By Alphazero 22 Comments
It's just as hard as everyone says. Most games of the Mega Man 2 era require memorization, but this game, ostentiably a throw back to MM2, takes it to the next level. We'll give you a blind jump to a landing block that isn't there yet, sure, but this time, let's put it over some spikes.
Do you know what else needs some spikes? The ceiling. And another in front of the place you want to jump. And, what the hell, how about an unblockable laser beam. Fine. No, good. You do that, Mega Man 9. I *want* you to do that, because I've been playing too many games that make me feel competent and are fun to play. This constant failure is making me humble, and...
Goddamit! Fucking spikes!
The end result is a game that requires a level of OCD that should probably be treated by medical professionals, not encouraged by winning a boss fight. The achievements (on the Xbox Live Arcade Version) are further tuned for the obsessive compulsive. You want twenty points? Beat the game in an hour. You want twenty more? Beat it five times in a single day. The last five points? I'll get the rubber glove on. Now, turn to the left and cough. You might feel slight pressure.
Between the precision and difficulty, there's little room for improvisation. There's a set way to do most things, and you will do it that way or else. Using the special items or special weapons certainly can make things easier, but for each clever trick there's a choke point of spikes that can't be out-smarted.
MM9 takes some small amount of pity on you by offering a store in which you can exchange bolts found in-game for useful items like E-Tanks, M-Tanks, and most of all Shock Guards that protect you once per purchase from those bastard spikes. These extra items are a great help, particularly in Dr. Wily's castle, but the game seems to resent their presence, and so makes the user interface for purchasing them astoundingly wordy and difficult to use.
Ha ha! You have to click a button six times to buy an Energy Tank. Isn't that funny? Just like in 1988? Do you get it?
I get it, Mega Man 9. You hate me. You feel I should suffer for my sins of assisted aiming in console FPS games, or quick saving before every decision point in an RPG. Well, I hate you back Mega Man 9. As soon as I can, I'm going to sin again just to spite you.
This game is too difficult to be fun, to fussy to be exciting. If you enjoy it, please, for your own health and safety, see a doctor.