Mega Man fans are stoked that Mega Man 11, the first new numbered entry in almost eight years, is due next year. When Capcom revealed the project yesterday, however, many of them had the same thought: Doesn’t this game ... kind of look a lot like what Mighty No. 9 was supposed to be?
Mega Man 11 will ditch the traditional 2D pixel art of the previous 10 Mega Man games, instead going for a 2.5D aesthetic. Your mileage may vary on whether or not you dig it; I think it looks decent enough.
The biggest criticism I can offer is that, at first blush, Mega Man 11 sure looks a lot like Mighty No. 9. The Kickstarter-funded project, masterminded by longtime former Mega Man producer Keiji Inafune and released last year to serious backlash, caught attention for its pitch as a modern-day Mega Man successor. Unlike Mega Man, Mighty No. 9 had a 2.5D visual style ... and according to reviews, it also lacked pretty much everything that made Mega Man special and Mighty No. 9, in turn, a failure.
We called the game not just unattractive in our review from June 2016, but “barren, bland, devoid of character.” It didn’t help that the initial art used to sell backers on the game in 2013 was so appealing. (It also didn’t help that both the game release and physical rewards faced considerable delays.)
Since Mega Man 11 has a similar visual style to Mighty No. 9, fans are acting as if Capcom is openly inviting them to make the unflattering comparison between the two. And since no one can stop themselves from taking a swipe at Mighty No. 9, you can bet that Twitter’s having a field day with the first Mega Man 11 footage.
Bold move by Capcom to announce a spiritual successor to Mighty No. 9. pic.twitter.com/RggaqyMASD— Fork Parker (@ForkParker) December 4, 2017
Now that Mega Man is officially back, can we all collectively refer to Mighty No 9 as "Bootleg Mega Man" pic.twitter.com/kIKF5flzPE— Alex "Ho Ho Ho!"-chon (@AlexRochonVA) December 4, 2017
Finally.— Mannheimer (@MattMannheimer) December 4, 2017
Mighty No. 9 sequel.
But if you actually look at the two games next to each other, you’ll understand why other Mega Man mega fans (sorry!) are so over these jokes already. What we’ve seen from Mega Man 11 looks much richer and more textured than any single part of Mighty No. 9.
Mighty No. 9 may never shake the haters, who do have some right to complain — the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita versions still haven’t shipped as promised, first of all. Its disastrous crowdfunding campaign left Mega Man fans even further down in the dumps after years without a new release in the franchise. We now have confirmation that Capcom hasn’t totally abandoned the Blue Bomber, though ... so maybe it’s time to lay off Mighty No. 9’s Beck a little bit.
After all, at least a finished product is better than nothing, right?