previews\ Jul 19, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Mega Man 9 - WII - Preview

E3 2008 GameZone Previews

E3 2008 Preview

You know that old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”? Capcom took it to heart when creating Mega Man 9, the ninth direct sequel and umpteenth installment in one of the publisher and developer’s oldest franchises. Headed straight to WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, the new game matches the graphic look of the NES original. The characters are pixelated, the gameplay is two-dimensional (no pseudo-3D elements necessary), and no more than two buttons are being used. This was all inspired by Keiji Inafune, the original designer of Mega Man and producer of Capcom's most recent survival/horror classic, Dead Rising.

Mega Man 9 Wii screenshots

As far as we could tell, just two levels were available in the demo, and they were impossible to beat in the small amount of time that E3 access allowed. Platforms were plentiful and challenging with spikes and other traps resting underneath. Enemies were easy to kill but were replenished automatically, almost instantaneously after death. The controls were, as you can imagine by the screenshots, closer to an NES game than any other released in the last two decades. While this might seem like the opposite of progress in our high-tech world, it is what most diehard Mega Man fans crave. The newer titles, no matter how entertaining, have lacked the charm the series once had. Mega Man 9 could be the title that revives that charm and helps Capcom take this beloved franchise in a whole new direction.

Keiji Inafune is providing new character designs for the title, ensuring the game is consistent with the NES art direction. More than 12 levels are being crafted for the final product, which will be released this fall (assuming no release date mishaps, like Bionic Commando Rearmed...). Power-ups, new environments, and NES-style boss battles will also be a part of this masterpiece-in-the-making.

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