So yeah,how many of you remember that game from 5 months ago? If you don't know (or have already forgotten), it was an early kickstarter that got an obscenely high amount of money since it claimed to be a new megaman game, since Capcom wasn't making any and Keiji Inafune wanted to make a new one, so he made the kickstarter for Mighty No. 9. There's also other stuff about it getting delayed several times and kickstarters for voice acting, DLC, and a Megaman Legends inspired game and anime, but whatever, look that up if you want.
The game was (eventually) released after a few years of development and was greeted by its adoring fans with mass disappointment! or at the most, "eh" from reviewers without nostalgia goggles. Yeah, thats its high note. It didnt take long for word to get out the game either sucked or was average, especially with videos like Team Fourstar doing a single vid of Vegeta getting frustrated at the game, and the game fell from 60 dollars to like, 25 in the span of a month. Which is when I decided to pick the game up. I was actually on the fence between buying either mighty no. 9 or Senran Kagura Estevial versus, and most people I asked either didnt know what Mighty no. 9 was, or knew the controversy and suggested Senran Kagura.
Still waiting on Egoraptor to do a sequelitis on Mighty number 9 though. Or a game grumps session. His Grump face is in the game afterall.
So, how was the game? Pretty much what you heard. Beck (aka Mighty no. 9, AKA megaman) controls how you expect him to, and the new dashing and xel mechanic is kind of cool, Xels (with an X) being the things that make up every robot in the game. It also has an advantage in that killing enemies can refill the energy bar for the power-up you have equipped, which is an improvement over other megaman games where you either memorize the level and only use power-ups if you know you're gonna come across an energy canister, or you know the power-up isn't useful during the boss fight. Beck also has some cool powers, such as Aviator's helicopter, the slightly overpowered ricochet shot, the sword, electric spikes that let you absorb at a range, which can not only be fun to play with, but are sometimes designed well enough that it can make a stage or even a boss easier without needing it to do additional damage. Another minor positive is defeated bosses will then appear in another level to "help" you for one segment, removing an obstacle, and (as I later found out) let you know what that boss is weak to that boss's power-up
However, Zero Punctuation was right in that every stage has at least one thing in it that makes it more annoying or difficult than it should be. Countershade's level has no checkpoints and is just a straight hallway, Brandish's level is just a bunch of cars on a highway with some annoying enemy placement to knock you into the instant death road below, the pong miniboss in Cryosphere's level (along with the ice physics), which can make playing the same level over and over a bit more annoying than it should be. There's even a level with Call (the Roll character) which is pretty useless and only goes to show you how to play a character you'll never play again cause there's no other levels with her, and you can only play her in the online-only multiplayer mode, which there is of course no one online cause this game has already been forgotten about. Bosses are also very hit-and-miss, with Countershade being easy as hell, Brandish requiring a bit of maneuvering and timing, and Aviator and Cryosphere being impossible if you don't have the right power-ups. Aviator in particular also shows the problem with the aforementioned dashing mechanic, where he flies out of reach most of the time, and in order to damage bosses,you have to dash through them after taking out a portion of their health. Enemies will also regenerate health if you dont dash through them fast enough, making Aviator way more frustrating than he should be if you don't have Dynatron's powerup. There's also a couple power-ups that are really useless and you'll likely never use, like Cryo's power-up. Cryo by the way, is way, WAY more annoying than He...She...it should be. Make sure you have Battalion or Pyro's power-up before fighting them as Beck, or Dynatron's and Brandish's powers if you're playing as Ray. Cryo is like Fizz from League of legends crossed with Mei from Overwatch if they were boss characters in a megaman game.
Lastly, there's the story. No one cared about the story, cause its exactly what you'd expect a megaman plot to be (robots go crazy, go stop them), but bogged down with cutscenes between every stage explaining how the japanese government wont send help until they know the cause of the robots going haywire. I'm not kidding, that deserved a cutscene apparently. I'm also not sure why the robots go haywire as the final boss is a robot called Trinity thats absorbing as many xels as possible so I dont know why the robots are going crazy cause Trinity was activated. There's also Mr. Graham shifting the blame to Blackwell, who turns out to be the same person as Dr. White, somehow, I don't know how that works, it's never explained, and that plot goes nowhere. It's just annoying cutscenes in between levels that slow down the game alot, plus Dr. White, Sanda, and Call talking to Beck during each level is mostly just kind of annoying. I appreciate the extra effort to give the bosses more character (like with them helping Beck in other levels, and them even giving advice on that level in the select screen) but it doesn't add a whole lot, especially since their help in levels is something completely useless, taking away an obstacle that didn't really pose a threat in the first place (except maybe Dyna's help in Countershade's level). I still dont know how Brandish helps out by taking out the things on the windows. I'd say the game is worth a look at if you can stand some of the more frustrating level designs and really want another serving of megaman, and you don't know of Megaman Powered up for the PSP (which has an awesome level editor with online player made levels by the way), or fan-games like Rokko-chan
So why am I bringing this up? Cause I just finished the Raychel DLC (which comes for Free with a physical copy of the game by the way, including a
Minecraft retro beck DLC), and that, I would say, is surprisingly better than the original game we have. You get a level as Beck finding her, but after beating that, you unlock Ray as a playable character where you can replay the whole game.
Starting with the story this time, Ray is a robot similar to Beck in that she can also absorb Xels from her enemies, but unlike Beck, she has fully assimilates them in order to do so, instead of just...I dont know what Beck does, but he defeats the bosses by clearing their minds of the virus (cause science), but he absorbs every other robot without mercy so whatever. Ray, on the other hand, must absorb robots to keep her body stable as its falling apart. She also has no memory of where she's from (though its hinted she's from CherryDyn, which means nothing really other than they're the EVIL corporation, so you can kind of piece together her background regardless), but finds Sanda's robots grant her memories and warm fuzzy feelings to help her find who she is. It doesn't sound that interesting, but this is all told in one fairly short cutscene with Ray lamenting over the fact she needs to kill to survive. You also only get story before and after the first level, after beating four levels, and after the last levels which appear after beating the rest of the stages. It's far less intrusive and since it's not a typical megaman plot (and its DLC), im more interested in the angle its taking to differentiate itself from the main story. I don't have to sit through a cutscene of the characters talking about the villains who aren't even doing anything. Neither the good guys or the bad guys are really doing anything besides Beck, so its annoying. Ray has a more "Vampiric bloodlust and regret" type of angle which moves into gameplay where her health sort-of deteriorates overtime. The cutscene after beating four levels in particular made her a more interesting character since all she's doing is fighting with herself that she is killing other robots to survive. It's also worth noting that bosses do not help you in stages after beating them like in Beck's levels (cause that require the voice actors to do more lines), and they try to make it seem like she did eat the bosses. You clearly see them still on screen after beating them, but I guess they didn't have the technology to make them disappear after being defeated. At any rate, it is confirmed that she devour them when you beat them. The story doesn't end with any real conclusion, or even how this tied in with the main story (cause im guessing its non-canon or else Mighty Number 1 through 8 are just gone now), but there was something I liked about it. Maybe it was just the fact she somehow made the boring as hell final boss from the main game a bit more fun somehow, and I'm just not in the mood to be disappointed by the ending, but given that it's DLC for an average game, the ending was alright and I still want to see a follow-up. I find it more sad that her story will only get a continuation if there's a sequel, which I somehow doubt, even if Inafune talks about sequel plans.
As for the gameplay, Ray's health turns into Red health over time, which will all disappear and then some whenever you take damage from an enemy, but will return to normal if you absorb an enemy's xels by killing them. Her normal attacks are also large claw swipes instead of a ranged attack, but her Dash also does damage, and both of these are capable of absorbing enemies by themselves, instead of Beck shooting an enemy from a range before dashing through them, making it way easier to get 100% absorption rate for bonus points. Ray (to my surprise) also gets her own unique power-ups. Every power-up is different in someway than Beck's, and are sometimes even better. Unfortunately, half are kind of disappointing or boring (Cryo's, Pyro's, and Battalion's in particular are all worthless, and Dynatron's and Brandish's are pretty much the same) but the good ones are WAAAAAAAY better than any Beck's power-ups, even when Beck did have some fun ones. Aviator now turns your dash into a homing attack, Seismic's drill is cool for grabbing ledges or just being a cool way to stab someone from a distance (as well as being able to attack straight Upwards with is the only attack in the game that does that that isn't just a huge explosion or helicopter blades), and Countershade turns you "invisible", letting you walk through most hazards without issue, and even letting you go through the huge mining drills in Seismic's level. These were way more fun than any of Beck's upgrade, and I was actively looking for places to use them cause of how good they feel. Even Brandish gets a screen clearing sword frenzy which is really overpowered, but feels really cool to do, and is WAY better than Beck's spazing out that doesn't do anything. The other half of the powers are mostly worthless unless you're going for elemental weaknesses of the bosses (which I didnt even know was in this game until about halfway through Ray's playthrough. I honestly thought all abilities had the same damage and the advantage was based on their utility instead). Both these together helped make Ray feel like a different character from Beck, including the riskier gameplay since you'll almost always be taking more damage from enemies now.
The levels and bosses are the same for Ray as it was to Beck (excluding one change in the robot factory as it would be literally impossible to get through a particular section), and its extremely obvious they weren't designed for a melee character like her sometimes. It was a bit harder for me to care about beating a level without using the Xel Recovery the Robot gives you since it started to get a bit more frustrating, and even with the bosses being designed for a different character, some became pitifully easy if you used the proper power-up. Pyrogen in particular you can kill just by Sonic the Hedgehog-ing it and just spamming your Aviator Homing attack over and over. That being said, the final level was actually better designed for Ray than it was for Beck. The level is kind of designed to where you should be using each power-up to make it easier, but for Beck, it doesn't really matter which power-up you use to clear the blocks, and thats all some of them are good for, when for Ray, I used all eight power-ups (even the useless ones) at different points of the stage, or during the two forms the final boss takes. This even made the final boss more interesting (though, with the caveat that I didn't use the Battalion upgrade on the final boss, since that just lets you shoot like Megaman and playing against the final boss like that was HOPELESSLY boring), as I was actually strategizing, switching between Dynatron's spike and Cryo's ice shot (which is never useful in any other point of the game, including Beck's playthrough, but it also didn't feel like it was made specifically for this point of the game, it just happened to be the one time it was actually useful), and when I got to the second form, I used Pyro's claw to break Trinity's stems, used the Ice ball to do some damage over time, and then Dyna's spike to do continous damage to thin out her health more. The Boss itself is very formulaic, both forms only having 3 attacks each, and the first form in particular being incredibly easy to dodge for any attack, but since I had to actually use more close ranged attacks and switch between two power-ups and my default claws alot more, the fight turned out to be more fun as a result. There's also a strange point where Beck's Battalion upgrade will make the entire game lag if you use it on a group of boxes during the level, but Ray can use the screen clearing Brandish attack, damage every box at once, and the game doesn't even stutter.
It's a real shame this game got the bad rep it did, cause I really enjoyed Ray's DLC. I almost wish that her story was the main one, so she could have gotten some of Beck's good power-ups to replace the crappy ones she had, and to have her interact with some of the bosses before she kills them for sustenance. I wouldn't want the overbearing cutscenes but still, its a thought. It was way more interesting than Beck's, made more sense, and I am genuinely concerned for a character who has to kill her potential family, and innocent robots to survive (she refers to the other mighty numbers as brothers and sisters in a cutscene). If you got Mighty Number 9, I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't say it's good enough to warrant buying the whole game. If Mighty No. 9 seems like a game you can tolerate, then get the Ray DLC along with it.
Listening to: Wildfire (cover)
Watching: The screen
Playing: Senran Kagura
Eating: now im hungry
Drinking: Im also thirsty