Mega Man 9 (Xbox 360) review
""Be careful out there! You haven't done this in awhile!""
"Be careful out there! You haven't done this in awhile!"
Yet, it feels like they haven't skipped a beat. It's been a little over 10 years since Mega Man 8 came out, but once you start up Mega Man 9, it's like there was never a huge gap. Once again, as the unstoppable Blue Bomber, you'll be pitted against eight robot masters, whom, as always, you can choose in any order. Once you pick your stage, you'll be plopped into an, ignoring the graphical progression of the previous two games, 8-bit world, and start your usual journey through various platforming segments. And if you've played a Mega Man game before, you know this won't be so easy.
Hastily jump over a gap, and you'll be met by a mechanical ball that shoots out, knocking you down into the very pit it came from. Run through what seems to be a simple section taking place in space, filled with spikes, and the darnedest thing will happen: a robot will suddenly propel itself down from the top screen, grab you, and forcibly thrust you forward, towards the spikes. Think quick, and you'll realize that you still have the ability to jump, so you time yourself as you near these spikes. However, these baddies have a habit of letting go at the worst times, so, you'll still end up hitting the spikes if you're not careful. In another stage, you'll come across something oh-so familiar, and dreadful to some: disappearing blocks. Lots of them, I might add. It's typical Mega Man platforming action that many players have grown used to over the years, and really, that's all we continue to want in a classic Mega Man game. If you were honestly expecting something new or innovative here, then you're going to be extremely disappointed. Hell, they even took away the slide and charge shot to make it more challenging.
Of course, this being the eighth sequel in the series, you can't help but think "this looks familiar..." during certain moments of the game. Splash Woman's level has a part where you have to ride up to the next few screens on bubbles. If you've played Mega Man 5, you'll come across the exact same situation during Wave Man's stage. Also, Tornado Man's stage feels like a combination of Guts and Cloud Man's stages. The first half involves having to guide Mega Man through a field of moving platforms. The difference here being that Mega Man constantly spins around on the platforms, making sure you'll have to time your jumps right so you won't fall off the screen or on spikes. The second half of the stage has you pushing your Blue Bomber from one small platform to another in a storm that pushes you back and forth, reminiscent of the one in Cloud Man's stage from Mega Man 7. It doesn't put a damper on things, but you do feel a sense of "been there, done that" when you reach these specific destinations.
There are some other minor complaints, like one part in Jewel Man's level that constantly irritates, involving a moment where you're on a swing that you can... swing around by moving left and right. The tough part comes in when you're attempting to jump into the small entrance to the right. It's surrounded by spikes, some of which are inside the top part of the entrance. You really have to time this one right, because you'll die if you even touch one of them. Doesn't help that the collision detection seems a bit off here. However, these are just small nitpicks in an overall good game. You'll have fun and curse Mega Man 9 at the same time, of course, it just wouldn't be a Mega Man title if it didn't do that. While it doesn't pack the same punch as some of the better Mega Man games in the classic series, you'd be crazy to pass this title up if all you want is some platforming fun.
-2016 Edit: I recently replayed this, and I decided to remove the part where I said Wily's stages are easy. They're actually challenging. I dunno what 2008-Me was thinking... The rest of the review still sticks, though I would have been more descriptive, not to mention appalled at the DLC, if I wrote this today. If I wrote a new MM9 review, I'd give it a 6/10 or a 3/5.
-2018 Edit: the remodeled rating system translated my 7(?)/10 into a 3.5/5? Odd how that works out.
Community review by pickhut (October 04, 2008)
Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.
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