As time goes by development studios, such as Kojima Productions and Turn 10 Studios, look for new ways to utilize their software in order to create a further refined title; be it the cinematic approach to Metal Gear Solid’s cut-scenes or the photo-realistic-accuracy of the cars found within Forza Motorsport. Creating a cutting a edge game is ‘usually’ the top agenda for triple AAA studios; however within the next few months two major players in the video game industry will be returning to their retro roots; and they will be doing it in style.
Of course i am referring to Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker for the Nintendo Wii U, which is currently scheduled for release on the 11th September 2015, and Keiji Inafune’s spiritual successor to the Mega-Man series Mighty No.9, which is expected for release onto multiple platforms early next year. Both titles, despite being developed within recent times, are inspired by their retro roots but have a slightly different twist to them; with Super Mario Maker offering the biggest change.
Nintendo’s return to its ‘2D platforming’ roots began with the 2006 release of New Super Mario Bros; whereby the memorable side-scrolling action was upgraded with a 2.5D overall. Fast forward into 2015 and Nintendo will be releasing Super Mario Maker; a piece of Wii U software that allows Mario fans to create their own Mario levels – if not games – using a wide range of resources.
This isn’t an exaggeration either; as by using the tools available you can can create any type of level you desire. Take a look at the screenshot below for example; it’s an underwater maze filled with numerous enemies, traps and poisonous mushrooms and yet this is only the tip of the iceberg to what you could create within Super Mario Maker.
Alongside the entire back catalogue of Mario related items, as well as the ability to change between three generations of mario graphics, is the option to record your own sounds and use them within the game; these sounds can then be attached to numerous objects, such as enemies and breakable blocks, for maximum effect.
Interestingly enough the fun doesn’t stop there with Super Mario Maker; as those who are connected to the internet can not only share their created levels with others across the globe but they can also play levels created by other people. You never know it could inspire you to create an even crazier level design. Super Mario Maker will also launch with Amiibo functionality where Mario’s appearence will change depending on the Amiibo being used; for example by using the Link Amiibo mario will change into Link. It’s a simple addition, but once again it adds some new variety to a game we thought we once knew.
To some Mighty No.9 is just be another side-scrolling platformer that sees you run, jump and shoot your way through to the end of the level; however to me i see it as the spiritual successor to the Mega-Man franchise and a true continuation of the Mega-Man legacy that started all of those years ago. Why exactly do i think this? Well for one Mighty No.9 has been created by the farther of Mega-Man, Keiji Inafune, but more importantly is that it feels like a true Mega-Man game.
Mighty No.9 is set in the distant future whereby Dr White creates nine unique robots known as the “Mighty Numbers” for use in the robot Battle Coliseum, however after one event eight of the robots become infected with a virus and begin to act on their own. It’s here where players take control of the ninth robot, known as Beck, in attempt to track then down and defeat them.
In total nine different levels will be available, with three additional levels being unlocked later on, and just like in Mega-Man games each of the levels will feature uniquely detailed environments with a boss at the end.
The beauty of Mighty No.9 is that it retains the gameplay elements found within the traditional Mega-Man title, including its numerous power-ups, but upgrades it with 2.5D visuals that offer it a fresh look while still remaining true to the original idea.