Keiji Inafune's latest game, Mighty No. 9
definitely has a lot of hype following it. The internet video game community has seemingly appointed it as the successor of Mega Man
, which I feel is a bit premature, and Inafune has been put on a pedestal for giving us a Mega Man
game when Capcom has seemingly shunned him. While I hope that Mighty No. 9
does well enough to hopefully shake Capcom up a little and remind them that the Blue Bomber is a profitable franchise, there's voices in my head that are preventing me from jumping on the same hype train that everybody else is on.
4- Capcom could still shove their nose into this
Let's be honest here, Mighty No. 9
should really be named Copyright Infringement No. 9
. This is a Mega Man
game with a slightly different paint job on it in order to try and sneak one by on Capcom. I'm excited for a new Mega Man
game as much as the next person, but when I first heard about this and saw some stuff about it my first thought was "Holy fuck, Inafune is really pushing his luck here".
It's another robot built by a professor (who likely will have either a big bushy beard or white hair) who's considerably more human in design compared to some of his peers, instead of Rock & Roll it's now Beck & Call, even the Mets
now have traffic cones on them instead of hard hats. If Beck in Mighty No. 9
doesn't get a red-colored ally who uses a green laser sword, I will be legitimately surprised. Inafune is trying really hard here to make it obvious that this is a Mega Man
game, and that's obviously the point.
And I'm okay with him trying to stick it to Capcom. However this is also one of the reasons I'm trying to not get excited about Mighty No. 9
just yet, because who's to say that Capcom might not try to metaphorically give a "fuck you too" to Inafune and try to take this to court for copyright infringement? I'm no lawyer and I'm not what you'd call familiar with copyright law, let alone Japan's versions of them, but I can't believe that nobody over at Capcom isn't even looking into what their legal options are. I'd rather get excited about this new game when I have a little more concrete knowledge that Capcom won't be able to shut this game down.
3- Keiji Inafune
This one will probably raise a few eyebrows since Inafune is one of the, if not only, biggest reasons Capcom became so awesome for a couple of decades stretching all the way back to the NES era to the late PS2 era. That being said, Inafune could also be pinned down as one of the biggest reasons Capcom has stunk it up this generation.
Remember when Capcom was fresh of off the heels of the very un-Resident Evil
like Resident Evil 5
, announcing DmC
, and laying the seeds for Resident Evil 6
and Lost Planet 3
? Take a guess at who one of the big shot decision makers for Capcom when all of these were in their early stages. You guessed it, Keiji Inafune.
Does it really come as a surprise? Keiji “West is Best” Inafune had a ton of power at Capcom just as Capcom is announcing a bunch of games that seemed to be chasing the tail of the west, games that ultimately soured a lot of Capcom's once pretty loyal and dedicated fanbase. And I didn't even mention the aborted Mega Man X
third person shooter where X was redesigned to look unquestionably similar to Iron Man not long after Iron Man fucking exploded in popularity in America.
Point is, I'm not entirely keen on trusting a person who thought completely revamping the Devil May Cry
franchise at the peak of its popularity was a good idea. Inafune has a storied history in video games, but I'm starting to think he's been swapped with a Mirror Universe duplicate who's more concerned about chasing the all-powerful American dollar. Inafune without any kind of overhead control makes me a bit nervous, which leads to my next point.
2- The George Lucas / Vince Russo Syndrome
Most great creative minds are that, great creative minds. However, lots of those creative thinkers or entertainers tend of have some outside force to act as a filter, so that the best ideas reach the public while preventing worse ideas from fostering. I'll bring forth two examples that best exemplify this.
The first is George Lucas, the man who gave us Star Wars
and Indiana Jones
. This man has pretty directly touched uncountable numbers of people spanning multiple generations and has guaranteed us that plastic swords and fedoras will always stay at least somewhat relevant in society. What helped make him great with his original projects were others around him who kept him on the right path both as a writer and director. Lucas had people around him who would call him out on something that looked pretty clearly stupid.. This is why, for example, Han Solo is Harrison Ford instead of some crazy space lizard man.
However after Star Wars
had exploded into the worldwide phenomenon, eventually Lucas decided to make the prequel trilogy. Along with that, he removed most of the original people who conflicted with him when making the original movies in order to let him fully make “his movie”. The end result speaks for itself, when Lucas had full control over his own production he delivered a series of movies that were substantially below his original works and were generally poorly constructed movies overall. The same result happened with the fourth Indiana Jones
movie as well.
If you're a fan of professional wrestling, you most likely know who Vince Russo is and will immediately understand what I mean. Vince Russo is the man who made professional wrestling cool in the mid to late 1990s. He is what led us to things like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and “the Attitude Era”. He was one of the behind the curtain guys who kept WWF alive when WCW was beating them in weekly ratings, and eventually pushed them back to the top.
When Vince Russo left WWF for WCW, he no longer had Vince McMahon (WWF/WWE owner) above him to filter out his ideas. The end result was that he became one of the cancers that led to WCW's demise, leading to such ridiculous wrestling story lines as David Arquette and himself as WCW World Champions. Long story short, Vince Russo was the George Lucas of professional wrestling.
I'm worried that Inafune could potentially go down the same path without having Capcom or some larger company overhead pushing back at him and keeping him in check. His history near the end with Capcom speaks for itself, when he finally got a lot of say there he planted the seeds for what many will say were a line of pretty boneheaded decisions for that company. Hell, part of me wonders if one of the reasons he left Capcom was because someone finally told him to shut the fuck up.
1- I'd just like to see the game, first
I don't think this is exactly a bad thing to list for why I'm not excited yet. Obviously the idea of a new Capcom-free Mega Man
is appealing, but I'd rather see some of the game before getting sky high with hype levels for it. I'd rather see the game in action before I say that Mega Man's spirit lives on. By the way, am I the only one who thinks it's a little premature to pass the torch from Mega Man to Beck?
Plus given my two previous reservations about Mighty No. 9
listed above, just seeing the game in action will help alleviate those two earlier fears that are holding me back. After that, I'll probably be there on the hype train just like everyone else because I fucking love Mega Man
games and consider Mega Man X
the best designed video game in history.
So yes, I still have reservations about Mighty No. 9
. I really do hope I'm wrong, but there's enough evidence on the table for me to look at this game and be a tad pessimistic.