For me, it’s a rare moment that I’m able to pull out my older consoles, dust them off, and dig into my favorite classic games that laid the groundwork for the modern masterpieces. However, when I get those consoles out, and it comes time to play NES games, two of my favorite games to play through are Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 2. When it was revealed that Mega Man 9 would look, play, and sound just like the old Mega Man NES titles, I was very excited. To think that in the age of hi-def gaming systems, TrueHD sound, and television screens that jump over the 100 inch mark that Capcom would be willing to create a new game in purely retro fashion is just amazing.
The gameplay is solid. If you’ve ever been a fan of the NES Mega Man games, you’re getting exactly what you’re getting into with Mega Man 9. The game looks and acts just like a NES game, all the way from the level design up to AI behavior. You can even pull the same old tricks on enemies that you could in old NES games, like walking off the screen and coming back to see the screen repopulated with the same enemies you just destroyed. It is worth noting that the game is hard. In fact, those not wanting a challenge are going to be best served steering clear of Mega Man 9’s unapologetic difficulty. While Mega Man games have never been a cakewalk, Mega Man 9 comes at you rough and never lets up. For long time fans of the series, this will prove to be a very good thing.
The music and sound is very satisfying and will make you feel like you’re back in the 80s again as catchy chiptunes with short loops accompany the bleeps and bloops of Mega Man’s jumps and attacks. Capcom went all the way in making Mega Man 9 look like it belongs on the NES.
The replay value of the game depends on how much you like a challenge. If you choose to go back and hunt for the achievements in the game, it’s going to be a very long time before you manage to get them all. Also, playing the stages out of the easiest order is going to require total mastery, so you can be sure that the game will provide many hours of enjoyment.
I can’t recommend Mega Man 9 highly enough. I only hope that the game is successful enough that Capcom and other developers choose to go this route with some of their older franchises. Imagine another Ninja Gaiden from Tecmo in this style, or maybe another Battletoads from Rare. The possibilities are endless, and I’m very grateful to Capcom for what they’ve done here.
Overall Score: 9.5/10