Every month, we get countless letters from readers and see many of our website's forum members making the same argument: Wii games are far too easy now and there aren't enough games to satisfy 'hardcore' gamers. Well, here's an opportunity for those people to put their Wii Points where their mouth is, because Mega Man 9 is as hardcore as it gets.
We could review Mega Man 9 in two words: it's nails. If you've played any of the NES Mega Man games (the first two are on Virtual Console and they're awesome), you'll know how hard the series is, and this is no different. As you can probably tell, Mega Man 9 has been created to look just like the original NES Mega Man games. The game engine is the same, the graphics are the same and the sound is the same. It's a retro gamer's dream. There's even an option to turn on sprite glitches, flicker and slowdown for the ultimate NES experience.
So why is it so challenging? Simply because despite being allegedly 'mega', the man in question has a pretty limited set of moves. He can't duck, his jumping ability is limited, the slightest touch from an enemy makes him reel back in pain and he can only fire his gun left and right, not up and down. Add to this the fact that enemies conveniently appear next to bottomless pits, knocking you in if you take a hit, and the infuriating spikes that kill you instantly with just a single touch, and you have a game that would make angels swear.
Each level has been perfectly designed to be immensely frustrating, but still possible to complete if you make the most of the limited abilities Mega Man has. It's an exercise in trial-and-error and learning from your mistakes, and it'll test even the most hardened gamers. We've been playing games for over 20 years and played the original Mega Man games to death when they were first released, yet still found ourselves turning the air in the ONM offices a deep shade of blue with our colourful outbursts as we died time and time again.
Don't be under the impression that this means we don't like Mega Man 9 though. Far from it. It's an absolutely fantastic game with perfectly-designed levels, and it'll provide you with easily one of the most challenging experiences on the Wii. The game even has a series of achievement-like challenges which will have you playing long after you finally manage to complete the main game. If you thought it was hard enough playing normally, try completing the whole game without being hit by a single bullet!
If you're one of those gamers desperate for a really difficult Wii game your prayers have been answered. Mega Man 9 is what you've been waiting for. This is true retro gold and an absolutely essential download.