There’s a lot of grumbling out there about pricing schemes for downloadable content, some of which is perfectly justified. No one wants to pay extra to unlock content on a disc they already own, for example, and can be frustrating to feel like game companies are squeezing you for money by splitting their product into tiny installments. So, to be honest, I was a bit irritated when I heard about the DLC for Mega Man 9, which seemed to do just that. I’d buy the Proto Man Mode, the extra stage, and Endless Mode, but there was no way I would pay for the extra difficult Hero and Super Hero Modes.
At least, that’s what I told myself until I realized the new difficulty levels were only 100 Wii Points each.
[[image:cg_megaman9.jpg:It’s getting a little crowded in here.:center:0]]
At this point, I’ve downloaded all the extra content for this game, and I regret none of it. Not only that, but the higher challenge modes have far exceeded all my expectations. As you can see in the screenshot above, the difficulty is increased by flooding the screen with enemies and changing their placement to be more imposing, not simply making Mega Man weaker or making enemies more resistant to your attacks. Instead of just making the game tedious by adjusting damage values, Capcom took the time to rethink how the levels actually play.
So far, Hero Mode has kept me on my toes, letting me experience these stages again as if I were playing them for the first time; the revisions seem designed explicitly to trick overconfident players into making stupid mistakes. The first time I fell into a bottomless pit because the timing on a disappearing block puzzle had been slightly adjusted, I couldn’t help but smile. It never feels cruelly difficult, but it’s been altered just enough to force me out of relying on old patterns.
Even harder versions of Mega Man 9 definitely aren’t for everyone, but I think 100 Wii Points is a pretty great deal for making this game feel new again.