Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mighty No.9 Last Thoughts

Mighty No.9 Last Thoughts



My first review was after I played through a few stages. So after beating the game. This is the review after the game is done. No I haven't done the Ray DLC. I'll likely do it next month. Assuming money is good. (I really wanna get a Wii U, PS4, Skylanders, Etc.)

I already talked about how this game was unfairly judged cause people threw money into a Kickstarter and expected gold to come out. It doesn't work that way. Unless you have a say so and I mean a real influence on the game (This is far more than Kickstarters typically allow). You're essentially doing a crap shoot and hoping something will be gold. That's like digging in your backyard and expecting to find Gold or Oil upon digging. What are the chances of that happening? So now I'm gonna talk about my end thoughts after beating the game. Although you probably already left cause I'm saying something different from what you want to hear. Sorry to be cynical but that's how I feel.

Graphics

I already talked about the graphics and how I don't care about the technical aspects of graphics. What I care about is how the characters and backgrounds look.  Is it memorable or not?  These designs (save the Robot Factory and Final Boss) are memorable. I mean I barely put into my mind that, "Oh this character looks like this guy from insert game here." I'm not thinking oh Beck is Megaman or Call is Roll. Cause really there's very little similarities unless you nitpick details.  Same idea for the stages. I'm generally thinking back to certain areas of Mighty Gunvolt that used Mighty No.9 stages here and there.

I brought  up how the stages are generally interesting. And really it's at the point of well what the hell else can we do to try and make the stage unique? I mean we're at the point of it's rather difficult to come up with something completely unique without someone making a comparison to another game that's done something like it.

Really I appreciate that these stages use various tropes/gimmicks that generally went out of style either cause of being too hard or it was overused at the time. I haven't seen the traversing across traffic via jumping on cars (outside of Mighty Gunvolt) in a long time.  Ascending a skyscraper via air currents, running through the "Capitol Building" avoiding gunfire. Heck the last time I saw an oil refinery with the obvious fire + oil trope was "Megaman Powered Up's" Oilman's stage.  The only stages where it could use something different or a bit more effort would be the Waterworks,

Gameplay

Here's where I slightly differ from my initial statement. Yes the game is good and has its unique spin on things. You could sit there and try to compare to games like Megaman. But then you might as well go ahead and compare it to every other game. I mean I can compare this to Azure Striker Gunvolt, ARES EX, Strider, etc to this game.

Now what I don't like is a difficulty scaling at times. There's stages where the game just shoots up the difficulty suddenly. That and the unforgivness of the game. You game over you go all the way back to start and well...you'll hate yourself and likely walk away for awhile to take a breather and calm down. I understand things like the final stages. But I think there's maybe a bit too much instant death stuff lying around in the stages. And those sections alone are pretty much, "Do it right or die." I'm glad there's a setting to change the amount of lives you start with. Cause I needed time to adjust.

I don't like how Patch will randomly decide whether or not to help you out. I would say its based on how much you suck. But it's not. Cause there's times especially the final boss. Where I went I could pull this off if I had a recovery item. But Patch decides, "Nope Git Gud TROLOLOLOLOLOL!!!" (Patch is the little robot that pops up at certain checkpoints and hands you items unless you turned him off.) This made certain fights a lot more harder and videos longer than needed to be.

Another disappointment and I have an issue with this in a lot of games. Some more than others. How useless some of your power-ups are. Generally this falls into 2 or 3 categories for me.

  1. You get this power-up either so late or it just falls into a useless category cause there's no where else to use it. In the game that essentially you get to use this power-up maybe 2 times before you finish the game. Zelda does this a lot (remember that mirror shield).
  2. The power-up you acquired gets quickly outclassed by everything else there's no point in using it unless you just force yourself to (Fighting games do this.). Megaman does this.
  3. This power-up is either a joke or given to you as either DLC or post game.


Mighty No.9 falls into the 2nd category. I found myself using Brandish, Battalion, and Aviator throughout all the stages. The rest of them even normal Beck were pretty much useless once I got these 3.  I generally either forced myself or was forced to use a different form for whatever reason. That's how powerful/useful those 3 are alone. The rest of them are so situational or just why bother territory that they might as well not even be in the game.

A lot of people online tried to dissect the game and say which form is useful for which boss. But really, just use the overpowered ones. I don't think there are weaknesses for bosses in the game.

***As a side note I didn't like how right before the last stage and the last stage itself. The conversation dialogue puts in different color letters and practically stresses it that "Only Beck can defeat the last boss." So that led me to think. Hmmm...I guess that means all the other forms are useless and the boss will take no damage from them or Beck's normal form will do tons of damage.  Nope. Wrong. Honestly why have dialogue like that?

Another thing I have to bring up again. Is how everything you need to know is in the Tips section. The Tips section is found under the Option settings. Which not too many people actually bother with when it comes to games especially Day 1. While it's nice to list what all the power ups do and all the other modes. There really should be some sort of real tutorial or at least an obvious spot to list the controls and what not. How am I supposed to know that I can go even lower to the ground during a dash by holding down and that I would have to use it. The game doesn't bother to bring this up until I reach the Power Plant where I'm in a situation where I have to use it. And you have to stand there a few seconds in the spot where you have to use it before the message appears.  The game essentially "throws you to the wolves" to a degree expecting you to just automatically figure things out on your own.

If I'm to compare this issue to other games of this genre. Here it is.

  • Megaman Series Outside of that fan game Megaman vs Street Fighter has instruction manuals on how to play. X5 even has a training stage. X6 - X8 made the first stage a tutorial stage. But these games are decades old. So this might be unfair.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt not only gives you controls that you can figure out how to utilize them on your own. But has an instruction manual. You have to download it but one exists. 
  • Strider 2013 (or was it 2012?) lets you know how to use your new found abilities as well as the ones you have right away. You can even pause the game to review them. 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 both episodes have a blatantly obvious menu category that says "how to play."
  • Even the 2D Castlevania games have instruction manuals or a How to Play section. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair has a "How to Play" section in main menu. 
Point I'm trying to make here is don't throw the controls you need to know buried under the Tips section which is under Options. It's like you don't want people to play your game.

As a side note. I still don't know how these "pro-players" are able to pull off such tricks like Dash Canceling and other such tricks. They told me how to do it but there answers are so vague I might as well mash buttons and try to figure it out.

Story (Spoilers)

The story is simple. I'm glad it doesn't take place in the city of Japan like say virtually EVERY OTHER GAME IN EXISTENCE!!! The game quickly lays down the groundwork of what's going on, why this is happening, and who's who.

Now a lot of people I find comparing this story to be copy/paste Megaman series. But seriously I don't see a Dr. Wily. I don't see a Sigma. I don't even really see a Dr.Light or Roll.

You can go out on a limb and say Megaman/Megaman X and Beck are the same.  But they're different. Megaman wasn't built to fight at the start then wanted to fight to save everyone. X already was fighting to begin with and doesn't know his full potential, as well as only wanting to do what's necessary. Not using excessive force.

Beck was already designed with combat capabilities along with the ability to improve himself. But always reluctant to fight unless ordered to. Even Call questions why Beck was designed with such extraordinary combat abilities but doesn't want to fight while she herself has next to no combat abilities, but doesn't care about destroying others.

Dr. Blackwell. Wrongfully arrested cause he stopped Graham from being stupid and turned off Trinity before a catastrophe could happen. Quietly sits in prison pissed off and obviously has played games or seen anime where robots have free will and how things turn out. 
Dr. Blackwell can't be compared to Wily unless I'm missing something here. He was arrested not cause he was terrorist. But because Graham didn't like that Blackwell turned off the incredibly powerful unstable robot before it could create a catastrophe. And he's just sitting quietly in prison. Pissed off but not doing anything.

Dr. White (William White) Or really Bill Blackwell. Created the Mighty Numbers and Trinity. Claims robots with free will and the ability to evolve will work. 
William White is the guy who's motives I question. Creates essentially 10 Mighty Numbers. All with free will and all that. Changes his name cause of his big mistake. Then when others talk down to him. He gets pissed off. Blackwell is right to worry about Beck. He already saw the disaster Trinity caused twice. But what does Dr. White do he walks off going I'll prove to you that I am right and then you'll see. Like a whiny kid.

So ummm...compare these characters to Megaman characters for me?

  • Dr.Light creates Megaman and Roll as well as other robots and they turn out alright. 
  • Dr.Wily is at a stretch jealous of Dr.Light and wants to prove that he can make better robots than him. Essentially becoming a Terrorist.
Graham who pretty much gets away with only being scolded for being stupid.
Okay enough getting sidetracked here. The one thing in the story I don't like that's essentially missing. What about Graham? If he didn't get stupid and turn on Trinity for the sake of making money. None of this would've happened. What I'm asking is what about him? Are we just gonna let him get off with his only punishment being a scolding from Dr. White? That part of the story essentially has no closure. Other than that the story is fine. They revealed the source of all the calamity in a decent way.
0It wasn't some big random "HAHA! I'm the true last boss" deal. What I mean is... The true final boss and big bad evil guy doesn't suddenly show up at the last minute to tell you that they're behind everything and now you have one more fight.

Music

I mentioned this problem before. And its still the same. The music balance and sound effects is way out of whack. I can barely hear the music over everything else. It's not as bad as Megaman X Collection that has this same problem. But it's still a problem. I had to dig up the soundtrack to actually hear the music. The music is good. I pretty much like the boss theme. I haven't listened to the whole OST yet but I can say that much. I would say I have a hearing problem but like I said I can barely hear the music over everything else. I can hear the voice acting and the sound effects perfectly fine. The BGM. No. This needs to be fixed.

Overall

This game isn't bad. But it's not gonna win any academy awards. It's your general 2D platformer shooter that has a rather unforgiving difficulty scaling. I don't like how there's no real instruction manual and all the stuff is placed over in the "Tips" section located under Options.  Even if its a download title. You should have some form of instructions explaining everything.  Not just pray that the player decides to look at the option menu and figure it out for his/her self. For 20 bucks it's well worth it at least for me. If you're one those expects pure perfection day 1 and over-exaggerate every single flaw. Then don't bother.


Will You Do the Ray DLC?

I won't do it right now. Possibly next month. I don't have the money to download the Ray DLC. So unless I get money early I can't do it till next month. Even then we'll see. Cause I want to save up for a new console and other things.

Commentary version soon....