Video Game Reviews

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Megaman 9

Playstation 3 / Nintendo Wii / X-Box 360

Summary:

Megaman returns to his roots in this modern day retro mix of the original Megaman games from the NES era; taking some of the key elements from the NES series games this 2D platform action game requires you to make your way through 8 challenging and widely ranging levels full of enemies and traps before ultimately taking on and defeating each level's robot master at the end. With each robot master you defeat you are then able to use their weapon's abilities as your own, thus allowing you to navigate through the other levels more easily as well as to take advantage of the other robot master's weaknesses in an expanded Rock-Paper-Scissors concept!

Story-wise things are fairly simple, there are 8 robot masters who have suddenly gone crazy and are causing chaos and destruction across the planet; with Dr. Light (Megaman's creator) falsely being accused for making the robots go evil its up to Megaman to stop them, find out why they went crazy in the first place and clear Dr. Light's name before its too late!

Pros:

- The Graphics are clean and vibrant, just like the original graphics used in the Megaman games on the NES

- The Soundtrack and effects are very retro, just like the original themes for the Megaman games on the NES

- The controls are smooth and responsive

- The weapons you can collect from the robot masters are varied and all fairly useful throughout the game

- The online options to compare time trial times and download extra content are nice ideas albeit limited in their scope

Cons:

- The gameplay itself can be very frustrating; there are a lot of trial and error moments as well as far too many one-hit kill spikes and pits, resulting in you having to play through each level several times to learn each section of the level step-by-step in order to complete it

- The scrolling text is very broken up, slow and is especially frustrating when trying to buy items in the shop (as you use the same button to buy items with as the one you need to use to skip through the text faster)

- Having to pay extra to buy more difficult game modes is un-necessary; it would have been fairer to unlock these modes upon completion of the game to give hardcore fans the extra challenge as a reward for their efforts rather than to have people buy the modes seperately...

- Stocking up on bolts to buy the more effective items can be time consuming, especially when a lot of the items are one-use only; given the unpredictability of when you will need them you can feel fairly ripped-off at times when you accidentally end up using one before you really get to the difficult parts of the game where you intended to use them

- Being able to buy extra energy tanks rather than finding them in the levels (although you can still do so in some levels) makes beating the robot masters at the end of each level much easier, as you can just stock up on them before taking on each boss; ultimately making the challenge of beating them much easier compared to the difficulty of getting through the level itself...

- Once you reach the final multi-stage level, if you quit (to say return to the shop and stock up on some items or to visit any of the previous robot master levels) you have to start the final level all over again from stage one...

Similar Games:

- Megaman 2 [NES]

- Metroid [NES]

- Kid Icarus [NES]

Overall:

For all the hype about it being the hardest Megaman game ever, it's not actually that hard, more a question of how much willpower and patience you have...

Once you get through the first few hours of gameplay, work out the new platforming elements, understand the enemy weaknesses, etc, it won't be that long before you'll be actually able to get to the end of the levels and beat their respective robot masters; which given the power and diversity of the weapons makes navigating through the levels thereafter much easier, especially after you pick up the Jet upgrade which will allow you to negate some of the more complex and frustrating jumping sections with ease...

Personally I've played a lot of the Megaman & Megaman X Games and done reasonably well on them, although while not being amazing at those games I have so far after 2 hours of actual gameplay time (as per the save file) at least been able to beat all eight of the game's robot masters; while its been frustrating at times, its been enjoyable at others, as well as being a small reminder of how Megaman games used to be...

In conclusion though this is one for the hardcore Megaman fans only; with all the extra difficulty modes, time attack mode and the extra challenges to be broken along the way there's plenty to take on after completing the main game mode initially, however if you've not played any of the Megaman games before I would suggest that you try one of the earlier games in the series first before you take on the challenge of Megaman 9...

Final Score: 7/10

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