Mega Man 9 Review
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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
(continued from previous page) ...levels in a number of years. The difficulty, however, is excruciating in some places the first time round, and you will be cursing deities from both real and fictional cultures for that placement of a certain construction hat robot thing. The game is not impossible, but requires the old school 'learn the patterns' staple, and said patterns are mostly straightforward.
The weapons aren't bad, although, like in any game of this nature, you will gravitate towards certain weapons. Any situation in the first levels can be handled with just the Mega Buster, but there is usually a best weapon for each situation. For example, the Jewel Satellite will protect you from one hit enemies indefinitely, while the Laser Trident can go through shields. Also, the Robot Masters have the same weakness system as in past titles, although some of them are difficult to figure out (finding Galaxy Man's weakness is particularly infuriating).
Speaking of which, Capcom seems to be running out of robot names. Hornet Man? Concrete Man? Plug Man?! And on the subject of what's wrong with the game, why the lack of a switch weapon button? It's supposed to be true to the original, but it really breaks the flow of the game having to pause and change weapon every four seconds when there are several buttons that are unmapped.
The problem with Mega Man 9 is that it is trying to be too faithful. The difficulty is ramped up to extreme levels, and the control scheme feels completely outdated. Capcom did include a save system, though, which gets rid of the old password system. To be honest, if they were going to update anything, it would have to be that.
The longevity of the game questionable, and depends primarily on the player. The devious difficulty will result in a first playthrough taking a fair time, while subsequent playthroughs will probably see you complete it in an hour. The time attack challenges are great, and getting a satisfactory time will definitely last you a while, but time attack is not for everyone. There is the downloadable content, though, including the endless level which is measured in screens completed, complete with bits from old Mega Man games. Another level, a "bonus stage," is planned, and another Robot Master is on it's way as well. Maybe the extra slot in the weapon list will get inhabited by his power.
All this extra content obviously costs more money, and not everyone will want run through time attacks or endless levels. Luckily, the game -- without any fancy add-ons -- is pretty cheap. At $10 USD/£7 GBP, you can't go too far wrong.
So there you have it. It is a great game that's sure to provide a fanciful trip down Nostalgia Street. But due to the some of the problems outlined above, it won't appeal to everyone.
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