Posted by Pip
F261- Night Terror
Sleep isn't going to let being thrown off a mountain after being ripped from his golem's brain get him down! Well, I mean, gravity is doing the down part, but Sleep can still pick a fight on the way. These things tend to happen when you build a world on a mountain island economy.
This week on Mercynaries, Mercy uses all of the stealth you can expect from somebody in a hot pink jacket and neon green glow. Vote for Sins on TWC to get this week's page or contribute to the site to get the month's!
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Quick Critique: Mighty Number 9
I want to divorce everything about the Mighty Number 9 Kickstarter and how sleazy it was, how poorly its fans were treated afterwards, and the multiple crowdfunding follow-ups from my critique and focus just on the game. I didn't Kickstart it so I had no skin in the game on that side of the story, but Mega Man is important to me. Long time readers have probably endlessly heard me talk about how much I love Mega Man and how important I feel MM2 is to me. I have beaten every mainline Mega Man, Mega Man X, and Mega Man Zero game, the Game Boy games, the Game Gear game, I played Wily Wars on my friend's Japanese Genesis, the fighting games, the kart racer, Mega Man Legends, Tron Bonne, and I'm probably leaving some out, so I'm kind of a fan. I utterly despised playing Mighty Number 9.
There's no charm to the art style or character designs. From the world's lamest attempt to rip off Astro Boy scientist to the bosses with such exciting designs as "gun with a face" to "a bunch of spheres with a pacifier" the characters are frequently off-putting to at best uninteresting. The story is as equally uninteresting and pointless. The dialogue is awful and the voice acting doesn't do it any favors. Pretty sure one of the lines was meant to be a Gamergate joke. That's how fresh the writing is. The game is more than happy to constantly throw score prompts and comment on your performance and interrupt gameplay with inane moments, but the times you actually need it to explain something, it doesn't. The first time you encounter the "Crouch Dash" prompt, you have no idea what the hell they're talking about. Beck doesn't have a ducking sprite and you've never had to or seen Beck duck up to that point, so it doesn't appear that pressing Down does anything, but then it turns out it actually does and if you try anything else, you die in a one hit kill. There's a jump back move you can use to hit enemies under you, but the game doesn't mention it. I'm not even entirely sure what the yellow power-up does.
Even basic functionality is poorly handled. You can't access the audio options from within a stage, so after the fifth time you've heard the repeating dialogue and you want to silence it, you have to quit the stage, return to the stage select screen, and turn off voices from there. The dialogue boxes cover up platforms and hazards, so even when you've heard the speech multiple times, you have to stand around and wait for it to finish so you can see the jumps you have to make. It controls really poorly with Beck sliding around and he's even slippery in the air after dashing. The entire dash mechanic is unnecessary and bad. You have to hit enemies enough to stun them but then have to fling yourself at them to finish them off, but if you touch an enemy it still hurts you, and they can still fire at you in this state. If you don't do the dash, you have to sit there and pump them full of bullets because they take way too long to kill.
The game only has two modes: mind-numbingly easy or infuriating. Blind jumps, enemies that hurt you before they're on screen or because their hit boxes extend beyond their body, and boss fights that feel like they go on forever. Beck dies extremely quickly so some minor slip ups here and there are devastating during the bosses. The game is so not-fun to play, that you can't help yourself from slipping into bad routines and taking hits you know you shouldn't have but you're being sloppy because you just want it to end. The boss patterns are utter crap and can change during the fight or you only have a few seconds to do a tiny amount of damage to the boss before it jumps higher than you can hit and you have to sit through another cycle. I didn't complete a single stage in the game. I either got bored before I even made it to the boss and quit out or got halfway through the boss's lifebar and then got bored and quit out.
I can't come up with a single nice thing to say about this game. I normally like to talk about what's bad in a game and how to improve it, but for MN9 that would require just a fundamental break down of what's there that you're just making a brand new game at that point. The art style and designs are awful. The level design is awful. The bosses are awful. The controls are awful. The writing is awful. The voice acting is awful. Even the music is awful. The sole consolation I had while playing it was that I didn't participate in the Kickstarter and I didn't buy the game, I just rented it, so I knew I could slap it back in its envelope and have it leave my life.