UPDATE: Following the disastrous week of press for the plagued Mighty No. 9 project, I thought a return to this article was fitting. What a shame that we are seeing graphical downgrades, poor trailers and disastrous side projects (the Mighty No. 9 animation looks god-awful) from a game that garnered so much excitement and enthusiasm from its base. If there was any chance of redeeming the project before this week, it now lay smoldering at the feet of a frustrated community.
If you’ve been following our site for a while, you know that I’m a huge fan of Mega Man. So when I heard about the spiritual successor to the franchise, headed up by Mr. Keiji Inafune himself, I couldn’t throw money at it fast enough. In fact, it was the subject of the premiere article of our site back in September of last year. Take a trip down memory lane if you wish, you can see it here.
Indeed, many, many others felt the same way. Mighty No. 9 was supposed to be the continuation of one of the most beloved franchises in history. The immense success of the Kickstarter was a testament to this, as it raised over $3.8 million dollars against an original goal of $900,000. It was originally slated for release in April of 2015. Granted, things changed a lot when they brought in that amount of money – they were able to expand to other consoles and add in features that they likely never dreamed they would be able to do. Working behind the scenes on a video game, let alone a game with such high expectations as Mighty No. 9, there are bound to be some bumps in the road.
But really? Nearly a full year after the originally scheduled release and there has been absolute radio silence from Comcept since their most recent delay, which was particularly brutal.
On January 25th, barely 2 weeks before the slated release of Mighty No. 9 after 2 previous delays, I (along with nearly 60,000 other backers) received a project update from Keiji Inafune stating that once again the game would be delayed. Why was it being delayed? What grievous bug was causing this eagerly anticipated title from arriving now? “The reason for the delay is rooted in bugs inside the network modes, and specifically problems with matchmaking.” Matchmaking? IT’S A 2D SCROLLER WITH JUMP & SHOOT MAN (thanks Egoraptor) WHY THE HELL DO YOU NEED MATCHMAKING?! *sigh*
I do not rage alone. Fans of the game, many of whom have pitched $60-100 or more, don’t understand why integrating online play was such a focus of the project from the start. People were drawn to the game for the team behind it, the spiritual revival of a game that meant so much to so many of us when we were kids. We don’t have fond memories of entering an online lobby for Mega Man and partnering up with someone to jam through Gemini Man’s stage for the 100th time. We remember our methods of trial and error…working our way through a painstakingly difficult level to confront a boss with barely 1/4th of our health meter and no lives left…and getting completely wrecked. Maybe some words were said that shouldn’t be said by a 7-9 year old, but we would keep going. We’d find the right pattern, we’d zig-zag through dangerous obstacles with ease until we started cruising through levels on muscle-memory alone. That’s what Mega Man was, and that’s what Mighty No. 9 promised to bring back. It’s the same nostalgia that’s driven successful Metroidvania titles like Axiom Verge, Steamworld Dig and others.
Yet, here we are. Over a year from the originally promised date. 3 delays come and gone, and absolutely no further updates from Comcept or Mr. Inafune since January 25th – almost two full months with no updates. Nothing for the press. Nothing for the fans. Nothing.
And so, the formerly hyped Mighty No. 9 continues to wither on the vine. With each passing day more and more fans grow disenchanted with the failed promises and drift further and further from the game. Sure, the backers will still get a copy in the mail, and many will probably still have a great time with it. However, for the majority of gamers out there who have followed it from the start, the bitterness will remain long after the ending credits roll.
Are you also waiting for your copy of Mighty No. 9? Express your frustrations, or share your disapproval, in the comments!