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There's a 16 minute demo available of Keiji Inafune's Mighty No. 9, showcasing the tutorial level and a second stage to give gamers an idea of what the core gameplay looks like. The video wasn't quite as well received as you might have been expecting.
You can check out the gameplay demo from The Outerhaven Productions below.
There's a lot of disgruntled grumbling in the comment section pointing out a number of different problems they have with the game.
A lot of the complaints center around the game not looking “cartoony” enough. This has been a common complaint since the very first gameplay demo was made available of Mighty No. 9. Some individuals would have preferred if the game had a cel-shaded filter to give Beck and the rest of the characters a more cartoon-friendly look.
Personally, the game's graphics stand out enough as they are. It's easy to tell Mighty No. 9 from 100% of the other games out there. Cel-shading might help in giving the game something of an old-school look but I don't think it's really necessary since the style and design of the characters and levels stand out quite a bit. In a way it does remind me a little bit of the PS4 launch title Knack. Nevertheless, a lot of gamers still would have preferred if Mighty No. 9's characters were sprites instead of 3D.
A few other complaints about the video were that Beck yelled “That's more like it!” too much and that it became annoying. It reminded me of a lot of games from back in the 16-bit era where they would repeatedly exclaim annoying phrases but it was hard to pay attention to when the person playing was always so close to dying.
Others complained the first stage was boring, and that's a fair criticism but as you can see after the halfway point in the demo above, the difficulty ramps up by a very, very significant margin. In fact, the video of the demo ends with the player dying. Ouch.
Now, one complaint I do completely get behind is that the game feels lifeless. I see this often and I can't really dispute it. It feels as if the stages lack vibrancy. There's nothing engrossing about the backgrounds or non-interactive segments. I think another problem is that coming off games like Mega Man X4 a lot of gamers are expecting cluttered screen spaces with lots of animated entities keeping things entertaining and artistically engrossing; that's sorely lacking here with Mighty No. 9.
They still have a lot of time before the game is released and hopefully they can bring some life to the game and make it feel enticing and alive. While the gameplay looks solid and I'm loving the soundtrack, I think it needs to look and play less like a tech demo and more like a project of love. Mighty No. 9 is due for release on home consoles and PC in 2016.