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    Mega Man 9

    Game » consists of 7 releases. Released Sep 22, 2008

    Mega Man returns to his roots in this deliberately retro side-scrolling platformer that simulates the style and simplicity of the first six Mega Man games.

    vookatos's Mega Man 9 (Wii Shop) review

    Avatar image for vookatos

    Too retro for its own good

    Mega Man 9 is often described as a game that started the retro boom in the industry. It's not the first game that decides to go for a retro look, but it was one that proved that such revivals can be successful.

    When playing it, it's hard not to commend Inti Creates on how far they were willing to go with this game. It feels, looks, and sounds like an NES Mega Man title. In the context of 2009, it was a joy. Classic Mega Man was effectively dead, and Mega Man 7 and 8 weren't exactly the games people remembered that fondly.

    Now, however, it starts to feel dated. Its incredible devotion to 8-bit aesthetics is a bit harder to appreciate amidst hundreds of similar titles that did the same, but, arguably, much better.

    Mega Man 9 stands proud as a Mega Man game, having a fun roster of bosses and their stages and featuring some truly great music. However, it's hard to look at it and not see some of the missed potential.

    This game feels like a mish-mash of ideas at times. Not in the worst way, but it certainly left me with plenty of questions about its features.

    Mega Man 2 is undoubtedly the most popular game in the classic franchise, but I'm not sure you can find a single person who can blame later Mega Man NES adventures being bland on the quality of life features introduced in later games. Despite that, the game goes WAY back, removing the ability to not only charge your shot but also slide.

    The removal of slide in particular hurts the game a lot. It was never a particularly great feature when used in level design, but it allowed for more maneuverability, and, what's more important, speed. Without it, Mega Man feels naked, as it was present in basically every platformer Mega Man game.

    Lack of quality-of-life features also affects one of the best things Mega Man got in its 16-bit days: changing weapons without opening the menu. You're stuck with the Zelda 1-like inconvenience of opening the menu each time you want to switch the weapon, which is necessary quite often in the later stages.

    The level design is amazing, and is more akin to later Mega Man titles, with each stage being completely unique. Aside from enemies, you get different platforms and mechanics which make every stage a blast. However, while music and level design are pretty damn great, the graphics aren't.

    Mega Man 9, Splash Woman
    Mega Man 9, Splash Woman
    Mega Man 5, Wave Man
    Mega Man 5, Wave Man

    The game, unfortunately, mostly looks like early NES titles, again taking more inspiration from Mega Man 1 and 2 with its often barren backgrounds and lack of detail.

    There is one part in Splash Woman's stage that is, for some reason a nearly 1:1 copy of a fairly long section from Wave Man's stage in Mega Man 5.

    I would like you to compare how those two look.

    While not every screen has a one-tone background, it's present often enough that it becomes a little annoying.

    The game feels stuck between knowing full well what it wants, but not quite being able to achieve it. Unfortunately, this also applies to gameplay.

    Mega Man 9 is hard. It's a pretty good challenge which makes the game easier as you get more familiar with it, but when returning to this game after ~10 years, I couldn't shake the feeling that some of the difficulty was yet another retro throwback reference. "Nintendo-hard was a phrase, let's do that!" says Mega Man 9, and in addition to completely competent and great level design adds quite a few "gotcha" traps.

    I'm pretty sure this game has more spike traps and pit-jumping enemies than any other Mega Man title. While those aren't new to the series, I feel like the enemies especially were a stupid addition that should've stayed in Mega Man 4. This isn't a quarter muncher, after all.

    Overall, Mega Man 9 is weird. Its presentation and design make it one of the better in the classic series. It's not as janky as early titles and not as bad as some of the later ones. However, I also can't help but feel the missed potential oozing out of every corner of this game. Is it enjoyable? Yes. But it could be so much better!

    Both Mega Man 10 and 11 build on its legacy, ironing out some of the imperfections while keeping good ideas, so I suppose in a way it was a necessary game.

    And hey, I don't want to sound too negative. It's pretty fun, and it gave us Galaxy Man!

    Other reviews for Mega Man 9 (Wii Shop)

      A return to roots and business models 0

      Mega Man 9 is a great game. If you like Mega Man games. Or old school side-scrolling. Or a difficulty setting that has you setting down the controller and walking away for hours at a time (Capcom has a funny way of making games way more difficult than expected and having you come back for more). The new Robot Masters are fine, the levels can be very challenging at points (JEWEL MAN), and there is plenty of replay value if you're one of the few shooting stars who want to complete the extensive li...

      2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

      Rock out with your Cock out 0

      Your favorite band, after years of solid rock albums, worldwide touring, partying and hotel smashing, decides that they need to evolve or mature their sound. Therefore, they produce some “experimental” albums (probably with some kind of jazz influence) and alienate most of their fanbase. Eventually, the band realizes the error of their ways and produces an album similar to what got them so popular in the first place, one that’ll probably involve Rick Rubin. That comeback album is what Mega Man 9...

      2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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