Get equipped with cautious optimism: Mighty No. 9 is coming to us on June 21. For real this time. Honest.
That's what developer Keiji Inafune promises, at least. The beleaguered spiritual successor to the Mega Man series has been delayed a comical number of times over the course of its three-year development cycle. Some of us are wondering if the August 2013 Kickstarter that launched the game's hype was just a dream.
When Mighty No. 9 was delayed once again in February, Inafune promised we'd see the game in "spring 2016," for real-real.
Spring is in full swing, and sure enough, the official blog for Mighty No. 9 now lists June 21 as the launch date for all North American and Asian versions of the game (excluding the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita versions). The rest of the world can expect to see its copies on June 24.
Technically, Inafune kept his promise about a spring release, though said promise barely squeaks by: June 21 is in the neighborhood of the summer solstice.
People are understandably hesitant to get excited about Mighty No. 9's impending release. The tagline for the game may as well be "No More Delays!" But Inafune says the release date is "set in stone," and that Mighty No. 9 has "gone gold," a term that refers to video games that are finished and in the process of being manufactured and packaged.
At this point in time, Mighty No. 9 has been delayed often enough that telling ourselves "This time for sure!" feels risky. If you're into high-stakes gambling, Mighty No. 9's release date is an interesting pony to bet on. At this juncture, however, Inafune probably knows he can't weather another delay. As it is, levels of goodwill towards Mighty No. 9 are hovering around nil. Poor Beck's got an arduous struggle ahead of him if he hopes to become as beloved as Shovel Knight, Mario, Mega Man, and the rest of platforming's biggest stars.
Inafune concludes his blog post by asking players to "let us know your feedback and thoughts on the game through our SNS channels as you play the game." He needn't worry. When a game is as embroiled in controversy as Mighty No. 9, people are eager to give it a try and determine -- publically or privately -- whether or not the delays actually produced a product that was worth the wait.
Whatever happens, you may as well mark June 21 (or June 24) on your calendars.