Mighty No. 9 was not a good game, despite its pedigree and the relatively large amount it brought in from Kickstarter. But what went wrong with its design? Shouldn’t a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series be — if not easy — at least a known quantity?
The video above from Game Soup is just under an hour long, and it goes into detail about why the game was such a failure from a design point of view. It tackles everything from blind drops to how you shouldn’t have to go through tips menus to learn how and why to use basic techniques in a game. The best games — and Mega Man X falls into this category — teach you to play them without pulling you out of the experience, and Mighty No. 9 completely fails to do so.
This wouldn’t be such a big deal if the Mega Man series wasn’t such a master class at teaching the player what to do and what not to do in real time. There’s even a classic video explaining why the design of Mega Man X is so good. If you haven’t watched it, you’re in for a treat.
I don’t think people are beating up on Mighty No. 9 for no reason, and you’re going to learn a good amount about what makes a fun game by watching both videos. And it does spotlight how high the stakes are when you try to revive one of the best-loved series in gaming. You not only have to match what the original games did in terms of quality, you also have to build upon those lessons by learning from the games that have been released since.
Mighty No. 9 failed on both counts.