Mighty No. 9 (PC) (2016)

Overview: A spiritual successor to the Mega Man series.

I was never a big fan of the original Mega Man series; I did, however, enjoy Mega Man X (SNES) (1993) and Mega Man Zero (GBA) (2002).*

Setup: Xbox Controller

Gameplay Log:
- Jumping into the game, we barely get to walk before we're interrupted. Prior to this, the game even said "Go!"
- Another interruption. We should be able to go through the dialogue faster.
- The game hides away mechanics in a Tips menu. [Thankfully I later had a viewer who helped me out with most of the game's mechanics, so I didn't have to tediously read.]
Mighty No. 1:
- I tried applying the reverse jump and alternate fire in-game, but they were difficult to utilize.
- Twice I died to a box that I thought I had to destroy. After the second time, I realized I could go over the box. [A weakness in game design, because the area above the box looked blocked off.
- I picked up a sparkly object and didn't know what it did. [It was a 1-UP]
- I complain about having to rewatch a cutscene. [I later learned cut scenes can be skipped by pressing start.]
LOL. Call warns about weak infrastructure after the first has already fallen. [Game design which easily frustrates first-time players.]
- *Every* tall tower in the background will fall.
- A viewer joined and recommended fighting Battalion first, because it gives the best weapon in the game.
Mighty No. 5:
- Changed number of lives to nine [Informed by viewer]
- I begin to feel as if I'm getting the hang of the game.
- I pick up the sparkly object and my viewer informs me it was an extra life.

Mighty No. 4:
- Battalion's power is OP [his shots take up energy, but absorbing enemies makes it a non-issue]
- Some dumb drop ledges in combination with instadeath electricity walls
Mighty No. 7:
- Dropping on the road is instadeath [annoying!!!]
- Brandish shows up and destroys some cars
Mighty No. 4:
- Stupid turbines. [Crouch dashes aren't used anywhere else in the game. Why force players to use them here and worse why require such extreme precision?]
Mighty No. 8:
- This stage is annoying.
- Use Brandish to deflect Shade's attacks.
- Get used to using hot keys to switch between Brandish and Battalion.
- I end the night here.

Shout out to TheNegativeIon for all the gameplay advice. The game most certainly would have been more frustrating and less enjoyable without it.

- The option of having more lives per level (up to 9).
- Enemies can be killed with enough bullets. When I first started playing the game, I thought the only way to kill enemies was to dash into them after weakening them (part of the game's failure to convey it's mechanics to the player).
- Gain a heal-up by absorbing blue glowing enemies: AcXel Recover I.
- Beck can shoot very quickly. After playing the game, I watched part of a speedrun and learned that I was firing Beck's standard attack at a slow rate (approximately a third to a half the firing rate of the runner).
- Use the game options to set up to three powers to hotkeys; I'm not sure if more can be set when using the keyboard.
- Press start to skip a cut scene.

Steam Game Time: 3.2 hours

*I can't remember whether or not I played any of the sequels. I have a feeling I might have played Mega Man Zero 2.

+ Unlimited dashing is fun (caveat: Beck experiences greater knockback when he's damaged while dashing)
+ Voice acting

~ The game has two alternate fires (1: jump back and fire, 2: jump back and turn) but when I first learned about them (via tips), I tried to use them and found them to be useless
~ Beck's absorption ability is different but can sometimes be shitty.

- Explanation of game mechanics separated from the game itself; requires the first-time player to read and digest tips outside the game
- Poor pacing. Too much story.
- Enemies can be hard to see
- Ledges to grab can be hard to see; in one boss fight, I died only because I didn't see the ledges (luckily, my Twitch viewer filed me in)
- Unbalanced boss abilities
- Boss abilities not well-used in game levels
- Some poorly thought out level designs

Many of the game's mechanics lack transparency and require the player to discover through the tips menu instead as part of the game. This is poor game design. Even so, certain powers and mechanics are less useful than others. More poor game design.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have someone help me avoid the frustrating parts of the game (or at least help me avoid making the same mistake twice). I would recommend other players who are interested in playing this game to seek some advice as well.

While the game has many failures, a player who puts the time into learning all the details of the mechanics and memorizing dangers that would frustrate a first-time player should have a lot of fun replaying levels. In particular, this game is probably fun to speedrun.

Fans of the classic Mega Man series should consider playing Mighty No. 9, but should keep in mind that the game fails to imitate the success of the original series and the core attack mechanic is different.

Overall, I would recommend giving the game a chance, and if you do, then start by watching five to ten minutes of a speedrun. I know it sounds silly, but it's probably the best way to convert a game that receives mixed reviews into a game that could receive mostly positive reviews.

Mighty No. 9 (PC) (2016)

Relevant Links:
Mighty No. 9 (Wikipedia.org)
Mighty No. 9 (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Mighty No. 9 (Steam Store Page)

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