After three years in development, the Kickstarter-funded spiritual successor to the Megan Man series of video games has landed. Mighty No. 9 combines old school 2D side scrolling action with unique character design that is a throwback to games of yesteryear. Developed by Keiji Inafune along with a veteran Japanese team, Mighty No. 9 has had heavy fan input that has helped shape the game development from beginning to end.

Staring a colourful robot boy named Beck, you’ll embark on a journey to discover the cause of a reprehensible computer virus that is causing robots to malfunction and threaten the fate of humanity, as we know it. Is Mighty No. 9 the game old school Mega Man fans have been waiting for?


A tale of robots gone crazy

Mighty No. 9 takes places in the future where violence has been confined to the Battle Coliseum. As a member of the robotic combatant team known as the Mighty Numbers, Beck witnesses a brutal cyber-attack against his robot brethren that causes havoc worldwide. Infected with a deadly computer virus, robots all over the United States are running wild and crazy.

The world’s largest manufacture of robotic equipment is quick to blame Dr. Blackwell, a jailed scientist who just happens to be the inventor of Xel technology—the basis for the Mighty Numbers and all robots. Puzzled by this accusation, Dr. White, a robotics designer, and Dr. Sanda, an expert in Xel technology, have assembled a team to investigate the cause of this lethal cyber-attack. As part of this team, you’ll play as Beck, the 9th in line of powerful robots, and the only known robot not infected by the mysterious computer virus.

Mighty No. 9’s story is not this games strong point; however, it is Mighty No. 9’s unique gameplay that makes this game shine. Essentially, Mighty No. 9’s story serves as a supplement to your overall game experience, and gives you a background as to why the world around Beck is in chaos.


Old-school platforming bliss

You’ll run, jump, blast, and transform your way through 12 demanding action-platforming stages and boss battles. Luckily, Mighty No. 9 features a tutorial that will get you quickly acquainted with the games combo system and control scheme. In no time, I had mastered Beck’s dash technique, which allowed me to move quickly and cross large gaps with ease.

Mighty No. 9 is unique in that it allows you to choose the order in which you want to battle any of the game’s eight bosses. With specialized abilities, Mighty No. 9’s bosses will give you a run for your money compared to other games in the genre. You’ll face attacks from Mighty No. 9’s bosses that range from fire generation to electronic warfare, which at times can be frustrating. After defeating a boss, you’ll gain the ability to use their specialized ability and in turn use it against other enemies to defeat them.

I highly recommend going to the options settings and increase the amount of lives you get per game to nine—trust me you’ll thank me later for this. When battling a boss, keep an eye out for any attack or movement patterns—learning each of the eight boss patterns will ensure success.


Multiplayer modes

Looking for multiplayer action? Mighty No. 9 features two multilayer online modes that offer a mixed result when playing. The first is a two-player online co-op challenge mode that contains over a dozen different missions, which you can play with an online friend. One player will play as Beck, and the second player will play as Call, Mighty No. 9’s robotic heroine. I found that playing with a friend who is willing to work together as a team made my experience considerably more enjoyable as opposed to playing with a random online “teammate”.

The second multiplayer online mode allows you and a friend to compete online via an online race battle. Your goal is to make it through any given level as fast as you can, which can be quite fun at times. This is hands down my favourite online mode in Mighty No. 9, though the level of difficulty is nowhere near that you will find in the single player story mode.

Game modes galore along with a free expansion pack at retail

If you pick up Mighty No. 9 at your favourite retailer, you’ll get the bonus RAY expansion pack. In this expansion pack, you’ll play as Ray, an unstable prototype robot who constantly feeds off other robots in order to survive, in an all-new story. As Ray, your health constantly depletes, and you will have to eat robot to regain some of the lost health.

Playing as Ray offers its own unique challenges and offers a playstyle that is different from Beck. Surprisingly, I enjoyed Ray’s story and her unique gameplay more entertaining than Beck. In addition to the many other modes that Mighty No. 9 offers, there is a single player boss rush mode, challenge mode, online leaderboards, and unlockable difficulty modes.


A blend of 2D and 3D artwork and animation

Mighty No. 9’s graphics are a blend of 2D and 3D artwork and animation that are both bright and colourful. Running at 1080p and 60fps on both the Xbox one and PlayStation 4, Mighty No. 9 at times impresses with its visuals. Quite possibly one of the biggest concerns of Mighty No. 9 is the change in visual appearance since it was first shown.

Using the Unreal Engine 3, it appears as if Inafune and company have had to make a few sacrifices to get Mighty No. 9 running on a wide variety of consoles. For example, occasionally on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Mighty No. 9’s visuals suffer from screen tearing and frame-rate issues, which to be honest is quite puzzling given that the game’s visuals are not that demanding.

Mighty No. 9 features a variety of music from various Japanese veteran game composers, which perfectly complements the on screen action. Each character in Mighty No. 9 has voice acting, which gives the game’s characters depth and adds to the overall experience.


Final Thoughts

It’s been quite some time since I have played a game that offers up a challenge as Mighty No. 9 does. Although gameplay can be at times a bit frustrating, for the most part it’s enjoyable and beating a boss gives you a sense of accomplishment like no other. Mighty No. 9 is value priced and I feel it is worth every penny. If you are looking for a game that will test your gaming skills, then head to your favourite retailer or online story and pick up your copy today.

Game Details

Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U and PC

Developer: Comcept / Inti Creates

Publisher: Deep Silver

Genre: Action, platform

Modes: Single-player, multiplayer

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Final score: 70/100