Xbox One Review: Mighty No. 9

Better than nothing?

For those out of the loop, Mighty No. 9 is the latest game from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune which was funded by Kickstarter, only to be delayed a number of times before finally coming out. The game borrows heavily from the Mega Man series from it’s gameplay to even the storyline, but after the delays…the real question is, how does it hold up?
Sadly it only lives in Mega Man’s limelight. It borrows so heavily that it doesnt have it’s own identity, it’s also wrought with issues including bugs that will hopefully be fixed with updates, while fans are unhappy with the mismanagement of this and Inafune’s other Kickstarter project “Red Ash: The Indelible Legend”. Inafune stated before Mighty No. 9’s release that “I own all the problems that came with this game and if you want to hurl insults at me, it’s totally my fault. I’m the key creator. I will own that responsibility”…which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the product, at least in my opinion.
That’s not to say the game is awful, it has some highly enjoyable moments…but there are few and far between. It doesn’t help that the characters lack the charisma of the Mega Man cast, while not evolving past what that series achieved a long time ago. It almost feels like they’ve recycled assets, which is a shame.

It’s a real shame because there’s a great game hiding in there somewhere, it’s just hard to discover it. Some might claim that you are better off dusting off your old NES version of Mega Man than play Mighty No. 9 and while I agree that the old Mega Man games clearly surpass this, it’s good when it sticks to the traditional formula…there are a few instances where it deviates and suffers because of it.

The Verdict

Mighty No. 9 clearly doesnt live up-to its potential, even Inafune acknowledges that the game has problems. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, but it’s clear that what it took inspiration from has the advantage over it. It’s strongest when it sticks to the Mega Man formula, while weaker when it moves away from it. Its a no-win situation really, but if you can somehow get past all that and the Kickstarter backlash…then you’ll find an enjoyable, albeit flawed experience here.

Score: 6.0