A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mighty No. 9 is an action game similar in look and gameplay to Capcom's classic Mega Man series. You play as a young-looking android who runs and guns through levels, using your laser blaster to blow up robots. Large explosions may accompany battles, including fights against tougher boss characters, but there's no blood or gore. While it's easy to pick up and play, the fast-paced nature of the game could frustrate younger players.
What's it about?
While there isn't much of a story to speak of, MIGHTY NO. 9 tells of a world of advanced robotic engineering, where nine robotic siblings known as the "Mighty Numbers" rule in the Battle Colosseum -- but when a sudden act of cyberterror turns the battle robots into rampaging menaces, it's up to Beck, the ninth sibling unaffected by the virus, to save the future of humanity. The classic side-scrolling gameplay has you run, jump, fly, and shoot enemy robots through a dozen stages in the main Story mode; after you finish the first eight levels, which can be played in any order you wish, the final four are unlocked. A new ability is unlocked after every level is completed, plus there are various secrets to find. Damaged or defeated enemies release particles you can collect to give you a temporary boost in speed, power, and armor. Speed is the name of the game with the fast pace and graphical style that harkens back to the Mega Man games. In fact, that franchise's longtime producer, Keiji Inafune, is at the helm of Mighty No. 9.
Is it any good?
While the fast and frantic gameplay makes it feel like the spiritual successor to Mega Man, there isn't enough depth to the gameplay to keep you interested for a long period of time. The various objectives and Challenge levels extend the 12 story levels, not to mention a few secrets littered about, but the side-scrolling mechanic gets tiresome quickly, the fighting and level design become monotonous, and the boss enemies can be taken down with your regular weapon without needing the upgrades. The production values are also lacking: The graphics are outdated, the frame rate takes a hit when there's a lot of action on-screen at the same time, and while the 3-D cut scenes look good at first glance, the lip-syncing is terrible, as is the voice acting. While this single-player game might be fun in short bursts, pushing your reflexes to their limits, there simply isn't enough here to justify the $30 price tag for the PS Vita or the $60 cost for home consoles.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Mighty No. 9 OK because there's no blood or gore, or is it a problem because it's the main focus of the gameplay?
Should developers create games that are original and offer players a brand-new kind of interactive entertainment experience, or is it OK to borrow heavily from other franchises? Is Mighty No. 9 a shameless "me, too" game that stands in the shadow of Capcom's Mega Man series, or are there enough new features to make this game stand on its own two feet?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Deep Silver
- Release date: June 20, 2016
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.