Mega Man 9 Review
- Posted October 11th, 2008 at 20:01 EDT by
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Mega Man 9 is a great game with a huge amount of old-school appeal. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to resonate with everyone, primarily due to its excruciating difficulty.
- Excellent level design
- Classic gameplay
- Old-school music and graphics
- Excruciating difficulty may turn some off
- Main game is fairly short
In recent years, Capcom has been doing a lot of fan service, and Mega Man 9 is no different. The Blue Bomber returns to his roots in this 8-bit sequel to the original Mega Man series. With a brand new 8-bit engine, Capcom promised a return to the golden age of the original series, and more specifically, Mega Man 2. In the end, is it a brilliant coup, or a horrible cash in?
Although this is Mega Man 9, it is actually the tenth game in the original Mega Man series, with Mega Man and Bass being the ninth entry. Confusingly though, Mega Man and Bass is supposed to be an alternate entry according to canon, even though it is directly referenced in the end of 9.
Let's be honest, though; story has never been the franchise's strong point. Here's all you need to know -- there are eight Robot Masters, and you have to go kick their asses and take their powers before making an assault on the final level. This Mega Man starts with a twist, as all the Robot Masters were built by Dr. Light, the good guy, and he is quickly arrested. It's up to you to clear his name and stop the maverick robots in the process.
For being rendered in all 8-bits of graphical glory, the cutscenes are fantastic. They're static for the most part, but the clean and cartoony design of the characters means they are all lovingly recreated in some of probably the best 8-bit cutscenes ever rendered. The rest of the game is exactly how it was back in the NES days, including the option to turn on 'sprite flicker' when more then so many things are on screen at once.
But here is the problem. You have in front of you a PS3, a machine so powerful it could probably host a Skynet-like entity and destroy the world. However, the game is presented lovingly in 8-bit, 4:3, 256 by 224 resolution, with low-grade music to match. There are definitely naysayers complaining about the old-school style. However, the game is so much the better for it.
Back in the days of the NES, memory and graphics were very limited. Graphic design would take the better part of a week, with the rest of the time spent on actually making the game. These days, with the constant expectation for high definition graphics that reach out and grab you by the family jewels, more and more time is spent making Solid Snake's mustache look even more bristly, or getting Ivy's chest to overfill her brassiere. Pure gameplay is not the forefront of the equation. Effectively, Mega Man 9 is going back to the highly creative mindset of the 1980s (at least by video game terms), with the production values and time of a game made today. (Just to make it clear, that was not a jab at either MGS4 or SCIV. Both are awesome games.)
The music is worth a mention, and while it's going to be pretty much impossible to beat Mega Man II and Mega Man III as an 8-bit soundtrack, Tornado Man and Splash Woman's level music are particularly awesome, along with a load of the Wily's Castle music.
On the subject of gameplay, Mega Man has lost his ability to slide or charge his Mega Buster. Actually, let's just stop for a moment. What is the Japanese obsession with the word 'Buster'? You have the Buster Sword in Final Fantasy VII, and the Buster Rifle in one of the Gundam animes, not to mention the Proto Buster, Roll Buster, X Buster and so on in the Mega Man games. Weird. Anyway, no chargeable Mega Buster this time round, which is a strange thing to remove. Although, Mega Man 2 did not have it, and they are going for that sort of gameplay. The game is no worse for it, though, as the standard shot has been powered up to compensate.
The running and jumping mirror that in past titles in the series. Tricky jumps and plenty of enemies hamper your attempts to get to the Robot Master in some of the finest designed 2D levels in a ... (continued on next page)
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- 3:13pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
I played the demo, the controls were just as horrible as they were back in the day, and not taking advatage of the other buttons on the controler, just because you are trying to be retro, is just stupid.
I would buy a Megaman X sequel in a heart beat, but I wont even consider this one. Nostalgia can only take you so far.
I do give Capcom props for doing something different though, its an interesting change of pace, but with so many great modern games being released this month, my money is best spent elsewhere.
- 3:19pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
@1 controls back in the day were'nt horrible they were funtasitic
- 3:38pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
When I first started the demo, I loved the game. 2 seconds later, I realized it was hard. Really hard. I eventually got tired of dying so I stopped playing. Still fun though...
- 3:52pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
It has been quite a while since I played any of the mega man games, but when I played this one it wasn't fun. I used to really like the mega man games. This just felt different to me, and not in a good way. I'm punting.
- 3:56pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
Mega Man 9 + Nickel & Dime Capcom system = No buy!
- 4:21pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
the controls are fine left and right on the d-pad x jump square shoo?
- 5:47pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
It's crazy how far nostalgia will go towards a review. Wasn't Super Stardust an 8.0? Wasn't Madden and Tiger Woods an 8? I'd rather play those. This game is nostalgic yes, but it's not an 8. Maybe as gamers we should start using a different scale for downloadable games. Like this is a "Downloadable 8" or "D-8".
- 6:09pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
I haven't played a Megaman game in my life, so I really don't care about this game, what I REALLY admire is what Capcom did with this game by using an 8bit engine instead of using a nex-gen one. Look what happened to Sonic, they tried so hard bringing him to the nex-gen consoles and still those games don't even mach the originals. So I really hope that more developers follow this example and make more sequels for their original games, I would LOVE to see a brand new Sonic game in all his 16 bit glory!!
- 7:05pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
capcom should all the Megaman X collection. i always wanted to have the whole collection but sadly the only Megaman X game i got is Megaman X4.
- 8:21pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
agreed bro,def agreed on the fact that i think they should ALSO,creat some sort of different rating system for the downloadable games.
its like giving the same rating of a game on the ps3 as the wii.. just not ok (shakes head).
other then that,i think the game was funtasticly horrible.. yep thats right,it was fuuuuuuuuu-untill i died,then it sucked anuz.
- 9:25pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
the game is so hard its bad i was only able 2 beat 1 boss the add on character is even harder than playing as megaman if capcom thought it was a joke 2 make a hard fn game harder their dumb as$e$
- 11:15pm EDT - October 11th, 2008
@9 wat do you mean??they do have a megaman x collection (i have it for ps2 haha..really big megaman fan) but itz only megaman x-megaman x 6
- 4:17am EDT - October 12th, 2008
Wont waste my time with this, I didn't buy a PS3 for retro gaming and it surely does not deserve an 8 these types of games should have no score
- 7:41am EDT - October 12th, 2008
What Capcom should do is make a Megaman MEGA Collection for PS3 with all the megaman games (9 included) and all the Megaman x games (X7 & X8 included) I'm sure they can pull that off fairly easy what with Sony's Blu-Ray monster and all. If they wanna make a quick nickle & dime profit, That's the way to go!
- 8:29am EDT - October 12th, 2008
definatly a very fun game, but if this review had a value section this game would recieve a 1/5 since $18 is criminal...however if your like me then you'll think to yourself "hey i spend that much to eat at mcdonalds" and buy it the next day XD
- 8:48am EDT - October 12th, 2008
It was awesome game imo. Haven't seen game over screens in many years :p
- 10:33am EDT - October 12th, 2008
It seems some of us are forgetting just how hard NES games were, they were often more difficult than splitting the atom. Megaman ranks pretty high in that category. I remember the bragging rights, "Oh yeah well I just beat so-and-soman" Unfortunately that sort of gaming is over, I'd recommend this only for nostalgia and maybe a high time with friends. I agree that you can't really give it a number rating that has anything to do with todays game quality or enjoyment factor, it is just too far removed from what we are all used to now.
- 12:34am EST - November 5th, 2008
fun game but its too damn hard i really gotta focus when playing this
- 11:17pm EDT - April 4th, 2009
Reading this review, or at least the Dislikes for this review I was stupified. "Excruciating difficulty may turn some off" and "Main game is fairly short". Anyone who was born during the NES times or have ever played an origan Mega Man knows its difficult. Also this game is no smaller than any of the orignals. I just thought that idiocy was worth commenting on. Personally I thought this was the eaisest Mega Man yet. Mabey it because im better at vido games or mabey its just because I am good at Mega Man. They added the first EVER women "Splash Women". While im not sexist, I think it kinda ruined the whole Mega Man flow. Overall the game I think deserves an 8/10. If you where a fan of the Mega Man series you will like this. For $9.99 its well worth it.
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