Megaman 9 dropped Sept 22 and people everywhere have been playing the hell out of it, and with good reason. The game is spectacular. Megaman 9 haters everywhere should be choking back their words while helping themselves to a plate of crow with humble pie for desert, because apparently the Retrogamers and some willing newschoolers have made this Wiiware's top selling game and third in lifetime Wiiware sales overall.
9's story seems to follow the same formula as the others, but that definitely works for the game. 8 robots go buck wild in the city and all hell breaks loose, but apparently it's not Dr Wily who's causing the trouble this time. Dr Light has been fingered as the culprit and is arrested, and now It's up to Rock and company to get to the bottom of the situation and save their beloved doctor before the true villain (Derp, it's Wily of course) gets away.
So it's off to the fight the new eight robot masters. Galaxy man, Hornet man, Concrete man, Magma man, Plugman , Jewel man, and Splash Woman (Capcom is now an equal oppertunity employer of robot masters, and does not discriminate in gender, creed or race).
To many of you who've played the previous NES megaman games it seems like design of the stages pick up right where the original games left off. The graphics are very crisp and smooth on the Wii. The sprites have a really vibrant pallete to work with which is pretty impressive. Theres no progressive scan mode, but ultimately that doesn't really take away from the overall presentation.
The gameplay is standard old school Nintendo. Some stages like Galaxy man and Splash woman's stages are fairly easy, while the other stages like Plugman and Magaman require both lightning fast reflexes , and a sense of really good timing. Overall this game really pushes you to remember platform and boss patterns, and use every thing in your inventory to succeed.
Some of the younger gamers might find this frustrating, and very difficult. In fact there were a couple times where I felt like playing the current gen games have possibly softened me up, and maybe i need to retrogame a bit more just to keep my edge. I know if I ever met my 12 year old self, he would of asked "what happened to you?" To which the reply would of been probably awkward silence, and then me running off to train hardcore like back in the day when i thought I'd actually make it on the old Video Power gameshow.
I just got seriously off topic for a second there. Some of the newer additions to the game are the in-game achievements which are available for all three versions of 9, as well as the return of saving your game as opposed to the ever irritating password feature (yay for technology) . Gamers who are done with whomping Wily can also try their hand at the time attack mode which covers all the stages (including the wily castle stages), and provides a leaderboard for the top speed runners.
UPDATE: I held back the review until I was able to check out the Protoman DLC that came up October 6th. I do have to say that this new addition seriously puts the game's overall difficulty up a few notches. Protoman has a charge shot and a slide, making the manuevering a bit more managable, but he takes double the damage than his blue brother. You can still save the game using Proto, but there is no ending cutscene. Proto is strictly fan service and challenge.
Capcom is really upping their game. Two old school games have made strong comebacks on current gen systems, and I have a feeling that they're are going to be pleanty more where that came from. Now if only Tecmo would give us another 8 bit Ninja Gaiden game.....
The Spiracy scale
fail - meh - good - sweet - awesome
Graphics - Sweet
It is what it is. and it makes me feel like I'm back in my old bedroom at my parent's house on a early Saturday morning.
Sound - Awesome
I've been humming the stage themes off and on all week. If theres a soundtrack available for download, i'm definitely getting it.
Controls - Sweet
you jump and you shoot, and there's no delays with either. The gameplay is challenging enough for some, and frustrating for others. Just remember what Jack Burton said. "it's all in the reflexes".
replayability - Awesome
The in game acchievements are pretty nifty, and the Time attack is frantic, yet you can't help but to want to get the best times in all the stages. The Protoman DLC is only for those who want to take their MM9 experience to the next level. Expect to see more DLC like a new time attack stage, new difficulty modes, and other exciting features.
The Verdict - download it!
This is as good as old school platforming can possibly get. If you love megaman, or if you're looking for a challenge definitely check this title out.