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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mighty Number Whine

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - "Creating something new."

It shouldn't be a secret that I'm naturally inclined to defend Capcom at many opportunities, despite them being accused of regressivity and anti-consumer activity. One heavy critic of Capcom is Mega Man designer Keiji Inafune. Inafune is, of course, now quite known for starting Comcept and creating a Kickstarter for his new idea, Mighty No. 9. It's quite Mega Man-like.

An analysis of Capcom's philosophies and how they didn't intersect with Keiji Inafune's is outside the scope of this article, but if you're interested in reading a difficult, contradictory, and long (3 hours in real time) interview Inafune had when leaving Capcom, you can check out the English translation here.

With that note out of the way, if you look at the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter page, it goes without saying how similar it is to the Mega Man series. The whole classic Mega Man broken fanbase is trying to mobilize their money where its collective mouth is. To them, this is almost like Mega Man 11. To be more accurate, it's really like Mega Man Legends 3 all over again, except this time, those evil big corporations can't snatch away the product from the community!

All Inafune has done so far is raise a very large amount of money (over 2 million in 11 days) based on just concept art and one music track.

That character design is EXTREMELY familiar to anyone who has played a Mega Man game before.

Mega Man is helped by the fact that he has one of the most iconic sprites in the whole world. But Inafune is just living in the past here. Inafune claims he's looking to the future while paying respect for the past, but here is a Mega Man-like character with a robot dog, a sister who looks just like Roll, has the same name scheme as before for both the main cast and the enemies, the same plot as Mega Man, the same gameplay...

This is Mega Man.

Inafune, you've worked on OTHER game series before. You can say, "well of course my own work resembles my own work." KoopaTV acknowledges that there is a certain flair to the same designer's work that transcends different intellectual properties. But this just serves a target market of embittered Mega Man fans rather than doing something new or innovative, as a brand-new IP should be doing. "Oh, Capcom has to pay for its abandonment of my beloved childhood series! I'm going to support Keiji Inafune because he cares about us! Stick it to Capcom!"

I can safely say Mega Man looks a lot more iconic and simple. Everyone who bashes Pokémon's Generation 4 designs for being "too complex" compared to Generation 1 should feel the same way about Beck.

You can stick it to Capcom all you want, but the game needs an identity besides that. If that's the target market, then have fun selling to <50,000 backers who are willing to put their money where their Internet-crusading fingers go. That doesn't prove anything, besides that Capcom is right that Mega Man games just aren't profitable. I should feel bad saying that as an Ace Attorney fan, I guess, since those aren't really rolling in the dough.

I am curious if this so-called community involvement will simply make Mighty No. 9 even more derivative of the past, or if it will implement new and fresh ideas. Or if there will actually be true community involvement at all or just "community involvement in name only".

"In my heart, I am ultimately not a Mettool. My REAL hat was white! I'm being framed!"

Either way the game is on track to be out on the Wii U! I might just get it myself. We'll see. This won't be the last time I'll write about this game, of course...

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