Mighty No. 9 is an action-platform video game developed by Comcept, in conjunction with Inti Creates, and published by Deep Silver (Spike Chunsoft in Japan).
Mighty No. 9 closely resembles the early Mega Man series in both gameplay and character design, which project lead Keiji Inafune worked on, and is considered its spiritual successor.
The game was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U on June 21, 2016 in Japan and America, and on June 24, 2016 in PAL territories, 3 whole years after the Kickstarter originally launched and more than a year later than the originally planned release date. The PS Vita and 3DS versions will be released later at a currently unspecified date. The 360, Mac, and Linux versions were delayed at the last minute.
Mighty No. 9 stars an android named Beck, the ninth unit in a set of combat robots called the Mighty Numbers. At some point, a form of computer virus attacks the rest of his fellow units, as well as machines around the world. The player, as Beck, must fight the rogue robots and discover the villain who threatens the fate of the planet.
The game plays similarly to Mega Man, with the addition of a dash mechanic that, in addition to letting you cross large gaps and move faster, allows you to dash through enemies after weakening them with your shots to absorb a substance known as Xel (pronounced "Cel") to gain temporary power-ups, such as increased power and speed.
Why It Sucks
- The game was delayed numerous times and was graphically down-graded over the course of its development time. The game took nearly 3 years to complete when it was supposed to only take about 1 year.
- While the game does follow the basic essence of a Mega Man game, it does nothing to improve it and brings back flaws from those games that were solved long ago.
- Due to the excessive amount of platforms the game was being developed for, the 4 million dollars suddenly wasn't enough to do everything Comcept had promised which caused the delays and downgrades.
- Review websites like IGN and Gamespot were receiving copies of the game before backers. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
- Many weapons aren't very useful.
- The game was supposed to be independent yet it was picked up by Deep Silver, the publisher responsible for Ride to Hell: Retribution. Let that sink in.
- Due to a false positive, some anti-virus programs see the game's .exe file as malware.
- The dash system, while a decent idea on paper, can be awkward to use especially since it's mapped to a shoulder button by default.
- The "dash into enemies" mechanic demands you constantly stay near enemies which leaves you open to take damage from them. The bonuses you get for dashing into enemies are not very useful either.
- The game constantly forces you to use the dash and punishes you for not using it. Enemies take too many hits to kill if you don't dash into them, every level has obstacles that require overly precise use of the dash, and bosses quickly regain health unless you dash into them.
- The game seems to be going for a “style over substance” approach, with its focus on scoring and combos, something that wasn't really Mega Man's main focus, and in fact, only the first game in that series had a proper scoring system. It also seems to go for a more fast-paced gameplay style with the dash and scoring systems, which rewards speedrunning but conflicts with the trial-and-error type of level design.
- Terrible graphics that look below a Dreamcast or early PS2 game. Even actual PS2 games from as early as 2001 look better than this game. This is more insulting considering what the first concept art looked like.
- The explosion effects look absolutely terrible, with many players stating that they resemble pizza.
- To add insult to injury, the game was made using Unreal Engine 3, which powered many games that look so much better (such as Gears of War, Bioshock Infinite, the Batman: Arkham series and the Mass Effect trilogy, just to name a few.) The engine became outdated during the game's development.
- Lackluster boss battles, which don't change up their patterns when they are close to being defeated (like most bosses in platformers are). The final boss is especially bad since it's full of predictable attack patterns and drags on for so long that any excitement that could be had is drained away.
- Terrible enemy placement that makes them hard to hit.
- Grabbing onto ledges is often unreliable.
- If you die you lose your health pick-ups regardless if you used them or not. Normally you'd want to save E-Tanks for boss battles but you can't do that here.
- The online mode is a worthless addition to the game and is almost completely broken; lag is a common occurrence regardless of connection speeds, collision detection is spotty at best, the frame-rate is very inconsistent, the game can crash while on a loading screen, and sometimes the boss door fails to open, leaving both players stuck for the timer to hit zero. After it does, the game awkwardly cuts to the boss fight. Remember one of the game's delays was to improve online.
- The game relies on outdated "Trial-and-error" design to artificially extend its length. Including cheap deaths, excessive use of insta-kill obstacles, knockback damage, and unforgiving platforming to ensure the player will die often while having limited lives. If you lose all your lives you start the whole level again. The concept of limited lives is also outdated and bosses often have instant kill moves. While it is true that early Mega Man games did the same, it was done because of hardware limitations back then. Games like Shovel Knight have shown that this "trial-and-error" type of game design is no longer needed and all it does is frustrate the player.
- While the game follows the basic Mega Man formula of each boss giving you a weapon after defeating them and each boss being weak to a specific weapon, the concept of experimenting and finding out which weapon to use is completely ruined because the game pretty much directly tells you what weapon to use.
- Lackluster plot. Beck himself is a boring protagonist with little personality and the plot never focuses on him. All he does is follow orders.
- On the topic of the plot, there are quite a few plot holes:
- If Beck and the other Mighty Numbers are warbots designed for military purposes, WHY IN THE BLUE HELL did Professor White make them hate violence and be reluctant to fight?! One of them is literally built out of weapons and missiles!
- Graham the supposed main antagonist never does anything, his actions are never explained, he's randomly replaced with Trinity near the end and is never mentioned again.
- The game claims that the United States of America has 52 states when it actually has 50 states.
- The game is set in the future, yet the intro says "It is the present day".
- Why must the virus samples come specifically from the Mighty Numbers? Can't Beck just extract the exact same computer virus from any of the ordinary robots?
- Dr. White being Blackwell's son is never explored.
- The ending is almost insulting. It's nothing but a few images that don't explain anything and nothing regarding the plot is resolved. The post-credits scene is also obvious sequel bait.
- The post-credits scene makes Dr. Light look like a villain.
- Awkward cutscenes that feature static 3D models of the characters with close to zero face animations that look like they're practicing ventriloquism. You can't skip these cutscenes either.
- Sonic Adventure level voice acting. Certain characters don't seem to express as much emotion as they should or just plain overact. The worst offender is Call, who sounds emotionless throughout the whole game. The dialogue is often childish and unfunny. For example, during the ice level, Dr. Sanda is shocked that the ice-powered robot has covered the ice level in ice!
- Characters constantly talk during levels and can prevent you from listening audio cues for boss attacks.
- The credits are four hours long with each backer that probably wants their money back now. It is possible for the credits to last longer than the game itself.
- Deep Silver made an infamously embarrassing ad campaign in the form of the “Masterclass” trailer, which tried way too hard to be “hip”, “cool”, and “tongue-in-cheek” with an infamous joke about crying anime fans on prom night, and was rightfully mocked by many gamers and anime fans. Mega Man, the franchise this game is inspired by, was heavily based on anime, meaning the trailer was essentially mocking the game's target audience. Even Sonic the Hedgehog's official Twitter account as well as DiGiorno Pizza of all companies mocked the trailer. Digital Foundry also mocked the trailer when analyzing the Wii U port's performance. The developers despised the trailer as well, even criticizing Deep Silver for it.
- The Wii U version is by far the worst version of the game, with long loading times, frequent crashes, and the worst frame rate issues out of all the versions usually going up to 36 frames per second. It was even reported to brick consoles.
- Call's level is annoying, she is far less mobile than Beck, can't dash into enemies, and she says every single action she does non-stop in her typical monotone voice!
- The final boss is missing several frames of animation.
- Dr. White is incredibly unlikable, seemingly moronic, and the robot epidemic in the game was all his fault.
- Poor level design in general.
- It does play somewhat like a Mega Man game.
- When you defeat a boss, that boss will appear in another stage and assist you.
- The controls are solid.
- The game offers the most fun to speedrunners.
- Inafune admitted the game's problems and took responsibility for it.
The game was highly anticipated when it was announced. The game was crowdfunded via Kickstarter, where it raised $3,845,170 pledged by 67,226 backers, surpassing its original goal and becoming the site's third highest funded console game project. A big part of its success came from Capcom's negligence of Mega Man with up to 4 canceled projects like the highly anticipated Mega Man Legends 3 and that Inafune was working on the project. It should be noted that Inafune isn't really Megaman's original creator (in fact, it was Akira Kitamura) yet they were treating him like he was.
However, as the Kickstarter got more money, the project continued to become more and more over-ambitious with numerous yet absurd stretch goals like a documentary, multiplayer, new game plus, ports for every single platform from handheld to PC. Something that no other sensible developer would ever actually promise. Inafune was also already planning to make Mighty No.9 a franchise before the game was even released starting with an animated TV series which got a trailer on July 14th of 2014 and has never gotten any new news since the game's release. This quickly caused skepticism to raise among backers.
Following lengthy delays, graphical downgrades, and Comcept's decision to fund another project, Red Ash: The Indelible Legend, through Kickstarter AND a Red Ash anime series while Mighty No.9 was still being delayed were met with accusations of mismanagement, fortunately that game didn't get near its funding goal and Inafune had to find a Chinese investment company to fund the project, this alongside the poor communication between Comcept and Kickstarter backers along with the constant delays caused many people to lose faith in the project and envision the game's demise. Even the game's demo meant to apologize for the delays was delayed. Following the announcement of Red Ash, it became clear that Inafune wanted a big multi-media franchise more than anything and he wasn't focusing on just making a game.
Eventually, the game was finally released, but even the release itself was a disaster. Many Kickstarter backers were receiving broken DLC codes for the game, several backers who made large donations didn't get the bigger rewards, some received the game for the wrong platform, others didn't get the game at all, Xbox One copies were hard to find, and several ports were delayed (AGAIN) at the last minute, and the backers who requested the Xbox 360 version were receiving Steam codes for the game instead, so that probably means that version may never come out. AlphaOmegaSin even admitted that he pirated a copy of the game because the backer copy he was supposed to get never arrived.
The game received generally mixed-to-negative reception from critics, fans and Kickstarter backers alike upon launch. The game's design, graphics, content, voice acting, and technical issues were criticized, and critics agreed that the game had utterly failed to live up to expectations. People frequently remind the 4 million dollars that went into the game as well as the 3 years of development and compare it to Dust: An Elysian Tail, a much superior game made by only one guy with a small budget of 40,000 dollars and was sold digitally for 15 dollars on Xbox Live, Steam and PSN. The game currently has a user rating of “Mixed” on its Steam store page and has a rating of 54% and a user score of 3.8 on Metacritic.
Because of the game's negative reception, people started to cast a shadow of doubt on other crowdfunded and "Spiritual Successor" games like Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night because they have to be excellent enough to undo Comcept's damage. Even though Kickstarter has created many great games like Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight, and Pillars of Eternity, and to see such a horrible game come out of Kickstarter is really sad. After this game's failure, many fear that Capcom will now be even less likely to ever release a new Mega Man game again.
After the game's launch, people started to realize that not only was Hideki Kamiya of Platinum Games right when he said that Inafune was a businessman, not a creator, but also when he said that the game was a Mega Man copy and an insult to Capcom.
A somber livestream of the game during the launch day was done featuring Inafune along with his translator named Ben Judd who acted as a host to the whole show, Ben accused angry fans and backers of being "salty" and when translating for Inafune during a Q&A, he said that "Even if the game is not perfect, it's better than nothing", implying that despite the game's problems, Comcept wanted to launch the game anyway. Inafune was mistakenly believed to be the one who said that. But regardless, this phrase was an awful thing for anybody associated with the game to say regardless of who really said it.
Mighty No.9 has been called "the perfect example of what NOT to do when using crowdfunding". Many gamers are also considering Shovel Knight to be a better Mega Man successor than Mighty No.9.
Web Reviewer ProJared did a 7 part Let's Play of the game stating that he wanted to give the game the benefit of the doubt and because he was one of the backers. Over the course of the 7 videos, Jared gradually grew angrier and angrier, eventually descending into full-blown, genuine rage. Jared also constantly had to deal with framerate drops and the game nearly crashing his computer in every game session. He then ranked it as the worst game of 2016, not just because of the game itself, but also because of how much went wrong during its development, the arrogance of the developers and the amount of fans angered and disappointed by it over the 3 years of development.
One of the backer rewards, a retro-styled game box with a fully colored manual, was sent over a year late and was also a disaster. The boxes have to be manually assembled, the manual isn't colored, and the manual doesn't even fit inside the box (the Famicom-style one, at least. It fits into the NES-style one.). Recently, though, they have sent out properly sized manuals to remedy this issue.
After the release of Mighty No. 9, nothing has been heard from Comcept or Keiji Inafune until the release of ReCore for Xbox One, which also got mixed reviews. It's also unknown whether Red Ash will ever get released.