Mega Man 9

by Logan

November 10, 2008

Ah, Mega Man 9. After about 10 years since Mega Man 8, Capcom finally released a true Mega Man game. None of this chicken shit "Battle Network" stuff, just a hardcore 8-bit nut stomping of yore. To compound this nostalgic masterpiece, Capcom kept with the true Nintendo aesthetic and made the game almost identical to the real classics. While it's truly a massive achievement in fan service, you'll probably end up remembering this game for its frustration factor.

The gameplay remains unchanged and even regresses from some of the later Mega Man games. There's no mega buster and no slide. This is kind of nifty I suppose seeing as how the slide wasn't introduced until MM3 and the buster until MM4. The formula is completely unchanged. You run, jump, and shoot your way through 8 stages, and then you're treated to a wonderful romp through Wily's castle. For the most part, this game is on par with the series difficulty wise.

There's certainly a rather frustrating degree of trial and error, but most of the games had this also. Where this game seperates the champs from the chumps are the stages. Every level basically has an absurd difficulty spike which can be massively frustrating. Once again, eventually you'll master it, but you might break a controller or two along the way. It's absurd to think there are actually more difficult levels and modes available as DLC for the game. While I'm on the topic of difficulty, the achievements for this game are absolutely insane. However, even those are eclipsed by the in game "challenges". These bastards have the audacity to ask you to accomplish such things as "Complete the game without taking damage." On the whole, the game is certainly challenging, but comes off as elitist and masochistic rather than challenging and rewarding.

Difficulty aside, the rest of the game is a treat. The graphics are represented nicely and they got rid of the annoying jump and energy capsule sound effects. The music is also insanely awesome. While the score isn't as legendary as earlier outings, it does supply some pleasant memories. The boss design is a lot more in line with previous efforts and we steer away from lamer things such as "TENGU MAN."

Mega Man 9 is a nice package that shouldn't be overlooked. While some people have discredited it for being created solely in the interest of cashing in on gamer's nostalgia, I'd have to disagree. I believe it makes a statement that a retro-revival like this can actually be successful with the emergence of Xbox Live Arcade and such. I hope it's a sign of things to come as this could be a revival many classic franchises that may have lost their way in today's high-tech world.

My nostalgia aside, this game is definitely worth playing. At only 10 dollars, it's a decent bargain as long as you don't let it get the best of you. It has it's frustrating parts, but so do many games today. Do yourself a favor and play it just to remind yourself of the good simple fun that classic games used to provide.