Created by Capcom / Rated E / 1 Player / Wii Remote or Classic Controller/ MSRP 1000 Wii Points
(Also available on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network)

Review written by Ray of 2P START!

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Mega Man 9 walks a very fine line – making this an incredibly difficult review for me to write. On one hand, it’s a wonderful return to the exact formula that made the original classics so amazing. On the other hand, it sticks so closely to the formula, that you almost wonder if a couple college kids could have pulled this off with a level editor and a tweak of the sprites. That’s probably coming off a bit harsh but, in all honesty, Mega Man 9 doesn’t exactly do anything new, it just does what worked so well 20 years ago. And that’s not a bad thing.

With six NES Mega Man titles already in existence, Capcom is in a difficult spot. Some games had features others didn’t, gameplay mechanics that weren’t introduced until later, and the number of levels varied from title to title. And since fans have their own opinions as to which game they consider the best, its a tough choice for which features should go and which should stay. I’m sad to see the charge-shot removed, as well as sliding. I’m sad that they only made the bare-minimum of levels required for a Mega Man title, as well as having no secret areas. But I’m willing to overlook this as they are clearly trying to go the most traditional route possible.

Oh wait, except you can now collect screws to buy items at the shop, and they’ve also included the first female robot master. Not that I’ve got anything against female robots, but if you’re trying to stay so close to the original Mega Man series, then it’s an odd choice. This is precisely the flaw of this game: they’re forcing themselves to stay as basic and true to the series as possible, but every so often they’ll tease you with new ideas that make you wish they would have done more.

But should they? Because as they add more new things, they run the risk of making it less like a Mega Man game. Oh man, I am so torn…

But the one thing everyone can agree on is how difficult the game is. It’s an important reminder about video games today: they just don’t make them like they used to. What’s important to note, however, is how I found this game comically difficult. Which means I laughed almost every time I died. I laughed because I was amazed how the smallest changes made to the environment or even the placement of enemies could make the game so absurdly difficult. As a child I probably complained, “gosh, why does that enemy have to be right there?!” But now I know why: they just love to mess with us.

Capcom is really pushing for replay value with this title, as they’ve included a long list of “challenges” for you to try and complete. These include clearing the game in under an hour, never losing a life, and even clearing the game without missing a single shot. There are some pretty ridiculous challenges for those looking for even more difficulty, and it’s nice to have the checklist to prove you completed it. There’s also a small bit of downloadable content for those willing to pay for it.

If you’re a fan of the orginal Mega Man series, then I highly recommend you purchase this game. For those of you who have never played a Mega Man game, I suggest you download Mega Man 2 from the virtual console for half the price. It’s a golden classic.

Verdict: Not much has changed since 20 years ago, and it really didn’t have to.

8/10

Reviewer’s Completion: 00:51:38 clear time / superhero mode completed / 44% of challenges completed: Waltz / Tango / Jitterbug / Mr. Trigger Happy / Invincible / Almost Invincible / Air Shoes / Whomp Wily! / Conqueror / Vanquisher / Destroyer / Hard Rock / Speed Metal / Fantastic 9 / Blue Bomber / Eco Fighter / Quick Draw S / Quick Draw H / Quick Draw P / Quick Draw T / Quick Draw M / Quick Draw X

 

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