rants that the game’s too hard and too much like Mega Man makes me wonder why they bought it in the first place. When Inafune talked about his vision for Mega Man, he was referring to the STORY. Like when he revamped Mega Man X for the PSP, or how X4 was supposed to be the end of the X arc, what he wanted to do differently with the Zero series, or how he really, really wanted to continue the story from Legends. Complaining about the gameplay just makes you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s a Mega Man game. It was always going to BE a Mega Man game. Anyone who claims this surprised them is either dense or completely failed to do their homework. The whole purpose of Mighty No. 9 was because Capcom wouldn’t give him back the Mega Man IP, so he literally just remade it under another name. It’s Mega Man. Beck is Rock, Call is Roll, Dr. White is Dr. Light. If you can’t handle that or aren’t interested in that, you NEVER SHOULD HAVE PICKED THE GAME UP TO START WITH.

    • Mike Bitter

      I’m sure you could’ve gotten your point across without the insults. You appear to be an intelligent individual so let’s have a constructive dialogue. My opinion on this game is just that MY opinion. It is not law and it’s not for everyone to agree with but I write what I write in the hope that the reader can appreciate my perspective even if they don’t agree with me. That’s what reviews are. I laid out why I felt the way I felt. I supported the game from the concept level, I supported the kickstarter, I supported the game enough to buy it. So this isn’t coming from a hateful place but from the view of a disappointed optimist. Buying a game is not a precursor to approval. It’s a gamble. I consider it to be an added bonus if in fact I enjoy the game as well. If there were things about the game that you enjoyed, then for you Mighty No.9 was everything you wanted it to be an I’m happy about that. I personally found that Mighty No.9 had nuances that made it somewhat different from Mega Man but at the same time it was just like Mega Man and for me, that was a problem.

      I’m aware of the circumstances with Capcom, the actual intended story arc for Mega Man and all of the above when I reviewed this game. You can probably look around the internet and check out some reviews and you’ll find that some share the same issues with Mighty No.9 that I have. It’s not me being negative for the sake of being negative. If that were the case then yes, I would be doing a disservice to gamers. I do believe however, that a bad game is a bad game, plain and simple.

      I respect your right to love Mighty No.9 and I only ask that you respect my right to dislike it. By the way, I am hopeful that it will get better if they pursue a series going forward with Beck. This particular game just wasn’t great and that’s that. Keep gaming and thanks for the feedback. Enjoy