Last year we saw the long awaited release of Mighty No. 9, the fan funded anticipated spiritual sequel to the Mega Man series. The game was developed by both Inafune’s Comcept Inc. and Inti Creates. Keiji Inafune, ex Capcom’s R&D and illustrator and co-designer for the original Mega Man series, worked directly in the development of this project that raised almost 4 million dollars on KickStarter from fans all over the world.
The funding campaign started on September 2013 but the game only saw the light of the day in 2016, had the long wait not been enough the game also fell short to expectations receiving terrible scores everywhere a bit everywhere, even gamers that funded the game thought it did not made justice to Mega Man’s past… Luckily gamers do not give up easily on their beloved franchises and characters and Mega Man fans have put together one great piece of software on Mega Man 2.5D.
Mega Man 2.5D was put together by little about a dozen Mega Man fans that have been working on this project since 2009, it is basically the same Mega Man experience you’d expect to find in the original games for the Nintendo Entertainment System with the addition of a few modes and dynamic camera that changes perspective.
The characters, enemies and background of the game are in 2D making use of a NES like palette of colours, while the platforms are made in 3D. The characters and enemies’ design are similar to the original Mega Man games.
As far as controls are concerned you can map buttons as you see fit, you can use the D-Pad to control your character, one button to jump, one button to shoot, one button for the quick menu, there are also two buttons to quickly change weapon which comes in handy so you no longer have to search for your weapon of choice on the menu.
There are 8 different levels, each one with it’s own boss. these are robot masters from previous Mega Man games, namely: Shadow Man, Pharaoh Man, Snake Man, Quick Man, Tornado Man, Time Man, Splash Woman and Star Man.
As for gameplay, there are 3 difficulty modes available Easy, Normal and Hard. You can play as Mega Man or as Proton Man. Just like in the originals you choose in which order you want to go through the levels, jumping from platform in platform and going up and down in ladders while blasting enemies until you reach the boss. when you defeat a boss you “absorb” it’s weapon and you can use it to defeat other bosses – so the order in which you choose to progress through the levels is important.
Mega Man can only shoot forward and is still not able to aim (you would think that such an advanced robot would be able to perform such basic action, but well… ) which adds for difficulty but keeps the game loyal to it’s roots.
The levels are inspired on the original Mega Man games with some new elements introduced in their design, this becomes even more evident in Cooperative Mode, because in some areas you have to work together with your partner in order to advance by shooting at switches in different parts of the map at the same time, or having to hop onto each other to reach higher platforms, or even having to push buttons to open doors in order to let the other one progress in the level. It’s not because you are playing in co-op that the game becomes easier, in fact it throws more challenge at you which makes it a lot more fun! At this time cooperative mode only works with 2 players playing in the same computer, maybe in the future we will see online co-op?
Another new mode introduced is the Versus Mode in this mode you can choose a super smash brothers like map inspired in one of the 8 different levels of the game and go 1-on-1 vs a buddy in local multiplayer, you have access to all weapons and you can just go at each other at will, there are several settings you can set for this mode. You can select between Death Match and Point Chase and you can decide what weapons are available to use, amongst other things. Versus Mode is crazy fun and you should definitely try it.
As for the music and sound effects these are extremely loyal to the original games and pay a beautiful homage to Mega Man’s early days on the NES.
I have to admit I already have more hours on Mega Man 2.5D than I’ve ever had playing Might No. 9 and I have Mighty No. 9 since launch date while I only got Mega Man 2.5 D last week. It is great fun, it takes you back to your childhood days but still gives you the feeling that you are playing something modern and new thanks to the 3D level elements and the new modes introduced.
Do yourself a favour and try this game, if you like Mega Man you won’t regret it.