Release: Sept 15, 2015
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.
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.