Mega Man 9 Review

To everyone who thought the 8-bit era died out over 15 years ago, Capcom and the Blue Bomber have just made a compelling argument to the contrary. Mega Man 9 has arrived on all three current generation consoles’ respective download services, emulating and doing justice to the classic Mega Man style we’ve come to know and love.

Mega Man 9 picks up right where Mega Man 6 (the last NES entry in the series) left off in terms of both gameplay and audio/visual presentation. Capcom has even gone so far as to create a promotional Mega Man 9 box art image in the traditionally abysmal style the series is known for. The end product is a game that feels as authentically 80s as one could hope for, maintaining the integrity and enjoyment of that challenging era of gaming, while still appealing to the modern gaming crowd.

The plot is simple; eight evil robots are wreaking havoc, so of course Dr. Wily is the prime suspect. The mad doctor goes on television to simultaneously absolve himself of any guilt and accuse the benevolent Dr. Light of this treachery. It’s Mega Man’s job to destroy the fiendish machines, save the world, and clear Dr. Light’s good name.

Just like its predecessors, Mega Man 9 initially gives players very few tools to work with. Mega Man can run, jump, and shoot, and one must learn to be patient and incredibly precise with these abilities in order to successfully traverse the game’s highly hazardous stages. Many jumps require perfect planning and execution to avoid Mega Man’s early demise, and his enemies always seem to be positioned to do the most harm possible.

In terms of level design, Mega Man 9 has again stayed very true to the Mega Man games of old, but also includes a number of platform elements that keep things interesting as players progress from the first stage to the last. Still, these additions fit so seamlessly into the Mega Man framework that veterans will feel like they are visiting an old friend. The only gripe here is that certain types and combinations of enemies tend to repeat more often than one might prefer.

At the end of each physically trying stage, players are faced with a super-powered boss robot and rewarded for their subsequent victory with that enemy’s special weapon. Defeating these hunks of junk is usually incredibly difficult with the Mega Buster cannon alone, but by using the various boss weapons to exploit each robot’s weakness, success becomes far more attainable. It’s like an eight-way game of rock, paper, scissors, except the player is completely ignorant of those relationships at the outset and must figure out the proper way to proceed on their own.

Mega Man 9 is yet another in a string of Capcom-authored love letters to old-school gamers, and this one is especially mushy. The game’s difficulty may lead some to categorize it as “tough love,” but at the end of the day, the game encapsulates everything that made the franchise great in the late 80s and early 90s and recycles it for the current generation. With a $10 price tag and add-on content already becoming available, Mega Man 9 is a worthy addition to any gamer’s digital library.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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