Community Review: Mighty No. 9

Okay, let's talk about Mighty No. 9. Let's talk about the game.

But let's also talk about Kickstarter and whether or not you're soured on the experience.

I haven't played Mighty No. 9 and I doubt I ever will, but I'm seeing a lot of people talk about 'entitled' gamers. It does bother me a little. Don't get me wrong — there are scenarios within which I'm fine with gamers being described as entitled: but when you back a game with your hard-earned money, wait for years and get something underwhelming in return, I don't see a problem with voicing your displeasure.

It's one of those things that's always bothered me about Kickstarter.

We're constantly being told what Kickstarter is not.

It's not an investment. Clearly, because you don't get any kind of financial return.

It's not a pre-order. Yep, because sometimes the game you back doesn't even get finished!

So what is it?

That's harder to define. More and more I'm starting to believe that Kickstarter is very much anti-consumer. It's a high risk endeavour. Sure, sometimes you come out smiling on the other end. You back the Oculus Rift and you get a brand new VR headset on the other end. That's great!

But from this moment forward I suggest caution. If you're gonna back something on Kickstarter, you might want to do your research first, and you might want to be a bit more careful about where you spend your money.


    Shitty No. 2 would be a more appropriate title for this shitty shit game. Seriously it's a boring piece of shit.

      Did you post a serious response by accident? I thought this was a troll account.

    I've not even played it!

    The flip side is not to even be angry about it. You deserve to be disappointed. You took a gamble because otherwise it may never have happened. It didn't turn out how you wanted. Hopefully you only spent $20-odd on it, which is tiny in the scheme of things. So just shrug and move on.

    If you spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on it? Well, there's probably a lesson in caution there.

    Yet to back a video game kickstarter myself, don't see it ever happening. Maybe if Playtonic to another one.
    Board/card games are hard to mess up and most have done it before or gotten on someone else that has. I've gotten 2 through kickstarter and both have been fine.
    Also backed a techy thing and still waiting on that but it looks like it will be shipping soon. Lots of QA issues but at least they are making it good and not releasing shit.
    Lastly I've backed 2 films, one I'm really happy with and the other is still on the way.

    I think that the golden age of Kickstarter had pretty much come and gone by the time I started backing projects. I didn't get in on the Double Fine adventure kickstarter and I'm sort of glad. So far I've only backed two video games (both delivered via Steam which I've installed and not played - Ninja Pizza Girl and The Long Dark) and several printed projects. I have a lot more faith in the printed projects since usually those are games or books that are fully conceptualised but they need money for printing. In these cases they tend to put the money directly back into making the finished product better or packing in more content (or simply distributing the money across the contributors in the case of comic anthologies) whereas in video games there tends to be a trend towards feature creep as the devs feel compelled to deliver the world in response to massive funding (and the backers seem to expect it) forgetting that at the end of the day they still have to deliver a finished product to hundreds of thousands of people, who presumably already make up the entirety of their customer base.

      Get on 'The Long Dark'.

      Downloaded it on the weekend as part of the Steam sale and I'm loving it. Interesting take on the survival genre.

    Agree 100% about Kickstarter being anti-consumer.

    Kickstarter is a busker's hat with the slight twist that they might give you something in return. Backer rewards were the worst thing to happen to Kickstarter because they ended up becoming mandatory since no one would back your project if you weren't promising something in return.

    I've done pretty well out of Kickstarter, only one major flop and a couple of delayed projects.

    For me, I consider kickstarter money thrown away. I never pledge big unless it's something from someone I think will deliver and has a track record or a project I'm particularly interested in. I guess just doing the homework is the big thing.

      That's why I was kind of shocked when a number of people treated Kickstarter like it was the ASX. Words like 'investments' were being thrown around quiet often.

      That's the healthy attitude towards Kickstarter, but I don't think people should be expected to feel that way. The campaigner does have obligations. The backers are entitled to what they were promised. It's not investing but it's not just donating either.

        Oh, I'm forever optimistic (and as i said, strike rate is pretty good) but it's got to be a calculated risk. I agree a creator should deliver, but if it doesn't I'm not to put out.

        Delivering on shit is hard.

        It's donating in the same way that some charities give you a stuffed toy, pin or small trinket in return for your donation. They don't have to actually give you anything but you feel more motivated to donate if they do.

          There's no real consequences to stop them bailing on it and not delivering anything, so it's smart to go in treating it like a donation, but the rules are quite clear about the campaigners responsibilities. There are all sorts of anti-fraud laws that have been in play for much longer than Kickstarter decided to take this concept online.

          Also when a charity says they'll give you something for donating they're actually obligated to do it. Again nobody will ever take that case to court but that's why they'll say 'for the first 100 people,' 'while stocks last' or simply use a raffle instead of direct gifts.

    People seem to already be looking to the Iga-vania or Yooka-Laylee games as the next great white hope of crowd-funding games. That will end well.

    You know what else Kickstarter isn't? A publisher. The success stories regarding video game Kickstarters kinda get forgotten, but I think there's something to be said about Kickstarter campaigns that can - somehow - get through the gauntlet successfully and reach their goal before a publisher comes on board and wants their pound of flesh.

      Igavania Bloodstained released the first level demo to media a day or two after Mighty Fail No. 9. Critics like Jim Sterling sounded pleased with it.

      That said I treat Kickstarter games like the worse pre-orders ever... and you shouldnt pre-order any games anyway unless your a die hard fan who would be happy with a buggy game too.

      That said M9 is a lesson for any kickstarter, promise and deliver the game in a fashionable time and dont tack on stretch goals without due diligence and planning... some of M9s delays were attributed to console ports and netcode they didnt plan or budget for properly

    I'd review it but they still haven't provided me a code...

    I get that backers are upset and with a 3 year dev cycle the game should be longer than it is.

    I've sunk around 4 hours into it and I'm enjoying it. I just wanted a game I could play that's kind of Megaman but isn't and I got it.

    For the record I was a late backer

    I've seen many comments bagging the Double Fine adventure kickstarter. But I am very glad I backed it. I found the documentary created by 2 player productions to be insightful and interesting. I got my money's worth from this before I even saw the game.
    I don't need my games ASAP, so I don't care about delays in delivery. So I was never upset that they launched half the game on Steam, in fact I thought it was quite sensible (as it was apparent in the documentary that more time would be needed)
    I enjoyed the game too, I felt it could have been harder but overall it was fun.

    I was so excited about this game but I'm still waiting for my Kickstarter key. :(

    I'm having a lot of fun with Mighty No 9. Overall I'm happy with it but there are faults. The big one is the way they've laid out the levels. There is generally one or two points in each level that are counter-intuitive. In Pyro's stage there's a bit early on where the platforms fall out from under you, and they couple it with an enemy that you have to time getting past and a ledge you have to dash over to. If you time it wrong by even a little you've pretty much got to jump down the hole and start again. I can understand that the game isn't pulling any punches for non-Japanese audiences but these little deaths feel wrong compared to the rest.
    The graphical side of the levels took me a bit to adjust too as well. The effects and the lighting sort of create the illusion that some enemies in the background are actually on your level, and some enemies on your level look like they're in the background. I'm not having problems with it now but it was a bit of a hurdle when I started.
    I also found that Pyro had way too much health. It wouldn't have been a huge problem but they lay the level select screen out in a way that feels like you're meant to take them down in numerical order with him first. The Ice kid had a similar problem in that his freezing attacks and high positioning often gave him the time to heal before I could Xel absorb. Again I understand that it isn't meant to be an easy game but I feel like some of these are genuine mistakes rather than intentional difficulty.

    As for the stuff I do like about it, the movement is up the top of the list. It takes a bit of getting used to and it's not quite fully utilised but the dashing is fun. There's no Mega Man X style wall jumping so this fills a similar roll. It's a bit like Sonic pacing in a Mega Man game. Slow and steady still works almost all the time but dashing around speeds things up.
    The power ups are good too. They're less about shooting different coloured dots and more about utility. They're similar to Shovel Knight's abilities. I wish a few of them were more practical in combat against bosses but they're still good and most of them really feel like they give you an advantage without trivialising the boss fight. For instance Air is easier with the sniper shot, but the sniper shot still takes skill to use properly.
    Another nice thing is that each level has a complimentary boss (the level, not just the boss). When you rescue a Mighty it will show up in another level and help you out in some minor way. Usually disabling an environmental hazard. It's similar to Star Fox, although the alternate paths are at best a shortcut in the level rather than major alterations. It really drives home the point that you're actually rescuing these guys instead of fighting them.
    Not only that but it helps make them characters of their own. Their dialogue and the plot in general are cheesy in that Japanese translated to English way, but it adds something the Mega Man games never really got the hang of.
    Some of the bosses could do a better job of telegraphing their moves, and having pre-scripted dialogue pop up during the fight can sometimes get in the way, but ultimately they do telegraph their moves in a way that makes them challenging rather than just random.

    One thing that is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on personal preference is the lack of nostalgia. Surprisingly this isn't a game that panders to your memories of Mega Man. Things are there that tickle that a little but it seems happy enough to stand as it's own thing in spite of it's roots.
    Personally I'm counting that as a good thing. It doesn't give you the fuzzy feelings Shovel Knight did, but I really don't think they would have been able to pull it off if they went down that path. At the very least they would have had to compromise substance for style to make it work and this game couldn't hold up to a drop in substance.

    Ultimately it's not Mega Man. It comes from a similar place but it's on a slightly different evolutionary path. I think a more polished, drama free version would be a game classic Mega Man and Mega Man X fans would enjoy. As it stands it's worth buying but those fans probably won't love it.

    Last edited 27/06/16 2:16 pm

      So, did people really only back this game thinking they would surprise everybody at the last minute and announce it as Megaman 11?

        It's more about the handling of the project post-Kickstarter success. They did a nice presentation right out the gate and got everyone really excited for a Mega Man-like game by the guy who made the best Mega Man stuff. I don't think it was their intent, but it wasn't unreasonable to accidentally think they were making Mega Man 11 reskinned with new characters. Unfortunately they followed it up with delays, responded to important questions with silence and I think they were one of the first to open it back up for funding/seek out a publisher. That where everything really turned on them.
        Add on top of that a lot of confusion caused by cultural differences and the developers not really knowing what was ok and not ok for a Kickstarter funded game to do. A lot of the clashes can be chalked up to breaking the 'spirit of Kickstarter,' which varies from person to person, but just as many can be chalked up to Comcept doing stuff they didn't expect fans to call them out on.
        I mean I may have put a lot of money into Red Ash, but even I was a bit annoyed that they were pushing forward with a new Kickstarter campaign while they were refusing to talk about the status of Mighty No 9.

    I played it over the weekend. It's fine. Not great, just fine. The vitriol it's been receiving has been misguided, seems more like people are just looking for more rage.

    There are plenty of problems with the game, the instant death traps are annoying, especially with limited lives, but the gameplay is pretty solid.
    I don't like how they tried to create a new mythos, because the cutscenes, characters and voice acting really kill the game. They should have saved money and just made everything simplified, (which also includes the extra playable characters). Especially since you have to skip the same cutscene every time you fight a boss.
    and that last level is fucking annoying.

    Everybody got what they paid for. You wanted just another Megaman game and you got it. If you expect anything more from that than I can't help you.

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