Change is always good, they say

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.

Music of the Month; Deep Space

Sorry if you expected something from Star Trek

As previously, these posts have been reserved for monthly meta to fulfill related and unrelated dumps on multiple issues. There be three things that we’ll most likely see this month.

First thing first, I’ll strive for that two posts in a week again. This is not due to any increase in news and happenings, but to get to the same level of output I’ve been using for the last two years or so. However, my life has become a bit too busy for my own comfort, so don’t rule out to have weeks where there’s just one post. I’m having few other big things coming up, and I’ve been drafted into few other projects as well. On other hand it’s good that I’m getting my hands full of things to do, but the readers of this site might notice how it hurts the blog.

Secondly, I’m determined to make a post about Muv-Luv this month, but the subject is unknown as of now. Total Eclipse ‘retrospect’ is reserved for the next month, so this time you’ll most likely get something about the main trilogy/duology. Don’t expect discussion about the mechs thou. I know that the Chronicles  04 is out and it’s the hottest shit in the fandom at the moment, but at this time I can’t do any sort of comprehensive writing on The Day After mostly because TDA has not peaked my interest.

The franchise is an interesting point actually, as it has somewhat stagnated while still being in strong motion. On one hand the series is expanding, but people who got into the bandwagon with Total Eclipse most likely won’t find much interest what Chronicles 04 had to offer due to âge basically giving too many side stories attention. By that I mean that while the original story is finished, it is by no means natural to suggest that fans of Total Eclipse will have any interest to know what happens in The Day After or Schwarzesmarken. While they’re pretty interesting stories and all that, they have little to no relevance to Total Eclipse. Except the Master may be or may not be a character from Schwarzesmarken, but even then it’s good question if these people have any interest to see the story he comes from, especially if it doesn’t carry any themes or characters of Total Eclipse. Often it’s a good idea to keep the fans tightly next to you and serve them what they would like to have to a certain extent, so we can always ask if âge has certain necessity to continue with the Total Eclipse storyline. Personally I would say that joining both Alternative’s and Total Eclipse’s sequels into the possible Alternative 2 would be a decent idea.

It seems that âge is coming out with a full fledged TDA release in the near future, and I hope they’ll decide to add all the previous stories to the release as a separate disc. If the episodes we’ve gotten thus far have been essential, then this prelude needs to be included. In limited market such as this it would be stupid to assume that all the newcomers are able get their hands on Chronicles 1-3, and then we have the question if âge even wants to promote those due to the pornographic content they have as they’ve been pretty clear in their actions to clean all explicit sexual content from their products. It’s my personal taste that sex within a story doesn’t make it any worse, no matter how explicit it is as long as it’s relevant and well written, but it’s true that the larger audience out there won’t agree with me.

Third thing we’ll possibly see this month is a short post about Dragon’s Crown in comparison to Gauntlet and few beat-em-ups. That, or we’ll check what kind of first episode Gaist Crusher had. I’m sure CAPCOM’s hitting themselves when they are looking at the amount of money Mighty No.9 has managed to amass from Kickstarter, but it would be more accurate to assume that CAPCOM’s not giving much attention to it outside the possible copyright issues, as the game is rather shameless copy of Mega Man. Either those two, or I’ll finally push the Laserdisc player review out. That’s almost a year late. It’s my issue with the tech and has nothing to do with anything else except few larger issues which I can’t wrap my head around or I can’t find confirmations to few issues I’m having.

If you see any ads or commercials within this blog, do keep in mind that I don’t advertise. WordPress has chosen my blog to be part of some sort of program where certain blogs see ads from various companies. I don’t gain anything from it, so if you see one, block it. I’m sure by recommending to do that I’m breaking some rules an regulations but I don’t give a damn. The only ad like feed I’m running is the Play-Asia newscast. That exists mainly to give out a completely another kind of perspective what’s going on a very skin deep level.

Actually, there’s one thing that we definitively have to discuss about; the Megavolutions in Pokémon XY.

Mighty no.9

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?