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Mighty No. 9 Review – A Disappointment from Kickstart to Finish

Editor’s Note: This is a review coupled with a video review. You can watch the video review above, or read a transcript of the video below.

Hello, everybody, my name is Tyler Valle, and this is Mighty Number 9–a game developed by Comcept, published by inti Creates in Japan, and Deep Silver in the West. I’m going to be up-front with you all and say that this review is going to be different from any other review I’ve ever worked on, and as we continue, I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.

For those of you who live under a rock and haven’t paid attention to Mighty Number 9’s development, let’s go all the way back to the beginning. Mighty Number 9 went up on Kickstarter in 2014, with the promise of creating a fantastic spiritual successor to the Mega Man franchise. The man who was going to head the project was none other than Keiji Inafune, the self-professed creator of Mega Man, even though that’s not true, and Mega Man was actually created by a man named Akira Kitamura.

All Inafune did was create artwork based off of the original sprite designs. But hey, since Akira all but disappeared there’s no one who will really argue that point against Inafune. Inafune said that he wanted to bring veterans of game development onto the project. This included Manami Matsumae, the woman behind the original Mega Man’s soundtrack, and more recently worked on Shovel Knight’s music as well. They also brought on one of my favorite artists in all of gaming, Shinsuke Komaki, who worked on Mega Man Legends, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, and the Mega Man Battle Network games.

The game got a lot of media buzz and a lot of fan attention. People were eager to give them money to create Mighty Number 9, a game that people thought Inafune was passionate about. So how did the project do? Well, they asked for $900,000 and raised over $4,000,000. That’s right, the project raised four times the amount of money than the Comcept team asked for. Fantastic, if they promised us a great Mega Man successor for $900,000 then with four times that amount we should get a Mega Man that could surpass the original, right? With an April 2015 release date too! This was looking to be a Kickstarter success story for the ages.

Then April 2015 came and went, and the game was delayed until Fall, then Winter, then January. It finally came out on the 21st of June 2015. So what, the game was delayed?! Even Miyamoto-san once said: “A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.”

So with the game being delayed almost a year and a half, and still sitting on a budget of 4 million dollars that went almost entirely into development (due to the fact that Inti Creates came in to help publish the game in Japan, and Deep Silver in the west). There was still a chance, right? So after 20 hours with the game, how did the final release stand up? Just how good is Mighty Number 9?!

It’s mediocre, and while that may be okay for certain games, it’s not okay for this one. Mighty Number 9 raised too much money and had made too many promises to be mediocre. But when you look at the game’s development, does it really surprise you? There were a laundry list of red flags.

Most notable is the time they delayed the game, all while announcing a new Kickstarter project for another game, Red Ash, the spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends. Luckily, that game didn’t get community funding, and Inafune had to find a Chinese investment company to help pay for the project. That’s right, this was no longer a spiritual successor, but instead a Chinese knockoff game.

That, right there, is the main issue I have with this entire situation. Inafune was much more interested in making a franchise that he could make money from than making the game he promised. As the game was delayed further and further, more and more merchandise and product deals came to light. A TV series, a movie, a series of playing cards, a special burger at those weird Japanese Burger Kings. You get the picture.

Inafune didn’t give a damn about making a good game, he wanted to make merchandise and money. That’s why when you play Mighty Number 9, it doesn’t feel like the game is 4 million dollars worth of quality, and instead looks like it was made with the original budget of $900,000, at most. My question is, if this final version of the game is what we got at the end, what could the build that existed around the original release date look like? Did they even work on the game? These are questions I have to ask, knowing that I’ll never get an answer.

As far as a review goes, do I even need to bother? Almost everything about this game is wrong–the music is boring and uninspired like the levels, the enemies, the bosses, and the game itself.

Every level is forgettable and feels like a chore to play through, always shifting between too easy and annoying, due to the fact that the only difficult parts of the levels are instant kill walls that exist everywhere. Well yeah, the levels may be boring, but what about the bosses, that’s what makes the Mega Man games iconic right? Well, they also suck.

There was not a single boss that I enjoyed fighting in this game. Their move sets were boring, and at certain points dabbled in the “unfair” territory. Not to mention that the bosses themselves are bullet sponges, with a stupid mechanic having you knock off their health by sections. You deal damage, and the bosses turns purple, and you dash through them to get rid of the health. Doesn’t sound so bad right?

There are quite a few bosses who fly out of your reach, and if you knock a bosses’ health into the purple section and they fly out of your reach, their health regenerates! Yeah, that’s fun! Not to mention that there are times where you’ll dash through a boss and take damage for it, because I don’t know.

I’m being very serious, and I had to actually rant about this game for several hours yesterday before I could calm myself down enough to write this review. Never again, Inafune’s name is poison to me.

Mighty Number 9 gets a 4 out of 10, and trust me if I wasn’t a professional and actually did take consideration of all the circumstances of this game into it’s score, this game would get a two at most.

I’m going to be honest, this was one of the most disappointing experiences I’ve ever had with a video game, and while I may not be a Mega Man fan at all, I didn’t want this game to be good for my sake. I wanted the game to be good for Mega Man fans, who have spent the better half of a decade being mistreated by Capcom, who let me just remind you, blamed the fans for the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3.

If there is any gaming fanbase who deserved a good game, it was them. It genuinely upsets me, not as a critique, but as a fellow gamer that this game turned out the way it did. Trust me, in the words of the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton: “Mega Man fans, I played Metal Gear Solid 5. Therefore I can safely say, ‘I feel your pain’.”

At least it’s better than nothing, right? Maybe Capcom will take this time to rub two brain cells together and announce a new Mega Man game; I wonder what they’ve been up to…. Oh….. Oh no….

Hello again everyone, thanks for watching my review. If you liked it, make sure you give this video a like and subscribe to us on YouTube for more video content from myself and soon to be others we’ve brought onto staff! And make sure you check out Niche Gamer for all your game news, previews and reviews. My name is Tyler Valle, and y’all have a great day.

Mighty No. 9 was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a digital code provided by Deep Silver. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict: 4

The Good:

  • Artwork by Shinsuke Komaki is fantastic
  • Controls were solid

The Bad:

  • Everything
  • Everything
  • The music is boring, repetitive, even for a Mega Man game, and is grating to listen to at times, even if the main theme of Mighty Number 9 is pretty great, the rest of the soundtrack is horribly forgettable.
  • The Voice acting may actually be some of the worst voice acting work I’ve heard in a video game, and I played Final Fantasy Type 0 with the English dub on.
  • The Dash mechanic both breaks the game and makes boss fights repetitive and boring
  • The bosses are terrible, with boring move sets and designs
  • The game is stuffed with padding; that’s not a good thing. That’s lazy.
  • The robot designs are as boring as the environments
  • This is made worse do to the fact that the game looks like a 3DS game on every platform
  • The bricked Wii U’s on release, even a year and a half later, they couldn’t check the WiiU version
  • The Xbox 360, Linux, and Mac versions were all delayed, with the Xbox 360 users instead getting Steam codes, so that version may never come out
  • Everything
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Tyler Valle

About

A video maker, history buff, and college student. Lover of JRPG's and musou games. He's currently enrolled in university and working on becoming an English teacher.