Mighty No. 9 has arrived on the Wii U, but not without some noticeable problems.
Mighty No. 9’s story is a fascinating one. From the start, this was a game that was supposed to appeal to those who miss the days of the 2D platformer, the game’s inspiration mainly deriving from Keiji Inafune’s work from the Mega Man series. People flocked and donated to the game’s Kickstarter in droves, verifying that the need for something like Mighty No. 9 was real. So after a year full of delays and broken promises, the game has finally been released. The answer to everyone’s question is that yes, Mighty No. 9 does scratch that itch in providing a competent 2D platformer adventure. But if you ask me if Mighty No. 9 is a fun, competent 2D platformer, the answer would be no. It does everything needed to satiate the needs of those who backed the game, but nothing more.
Mighty No. 9’s story is pretty much every Mega Man story ever, without the character in question. Instead, it is Dr. White’s eight robots that break loose and wreak havoc upon the United States. Along with his associate Dr. Sanada and his invention, a helper robot named Call (as in, Beck and Call), it’s up to Beck, or Mighty No. 9, to take care of the remaining Mighty Numbers before they can do any more damage. It’s a no frills, formulaic story that’s obvious in inspiration, but that’s fine.
The gameplay also borrows heavily from the Mega Man series, with a few new additions. Instead of using a charge shot, Beck can glide across stages. I liked this, as it made the game feel like a bit more modern. The combo shots also felt really good to pull off. The stages themselves are perfectly acceptable, but nothing that you haven’t played before and are kind of drab in execution. The environments don’t break the mold either, with the usual ice, wind, fire and oil stages all present. I didn’t have any real problem getting across stages, though some part of certain stages are cheap, and not in a fun way. I know games like these are supposed to be trial and error, but getting hit once and falling into a one hit KO pit isn’t that fun.
Technically Mighty No. 9 is lacking, in many ways. The load times here are apparent, as it takes quite a while to load a stage, both initially and when you lose a life. There’re a bunch of small, weird bugs too. For example, while playing the wind level, I kept losing many lives as it was my first time playing the stage. Whenever the game would load, there would be a weird static sound that would get louder - this got to be so loud I had to restart the Wii U just to get rid of it. There are also some framerate issues that are quite apparent, especially when I was trying to go through a stage quickly. It’s not enough that it hampers the experience, but it’s very noticeable.
Sound and graphics in Mighty No. 9 aren’t all that great, either. Obviously the Wii U version of Mighty No. 9 isn’t going to look as great as its Xbox One or PS4 counterparts, but there’s a noticeable lack of quality. The game looks decent, but it’s more akin to a nice looking, colorful game from the previous generation of consoles as opposed to something that looks new. The sound is not much to write about, either - it’s perfectly acceptable, but nothing stellar. Full voice acting is in the game, but it’s kind of annoying in execution. White, Sanada, the bosses, Beck and Call talk a lot during the entirety of these stages, and it can be pretty grating at times.
Mighty No. 9 isn’t a bad game, but it’s generic in gameplay quality and suffers from technical issues that hamper the experience. If you wanted a brand new 2D platforming experience in the vein of the old Mega Man games, then this is probably something worth your time. Just don’t expect anything more beyond that, and be ready to restart your Wii U in case of a bug or two.