Mighty Number 9 is, in the spirit of the Mega Man games also made by creator Keiji Inafune, a difficult experience. Difficult not like a teenage stepchild or managing to not fall asleep during Sony's 2007 E3 conference - no, it's difficult in that good way. The challenging way. The 'bloody hard game' way.
So you might expect Inafune to be some kind of superhuman game-lord, laughing at us all from on high as we masochistically try (and fail) to work our way through his games. Not so. I asked Inafune at Gamescom if he was the best player currently at Mighty Number 9. He is not.
"It's not an option to make a game that I can play!" Inafune chuckled, "It's best to make a game that I really have to make an effort to play. My staff, though, are really good."
Mighty Number 9 uses a risk/reward dash system, allowing players to build up combos if they're quick, effective and manage to not die. It's simple and instantly captivating, the sort of thing that makes the pad-breaking difficulty worth it.
"It's a system that really challenges players," Inafune said, "And we want even expert players who are really good at the game to be challenged. When they think they can master it, there are mechanisms that make them realise they have to think twice."
But it's not pure punishment - there is a learning curve in play, even if it might seem harsh at times: "There are systems built in that train players, in a way, to be quicker and more skilful by the end. This is what we do with dashing. We want players to take risks in the game, yes, but we do balance that."
But don't think you'll be getting an easy ride if you're a beginner - there's nothing akin to training mode here: "We don't have that," Inafune clarified, "Everybody, even beginners, has to deal with what's thrown at them!"
Mighty Number 9 was recently delayed, but will hit at some point in early 2016.