How the mighty have fallen...

Hello my old crumpets itís me Michael Burhan, that British person who loves to talk about games and stuff.

Back in 2013, fans were clamouring for a new Mega Man-esque title, and those prayers were answered with the debut - on Kickstarter - of Mighty No. 9, helmed by - the not-quite-so Mega Man creator - Keiji Inafune and his Comcept development team (along with a little help from Inti Creates).

After a tumultuous 4 years of well-publicised development problems; including being delayed not once, not twice but four times, along with Keiji later returning to Kickstarter in 2014 for additional funds. But alas here we are in 2016, and the Blue Bomber finally makes his triumphant returnÖ well not quite.

To say that Mighty No. 9 is a homage to Mega Man would be selling it short, especially the story and gameplay structure, which is essentially a direct-copy - albeit with name changes. Within the world of Mighty No. 9 robot-fighting has become a fan-favourite pastime, but as eight of these android's built for combat - created by Dr. White and known as Mighty Numbers - currently await battle at the Coliseum, they become inflicted with a computer virus that turns them to the darkside.

Fortunately the ninth robot named Beck - aka Mighty Number 9 - is still very much in control of his own cybernetic mind and is now tasked with taking down his robotic brethren and acquiring their abilities - it all sounds so familiar. The less than stellar voice acting that accompanies this basic story doesnít offer you much apart from the odd pun, and definitely not of the calibre you may have come to expect considering the budget.

The game's visuals likewise are a far cry from the originally pitched concept art, instead steering into the bland and uninspired, with low quality textures and odd lighting reminiscent of a PlayStation 2 title.

ďBut Megaman is about gameplay, not story or graphics!Ē I hear you cry, well in that department Mighty No. 9 can be quite the hit-or-miss affair. Running, jumping and shooting through the over 8 stages on offer feels familiar and fun enough - with each of those stages loosely based on a specific theme - but where the two part ways is with the dash mechanic employed within Mighty No. 9.

Normally as you progress from one side of the screen to the other, you would be taking down those evil foes with the Blue Bombers Mega Buster - or in this case Beckís blaster - unlike Mega Man though, the evildoers within Mighty No. 9 donít simply disappear, instead they become weakened (indicated by a flashing state) which you can then dash into - in order to gain ĎXelí - which grants Beck a temporary boost in speed or power. Itís a simple enough system, one that has you chaining multiple enemies together to dash through and create combos, and even feels quite novel at first, but it's unfortunately a card that becomes so overplayed within Mighty No. 9 that it quickly becomes a chore. And that feeling of repetitiveness is not helped by the level design.

Itís no revelation at this point, that the original Megaman games were one of the few titles established as an early blueprint for every 2D platform game that followed. Itís a shame then that Mighty No. 9 doesnít build upon those lessons, instead opting for an experience that at times feels very low budget and clearly ill thought out, as the game continues to bombard you with one-hit kill obstacles and hidden trapdoors at its leisure, being overly difficult for the sake of it.

When (and if) you manage to get through a stage, youíll be greeted with a boss fight - against one of your fellow Mighty Numbers - and instead of being an affair in pure memorisation - of learning their patterns to best your foe - it unfortunately turns into a rather cheap affair that will have your frustration gauge rising until you either manage to get through it - and obtain an item you can now use in the game going forward from that robot, that does indeed help - or turn Mighty No. 9 off in a huff. Manage to best the game though, and youíll unlock a new playable - albeit psychotic - character in Raychel who is Beck's rival (think Zero from Mega Man).

Alas we cannot judge Mighty No. 9 against what it should be - nor is it standard practice here at Crash Landed to do so - instead I must evaluate it on what the game actually is; Mighty No. 9 is definitely not a Mega Man title, it attempts to be sure, but falling way short of that lofty plateau.

As a standalone title though, itís a perfectly acceptable platformer that has high aims but accomplishes at being average. Itís biggest gripe will always be its roots and how it came into existence - through Kickstarter - and therein falling short of fans - and this time, investors - expectations. What canít be excused though is performance issues, whilst the PlayStation 4 version is acceptable (only suffering some slight hiccups and some slowdown in various areas) the Wii U version of the title is completely unplayable.

I can personally attest to friends having to rebuy the game completely (this time for PC, PS4 or X1) in order to actually experience the title, which is a slap in the face to those who backed Mighty No. 9 for that specific platform.

To say that Mighty No. 9 is a disappointment would be an understatement. Pitched as a return to form and raising nearly $4 million from fans in the process, you would expect a high quality gaming experience.

Unfortunately Mighty No. 9 looks and feels completely budget, from the bland graphics, completely forgettable music, shallow story and the voice acting that encompasses it, I can safely say; temper your expectations as this is not the Mega Man you are looking for.

Mega Man fans will likely find Mighty No. 9ís gameplay fun in shorts bursts - and if you're picking it up Iíd recommend the PlayStation 4 version for the ability to play across all 3 devices - but any longer and the tedium of its poor and punishing level design topped off with an overused dash mechanic will soon rear its head.

The concept of Mighty No. 9 definitely had potential, unfortunately the reality Comcept have delivered to us is not upto the quality we have come to expect - making you appreciate those classic Mega Man titles all the more - but Mighty No. 9 accomplishes one thing in spades; being your average, budget platformer.

Mighty No. 9 is currently available to buy for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS and PC via Amazon.

  • Review by
    Michael Burhan

    YouTube: TheNerdGenious

    Posted on
    1st August 2016

  • 3 Out of 5 Stars
  • Lacklustre visuals

    Feels budget

    Poor level design

    Performance issues

  • Solid controls

    Fun in short bursts

    Gameplay structure

Game Info

Deep Silver, Comcept and Inti Creates present Mighty No. 9 - PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC & Wii U Mighty No. 9
Rating: 12
Release Date: 24th June
Platform/s: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Wii U & Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Comcept & Inti Creates
Publisher/s: Deep Silver & Spike Chunsoft (in Japan)

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Yes, though the game maybe too frustrating for a small child to stick with.