Mega Man 9 Review

Platform: PS3/PSP/360/Wii
Originally Reviewed: 2012

It’s fairly safe to say that Mega Man has never really succeeded in fully hitting the heights of the classic NES games in the 18 years since he last appeared on the NES in Mega Man 6. Capcom clearly recognised this and decided to return the robot-busting hero to his hardcore 8-bit roots with Mega Man 9. And it worked.

Mega Man 9 is as retro as they come. There’s no improvements made to graphics, sound or mechanics from the NES releases, just more of that Capcom platform gaming magic. It’s a wonderfully faithful trip down memory lane with the same weapon upgrading progression, catchy-as-hell music and, of course, controller-throwing difficulty.

Capcom are clearly still on top of their game when developing 8-bit Mega Man, but gamers new to the franchise, in this 8-bit guise at least, may well struggle to get past even one of Mega Man’s robot foes. Make no mistake – Mega Man 9 hates you. The game’s as unapologetically harsh as it ever was. Mega Man still can’t duck enemy attacks and any hits still send him flying backwards – most likely off a platform edge to his doom.

Anyone who’s played and enjoyed any of the 8-bit Mega Man games before wouldn’t want it any other way, though. Anyone complaining about how modern games are too easy needs to shut up and lose at Mega Man 9 right now. The game does have a save system, at least, to replace the password system of old.

Capcom are in no denial here. Mega Man 9 is a love letter to those fans who craved more of the good stuff; classic old-school Mega Man like it was in the early 90s – perfectly preserved and delightfully familiar. If you’ve never played classic Mega Man before, there’s never been a better time to start. The punishingly difficult but morbidly addictive gameplay is as good as ever, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

Alex Aldridge 

GRAPHICS

Well, they’re 8-bit. They look old, but they have that distinctive and brilliant retro feel that is exactly what fans of classic Mega Man want.

5/10

GAMEPLAY

There’s nothing new here, it’s retro Mega Man with all the rough edges that were there in the 90s. It’s still as addictive and challenging as ever – you will feel immense if you ever complete a level.

8/10

STORY

The same story as it always was. Dr Wily is still being a bastard and making robots to help him rule the world. And Mega Man still hates that.

2/10

REPLAYABILITY

Once you’ve completed the game, you’ll probably not be able to put yourself through the pain again. But until then, it’s totally addictive – you won’t stop until it’s done.

7/10

OVERALL

A wonderful trip down a retro 8-bit memory lane. Mega Man 9 is a love letter to the franchise’s finest hour. It’s really tough, but it’s still a brilliant slice of perfect platform gaming action. Pansies need not apply.

8/10

GREAT

 

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