FANDOM


This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Mighty No. 9.

Transcript Edit

Mighty No. 9 is a retro-style platformer developed by the creator of Mega Man and which was Kickstarted by the fans, among whom I do not count myself because I didn't even play Mighty No. 1 through Mighty No. 8. And my goodness, this game seems to have pissed in a lot of people's hand sanitizer. The word 'mismanaged' has been floating around a lot, but then, this is the rule more than the exception with popular Kickstarted projects. Say what you like about big publishers, but at least their drones have demonstrated a degree of professionalism before they can donate their souls to the mothership, whereas the only guarantee with a Kickstarter project is that lots of people want it, or at least claim to want it.

In my experience, most people don't really know what they want. A lot of people said they wanted Britain to leave the EU but were quickly rethinking their position after the country was taken over by a character from Sesame Street and the value of the Pound dropped like a conservative prime minister's trousers at a pig farm. Between Mighty No. 9 and Broken Age, people really need to stop massively overfunding these things, 'cause you don't keep a life raft afloat by throwing huge bags of coins at it.

Personally, I've never taken an interest in behind-the-scenes drama when the end product is all that matters, so you can be assured of an unbiased review because I'm a stingy asshole who wouldn't Kickstart his dad's life support machine. And I'm not huge on Mega Man, but I do like a nice, hard game 'cause mother used to make me self-flagellate with a spiked paddle every time I had a sinful erection and now it's the only way I can get off.

In a cartoony sci-fi world, just barely legally distinct from that of Astro Boy, a caste of sentient domestic and industrial robots have all been equipped with destructive weaponry out of some slightly misguided application of the Second Amendment. All of them suddenly malfunction for mysterious reasons and turn against humanity, requiring the one remaining non-evil robot, Beck, to defeat them all and inject them with personality repellent so that they can go back to being unpaid slaves for the decadent and ungrateful human race. Beck has a lady robot friend named Call. Beck and call, you see, where in Mega Man they're called Rock and Roll. An intentional juxtaposition, perhaps, between the language of submission and a musical genre associated with youthful defiance? No, of course it fucking isn't. It's a gossamer-thin pretense of being a distinct entity from the Mega Man franchise which the game can barely summon the effort to hold up.

I quickly found myself wondering what people find so offensive about Revolution No. 9. Yes, it has the graphics of a high-end PS1-era game and all the characters have the look of Kinder Surprise toys and about half the animation, but the last few Mega Man games were made with NES graphics. So the fan base clearly care even less about technological relevance than they do about laundering their T-shirts.

I'd still say that no game these days has any excuse for having a lives system, because I place a clear distinction between a game that supplies an enjoyable meaty challenge, and one that merely fucks the player about and forcing me to restart the whole level from scratch because I died 3 times to an unreasonable pixel-perfect instant-death jump to which I was given 12 nanoseconds to react very firmly pitches itself in the "fucking me about" camp. But again, like a vast majority of Kickstarted projects, nostalgia runs through Mambo No. 5 like whiskey through a recently deposed prime minister. And this just makes the game all the more faithful to its roots and the age-old flaws that the nostalgia crowd don't see 'cause they willfully poked themselves in the eyes with their own excited stiffies.

I suppose the dialogue is pretty annoying. It just refuses to go away like an obnoxious uncle who came over for the holidays and is still there on January 3rd, fucking the family dog. It's got voice acting straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon series about the importance of friendship with household appliances. And if I can claw back all the brain cells this game wasted thinking of new ways to tell me that I have to fight the enemies, I'd have enough to think of a funnier way to end this sentence. This was particularly annoying during the boss fight of the first mission because I learned swiftly that his voice lines were giving away what attacks he was about to use. That's American military engineering for you, I suppose, but when I got him down to half health I couldn't hear his voice lines for a bit because my instructor had decided that now was the perfect time to remind me that I needed to fight the enemies. And with his subtitle and big stupid face concealing part of the arena my little robot body was promptly taught some of the more advanced yoga positions.

If I put my mind to it, I could come up with at least one major annoyance for every part of the game. In the power plant level, for example, the game only thought to tell me about the crouch dash move the moment after I was murdered by the pixel-perfect insta-kill trap where I was supposed to use it for the first and, as far as I know, only point in the game. In the underwater level, the water looks like Keith Richards has pissed in it, so the visibility is really obnoxiously poor for no apparent reason, unless a rogue level designer covered the walls in medical diagrams of diseased vaginas and no one could be bothered to take them down. And there is another level that takes place entirely in a corridor, again for no apparent reason. A very long, boring, repeated corridor. And to cement its candidacy for Overwatch-style most obnoxious play of the game, it's deliberately got no checkpoints. Perhaps it was intended as some kind of on-the-nose metaphor for Kickstarted game development: a long arduous, inescapable journey full of monsters throwing deadly coins at your head, and every now and again you get insta-killed because your community manager said something dumb on the Internet.

All in all, I felt very little motivation to continue playing when I could've been doing the laundry or waxing my asshole, but I still don't think it's that atrocious a game, just not as rewarding as ripping the hairs out of my taint, and frankly, few things are. It could be that the Mega Man fans are down on it because it's not so much a succession as a recession. Mega Man is an old and venerable empire of sequels and spin-offs with decades of gameplay tweaks and innovations, but Nine is the Loneliest Number didn't so much bring something to the table as snatched a few dinner rolls from the buffet and hide under the stairs. Cor lummy, a boss with fire attacks and then a boss with ice attacks? I'd better get off this fucking roller-coaster in case my nose gets nailed to the back of my skull. The main innovation I think is the dash move that allows you to absorb enemies with low health in return for small temporary boosts, and nothing that you might actually need such as more health or a set of magic insta-kill-repelling pajamas.

Mighty No. 9 is the classic victim of the hyper perpetual motion machine to which Kickstarted nostalgia ventures are inevitably fed. It committed its sins before it ever saw the light of day because the people who invested built it up too much and will inevitably be disappointed when it didn't heal their leprosy or travel back in time to assassinate Mecha-Stalin. On its own merit, its only crime is being a mediocre game wearing the bra of a considerably better-endowed one. You can either waste energy throwing its balled-up tissues back in its face or get over it and motorboat some cantaloupes instead.

Addenda Edit

  • How the mighty have fallen: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • And of course Boris Johnson pulls out of the fucking prime ministerial race while I'm still working on this fucking video
  • MechaStalin now available for after dinner speaking
Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.