With the recent news on CAPCOM’s less than desired financial situation sparked an interest to check Mighty Number 9 again. After the initial brouhaha I didn’t really keep up with the news, but I decided to check the trailer for it after certain circumstances had developed at my end.
Well, it might not be a finished product, but it shows where it comes from. The constant comparisons and contrasting has been detrimental to Mighty Number 9 to a large extent and it has been portrayed as the spiritual successor of Mega Man, which can’t be agreed on. Mighty Number 9, by all intent and purposes, is on the same level as Mega Marisa and Rozenkrautzstilette; a take on the Mega Man gameplay formula with some key elements to differentiate it from the source.
Mighty Number 9 looks like the game we’ve played before. There’s a fire boss, an ice boss, an electricity boss, a brute force boss… all the elements that were tired during Mega Man 4 are here and they’re even more tired after about two dozen platforming Mega Man games and their imitators. Not even that, but the design on most of these bosses is pretty uninteresting. The whole look of the game looks like an amateur product. Without a doubt, there will be elemental stages to correspond with each of the bosses’ style, and I don’t expect seeing any new or interesting designs in these stages, much like how Mega Man 9 and 10 had no stage that could’ve been called new. Why is Inafune even doing Mighty Number 9? He didn’t do Mega Man 9 and 10. What’s the sudden rush to make a Mega Man like game? Was the Kaio such a disappointment to him?
The music they’ve showcased thus far is mellow and uninteresting. When Inafune made a proud statement that they had the same people working on Mighty Number 9 that worked on the original Mega Man, the first reaction I gave was Why? Like it as much as you want, but Mega Man 1 is pretty damn mediocre game even for its time. You’ll most likely hate for saying this, but Mega Man 1 doesn’t really have good music and this seems to be carrying over to Mighty Number 9.
However, the thing I feared that Mighty Number 9 would fall into is here; the paradigm of 1980’s is there. Nothing has evolved or changed, and this is the thing that made Mega Man die out in the end. There’s still eight Bosses. While some people say that Mighty Number 9 is not constrained by Mega Man gameplay standards, it reeks of said constraints.
Of course, you have that multidirectional airdash, and it would the player gains enemy weapons by dashing through staggered enemies. This is a Mega Man standard, and Mega Man Zero 4 expanded on this with the Z-Knuckle, which worked pretty well. Too bad most of the weapons you could get were utter and complete garbage. Competent weapons would mean that normal enemies in Mighty Number 9 would have competent mooks, but I don’t see that happening with current paradigm. Why does the game tell me when I’m doing good? This isn’t something like Ouendan and Mega Man got rid of useless scoring after the first game, even thou they brought it back later on for no real reason.
I see Mighty Number 9 getting a lot of positive attention for the people working on it and as a card against CAPCOM. It’s seen as a hero underdog going against a twisted corporation. However, CAPCOM had every right to can Mega Man as it was. The games had not brought anything new to the table since Battle Network, and even that’s debatable. We have more than enough Mega Man games to play, and the gameplay has been explored pretty throughout. Yes, there is something that can be done with it still, and you won’t see any of it with Mighty Number 9. We have 131 Mega Man games. That is humongous amounts of games for one franchise within twenty five years. The only franchise to have more games is Super Mario with 250+ game. As much as I love Mega Man, we do not need more. Mega Man 9 and 10 were successful only with absolute core fans who gobbled them down like no other. Everyone else saw Mega Man 9 as a nice tribute, but goddamn CAPCOM dropped the ball by not actually making something good with Mega Man 10.
If we were ever to get a new Mega Man game, it needs to be stellar, outstanding and done in a manner that would sweep the floor while still respecting the series’ past and still break the mould and embrace a new paradigm. This is like asking Josh Hadley to be a kind person to things he hate, or Moon from the sky. It just won’t happen because of realities. In best case scenario, where people want the best possible thing, this shouldn’t be a problem. It would take a lot of work, money and effort. It would also take a person who would willingly dismiss his wants and the wants of the hardcore Mega Man fandom and concentrate on making the best Mega Man game.
There has been few times when CAPCOM took input from fans what they want from a Mega Man game. This was a mistep, as there is no one thing fans want of Mega Man, and what fans want won’t make a best selling game. Catering to a one audience is one thing, but only catering to that audience all the time won’t see growth, and growth is needed for anything to become a successful story.
What I personally, outside the writer’s persona is as follows; I seriously want to play a Mega Man game. I don’t to resort on something that’s similar any more to fulfil my want. That is a want that doesn’t need to be fulfilled on the larger scale and is a want that is selfish and can be ignored. However, I do believe there is a niche that is left unfilled on the market, but it’s a niche that is not all to worth tapping into at this current moment. Mighty Number 9, for all what it is now, might have passion behind it, but it lacks ambition.