I’ve Died Nine Times

by Travis Woodside on

My father started rocking out to the Mega Man 9 menu music when he came to see me. I had left the game sitting idle when I heard him knock. I didn’t really expect to see him trying out the old man dance when it opened. He tried briefly to hum before realizing it might be a good time to actually say things with words. That really has nothing to do with anything else I’m going to say, but I thought I’d share.

I love Mega Man. I never owned any of the games growing up, always had to play them at a friend’s house. When the collection of the first 8 games released for the GameCube I bought it on day one and fervently salivated over it, but I still feel like I kind of missed out never having much access to them when I was younger and Mega Man was in his prime. So today’s release of Mega Man 9 for WiiWare is kind of a big deal to me. Now I get to support the blue bomber on day one with an official game in the series.

I’ve died about nine times now and I think that’s a fair amount of play time to write up some impressions. I’ve seen three levels, killed absolutely zero master robots, and am currently wondering what the heck Jewel Man’s weakness is supposed to be. This game is freaking hard and honestly not entirely fair, but it sure feels a lot like Mega Man as a result. I was playing some Mega Man 1 today to mentally prepare myself and this actually feels harder to me. Granted, with a save system and the ability to purchase extra lives with screws you collect in levels this may end up feeling easier, but so far it’s

resenting me with a sleek simple challenge later convoluted Mega Man titles have been unable to deliver. You all know how it plays already so I’m going to spare you other than to say jumping feels smoother somehow so you’re less likely to kill yourself because you made a mistake. It seems this time you’ll always die because the level, in its twisted and masochistic ways, ripped off your thumbs, sharpened the bones into tiny daggers, and stabbed you through the heart. If my adult mind wasn’t so skilled at repressing memories I’d probably cry tonight.

The game starts off with a decent sized NES style cutscene that made me uneasy as I began thinking of the recent DS game I picked up, MegaMan ZX Advent, and how its story and design actually detracted from the gameplay. Luckily, as soon as the cutscene finished you’re thrust straight into the stage selection screen. No prologue level like MM7, nor are there any in game cutscenes when you start a level. There is only you and the eight master robots.

Have fun.