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Mega Man 9: Initial Impressions (Xbox 360)

October 4th, 2008 by Derrick Schommer · 3 Comments

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With a few hours of Mega Man 9 under my belt I’ve got to admit, this game is FREAKING HARD. I’ve played many games since the original Mega Man series was released on the NES and later on the SNES and nothing compares to Mega Man 9 in terms of sheer difficulty. This new franchise title looks and acts like the original with all the glitches, colors, bleeps and effects of the original games.

This game is much like chasing your kids around the yard, you forget how “old you are.” Mega Man 9 challenges reflexes, hand-eye coordination, patience and persistence. You are constantly awarded with death upon death and level restarts. Just when you think you’re getting close to a leader you’re actually just encountering a harder portion of the stage.

Between the start of a stage and the final boss you’ll encounter larger single-screen microbosses who challenge your patience and skills. As it turns out, I’ve got very little of both attributes. Upon defeating a little boss I am handed another like boss which is a little tougher. Upon defeating this slightly tougher boss (after many level restarts) I’m rewarded with yet another more difficult microboss.

Mega Man traditionally allows you to wonder all of the selectable stages out of the gate but each one gets easier as you build your characters weaponry. The trick is finding that “easy” level to get you to a boss, defeat said boss and acquire a weapon of mass awesomeness. Alas, I’ve done none of these.

You can find online video walk-throughs on the Internet which can give you tips for getting around the stages but the end result is the same: patience, persistence and accuracy. Mega Man 9 teaches you that nobody is a game master without consistent practice.

The first time through a stage is a destructive mess of failure. As you restart the stage over and over you’ll learn some of the tricks to getting you through the initial enemies without taking damage. You’ll build up your arsenal of tricks for hitting enemies before they’re on the screen and mashing the fire button to freedom… until you hit your first spike.

Spikes are the bane of the Mega Man character. Mega Man isn’t a fan of little pointy objects which result in instant death. You can hit the jump button quickly for shorter jumps and longer for bigger jumps; jumping technique is required to move you through spike infested levels.

You learn quickly to never turn your back on an enemy. Turn around, ever so slightly, and walk back on the side-scrolling screen and forward again will result in the rebirth of all enemies you’ve killed. This includes bomb wielding birds, rock tossing baddies and hells fury in the form of red and green cannons.

If you’re looking to discover all the ways you can possibly lose in a game, feel your inner child emotionally crushed under the weight of 8-bit bad asses, Mega Man 9 is the game for you. The achievements will make you laugh and the difficulty will invoke that old controller tossing nostalgia.

Mega Man 9 is a challenge. If you wish to take on this challenge and prove your 8-bit weight in the world of high resolution graphic fairy tales this may be the title for you!

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Tags: Editorial · Platformer · Retro · review · Sequels · Xbox 360

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 FIRST TAKE: Mega Man 9 (360, PS3, Wii) | Game Stooge // Oct 4, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    […] posted at Gaming Podcast. Review to follow soon!) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where […]

  • 2 TonyNo Gravatar // Oct 16, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I know this is an older post, but it caught my eye. At first I, honestly, did not find most of the game to be horribly hard like some reviews have stated. I made my way to Wily’s fortress pretty quickly in the scheme of things. I had to try a few levels a couple of times, but I was never really blown away.

    Wily’s fortress is pretty much another story. That’s when the comments seemed really warranted. Some of it is incredibly demanding and the inability to save or not have to restart at the first stage if you lose all your lives is a big blow. I keep trying and get further and further each time though…

    Which is the nice thing. It’s hard, but everything about the game is doable. With a few rare exceptions (those little grapple guys that grab you and rush you into spikes in that one zero g section? come on), the game isn’t super cheap. It just rewards patience and practice.

    Very happy with it. Even with all of that, I’d still say I have a much harder time with MM3 than this one lol.

    The game has a hell of a lot more spikes than usual, though.

  • 3 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    The demo was too hard for me. :p

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