Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mighty No. 9 - Is it Truly Mighty, or is it a Feeble Folly?

Mighty No. 9 , a game developed by Keiji Inafune and his new company Comcept, has finally launched after a lengthy series of rather frustrating delays and a distasteful commercial pitch. However, does it live up to all the hype?

The short answer to that question is a depressingly solid "no". As a backer (or "becker" as we we were called) supporters of the Kickstarter campaign were well knowledgeable about Inafune's past successes with Capcom and their famous blue bomber Megaman. So, suffice to say, we were eager to support him with his new spiritual successor.

The game was crowdfunded with nearly $4 million dollars worth of funds collected in 2013. All of the stretch goals were met, but with frequent delays and the promise of multi-platform compatibility across last gen as well as current gen consoles, Inafune ended up biting off more than he could chew. With such an ambitious undertaking, there were bound to be complications.

Unfortunately, the reviews that have come in after Mighty No. 9's launch have been far from pleasant. I myself felt no emotional connection to the characters. We're sort of jettisoned from the start into fighting as Beck without much knowledge of his creator, his female counterpart Call, or any of the other characters (at least in the opening level) let alone what motivates them or why. Voice acting in particular for Beck's (potential) rival Ray was, from my perspective, a rather poor performance.

One of the most concerning aspects of the game though is that there are long, black loading screens (on the Wii U version at least) which occur for extended periods of time even after you've died and are waiting for the last checkpoint. These constantly remind me of the sad emptiness that is the void of life.

Most morbidly perhaps is that I somehow never got notified that the survey for entering your name into the credits had even been sent. Apparently, the e-mail was dated Friday November 21, 2014 at 3:49 AM. I had gone all this time under the assumption that I had already completed the survey and everything was set in motion. However, considering the length of time it took to produce, one would've thought a reminder e-mail or some sort of official announcement would have been made ensuring that fans who donated towards that reward tier were getting what they were paying for. I'm partially at fault for not checking my e-mail inbox for it specifically, but the message was sent on the week of my birthday so arguably, I would've been far more preoccupied with the celebration than my spam filter. (I'm sort of hoping that I am not the only person who did not get their name featured and I'm hoping that future updates may provide the opportunity to correct this predicament, but considering the negative backlash from the gaming community, maybe it is best for me not to have my name listed as a supporter at all.)

I'm right there...and I paid to have my name included...*sigh*

For what it's worth (to me at least) the game still plays like a traditional Megaman game. The nostalgia is still there, but it just seems a bit unpolished. (I've never been very good at Megaman X or the classic 8-bit series) It's not as aesthetically pleasing nor does it have the same charm, but it has the same gameplay mechanics.

Comcept previously spoke of a possible anime or sequel based on Mighty No. 9. It may not get that depending on how well the game sells.