So, Mighty No. 9, the spiritual successor for the Mega Man franchise came out the other day, and so far it's been critically panned, with a 5.8 review on IGN, mediocre gameplay, graphics that wouldn't seem too out of place on an early PS2 game, and a trailer with extremely awkward and bizarre marketing, along with broken promises from the Kickstarter that have ultimately never happened. But what really makes me wonder is what went on during the production, and exactly why this game turned out the way it did? We had a game that showed a lot of promise, with a ton of stuff to go with it, but so much of it didn't happen, so what went on, what happened?
Well, let's go into a little bit of history about the development of this game, shall we?
It's safe to say that it all started in 2012, when Keiji Inafune left Capcom, to which the much anticipated Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled along with two other upcoming Mega Man titles. On August 31st, 2013, Inafune decided to make his own Mega Man spiritual successor "Mighty No. 9" at his own development studio Comcept, and launched a Kickstarter for said game. People were excited, countless people funded the Kickstarter, with the game reaching it's goal of $90 thousand within the first 24 hours,
with many interesting stretch goals such as a second playable character, an extra stage and boss, a documentary on the making of the game, and even a few given a chance to go out to dinner with Keiji Inafune, but few of them happened. By the time the funding ended, the Kickstarter recieved $4 million.
A beta of Mighty No. 9 was released in September 2014, one year after the original announcement, and the game so far looked very promising
, even for a beta, save for some of the voice acting. In October of 2015, DLC for MN9 was announced and was crowdfunded for 190 thousand, to which those who funded would receive the code for the DLC when the game came out. In January of 2015, it was announced that development of Mighty No. 9 was finished and they were onto porting and promoting the game, all was going well... and then in April it was delayed until around September of 2015 due to a new partnership with a company called "Deep Silver", the beta for the game
On July 4th 2015, Inafune launched another Kickstarter for another game, also a spiritual successor called "Red Ash: The Indelible Legend", and it was to be a spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends now that MML3 was cancelled. However, this one seemed a lot more ambitious than Mighty no. 9 did, to the point where the Kickstarter failed, only gaining $519,999 out of a required $80 thousand, but Comcept wanted to push forward with the game
and it ended up somehow being funded by another group called "Fuze", all while the Kickstarter for an anime of Red Ash ended up being funded. I can go on forever with how disastrous the Red Ash Kickstarter ended up being, and this led to another one of Mighty No. 9's many delays, and showed that Comcept was really stretching itself thin, especially with MN9 not even released yet.
The game was then delayed until February 9th, 2016, with a trailer of the game
being released in November with pre-order DLC for a "Retro Hero" skin (which looked like a Minecraft player model), and from how things were looking so far, they weren't very good, with the game looking somewhat incomplete and with early PS2-like graphics, and an announcer that was trying to act "hip" and "cool" to the audience, it wasn't a good sign. The game was then delayed again until June of 2016, and many people started to wonder what happened to the game, to which in late May, another trailer
was released, and this one was REAAAAAAAALY bad, with the announcer turning his hip and cool marketing up to 11 and ended up bringing memetic notoriety to the game with lines such as "make enemies cry like an anime fan on prom night". Needless to say, this caused a LOT of backlash
with the video being just as equally disliked as the trailer for Infinite Warfare.
The game was finally released on June 21st, and it received a lot of backlash from both people who backed the Kickstarter and those who didn't. Negative reviews were everywhere, a 5.6 rating from IGN, a 6.0 from GameInformer, and a 4.0 from Jimquisition, all of them stating that the game was nowhere near as good as a typical Mega Man game. Asides from the poor ratings, the launch itself was a disaster
, with the DLC codes not even working, no Ray DLC and very few (like, only 2) copies of the Retro Hero DLC even being received. The Wii U version of the game was broken enough to actually crash and hard-lock the system while the Xbox 360 version of the game was outright delayed even longer, while the PC version had techical problems, crashed and there have actually been reports of security programs like Avast . Kickstarter backers probably got hit the worst, not receiving their free copies which they were promised, and feeling like they were ultimately ripped off, especially with NONE of the stretch goals that were reached even happening. To top it all off, Keiji Inafune states "It's better than nothing", which essentially made the final nail in the coffin.
Overall, the game was a disaster ever since it started, and while it's hard to say that Mega Man is dead, we know it's attempted spiritual successor has failed and can basically be considered this generation's Sonic '06, if not worse. However, if there is one thing good this game did bring though, it kick-started an era of indie titles and being made, many of them being spiritual successors themselves: Freedom Planet to Sonic, Yooka-Laylee to Banjo-Kazooie, Axiom Verge to Metroid, Stardew Valley to Harvest Moon, and countless others, so it at least succeeded at SOMETHING, just not being a good game.
Is this the worst game ever? No, definitely not. Shigeru Miyamoto once said that a delayed game would be eventually good, but a rushed game was bad forever. With this game, however, I am very unsure of what happened, I don't think anyone is really. What we know for certain is that something went on during production that may have messed things up, but I would really like to know what the full story of what happened with this game and why it ended up becoming what we see now, though looking at the history of the game, we know at least some things to what may have happened.