Review by Psycho Penguin
"Before the Mega Man series shriveled up and died, Capcom provided one last gem."
It's no secret that no one really likes Mega Man 6 as much as I do. One look at any review of it would be proof of that. I think the reason for this is simply that the over saturation of the Mega Man series toyed with people's emotions, because there is no way this is a bad game. Sure, it may just be more of the same stuff that the previous five games in the series provided, but if you take a minute and stop to think about it, you will realize that Capcom actually added a lot of new stuff that people just didn't bother to notice apparently.
The Mega Man series finally takes a turn for the better... that turn didn't last, but it's not Mega Man 6's fault.
The storyline is certainly one area that Capcom didn't bother with, but you do need to realize that this is a Mega Man game. Storyline in a Mega Man game is about as important as hitting 3 pointers is for Shaq. There's so much advantages to the other areas of the game, that focusing on an area that isn't needed wouldn't be necessary at all, and might have taken away from the other impressive areas of the game.
There's a robot tournament in the year 21XX A.D. (those crazy Capcom time periods!). Mr. X decides to be a little baby about everything and decides that he wants to spoil the fun, and so he takes control of the robots. This is where Mega Man is called into play, again. Since Mr. X was unable to control him, he has sent the eight robots after Mega Man. Your job is to save the world. Oh, and don't think that Dr. Wily is going to let you off scotch free....
DR. WILY'S IN IT? OMG I NEVER EXPECTED THAT!!!!!
I do have a quick question, though: why does Mr. X go through the trouble of having Mega Man only fight one robot at a time? Wouldn't it make more sense to just have a 8 on 1 fight at the beginning? That's one thing I'll NEVER understand about video games.
Mega Man 6 is the most visually impressive Mega Man game to come out on NES, which is not surprising, considering it was released after the SNES came out, and most of the original Mega Mans came out in the late 80's. Regardless, the graphics are stellar. The backgrounds are varied and unique, and actually have some sort of detail to them. I especially love the aquatic city feel of Yamato Man's stage. Sadly, the enemy designs still look the same as they always have, but you can't have everything, I guess.
Mega Man music is like watching Kobe Bryant play: you can't just like it, you have to appreciate it.
The only thing I agree with when it comes to the usual opinion of Mega Man 6 is the music. Yes, the Mega Man series did take a direct hit in the music department from Mega Man 3 to Mega Man 4, and it never really did recover. Regardless, it's still a pretty good soundtrack to listen to. From the upbeat music of Centaur Man's stage to the somewhat fast paced music of Wind Man's stage, the music will never fail to impress you. However, it's lost most of the Mega Man feeling, and therefore it won't make you get into the game as much as the music in some of the previous games of the series did.
Control is just as solid as ever, and Capcom decided to keep the same control system from the previous games in the series, which is definitely a good thing. Sliding is done by pushing down and jump, you can jump, but you can't climb walls, for those of you thinking that this is like the Mega Man X series.
Did anyone even bother to notice that the game is more innovative than any other Mega Man game?
One area where I have to disagree with everyone is gameplay. Most people claim that the game is just like the other games in the series, and is therefore boring. They're right, to a certain extent. It does have the same basic setup that the others did: find the special items, beat the boss, move to next stage. Only you can choose the stages in the order you want. After beating eight stages, you have to go through the next areas before meeting the final boss.
So, yes, this is the same old, same old, in principle. Once you get past the same boring setup, however, you'll discover that the game has changed for the better. In the original Mega Man, the only interaction you had with the stages was when moving platforms disappeared and reappeared, so you had to make timed jumps to get from wall to wall.
However, Mega Man 6 features far more interaction than any other game in the series. One stage will have you ride the skull of an enemy over spikes. The Flame Man stage has these fire shooting enemies, which shoot fire into oil. If you are in the oil as it gets lit up on fire, you die. You have to use moving platforms to get across the flame soaked oil, but you control when it moves and in what direction by jumping on it. Therefore, you have to figure out how to complete the stages, due to the fact the enemies are using the stages to their advantage. This had never before been done in a Mega Man game, even Mega Man 5, which had stage interaction like varying gravity, but the enemies never used the gravity pulls to their advantage.
I play Mega Man 6. I rule.
You'll definitely want to replay this game a few times, despite the lack of any significant secrets. The only thing you'll want to find are the four energy tanks and the four letters, and you may be able to find most of them your first time through. So, why would you want to replay the game then? Simple, because it's so fun. This is the best Mega Man game simply because Capcom improved the enemy AI and stage designs significantly. When compared to the previous games in the series, this has the highest replay value of them all.
Sadly, the lack of challenge the Mega Man series suffered starting with Mega Man 3 really started to take effect here. This is one of the easier Mega Mans out there. While earlier games in the series almost forced you to find the bosses' weakness in order to kill them, now you can simply use your gun and kill all the bosses without much trouble. Some of the stages have their moments, but they're mostly easy, as well.
The truth is revealed.
While suffering from the same basic problems other Mega Man games do (lack of challenge, no secrets, same basic setup), this was the first one to feature enemy interaction with the stage designs. Therefore, that makes it the best one, because it's so ingenious and innovative that it's amazing it wasn't thought of sooner. It takes an already great series and makes it even better. This is definitely a worthwhile game to add to your collection.
Weber State highly recommends Mega Man 6, especially for platforming nuts.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/27/02, Updated 06/27/02
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