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E3 impressions: Mega Man 9

When I first step foot on the E3 show floor, I wanted to do a quick walk-around. The plan was just to survey the available titles, and then drop in on something. That idea worked just fine…until I spotted Mega Man 9. The demo unit was empty, and I couldn’t help myself from taking the opportunity to jump in and check the game out.

I am was very pleased to see that the game is absolutely brutal. I don’t think that Mega Man 2 is all that challenging, but Mega Man 1 kicks my ass all the time. While Capcom may be trying to reach Mega Man 2 levels of greatness, they are definitely bringing us Mega Man 1 style difficulty. There were only two levels to check out in the demo, and in the time I had to play, I couldn’t manage to make it through either of them. Punishing is the perfect word to use. This is a big throwback to classic gaming in a great way. Until I got my hands on Mega Man 9, I had almost forgotten what old-school, NES-style abuse was like. This is the kind of stuff that will have you slamming down your Wiimote in frustration, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Other than that, this game plays exactly how you would expect. While it would be very hard for Capcom to screw up controls, finding the right responsiveness is crucial to the gameplay. Mega Man 9 doesn’t just mimic how the original Mega Man 9 games were, it feels like it was ripped direct from the days of the NES. Everything from Mega Man’s reaction time to jump height has been nailed. So many games come out that try to recapture classic feelings. It’s great to see a title that really could be stacked-up next to the titles that inspire it, and see that it can more than stand on its own.

Unfortunately, the show floor isn’t exactly the best place to check out the audio portions of games. I really, REALLY wanted to hear some of the music, but with the booms, bangs, and explosions of other games on the floor, I couldn’t hear one blip out of Mega Man 9. I guess that aspect of the title will just have to remain secret until Capcom releases a new trailer…or the full game.

All I know is, I’ve had my taste of Mega Man 9, and I definitely want more. This game is just what I wanted it to be…even if that means having my ass handed to me by a giant, ball-tossing elephant, over and over again.


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