Impressions: Might No 9 – E3 2015, New Mechanics and Forcing Better Pattern Mastery

Might No 9

Release: Sept 15, 2015

Might no 9 - Splash

Might No 9, the game where Megaman started to rebel against Capcom, the company that began to neglect the robot, so much that he decided to get cosmetic-enhancements done to his mechanic body and embody the 90s cool kid look in our post-3D world.

For the most part, if you like 2d Megaman games, you’ll like Mighty No 9. The platforming feels fluid, your mobility precise to the touch and the shooting easy to understand. It feels as familiar and accessible as a Megaman game is supposed to feel. You know exactly what you did wrong and you’re taught incrementally how to plan, solve and execute the various obstacles that show up on screen.

Like Megaman X, you’re given a dash as part of your repertoire but you’re also given a few new mechanics that you not only get to play with, but need to master. The most prevalent to learn is that shooting enemies opens them up to being dashed through because now your dash attack finishes them off, which is distinguished by the enemy’s pixilation.

Might No 9 - Pixel Dash

Dash-kills on normal enemies give you temporary buffs giving you an incentive to not only blast enemies in the face rather than ignoring them, but also truly mastering the enemy’s patterns because you can’t just sit back and shoot at them from far away. You need to learn the enemy’s patterns so you know when the opportune moment is to get face-to-face with a baddie and dash-kill them with little risk to yourself.

Fully understanding enemy’s attack patterns also extends and is tested to its fullest during boss fights as the only way to actually kill the boss is to dash-kill them. You can keep your distance and shoot at them from far away, but damage gets locked every so often as temporary damage and the only way to make it permanent damage is to dash-damage the boss. If you wait too long to dash-damage, the health bar resets and you’re forced to start from where you left their health bar off last.

This mechanic alone is worth exploring the game because you’re not allowed to sit back and “play it safe” anymore. Learning boss patterns in older Megaman games meant the margin for error was only in terms of you staying alive long enough to kill the boss before they killed you. In Might No 9, the margin of error is reduced considerably because you not only need to stay alive, but inflict damage and lock that damage in, forcing better mastery and learning to switch between aggressive and defensive play unlike older games where you could usually pick one and overcome most bosses.

The only other way to describe it is the way Megaman X3+ handled gameplay where you played as either X or Zero. X had only ranged attacks and Zero and only melee attacks to the master. So X was meant to play from a distance and Zero was meant to play upclose and you only needed to master boss patterns for each playstyle. In Might No 9, you have to intermingle both ranged and melee playstyle to overcome your challenges.

The only complaint from the demo was the finicky wall-grab mechanic. Dropping between two platforms was a hassle because it would magnetically snap to ledges when I didn’t mean to. Luckily this wasn’t during an enemy/boss encounter or a frustration-quit might have been in order.

Impressions: Tom Clancy’s The Division – E3 2015

Release: 2016(?)

Tom Clancy’s The (Troll Hard) Division puts you with a group of 3 post-apocalyptic sleeper agents in the midst of a viral epidemic killing off the US population and you have the single goal of looting every player and NPC that you come into contact with. It doesn’t even matter if they were situational allies or members of your own party, if they have a gun that you like, you can shank a fool and take it off of their body. What’s a dead body going to do to protest? Ragdoll in anger? At least, that would be what the E3 demo would lead me to believe that this game is going to play out.

The Open-world cooperative shooter-genre is definitely trying to explore new directions since Borderlands made its debut a few years ago for the closed party format and Destiny released last year as the drop-in drop-out open party format. Troll Hard has both a drop-in-drop out system where parties are automatically dropped into random servers with other random groups already in them but this is the first with a betrayal system that works contains both inter-party and intra-party mechanics.

The way that The [Troll] Division handles inter-party betrayals is that if any member makes a move on another group, your group is considered rogue (hostile) and all other groups in the area are notified of this putting your group at a disadvantage because you thought loot was more important than cooperation. The same modal goes for intra-party betrayal, if you shoot a member of your group, you’re marked as rogue so you better pick your battles carefully or stay that itchy trigger finger.

The reason why someone would want to betray the team is because of the loot you found in your run of the city. You find loot by killing mobs that protect chests, and the items in these chests can only be acquired after you evacuate the premise, of which there are only a handful of evacuation points. You can also find loot by killing other player-groups.

As far as the demo went, I should say that they didn’t make it a far comparison to the real thing because the coordinators gave an incentive to be the first to evac loot. Normally there wouldn’t be an incentive to pick a fight with a group currently trying to evac but for some awful reason they wanted to instigate the 3 groups that were in the demo into combat and so that’s what happened for about 15 minutes or so before the demo time was finished.

The internals of the game were simple. Your group can be comprised of different “classes” with different loadouts. A healer, a gadget tech assaulter and a ranged assault. The enemies in the demo were fairly diverse, ranging from a few basic goons to elite pyrotech enemies with weak-points to learn and backstories for all.

The game lends itself to having a fairly complex lore assuming the time is put into it, but I would really hate to pick up the game and always be stuck with people prioritizing gear over teamwork, whether it’s from within your group or dealing with other groups. I can just see the game a few weeks in, having bands of max level players camping evac points and killing everyone coming into contact with the zone.

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