MIGHTY NO 9
released OUT NOW! Reviewed on Ps4
Also on XO, Wii U, 3ds, Ps3, 360, Ps Vita, PC Publisher deep silver
This throwback platformer is one of many crowdfunded game reimaginings, reboots and sequels we’ll be seeing in the next couple of years. If they all turn out like this we should probably stop Kickstarting things. It’s mighty boring, and suffers from more technical issues than you’d expect.
You play Beck, the titular Mighty No 9, whose mission involves saving Mighty Nos 1-8 from their malfunctioning selves. Each has a distinct theme – ice, fire, lightning, ranged attacks, sniping – which dictates the style of the level, and resulting boss battle. Every stage also boasts an army of minions, ranging from simple robots to more complex mini-bosses.
It’s a spiritual successor to project lead Keiji Inafune’s Mega Man, and the similarities are clear: even Beck’s design echoes his predecessor’s. There’s one main difference, though – he can dash, a mechanic that forms the backbone of the game. Once an enemy is weakened Beck can zip through them, absorbing their “Xel” – an essence that sometimes gives him extra powers.
The Xel buffs aren’t very interesting, though. Lives are hard to gain but easy to lose, and you only have two to start with. Given that the jump-shooting is quite fiddly and several obstacles are insta-kill, this can quickly lead to frustration as you’re forced to replay a level over and over.
There’s definitely an appeal to the retro style, with the game rewarding quick, snappy platforming and testing your ability to locate and target weaknesses with its bosses. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that this is just a sub-par Mega Man game, and visually it’s like something from Rare’s Xbox 360 era or an early CGI kids’ movie – cartoonish but on the edge of being slightly creepy. Still, for fans, it might be just the ticket – even if it can’t live up to the original classics. Kate Gray
Beck’s name is a gag, as he has a fellow robot buddy called Call. See what they did there?
The droids you were looking for?