Given its stated intent to punish the gamer, in order to make those tiny moments of victory taste all the sweeter, it's clearly foolish to criticize Mega Man 9 for its extreme difficulty. This is most definitely a game for players who savor every last pixel-perfect leap, an exercise in precision and dexterity that will leave the average player frustrated and punch drunk.
There will certainly be a large number of people who will view Mega Man's ninth outing as post-modern pandering to hopeless nostalgics. They won't be far wrong, but that's missing the point somewhat. Capcom has crafted a love letter to its own past, and its own fans, that is both effective and generous in satisfying its peculiar niche audience.