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Mighty No. 9 Impressions – Old with a Dash of New

Nice to see my money is going to good use. I was one of the tens of thousands of people to back Mighty No. 9 during its Kickstarter run, and I just had my first go at it thanks to Microsoft playing host to it at Tokyo Game Show 2014.¬†Money well spent on a product that hasn’t even been finished.

Mighty No. 9 and its protagonist Beck channel just enough of classic¬†Mega Man to feel familiar, but the similarities stop at squat blue robot boy firing a hand cannon and platform jumping his way to a boss fight…. Okay, that sounds exactly like Mega Man, but creator Keiji Inafune has added a new element that makes ask the difference, Beck’s dash move.

Taking a page from Azure Striker Gunvolt‘s book, Mighty No. 9‘s main pea shooter is not enough to kill an enemy, only stun them. When an enemy its zonked out, Beck can slam himself into the enemy with a dash attack for an instant kill. It’s a small difference from the formula that changes everything you thought you knew about Mega Man.

And yet, there is still more to it. Enemies who stun in a flash of red provide a temporary strength boost, green a speed boost, and blue a health boost. Using these power-ups creates a smart system that perfectly complements what is otherwise just a tight, fun, and challenging action platformer.

Seriously, while waiting in line, everybody died during the level. Only another guy and I made it to the boss, and he wrecked both of us.

If I had one complaint, it would be the graphics. I hope these are not final, because Beck and his enemies have zero personality to them. They come off more as placeholders and not something I can connect with emotionally. Mega Man 7 had more expressive characters in it, and that’s a 20 year old game.

Mighty No. 9 launches for pretty much every platform in existence next spring, so unless you still exclusively game on a TI calculator, you’ll be able to enjoy this one.

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...