E3 2015: Hands on with Mighty Number 9

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I met with publisher Deep Silver at E3 2015 and got an extensive amount of time with Mighty Number 9. Mighty Number 9 is developed by Comcept, who is headed by Keiji Inafune, the same person who brought you the iconic game series Mega Man. Mighty Number 9 is an action, side scrolling platformer that takes a lot of influence from the Mega Man series.

Right off the bat the game looks awesome; vibrant color, interesting backgrounds and cool cut scenes. Mighty Number 9’s story is based around robots going rogue, which includes the main character’s brother, who are numbered 1-8. Each stage is Mega Man inspired where you fight through enemies and puzzles while picking up power boosts and health cores from enemies.  At the end of each level you’ll face off against a boss and upon completion you’ll get that bosses power to use throughout the rest of the game.

The build of the game that I played had all the levels unlocked, including the ones that unlock after beating all eight bosses. I also had full access to all of the powers that will be available by the end game, even the powers of the bosses. Playing Mighty Number 9 requires you to shoot enemies until they’re stunned, once the enemy reveals their weak spot you’ll dash into them using R1. Based on how much health they have left when you dash at them, you’ll get a percentage of there power. This percentage is used to increase your speed, damage output, or shield. There is also a combo that you can string together with you blaster and dash attack to help build your points quicker, to therefore level up quicker.

Mighty Number 9 is an unforgiving platformer. Some levels have the screen moving continuously moving left so you have to press forward, or you’ll die. There is a lot of jumping and shooting then dashing. Once you reach a checkpoint you will respawn back at that checkpoint until all your lives have been used then its game over, at which point you’re kicked right back to the menu. I cannot tell if your current level of completion will be lost upon a game over or not.

Overall I liked what I played; there are some things that do concern me, like what does happen when you get game over. The other part that I didn’t like was how you change between your powers.  Currently you press L2 and that brings up the power tree, then you use L1 to cycle through the powers, and once you have a specific power selected you can activate this power by pressing Triangle. Again, the entire game was unlocked for me and I really didn’t know what any of the powers were or what they did. I did experiment with them, but on the non-boss part of the level I didn’t see any great use for the powers.

I also don’t understand what the combo system will be used for since  in most of the areas that I played the enemies spawned in too slow to allow me to build up a long combo.  I was using an Xbox One controller during this demo and that is something I am not used to using, so maybe the way the games controls will be better for me on a Dualshock 4, or even the Vita. I am looking forward to the final build of Mighty Number 9 later this fall.

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