If you’ve read this blog for some time now, you probably are familiar with my history with Mega Man. Inafune leaving CAPCOM hit me hard in a time when even the little things got under my skin. Now, Keiji Inafune has entered the fray with a Mega Man clone Mighty no.9.
This is a dividing project. On one hand we haven’t had a true Mega Man for a while now (and we’re going to have to wait a while more) and Mighty no.9 is by all means Inafune’s own Mega Man reborn. On the other hand this is what Inafune wants to do and the Kickstarter video he has made is filled with elements screaming Mega Man to the fans in most unsubtle ways possible. Inafune voiced his opinion on the stagnant state of Japanese video games few years back, and now the enters the fray with… a Mega Man clone. This isn’t a spiritual sequel or anything like it. Mighty No.9 is what Bass is to Mega Man within the story.
To tell you the truth, the first thing initially did was that I checked how much would I need to support the project to get a packaging with a disc. Then slowly I started thinking and going through things about the project. The group of people making this game have some good and some bad. Naoya Tomita is in charge of Game Design, but I have to say that Mega Man 1 has some awful level designs. Good thing later games improved on this, and I seriously hope all the experience will come together in this project. Lead Character Designer Kimo Kimo has worked on good designs and he knows his stuff. Manami Matsumae is in charge of the music, but the few samples on the site aren’t all that good. The question here is if Matsumae will be aiming for something different, or towards a Mega Man experience. If it’s the latter, then she must overdo herself and do the best soundtrack in her career. The Art Director Shinsuke Komaki is giving Mighty no.9 the exact same feeling as he did to the Battle Network series but with a twist, and I can’t fault him. Much like Kimo Kimo, Komaki knows what is expected of him. However, the development is handled by Takuya Aizu, which means that Mighty no.9 will have that distinct sour taste of Inti Creates in there. I don’t care much for Inti Creates and their take on Mega Man games has always been more or less unsatisfying, especially the ZX games. The Director Koji Imaeda has only worked on three Mega Man games, which all sucked. The fact that he grew up playing Mega Man doesn’t mean that he is able to make a good Mega Man or similar game. That’s an asinine thing to say. The rest of the group is more or less completely unimportant when it comes to the developing the game.
From the visuals to the presentation of the group one thing is clear; Mega Man. Everything about this is telling that this is Mega Man. This isn’t Mighty no.9, this is Mega Man reskinned. From now on, I will call this game as just no.9.
Will I support this game? I want to, but I won’t. This game is getting attention mostly because it’s a Mega Man clone made by the guy who has been responsible most of the Mega Man’s success and nothing else. The same guy who preached how Japanese games can’t match Western standards and are recycling old stuff without coming up with anything new. This game looks and feels like the antithesis of his own words. The advertising, videos, layouts, visuals and everything are of Mega Man and nothing else. This game is not standing and will not stand on its own feet as long as it is shadowed by Mega Man and its legacy.
The only people at this time wanting a Mega Man game are its fans. There has been too much time for Mega Man to be relevant without a high-impact game. no.9 will not be a high impact game. no.9 might generate some buzz in the overall field, of which CAPCOM could utilise to put gears into motion and announce the return of the One and Only Blue Bomber. The more you look at it, the more it looks like Inafune’s giving CAPCOM the finger with this project. It’s a one big Fuck You at them. There’s also the point that Inafune keeps emphasizing on the fact that now he is able to do games he and his crew want to make, which is never a good attitude with a developer. I have to give him credit for saying that it’s important to listen to your fans in the pitch video and that’s great. That’s awesome to hear him say it, but there are three or five instances everywhere on their page where they emphasize the What We Want portion. Another positive credit goes to the fact that they want to make it a modern game using modern aesthetics, not in 8-bit style most Mega Man fans ejaculate all over the place. I’m expecting them to use 3D models as per usual, but I’d love to see extremely detailed and high resolution sprites.
There’s still one bad shadow over the whole project, and it’s the idol worship of Keji Inafune. This project most likely got majority of its current backing simply by the fact that he is involved here and that’s stupid. The developers don’t matter if the product is good, but at this point we’re just seeing the initial planning stage for this project. It’s clear that this project is based on two things; One is that Inafune wants to make a Mega Man game and show The Finger at CAPCOM, and Two; this is one of the easiest way to get Mega Man’s core audience to shift their interest to him and Comcept. I’m positive that Inafune would have enough backing to create no.9 rather than e-begging money at Kickstarter. We haven’t heard much from Inafune’s previous project, Kaio: King of Pirates mostly because Inafune has not been promoting it itself, and it’s not really a high-class product even if its getting a TV adaptation.
I’m disappointed in myself of getting all excited about no.9. It’s the blue and green eyes that did it. The more I ponder this game, the more I want a real Mega Man game.
Interestingly enough, the game would be made even if it hadn’t get funded at all. Their FAQ states that both Comcept and Inti have the resources to make this game. Why would there be a need to fund this game if the companies already have the resources to develop the game? Wasn’t Kickstarter for projects that had no other way of getting funded?