Mega Man 9 Developer Capcom Publisher N/A Genre Action Platform Nintendo Wii Release Out Now
The story is dead simple. Black and white. Robots all over the world are going crazy, blowing stuff up and generally causing mayhem, only this time our good friend Dr.Light has been caught up in this whole mess. Dr.Wily claims Dr.Light is behind the madness, touting irrefutable evidence of Dr.Light discussing his plans for World Domination with him. Mega Man sets off to find the crazed robots, hoping to find answers. A story which doesn't require much thought, however has rather sinister undertones, Mega Man 9 is perfect for little kids, shame the game will drive them to insanity.
You have 2 basic moves through the whole game. Shoot and jump. Once again, fans of the series will note that since Mega Man 3 you could do a floor slide, holding down and jump. Again, it's gone missing. So, if you're looking for a way to reach an item -- items can be used to restore health (4 different variations; small, large consumables which are used as soon as you touch them and E/M-Tanks which are picked up and used when you need them in the weapon select screen), restore weapon power items and screws which are a currency in the game, you can exchange them in the shop for items (1UPs, item robot calls, special abilities and Easter eggs) -- weapons are your best bet to get to them, like in Mega Man 2.
Controls, the game is multiplatform, so you'll find varying control schemes on different consoles. However, for some unknown and slightly strange reason, the controls on Xbox 360/Playstation 3 are inverted to what they are on Nintendo Wii. There are two distinct versions of the game, the Wii version and the 360/PS3 versions. The main difference? Well, the fact PS3/360 versions have a pause menu. However, that pause menu does nothing but help you to quit the game, check various things and well, get in the blooming way! For some unknown reason Capcom thought it'd be good to put a useless menu on the most easy to reach, usable button. Yep, they put it on the START BUTTON. To get the weapon select menu, you have to press "Back"/"Select" a far more awkward button to reach. On the Wii version, weapon select is on "+" button, achievements menu is on "-" button. On the Wii version, you can either hold the controller sideways to play (which is nice, it feels like a slightly bulky (he says, tongue in cheek) NES controller) or on the Classic Controller (recommended). Jump is on "b" and "x", shoot is on "a" and "y". On other platforms, Jump is on "B"/"Circle" and "X"/"Square", Shoot is on "A"/"Cross" and "Y"/"Triangle". Why they're inverted? I'll never quite know.
And here comes the negatives. You remember how I said some things which were missing from newer games? Well, for a bit of Wii Points/MS Points/Cash you can reclaim those features by buying downloadable content through the game. Buying the Proto Man downloadable content allows you to play as Mega Man's astrange brother... Proto Man. He brings a Charge Shot and Floor Slide to Mega Man 9. But why should I and why should you pay for something which should have been included in the game by default? This milking of fans for petty cash is one whole score point lopped off for this review. It's very bad practise, games industry. Very bad, don't let me see you do it again.
Overall then, Mega Man 9 is a fan service. Kids now-a-day probably wont be very interested in a game about a blue guy jumping around like a jack rabbit, shooting robots which barely even explode. With a whole back catalogue of games which offer so much more, in much greater detail, offer deeper gameplay and an interesting story... It just feels like Mega Man 9 is a game reaching out to a audience which has since moved on since 1987. Finding refuge in kids of yesteryear, Mega Man 9 isn't for everyone, but for those who grew up with him. But by all means, play this game. If you're after a challenging platform game or just something different; you'll love this quality, well thought through, solid video game. If you have a choice though, get the Wii version of the game. It's got a better control scheme (and a choice of control schemes). If you want those valuable gamer score/trophies though, get the 360/PS3 version. Just expect a rubbish control scheme.