After an 11-year hiatus, the Blue Bomber is back with his ninth installment, Mega Man 9. But you won’t find fancy graphics and complex game play like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Spore. Instead, MM9 goes back to its 8-bit roots and with it comes old school game play.
In the year 20XX, robots and humans coexist, but mad scientist Dr. Wily is bent on world domination as he builds his own robot army. Another scientist, Dr. Light, outfits one of his own robots to fight Dr. Wily’s army, and Mega Man is born.
Taking place after Mega Man 8, chaos strikes again as robots start to riot. While many suspect the riots are Dr. Wily’s plan, Dr. Light is surprised to see that it is his own robots. To make matters worse, Dr. Wily televises that Dr. Light is the mastermind behind these new attacks. Mega Man is ready to clear Dr. Light’s name, along with some help from his friends.
Don’t think that this game is easy just because the game goes back a couple generations in graphics and music. Most people who have played the Mega Man games released for the NES will know exactly how grueling and unforgiving the games can be. With a three life limit before having to start a level over, expect to see the “Game Over” screen many times. At the end of each level is a boss, and some of them are downright merciless. As in true Mega Man style, there are eight new boss robots, one of them being a female (a first in the Mega Man world). Each has his or her own weakness that can only be used when you get the weapon of a boss from another level.
To make the game even harder, there are achievements and challenges for the player to unlock. Some are easy, like destroying a certain number of robots; others can get as hard as beating the game without dying once. Some challenges are almost impossible, like beating the game without taking any damage (only the truly hardcore would attempt this one).
Though Mega Man 9 is multiplatform (Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360), the releases will not be simultaneous, with the Wii version released on Sept. 22. PS3 will be released today, but Xbox 360 owners won’t see it on their consoles until Wednesday. And for a mere $10, no one will want to pass this game up. There will also be additional content to download such as a Proto Man Mode, where Proto Man can be played; that will be available Oct. 6. More will be released Oct. 20.
Though the challenges are hard, the game is simple enough for causal gamers to pick up. Hardcore gamers will not be disappointed with this retro Mega Man game, especially with all the challenges and extra content. Gamers will be reminded of what Mega Man truly is.
SHANE PARK can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.