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Old 03-06-2009, 07:04 AM   #135
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 11,005

Nintendo Wii - WiiWare
1 Player
Developer - Inti Creates

My Bias
-I love the Mega Man series
-Mega Man 3 is my favorite classic Mega Man game

My Completion
-Beaten on normal difficulty

In the tradition of all the classic Mega Man games (minus MM8) the story in this game is very lighthearted. Dr. Wily has tricked everyone into thinking Dr. Light is attacking the city with, I kid you not, 8 robots. It’s up to Mega Man to defeat them and get to the bottom of Dr. Wilys plan. Nothing really deep or surprising here and for the most part the only story sequences you see are during the games intro and ending. This simplicity is a nice change of pace compared to most games of today.

One of the things I’m very glad they did with this games story is they kept it happy classic Mega Man. The other Mega Man series’ (X, Zero, ZX) take themselves very seriously and MM8 started to creep into this category as well. While I would like to know the missing pieces that connect the different series’ putting classic Mega Man into a “serious business” setting just doesn’t feel like Mega Man.

Supports Progressive Scan

With Mega Man 9 Capcom took a unique approach and intentionally made the game look like it came from the 8bit NES era. At first I didn’t think it was a very good change, but as I saw more of this game I began to think this was pretty cool. The developers even went as far as to add graphical glitches and slowdown into the game.

I have a weak spot for waterfalls in any game

I think the designs for the 8 robot masters are weak this time around. Some of them like Magma Man look like re-colored versions of old robot masters (Needle Man). Although I do love how they finally added a female robot master.

While I like how they made this game look retro, the environments look very bland. Comparing the way Mega Man 9 looks to the last NES game that came out, Mega Man 6, it makes this game look like a lazy effort. When MM6 came out Capcom was trying to push the most it could out of the old NES hardware, but now with MM9 it’s like they used the retro approach to not put an excessive amount of effort into it.

Alot of backgrounds are just plain black like this

Mega Man games generally have great music so my expectations were a bit high for this soundtrack. I wasn’t expecting anything near the magnificence of MM2 or 3’s soundtracks, since it would be hard for any game to be that good. There are a select few really good tracks and the rest are kind of forgettable. In that way it reminds me a lot of MM4-6.

♪ Concrete Man

I didn’t like this one at first, especially the part at the end of the loop when it sounds like some guy is rolling his fingers on a piano really fast. But as I listened to it over and over (because I kept dying) it grew on me.

♪ Tornado Man

This song strikes me as the “poster song”, or rather the one that Capcom thinks is the best and liked to showcase before the games release. I like the upbeat tempo of it and it sounds good enough to fit right in with MM2 and MM3.

♪ Galaxy Man

This is my favorite song in the game. I love the part about 23-24 seconds in and I think the track just has an overall great flow to it.

Mega Man 9 can be controlled with the Wii Remote held sideways, the Classic Controller, and a Gamecube Controller. Since the game only requires 2 buttons the Wii Remote was the most natural choice to me and I haven’t even bothered with the other control schemes. I think the Wii Remote fits well because it emulates the old NES 2 button controller feel.

A huge benefit in making this game have the retro look and feel is that it plays/controls like the old NES Mega Man games. While I did enjoy playing Mega Man 7 and 8, when the graphics changed so did the gameplay. I felt the pixel perfect precision jumps and shots was lost, or at least not easily done anymore. Thankfully Mega Man 9 feels tight and responsive and I am really impressed with just how identical the developer was able to make the gameplay to its NES counterparts.

And although the game does have the retro look and feel, some of the stage designs are very cool. In Tornado Man’s stage there are these spinning moving platforms that Mega Man sticks to and twirl him around as they move. In one of the Wily stages there is an anti-gravity section where you slowly float in the air and the only way to move is to shoot left or right and propel yourself with the shots kickback. It seems like all the stages have some creative elements in them and makes each one feel fresh.

It wouldn't be Mega Man without an underwater level, and yes it is full of spikes

Following the tradition of the more recent Mega Man titles, there is a shop that you can visit in between stages to purchase extras. I am disappointed that the shop is very basic compared to the shops in MM7 and 8 in that you can’t buy any upgrades for Mega Man. The only thing for sale is consumables such as extra lives and E-Tanks. At least this helps ease the painful difficulty for average players.

Although the Wii doesn’t have an achievement or trophy system like Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, this game does have its own in-game challenge system. There is nothing extra unlocked for completing these challenges and you can’t show your friends or anything, but it is strangely compelling to complete them. Some of the challenges are very different (like beat a stage without shooting once) and I found myself trying to accomplish them just to see if I could.

This game is definitely not for newcomers or casual fans of the series. Mega Man 9 is ridiculously hard and there are a lot of spots in the game that have instant death traps designed to intentionally trick you. Some of the stages I was only able to beat once I had figured out the “correct path” so to speak, or in other words what instant death traps to look out for. I didn’t like this because it made the game more about memorization and less about thinking on your feet.

I may die here but at least I got a shot off in the enemies back

Mega Man 9 is also very hard because it uses the archaic design choices of the old games as well. For example when you get to Dr. Wily’s castle you must work through a series of consecutive stages in a row in order to beat him. There is no way to save in between and if you try to do anything else such as go back to the shop you have to start all over. I actually did just that, I got to Wily and realized I couldn’t beat him without an E-Tank. So since I was saving up my shop screws the entire game I decided to go buy some E-Tanks to finish Wily off. Then to my surprise I select Wily’s stage again and I have to start all over. I thought this was ridiculously stupid as it will take the average player a good chunk of time to get through all the Wily Stages (especially since they are the hardest ones). Basically the game lets you play in short bursts up until the end where you are required to put aside a lot of time if you ever want to beat it.

I'm not sure why I continually shoot at enemies with shields

My biggest beef with this game is that a lot of it feels gimped in an effort to make the game “like everyone’s favorite: Mega Man 2”. Mega Man 2 is a great game, but its sequels made several strides forward that ultimately made the series better. It irritates me knowing I could be playing a more fun game, but because they wanted to please purist fans, I’m not. The biggest glaring change is the omission of Mega Man’s charge shot and slide moves. Those were two things I have gotten accustom to as standard controls for the series so having them removed felt like a big step backwards.

It’s not only the omission of slide and charge, but the music as well. The menu music and the “Get Weapon” music are ripped straight from MM2. If they were going to port music they could have at least used MM3’s Get Weapon theme since it’s more of a series staple than MM2’s simple drum loop.

Some of the bosses are very hard without the proper weapon

There is a bunch of Downloadable Content available for this game but I haven’t purchased any of it. You can buy and play as Protoman who can charge his shot and slide (which leaves a bitter taste, almost like those moves were omitted on purpose so they could sell them). It sounds fun, but Protoman takes double damage from everything and I have no interest in making this hard game even harder. Same thing with the extra hard modes you can purchase.

Lasting Appeal
Technically if you did all the stages without dying you could speed through this game in about an hour. So in that perspective the game is very short. But because of its difficulty this game took me about 7 hours to finally master and beat. A lot of time will be spent redoing stages again and again until you can conquer them.

The good news is for those of you who are Mega Man masters, the extras available through DLC extend the life of the game. There are 2 extra hard modes, an endless stage mode, and a mode you can play as Protoman for a different experience. This all costs a few dollars extra but I think if you like what you’re playing then spending a few more dollars to extend that fun is worth the money.

The challenges system also helps extend the life of this game. I found myself going back to complete them for the sake of accomplishment. It might sound silly but they did get me to play Mega Man 9 more than I would have without.

And to top it all off Mega Man 9 has a time attack mode that will upload your fastest stage completion times online and compare them to the rest of the world. This is a speed runners dream as players can now compete to see who can find the quickest shortcuts and methods to beat stages. If you’re into that then it will make the game last even longer.

Final Thoughts
For $10 Mega Man 9 is one of the best values on Wii, and on the game market period. If you’re a Mega Man fan then you owe it to yourself to buy Mega Man 9. Between the main game, the achievements, the time attack and the optional extra modes you are getting a ton of content your dollar.

However, I can’t recommend this to anyone for their first Mega Man game, it’s just too hard. If you are interested in the series then pick up MM2 or 3 on the Virtual Console for half the price.

Not only is Mega Man 9 a great game, but coming from a guy who grew up on the NES, it feels like a throwback to old times. I like that and I think it would be great if other series’ followed the same route (Sonic).

Gameplay Video

Last edited by Seraph; 12-31-2009 at 12:07 PM.
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