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Saturday, June 24, 2017

3197 - Mighty Numb... Er, Nine

In celebration of Mighty No. 9's one-year anniversary... here's a rambling of my perspective on this whole Mighty No. 9 thing. I was going to do this as a video, but time constraints (mostly dedicated to more important matters and material) made this an unreality. A review of the game itself will be coming up in December... maybe.




When people donated close to four million dollars to the Mighty No. 9 crowdfunding campaign back in 2013, the bare minimum one could expect at the very least was that the fine people at Comcept and Inti Creates would put out a video game. And that's what they did; after numerous delays, issues, and crying anime fans on prom night or something, Mighty No. 9 graced a variety of video game and computer platforms and a year later, the announcement came that those long overdue 3DS and Playstation Vitas would finally see the light of day; this comes a short time after a Japanese firm called Level 5 purchased the Comcept company.

Now regardless of whether you thought Mighty No. 9 was a good game or a bad game or whatever vernacular you wish to go with, at the end of the day, you did get a product that was released. And that's important to bare in mind, because some crowdfunding efforts never even make it THAT far. [MMPRFanFilm, I'm talkin' bout you, bro... but I digress.]

Now the point of this video is not to rehash old history or offer any real criticism on the game itself since I want to save the latter for another video somewhere down the line and as far as the former is concerned, there are more than enough videos out there that have done a far better job of outlining all the pitfalls and controversies in regards to the development cycle than I ever could. Probably because they more than likely followed it more deeply than I ever did... and really my five cents and my perspective on the whole Mighty No. 9 journey is probably the only thing I could offer.

Now, if you're expecting another story of how I had high hopes for Mighty No. 9 on how it was going to be this amazing enterprise and the perfect predecessor to the first Mario game, er, I mean, the perfect successor to the Mega Man franchise that is currently relegated to token re-releases and not much... if you're expecting a tale of high hopes and deathly disappointments in regards to this whole Mighty ordeal... then I'm afraid I can't help you there because I have no such story to tell.

The truth is I never really bought into the hype that Mighty No. 9 was bathed in. The fact that it was a project conceived by former Capcom head and Mega Man relative Keiji Inafune and that it was going to be based on the Mega Man concept in all but name meant absolutely nothing and did very little to sell me on Mighty No. 9. As much as people wanted this to be the second coming of Mega Man or the true successor to Mega Man or Mega Man in all but name, I knew this was never going to be Mega Man. It could mimic Mega Man until it was blue in the face, but it was never going to be that nor would it ever replace the beloved yet dilapidated Blue Bomber.

So I didn't contribute to this campaign. Which isn't such a big deal since I rarely contribute to crowdfunding campaigns because that's a risk you take with your money and the possibility that you may or may not get what was advertised. To date, I've only contributed to three crowdfunders; two Classic Game Room kickstarters and a kickstarter for The Space Between, the Amy Jo Johnson-directed feature film that's currently doing the event tours and things of that nature. Crowdfunding campaigns in general is a risky enterprise and some times, that risk doesn't pay off, either because of unforeseen circumstances or because those who behind campaigns had no intention of producing the product they promised. [Retro Chameleon]

So I didn't contribute to the campaign. When the run was over and the campaign was a success, I wasn't too excited over it. I didn't follow the progress of this thing all too closely, so I was blissfully unaware of the controversies regarding additional crowdfunding services, questionable decisions being made, overconfident creators with delusions of grandeur or whatever the case may be. All I really knew about Mighty No. 9 were the constant delays over the project for a variety of reasons such as faulty online multiplayer or faulty programming or whatever the case may be... well, that and that "Anime Fan on Prom Night" trailer thing... which I actually did a commentary on last year and never got around to putting out, so maybe I'll tack that on afterwards.

Beyond that, however, I paid no real attention to Mighty No. 9. By the time the game was released precisely one year ago on THIS VERY DAY, I had already forgotten about it. I suppose somewhere alone the way, I glanced at a couple reviews and a few videos expressing their disappointment at the game or on rare instances, some praise for the title... but for the most part, I was just... meh. I was too busy playing this other Mega Man-esque game called MetaGal, which cost like five bucks. Actually quite fun as I recall; I should probably give it another shot one of these days.

Meanwhile, overall reaction to the game was mixed... and that's perhaps being generous in that regard. Some people liked Mighty No. 9, others thought it was the devil's tit, but for the most part, it's safe to say that Mighty No. 9 failed to live up to all those years of hype. And it wouldn't be the first nor the last crowdfunded endeavor to pull that off. [OUYA!]

So because Mighty No. 9 was off the radar, I never got it when it was released. I ended up getting Mighty No. 9 off the Steam service when it was on sale this past Christmas. Gave it a quick playthrough to see if the game would work on my old PC and it worked fine. Had a couple instances of lag here and there, but it worked well enough and that's better than nothing. Har, har.

Now I've played it on and off at best... and I thought the game was... okay. And that's it... it was just okay. I won't dwell on the peculiar here because that's a whole other video, but I thought the game was okay. Okay at best, bland at worst... and perhaps if it wasn't for the controversies and the turbulent road from back then to just then, if it wasn't for the people behind the project being somewhat big deals, if it wasn't ultra hyper hyperbole on the part of fans and even Inafking's desires to turn this into a multimedia empire with movies, cartoons, comics, action figures, musicals, and the eventual parody porno, Mighty No. 9 would've been written off as a forgettable second-rate Mega Man clone. And maybe that would've been a more preferable fate than what has happened since.

Look, that bit about Mighty No. 9 being forgettable isn't me being negative. It's being honest. Like I said, when Mighty No. 9 came out a year ago, I was playing this other Mega Man-like game. Actually, there were a bunch of Mega Man-like games out there, including some Mega man fan games I've been dwelling in every once in a while. So that Mighty no. 9 game that everyone so hyped or upset about ultimately became an afterthought in my book, so much so that if it wasn't for that Stop Skeletons guy posting a video on the game that appeared on the Subscription page, I probably wouldn't have bought the game to begin with.

But I did buy the game... and I did play the game... and I tried to play catch-up with everything that went on behind the scenes... and the sad truth is that when the dust is settled and prom night has come and gone, the story behind the game and the path it took to get it to that point turned out to be a far more interesting piece of business than the actual game itself... and that may as well be Mighty No. 9's biggest downfall. It tried to reach too far high and it failed miserably to the point where what was once intended to be the second coming of Mega Man ended up being a bit of a punchline.

So... yeah, that's all I got. Might not amount to much, but it is - all together now - better than nothing... see what I mean?

A year after Mighty No. 9's release, parent company Comcept was purchased by Level 5 and would see something of a restructure. On the bright side, those 3DS and Vita versions that people are waiting for are eventually coming soon and the remainder of perks should be shipped some time soon... that is, unless something else comes up that might delay the whole endeavor... again.

So now that Mighty No. 9 seems to work just fine here, I guess I can start playing it and hopefully by Christmas, there should be some semblance of a video review a year and a half after the game was last relevant and from someone who had no real expectations going into this beforehand... that is, unless I find something else that catches my interest. Unfortunately, that shouldn't be too hard because... well... yeah.

Later, folks.

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