Gimmick Man

After all that Virtual-On, I decided to revisit Mega Man games for the kicks. Playing the games back to back reminded me why the series was such a hit. Great music, great controls from the third game onward, steady progression and evolution of the concepts and their implementation, and tight level design. Well, most part, at least.

I’m not sure at what point Mega Man saw a change. It’s not clear-cut as to say that a particular game had a definitive paradigm shift that changed the MM formula, as each game gave a new twist in some manner. 2 introduced 8 bosses, E-Tanks and classical help items, 3 introduced sliding and Rush, 4 introduced chargeable buster and slight branches in the stages, 5 expanded on in-stage collectables with Beat and backup tanks, 6 had Rush Adapters and colour changes to stages depending whether or not you have BEAT letters collected, 7 introduced the initial Robot Master split to four, included a lot more support items and took some parts from the Game Boy Mega Man games, and 8 revamped all the stages to have a specific gimmicks.

Perhaps the existence of these gimmicks rather than concentration on the core of Mega Man ultimately drove the sales down.

The best example of this is Mega Man 8. While Mega Man stages are all about a certain kind of theme to them, with a gimmick or two in there, they’re usually either harmless or practices in moderation. Mega Man 1‘s Guts Man stage is an example of an early exception for this, as its moving platform segment is infuriating, but luckily relatively short. With the PlayStation era, we began seeing the inclusion of automated driving stages becoming a thing, culminating to one of the worst stages in the whole series with Mega Man X7‘s Ride Boarski. Similarly, X8’s Gigabolt Man-O-War and Avalance Yeti have driving stages as well. Two out of eight main stages were effectively wasted for driving.

The increase of gimmicks like these, be it Rush Adapters or driving stages, really didn’t do good for the series overall. While some argue that Mega Man 9 and 10 returned to the core of the series, they concentrated on the wrong aspects in overall terms.

The evolution of the series core concepts has always been slight changes to the controls and what initial tools the player has. Sliding was a solution for quick evasions and increased movement, which also gave the developers more options with enemy and stage designs. (In DLC Proto Man has the slide, when he previously had a dash. Gotta earn that nerd cred.) Charging shots increased damage output per shot, but it’s not necessary in all cases. Still, it allows both the player and the designers to tackle certain aspects in enemy design differently than with just the lemon shooter. Rush’s inclusion, while stemming from the mobility Items from Mega Man 2, again is a tool for movement and stage design options.

These could be considered three core additions to the series since the first game, and should always be there. However, at some point the series began adding too much unnecessary stuff without really compensating, and then you lost most of the good stuff with Mega Man 8 and its two sequels.

It says a lot that Minakuchi Engineering, the company in charge of the Game Boy games (par the second one) really made additions and tweaks to the formula work well, and Capcom’s stuff took some of it and ran with them in MM7 without really understanding why they worked. Well, outside the Item Replicator, which allows player to produce support items for a cost, but they screwed that over with MM8 by limiting the amount of bolts in the game to build items, and the removal of support items in general.

Mega Man 8 is really a weird game, it tried something different, but failed pretty badly.

Stage gimmicks, the constant addition of option tools and lack of emphasize on the core aspects is probably why the series stagnated as hard as it did. Mega Man 11 has an uphill battle to re-instate all the best elements from the first eight games while trying to ignore the two last ones. Let’s be honest with them, unmaking a decade worth of design and evolution in favour of nostalgia pandering was the very first misstep Capcom made with them, but this was the era of retro-lookalikes being the hottest shit on the block. Can’t really fault them for striking that trend. (This is also why Mega Man 2 was used as the base to model MM9 and 10 after, because nostalgia was rampart and the game has a deified status [Despite certain later games being objectively better.])

Cuphead showcased that the stigma 2D action games had during the naughts is more or less over. However, I hope Capcom recognises that Mega Man has ten games doing the same thing, with varying success. If Mega man 11 is to succeed, it should not pander to nostalgia. It needs to find the proper way to evolve the formula and make the best use of it. It should be more like GameBoy’s Mega Man IV than Mega Man 8 (or 9 and 10) in how it doesn’t forget to balance the core and new.

Certainly the fans will appreciate it just fine, but if it’s just another throwback for these fans, Capcom might a well quit making the game mid-way through. The announcement trailer does give some glimpses, that the core elements established by the first four games are in there to some extent. Charged shots and Rush are in there, with no movement slipping. Sure, the animations could use some work, but that’s always the case. Bolts are back, so we can assume Item Replicator is being implemented. There seems to be some sort of overcharge shot as well, meaning we’re going to see additions to the core formula. We can just hope that their implementation is decent at least, and the staff do not negate the core aspects of good level design first and foremost.

Mighty Number 9 is a great example of all the core elements missing quality to them.

Mighty Number 9 is just miserable

This one’s from a personal point of view, screw the writer persona. Mighty Number 9 is a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with modern video games and their fans. It’s a Kickstarter product headed by a well-known game developer, who used his status with Mega Man fandom to drive through a new title that was seemingly supposed to be a middle finger to CAPCOM. Inafune used Mega Man‘s legacy as his most main tool for advertising. The sad thing is, the cult that had elevated him and those who just wanted to throw shit at CAPCOM bought this, and all they can do is blame themselves.

I did not back Mighty Number 9 because at the time I didn’t buy into idol worship any more. If you want to roll years back on the blog, you can see that I had some remains of it, but I recognize that each and every person making any product is just as dick gobbling as anyone. None of these people are nothing special, their works are works of hundreds if not thousands of people, all contributing to one piece. Screw the creators, they don’t matter. Only their product does.

And to quote all the critics, Mighty Number 9 sucks. It’s boring, mundane, by the books, slow, unchallenging, stages are awfully designed with equally awfully designed gameplay and it’s predictable game in every possible way. I pity my friend who backed it, but at least I got a go with his copy. Currently, the game sits at the bottom 12% at OpenCritic. There are reports of Windows 10 refusing to run the game or its installer, DRM free versions crashing for no reason, proofreading is non-existent (just like on this blog!), the Wii U version seems to brick your system, framerate issues, fucked up colours, DLC installer not installing anything, and then autodeleting itself, backers getting wrong DLC codes and God only knows what else will pop up in the long run.

Outside all the shit that went down during the Kickstarter, from Dina being a community manager to the fact that they cut a selling feature from the game, you saw even before the Kickstarter was finished how the game would end up being.

The first one was that there was no conceptual gameplay in video form or the like. Just an illustration roughly showing what they wanted to do, but barely did any of ’em. The Kickstarter page still reads using weapons and abilities stolen from your enemies to take down your fellow Mighty Number robots, a gameplay function that was dropped during the development. You don’t have the advertised body morphing either. Only Boss battle weapons stayed true, to some extent.

They didn’t learn from this, and resorted to show even less with Red Ash, which had even campaign promises and was saved by a Chinese company.

The second was the fact that Comcept chose to collect people from the original Mega Man. Let’s be fair here and remember that the original Mega Man is rather lacklustre and sits in the same position as the first Street Fighter when it comes to memorable titles. It’s there, but nobody gives a fuck. Mega Man 2 and Street Fighter 2 both are games that made the franchise. Shinsuke Komaki was a decent addition, but the illustrations and designs in Mighty Number 9 are lacklustre in largely every regard, so his history with Mega Man added absolutely nothing to the table.

The third bit is that they already had secured the funding to produce the game alongside Inti-Creates, meaning whatever money they’d get from the Kickstarter would go to polishing the game and none of that shows. I liked the first two Mega Man Zero games when they came out, but in hindsight the series reminds me of more polished Game Gear Mega Man, emphasizing all of its flaws. The camera is still the worst offender in those games, and the ZX series was just lacklustre every which way.  Mega Man 9 was a fun little throwback, but Mega Man 10 is just mediocre. It should’ve moved forwards and be something much more than just another 8-bit revival. Before anyone says Mega Man is only good in 8-bit are wrong. Just look at Mega Man X series and their genre relatives.

The fourth bit is that Inafune is a terrible developer on his own. He shines when he is paired with good support, which his cast at Comcept don’t seem to be. He essentially shines when he has someone to answer to. He allows strange ideas to flourish and bloom if they seem great, and later in the game development he was on the higher ladder rather in the grass root developing. Minakuchi Engineering’s Mega Man VI/ Rockman World 4 and Mega Man V/Rockman World 5 are shining examples a company that knew what to do with Mega Man through experience based on previous GB titles (outside 2) and managed to essentially make one of the best Mega Man games out there. All this came together because they were a small but competent team that had a good overseer. Minakuchi also did Mega Man X3, which is why it is so different from the rest of the franchise. Go play those instead of Mighty Number 9. Or Rosenkreuzstilette and Megamari if you want to see how Mega Man-esque gameplay should be copied. Notice how the camera functions as it should and doesn’t twerk around with every action the player does.

Comcept spend 3.8 million dollars of Marvelous’ money to develop Kaio: King of Pirates. Nobody knows what happened, but I’m sure they’re going to push more Senran Kagura and never work with Comcept again. I can live with that, Senran Kagura turned to be surprisingly entertaining franchise after the first game. Marvelous’ statement about their doubts which the developers had in mind regarding this project is quite telling.

I don’t even feel bad for people who backed this game. It was their choice just as any, and they choose to buy into the hype and PR. Or to spite CAPCOM, I know some of you did that. Whatever CAPCOM’s doing with Mega Man next year is an open question, we’ll just have to sit tight and see what happens. You can be certain that they have been following Inafune’s misadventures, and you can be certain they’ve taken into notice all the things he fucked up.

Theme sets the tone

The more I see and hear of Mighty Number 9, the more it becomes an example how not to follow game developer’s fame but the games themselves. I feel lucky that I never backed it, but I was of doing so. Why didn’t you? you ask. There’s three reasons and the music they had is the first one.

This song has no punch to it. It’s generic synth. There’s a neat tune buried in there under the whole mess, but it can’t get out due to how muted everything is. And the synth kills it. It’s just synth all the way through with no actual variation to it, just change in how the synth is used.

Now listen to this.

It gets you pumped. It has a rising start until the main bit hits in. The only bad thing about is that it’s short and the main bit endlessly.

You can pick any NES Mega Man outside the first one and listen to the main theme and get an image how the game will play out. The stage themes will more often than not follow the overall quality of the main theme.

Let’s be fair here, Mega Man 1 has pretty awful music compared to the rest of the series. The only few memorable songs pale in comparison to pretty much everything after. Manami Matsumae has some credits behind her, but most of her scored games consists of Derby Stallion titles. She contributed some to the Air Man theme on Mega Man 2, thou the rest the track was from Takashi Tateishi. He is responsible of perhaps the most iconic and overused theme in the whole franchise.

If Mighty Number 9 really would be a spiritual successor to Mega Man, it fails in every bit of its music, which was already leaked. With Mega Man you can listen to the songs even in their 8-bit beeps and boops. Then again, CAPCOM has been remaking them from time to time on different platforms, like on CPS-1 with Mega Man Power Battles and Mega Man 2: Power Fighters, and Rockman Complete Works on the PlayStation. CAPCOM even pushed out two arrange albums for the 20th anniversary. The Rock one carries the songs better out of the two.

It’s not even about disliking synth. It’s how it’s used. All the songs in Mighty Number 9 has problems that can be traced in how they are handled. For example, the Opening Stage in Mighty Number 9 has its main melody skipping from a progression to another, without sticking to a theme or a progression in itself. Then, it sorta stops where the song starts to loop again, like a drop from a cliff you just climbed. The tune itself is not bad, yet its grating after the first loop. I can’t say that tune that lies in there is well utilised, and that goes all the songs, I’m afraid. Even the boss fights that would need to have a bit more oomph to them simply don’t carry themselves. The Final Boss fight has some urgency to it, but then you have relaxed jazz or something thrown in there, making it sound somewhat cacophonic.  Then again, the Boss fights look laughably easy, so perhaps they go together well enough.

What made the Mega Man music so memorable was the emphasize on the main melody. More often than not you had a very clear instrument doing the main tune with other pieces supporting it rather than forcing it down, muting it. There are similar synth pieces in Mega Man, especially on PlayStation, but  even then the music stood out because how the main tune was allowed life. For example, you have Jet Stingray’s theme. At first you have that synth guitar building tension with support of the drums before the main melody hits. At that point, the drum’s role is dropped lower and the tune is given more emphasize. Just a tad later the role of the guitar is dropped down to let the solo part, or ‘jingle’ to shine on its own. Then the song simply keeps on pressing by combining them before the natural loop. Jet Stingray is not the best song out there, and most of Mega Man X4 music is something you don’t end up humming afterwards, thou I must admit I have a very soft spot for Zero’s intro stage theme. That guitar solo just stuck with me.

Perhaps the word you may want to use for Mega Man songs is unique. Most themes that are employed in Mega Man have personalised touches to them, like corrupted guitar or extended bass line. I’m actually trying to kick my editor to write a relatively long entry on Mega Man music, but she’s having other things in her life at the moment, so don’t expect it to appear any time soon.

This kind of synth music Mighty Number 9 employs was barely acceptable on the PlayStation. A game with backed budget of $3 845 170 should have far better soundtract than this. The game already was budgeted and would’ve been developed and released despite what sort of success the Kickstarter would’ve had, the three million and then some was just an extra. You don’t see or hear that extra anywhere. I have to ask where the hell did that money go to? It doesn’t help that the game’s release has been pushed back few times around already and won’t be launching this year at all. I know âge is even worse with their pushbacks, but I’m giving both Comcept and âge the same shit about being late on their promised deadlines.

With the extra funding, you would expect the game to look better at this phase and sound even better. The game has been underwhelming all around. Of course, I will need to play the game myself to give it proper full review. It’ll need to drop in price quite a lot before I do that, as this game doesn’t look like it would deliver enjoyment all that much.

If Red Ash’s Kickstarter is anything to go by, Comcept won’t be getting any games off before they show that they are a capable developer in the eyes of the consumer. Kaoh, the pirate penguin game, got cancelled as well and ended up costing Marvelous 461 million yens. That’s around 3 397 100€ or €3 845 500 with current rates. That’s insane amounts of money Comcept has wasted in its short life. While I encourage concentrating on the games, I can’t ignore how badly Inafune and his crew has been managing things.

Red Ash can’t become legendary without its own soul

Comcept’s Red Ash is repeating similar things that Mighty Number 9 did initially. Get in a team of people who have worked on previous games Inafune’s fans know and love and then proceed to reflect that team and the Kickstarter game with something these people seemingly want without. In Mighty Number 9’s case, Mega Man, and with Red Ash is Mega Man Legends. Whether or not this will be how Comcept will fund all of their games in the future is an open question, and a question that they need to answer at some point. If Inafune decides that they will pre-sell all of their games like this, I’m afraid they’ll burn themselves through sooner or later.

Let’s not forget that Mighty Number 9 was a game that would’ve been produced even without the Kickstarter.

Mighty Number 9 started with sketches and a mock-up image how the gameplay would look. One of the early things that they wanted to make work was for Beck to be able to utilize enemies as weapons, like a broader Variable Weapons System or expanded Zero Knuckle. However, it seems that gameplay aspect, an aspect that seems like a huge part of the overall rhythm and uniqueness of the product, was dropped for whatever reasons. Instead, the whole Xel absorb mechanics seem to have taken its place. Out of the two, the one implemented is duller.

It would seem the funders got a reality check; what is promised in the early planning phases really come to fruition. Mighty Number 9 had a pretty neat initial concept picture that showed how the game would look like overall, and it does resemble it, without a doubt. What we got looks like they simply pushed the generic Mega Man look through a filter and that’s how they got the generic look. Y’know, everything has a slight soft focus, every single thing that has even a bit of light glows in that exact same way every other light does. While it can be argued that some Mega Man games don’t do much with their backgrounds, the one of the trailers show few city bakcgrounds. One of them is just a bunch of gray buildings, and the other a darker shadowed city lacking in detail. Compared that to e.g. Mega Man X and X4. X’s Highway Stage has sprawling roads underneath and far away, details buildings in there and ends up in a park kind of zone. There’s more colours and details there than you’d expect. X4’s Sky Lagoon opts for a shadowed background for the city too, but it’s still lusher with details, having the lights blink here and there, roads sprawling and some windows are even open or unlit. They’ve even put an animated CAPCOM billboard in there.

Mighty Number 9 has to fight history for sure, and it does what Mega Man and other 2D Sci-fi games have done in the past. That doesn’t give it an excuse to halfass itself.

I am fearful for Red Ash because of this. Mighty Number 9’s Kickstarter lacked focus in the end, opting for movies and TV-series as a stretch goal rather than concentrating on making the product at hand better. While Studio 4℃ overall is a regarded animation studio, why would they be pushing Red Ash animation at this point? It looks like that they already have planned the animation and locked an agreement on it even before the Kickstarter was launched.

Red Ash is called a spiritual successor to Legends, and it shows. Some designs elements are 1:1 lifted from Legends, and while those do look good, they are suffering from the quick digital concept illustrations offered. When the gameplay mock-up was added, it suffers from the same fate, but also shows that you have already played this game. Lost Planet’s engine was developed Legends 3 in mind, which is why the two share resemblance with each other.

The character designs have a definitive Legends feeling with a dash of bit more modern design sensibilities that Studio 4℃ tend to use, but in that they’re also rather uninspiring. By sticking with delivering Legends 3 to the fans, they have tied themselves on reusing ideas as they are in the visuals, and on the long run that won’t do much in favour of separating Red Ash as its own entity. Of course, this might be their intention in order to pull the pre-existing fans in even further.

However, the team Inafune has collected for Red Ash seems to be far stronger than what Mighty Number 9 had. However, much like how the music for Mighty Number 9 sounded boring from the start, Red Ash’s main theme lacks the same oomph. However, it’s also true that Legends, while having a moody and fitting music, doesn’t have pieces that you will hum on your own. Looking at Manami Matsumae’s discography, there are not many titles that cause you to remember any particular piece. Area 88/ U.N. Squadron has some that I barely remember myself.

Much like how I didn’t back up Mighty Numbe 9 because it felt it was handled in a halfassed way, I’m against funding Red Ash either simply because there’s a huge lack of design info and how the game will play in itself. However, unlike with Mighty number 9, Red Ash gives me much more promising feeling. Depending on how well it will be handled, this game might be decent. It will not be a Mega Man Legends game, and it would do it only good if it managed to find its own tone rather than copying Legend’s.

All hail the great corporation and their face

If you’ve visiting pretty much any Mega Man related sites as of late, you’ve probably noticed that there’s absolutely nil news on Mega Man on itself. Rather, the sites have turned into general Keiji Inafune & related news. These sites are more or less a good example of consumer idol worship, where the consumer idolises any providing company that has a face to associate with.

By associating their favourable opinions on a product via a face that sits high in the company, the consumer is more lenient and forgiving on any misgivings a company, or rather, the person has made. This is why Keiji Inafune himself is pushing his games and always pulling his history in at every single turn with Mega Man as this causes people to associate him with the good memories. Of course, if you didn’t care for Mega Man, it’s a miss. A face can’t really attract every kind of consumer towards the company, thus sometimes you see multiple faces.

Nintendo employs the multiple faces tactics with Reggie, Iwata, Miyamoto and some others to the extent that these people have become the brand. Inafune is his own brand, and those who worship Inafune will follow him and ignore whatever would come. While Nintendo has kept the name Nintendo as the brand, it can’t be ignored that it has become a tertiary brand over Miaymoto and company rather than the corporation itself.

Millennials trust face more than the corporation. Baby Boomers on the other hand stuck more with the companies themselves. The Internet and social media has changed this quite a lot, where Millennials are more dependent on the opinions of their peers and social media in general. Some Youtubers have become influential in what can become successful and what will fail, especially when it comes to entertainment industry. User created content often becomes as something that’s just a hobby, but then becomes a full-fledged job. A consumer becomes a provider in this case, and companies often want to influence these entrepreneurs in order to maximise their positive image. It’s not too uncommon to see consumers starting to idolise these sole providers for information and reviews. It’s a double effect if the consumer feels attached to both big corporation and smaller provider.

It should be noted that Boomers trust far more their friends and family on recommendations what company and product is to be trusted, whereas Millennials trust anonymous sources slightly more, and are three times more likely to turn to social media for input. Millennials are also far more willing to engage with companies for a dialogue, despite they recognize that this dialogue will mostly be used to tailor a product to be more successful on market and advertise it further.

Here the whole face things really applies. While a face is still attached to a company, these faces usually are represented as the consumers’ friend and someone who levels down with them. This is your normal marketing tactics and it works. How many Nintendo fans think Reggie is their friend in some manner and wants to bring the best entertainment you can have? Or how Miyamoto is a struggling artist who has to fight the corporate power to realise his true dreams of the perfect game? Reggie has become the brand and reflects Nintendo in many ways, and Miyamoto’s filthy rich who can do whatever he wants as money is no problem. Hell, he is a semi-professional dog breeder. It should be noted that Miyamoto has been producing force in the vast majority of the games that are associated with him rather than named as Designer or Director. To put that into an extremity, it’s like sitting in a chair and yelling people how it’s done rather than getting yourself into the work.

It’s no wonder Mega Man fans are sticking with Inafune in this regard. His name is largely associated with the series, despite he too worked more as a producer than designer or the like with the series. This applies especially to the GameBoy Mega Man games, which were outsourced to two other companies. Minakuchi Engineering is the people tend to remember most, as they produced the better games in the series and managed to think outside the box with Mega Man V with Mega Arm and managed to make Mega Man X 3 stand apart from the two predecessors, a thing that divides opinions.

It doesn’t help any that CAPCOM is doing nil with the Mega Man franchise at this moment. There’s that collection coming up, which amounts to very little. They are basically watching their own creation, the Church of Inafune, having sermons to their idol without profiting any of it.

Red Ash is another spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends, which means you’ve most likely played the game. Lost Planet’s engine was made to be used in a Legends game, and they play very similarly to each other. E.X. Troopers is far closer how the engine would’ve been used in a Legends game, thou the whole hub-mission instead of overall-dungeons makes the game a very different experience. It’s like playing Monster Hunter with Legends mechanics.

Red Ash in itself shows that Inafune is willing to push his image with Mega Man out there. Mighty Number 9 has gotten a lukewarm reception from various funders already, and there has been some criticism on franchising the ever living shit out of it before the game is even out. With this much hype, it better be successful. Red Ash follows the same lines, and it’s very clear it’s a similar copy of Legends, and to this extension, Lost Planet in the sketched looks and mechanics they’ll put in.

Inafune is a businessman and knows that he has a following that will buy whatever he puts out. The same applies to Miyamoto. Putting your trust in the corporation or in the face is something a consumer should avoid. Nobody is your friend, everybody wants your money. It’s up to the consumer to say whether or not they’re willing to throw their hard earned money at them.

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.