Introducing The Mighty No. 9: Help Fund Classic 2D Action Done Right
With Mega Man M.I.A. on Capcom’s front (unless you count getting slapped around by Nintendo’s roster, that is), there’s been a two-dimensional hole in the gaming world yearning to be filled.
That’s why I’m especially pleased to turn you onto The Mighty No. 9, a sly spiritual successor to Mega Man’s 8 and 16-bit roots from the Blue Bomber’s own father, Keiji Inafune.
Living two breaths past the conceptual stage, Inafune’s own studio, Comcept, is attempting to return “classic Japanese side-scrolling action” to us by way of, well, us, through the crowdfunding magic that is Kickstarter.
Centering on a jumping, blasting robo-boy by the name of Beck, our hero is the only automaton not affected by a rampant computer virus that has everything with a chipset in it gone bonkers. Being the ninth and only virus-free member of group of elite, militarized robots means there’s eight horrible bastards Beck must destroy lest the world is taken down a notch.
Anyone skilled at handling a mega buster will find the primary gameplay pitch for Mighty No. 9 more than an eensy bit familiar what with the ability to tackle stages in any order and collect powerful upgrades after felling a boss. Beck’s skillset is more versatile than that, however, as he can commence radical transformations like sprouting magnetic limbs allowing him to scale walls or becoming an obstacle trumping tank. These and many more badass ideas are still being tinkered around.
Comcept has set a $900,000 funding goal on their Kickstarter page with the intention of releasing for PC through Steam (and other DRM-less means), but with enough funding, the team hopes to launch for Mac, Linux, and even home consoles. As per the norm, donating certain amounts opens up different tiered packages that net you a wide berth of goodies from beta access and exclusive swag to a physical printing of the game featuring either English or Japanese packaging.
Drop $10,000, though, and you’ll get to pick Keiji Inafune’s brain over dinner in Japan. And if you can shed that much green poundage, you probably won’t even flinch at eating the travel expenses yourself – which you’ll have to. It’s Kickstarter, man. They’re accepting money, not giving it away. Sheesh.
Strider (PC/PS3/PS4/X360/X1 - Q1 2014)
From the ashes of GRIN’s cancelled reboot, Capcom is staying closer to Strider’s roots, enlisting Double Helix’s services to do so (the studio, which is finishing up Killer Instinct for Microsoft, is now making a habit of giving mouth-to-mouth to dead franchises).
Though making a graphical jump to 3D, very little else of Strider’s 2D platforming, reactionary hack n’ slash ways have changed from its old school predecessors. Even the story gels closely to 1989’s original narrative. You are Hiryu, the youngest enlistee to earn an A-Class ranking in the rigorous “Strider program,” making you just enough of a light-footed hardass to off Kazakh City’s biggest tyrannical sonavubitch, Grand Master Meio.
Appearing to be a hellish cross between the Soviet Union at its prime and Blade Runner, players are allowed to freely traverse the landscape in true MetroidVania fashion, whacking those fool enough to run into the titular hero with your Cypher – Hiryu’s plasma powered sword designed to inflict spectacular amounts of pain upon his enemies as well as absorb new properties to aid your speedy murder tirade.
Some of the best franchise revivals know to stick close to the source material. Injecting 2.5D into Strider is a smart move, allowing the title to walk between fresh for newcomers and classic for old blood begging to see Hiryu outside of yet another damn fighting game. Going for digital instead of full-on retail tells a tale of wisdom on Capcom’s part, too. The price will be easier to down for the discerning consumer and Capcom gets to test the waters to see if a new Strider sinks or floats through a safer, cheaper to publish bet. Win-win territory there.
The last ingredient is simply that the game has to be good. Strider is running towards an early 2014 release on both current and next-gen consoles.