E3 2008: Mega Man 9 Hands-On

We head back to the old-school with the all-new Mega Man 9.

There have been more than 150 Mega Man games released since the series' inception in 1987. That's a lot of Mega Man. With the franchise accounting for such a large part of Capcom's yearly sales, it's somewhat surprising that the company is turning back the clock for the Blue Bomber's latest adventure: Mega Man 9.

As soon as you see Mega Man 9 in motion, you'll understand the direction that Capcom is taking with the game: The graphics, the sound, and the gameplay are totally old-school. It feels more like some long-forgotten Mega Man on the NES than it does a new Mega Man in 2008. The story is told via a short, 8-bit-quality cutscene. Robots are running amok and Mega Man's creator, Dr. Light, is seemingly responsible for the mess. Or maybe not. Of course, the dude behind the mayhem is Dr. Wily, and it's up to Mega Man to blast through the game's eight levels and clear the good doctor's name.

Two levels were on display in Capcom's booth. One area that we were able to play was the cement level, which had trees in the background and small cement dams and flowing water in the forefront. Given that the controls are so simple--one button to fire, one to jump--we were off and running. Birds flew overhead and dropped rocks in our path. They were easy enough to blast, and we felt pretty confident as we went for our first jump...and died when an enemy popped up from the pit. And then we died again. And again. Yes, this Mega Man has the challenge that you'd expect, but it's not frustrating, which is key. You'll get a little further each time you play, and eventually you'll make it through. Undaunted, we continued through the level until we encountered big robot elephants that shot giant balls with their trunks. We blasted one, but fell victim to the next one thanks to his tricky bouncing-ball attack.

No, this is not a screenshot from Mega Man 3. This is how the new game actually looks.

Not wanting to spend all of our time on one level, we had a go at what we were told was the "circuitry level." This area looked like the inside of some giant computer or electronic device, and there were lots of sparks traveling along the floor to bring the point home. This is where we encountered metabots, the little guys that hide under metal hats and pop up to shoot you when you get close. The first few weren't much of a challenge, but that changed when we had to try to shoot them while at the same time navigating bottomless chasms by jumping across rapidly vanishing and reappearing blocks.

Just as in the original game, each level has a theme and a robot boss waiting at the end. The music is similar to what was found in the early games, as was the scene that plays before each level with the boss in front and the stars in the background. Capcom isn't talking about the specific robots that you'll have to face, but we were told they would please series fans, and that the order in which you tackle them will be dictated by each boss's strengths and weaknesses.

Capcom is taking a bold step by sticking to the 8-bit formula of the early games, and the simple graphics, catchy music, and classic gameplay are well done and don't feel forced. The game looks and feels like the Mega Man you loved as a kid. Mega Man 9 is confirmed as a WiiWare game and is currently scheduled for a fall release.

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71 comments
EderC
EderC

@ lowkey254 I already have re-releases of 1-x6 . . . they're called the Mega Man Anniversary Collection and the Mega Man X Collection. AND they play on my Wii!

Xellos123
Xellos123

yeah but this is also being released on the 360 and not just a wii exclusive,u haft to live it for the old school gamers

-starman-
-starman-

i think a lot of people are missing the main point here... this is a WiiWare title, not something you'll need to spend $30 on. A game like this, a completely original sequel on the VC, opens the door for so many other developers to do the same. Imagine a Mario Bros game designed to look like Mario 3, or a Metroid Game that looks like Super Metroid, exclusively for the Wii VC. Pretty appealing. I'll be buying this right away, and anxiously awaiting the next.

lowkey254
lowkey254

You can't beat the challenge of a classic game. I'd like to see megaman 1 - x5 re-released.

blowtrees
blowtrees

X4 still takes care of my fix. I'd like to have seen that series over the original, and 16bit megaman was alwalys better than the 8bit stuff. X series had great soundtracks as well. I get it, but I still wonder why. At least it's not a battle network game.

Oozaru_Kakkarot
Oozaru_Kakkarot

the wiii...what about psn or xbox arcarde????...I like the retro but at the same time i feel dissapointed by it.....

jstrife
jstrife

this is kind of disappointing. the graphics of the wii being the least impressive of the top three consoles, they should definitely bump up the animation. this is not a game you should get into unless you're a retro-gamer.

Reciprocation
Reciprocation

What? A new old-school Megaman game, but no Megaman Legends 3? :( C'mon...

BendikB
BendikB

I wish they'd make a new MM game like MMX. If you ask me, MMX is the perfect MM-formula!

Jpleblancfinal
Jpleblancfinal

cold_silence MM9 is coming to the the platforms for on-line. I might consider getting the is game.

Cold_Silence
Cold_Silence

I would actually pay serious money for this game on a NES cartridge... ...but buying a Wii for this would be a bit of a stretch :P *needs more excuses to buy a Wii* Oh, and I must say that I'm also a bit disappointed with the fact that there's no slide or charge. Indeed, if there's none of that, then why include Rush? (or the bolts, which didn't make an appearance until, I think, Megaman 6). I think especially the slide move was very cool and added some flair to Megaman's already good looking moves. Still, I think this game could make me weep of nostalgia.

Pyramid_Swim
Pyramid_Swim

After watching the video, I am truly insulted as a fan of the oldschool Megamans, here is why: They say slide and charge-up won't make an appearance because it was introduced in later Megamans... Later Megamans as in 3 and 4; two of the best NES Megamans in existence, 3 is arguably THE best. To think that it's only going by the first two Megamans simply because of one man's ego is RETARDED... Don't get me wrong, MM2 is fanatastic, but the first one, even if it is a classic, was simply trumped by all the other NES Megamans because of highly superior level design, boss paterns, and also, MUSIC. Bottom line though is that logically if this IS a sequel it should include such features as SLIDE and CHARGE-UP, which were introduced LONG before 8, the one that this is an immediate successor to. In the video I also noticed them using Rush, which didn't make an appearance until 3... Way to contradict yourself retards. This could have been an amazing idea, but the fate of it seems to be in truly idiotic hands I must also say, in the video interview the level seemed to overuse the disappearing and appearing blocks.

Golex04
Golex04

hey during the e3 interview (towards the end of the demo and it says coming soon around 6,7,8 min into the video) the guy mentions that it will also be coming out on psn and xbox live..... is this true or is it a wii ware exclusive?

nintendonerd101
nintendonerd101

I personally love what's being done here. The idea of companies possibly finally making true sequels to old games is something I find very appealing and Capcom has opened the door for others to do the same. Bravo Capcom! Bravo and I will be supporting this bold move every step of the way.

ar2_arr
ar2_arr

thats kinda cool as a wiiware title, i think thats the way wiiware titles should go (not necessarily all of them), but the truth is that when i read mega man 9 for wii, i was hoping that they´d make the same approach as metroid, from a shooting platformer to a fps, and of course, like mp3, pointing at the screen to shoot

scorch-62
scorch-62

Old school w00t, but Mega Man is a downer. Never liked it. :?

facedepet18
facedepet18

Yess Finally one company understood that hardcore "old-school" 8-bit videogame fans are still playing games. I mean look, since the revolution of the 3D, games has more accent on graphics than... the game itself. Because of that, games have become borring. They've replaced the good old fun factor with graphics. No more nice side scrolling stage ( Mega Man, Mario, CastleVania etc...) but sorry for 3D loving fan but my eyes can't seems to dig the Z angle lol ;p So Capcom and Megaman are the divines to bring the 8-bits back, alright but is this will be it... a one shot deal and back to the closet? Hope not, new generation console haves so much to offer for the "2D½" and i see no one giving it a go? Go MegaMan 9 this is going to be a slammer for 08 I'm felling nostalgic all of a sudden ;p

BBRyder
BBRyder

I love mega man but this is sorry. This is a way for developers to put little time into a game and make maximum profit. Is it too much to ask for a old school gaming with modern looks?

Bowser05
Bowser05

Mega Man 8 was actually originally on the Saturn and PS1. It was not released on SNES.

beanofengland
beanofengland

awesome stuff, glad capcom have took it back to its roots, its what everyone has been begging for since the x series took a nose drive after 3 and all the boring battle network sequels (the first was okay but come on bury it before it starts craving our brains). Dunno about some of the art being used, that screenshot above looks ugly as hell, way too garishly colourful for megaman

kathy20xx
kathy20xx

I LOVE MEGA MAN, this is mega cooolllllllllll i hope they do this for the mega man x series :) MEGA MAN ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

icym
icym

I'm so glad they kept this with original Mega Man graphics. If they tried to make it into a 'next-gen' title, I think we'd get nothing near what we love about Mega Man.

SevenSorrows
SevenSorrows

Ive already said that im getting this and i love capcoms retro take but theres one thing im interested to see if they fix: Flashing sprites, you know, like when in an 8 bit game and theres so much stuff on the screen all the sprites flicker and its slightly annoying? I mean i dont really care if that happens, but it would be nice if capcom could fix that. And yes, Crystalis does need a sequel. Awesome game.

gonzalesrl
gonzalesrl

DarkSparkX obviously your are not a hardcore megaman fan if you dont like this

Dman360
Dman360

i played all of the original mega man games throughout my life, so call me crazy when i say, Mega Man 8 was the best out of all of them. So i would of preferred them to have made the game look 32-bit like mega man 8. Especially when it's being called Mega man 9.

darth_hid3ous
darth_hid3ous

DarkSparkX said:"This is the stupidest thing the Megaman series has done, I am a hard core Megaman fan and I can proudly say that I will not be getting this pile." What you said proved that you are anything BUT a hardcore megaman fan

moose3469
moose3469

Lol talk about throw-back. Kudos to Capcom for being bold though

iron_fist86
iron_fist86

speaking of old school games that could use a retro sequel: crystalis.

lightningbugx
lightningbugx

I would not really call it Mega Man 9. I would prefer to call it Mega Man Retro instead.

tengen23
tengen23

omg this is so cooooool!

Captainintendo
Captainintendo

"This is the stupidest thing the Megaman series has done, I am a hard core Megaman fan and I can proudly say that I will not be getting this pile. They should have used the sprites from Megaman 8... 8 Bit? WTF?" Mega Man fan indeed. Well done Capcom. I'll definately be getting this.

sothca
sothca

i hope they do this for the mega man x series i have to agree with agelu i don't really care if it is 8 bit quality as long as they make it fun!!!!! *looks fun already!*

Agelu
Agelu

This could totally turn into a game that shows "SEE? GAMEPLAY > GRAPHICS" if it goes really well. ;)

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

wiiii! yay. i'm probably going to get this...it'll probably be $10 so i might wait for a few reviews before buying it though.

ratix2
ratix2

"This game looks sweet. Can't help but wonder though, couldn't they have done the same game with 16 or 32 bit graphics? It doesn't seem like it would cost that much more since the classic Megaman is not very long." if you (and all the gits like you) would actually READ, youll understand why they are doing it this way.

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

There are 9 mega mans? But this one actually sounds good...

IvanKavinski
IvanKavinski

This game looks sweet. Can't help but wonder though, couldn't they have done the same game with 16 or 32 bit graphics? It doesn't seem like it would cost that much more since the classic Megaman is not very long.

aikimagicjedi
aikimagicjedi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

Honestly, I think this is great. I hope this starts a trend of developers going back and making old-school sequels to classic franchises. I'm talking to you, SEGA. This kind of thing could save Sonic.

DarkSparkX
DarkSparkX

This is the stupidest thing the Megaman series has done, I am a hard core Megaman fan and I can proudly say that I will not be getting this pile. They should have used the sprites from Megaman 8... 8 Bit? WTF?

SevenSorrows
SevenSorrows

haha good job capcom!! now while hearing its going to be back to basics (which is amazing) its kind of weird to see NES graphics. what im saying is, the last true 2-D megaman style game (not the X series) , Megaman 8 was on super nintendo, not the NES. but oh well who cares. Im buying this.

huntervaneg
huntervaneg

Nostalgy on each tear!! (....moment of silence and reflection....). Great Capcom to see the metal man in blue on the school style. Just to laugh a moment, I would want to see one of the new gamers (casual ones who loves mini games approach) playing this game, lol GAME OVER in secs!!!

Agulf
Agulf

Like odin sphere showed, sprites are far from dead. I look forward to a 8-bit style mega man. Now if they would only release it on a limited ed. cartrige ;)

m4crz3y
m4crz3y

Shinobi, you should respect what made MegaMen a classic! Old school gaming is not died yet, I still own my origanal NES and still have my old megamen games I fired up and play, minus the blowing in the catridge to get the game to work.