Mega Man 6
Review by spacekid
"Capcom's attempt to update the series only makes it a 3-hour-tour-of-duty for platforming vets."
I shouldn't have to tell you what Megaman is. If you've been playing Nintendo at all for any period of time, there are just a few franchise names you should have gotten acquainted with: namely, Mario and Zelda. Well, Capcom managed to put out more Megaman titles on the NES then Nintendo could for Mario and Zelda combined.
Was that a good thing? Well, yes and no. Yes if you enjoyed pretty simple platforming fare where the only real trouble came from being either poorly unequipped for a boss-fight or encountering trademark Megaman conundrums such as disappearing blocks, falling platforms, etc., etc. Because for a few years in the late '80s and early '90s, if you liked a Megaman game, then you could be rest assured that Capcom would shell out the sequel in a few months.
But, Capcom usually failed in fine-tuning most of the gameplay issues in the games, and instead of sitting down and fixing these and other problems (as in non-existential plotlines) they would go ahead and put the games on the market, games that were fun and unique for a little while, but not built for long-term value.
Thankfully, Megaman had a pretty-good formula that allowed Capcom to run it into the ground completely, in the form of identically-playing sequels...the games we love the Blue Bomber for in the first place.
And Megaman 6, if nothing else, plays well.
THE STORY: 5/10
If this storyline was rated on the grounds of an epic like Final Fantasy, then it would receive a 2. But, Megaman games weren't popular for their stories, but for their hop-and-shoot gameplay.
Thankfully, Capcom at least attempted to do things differently here, and thus we're given a Megaman with the best story other than the first one in the series, and possibly for Megaman 5.
The story is:
The First Annual Robot Tournament is being held, and the top designers are sending their war machines to combat each other. But, the mysterious mastermind behind the tournament, Dr. X, turns out to be a little kooky and instead reprograms the machines to run rampant and cause mayhem and destruction across the city. And we all know who's really behind everything, don't we? Maybe not.
But, we can be sure that the Robot in Blue we all know and love will try and stop the destruction before Dr. X can assume too much control.
At least the story in this one gets you a little amped for the ensuing mayhem. But, players don't play Megaman games to advance the storyline, they rather play to see what the bosses look like and what abilities can be acquired. So,
The STORY SCORE will NOT be averaged into the OVERALL SCORE.
GAMEPLAY AND CONTROL: 9/10
Superb gameplay, as is the norm for Megaman titles. But, the problem here is that maybe the game controls a little too well, making Megaman 6 the easiest game in the entire series. And after honing your skills on the previous five offerings, no one can have a good excuse for not completing this game if they seriously attempt to do so.
Heck, even if you HAVEN'T played any other Megaman games, you'll still beat this one within a day.
The setup of this Megaman is the same as all the others: Pick any of 8 robots to do battle with, warp to their stage, play through the stage, and face the evil machine at the end, who usually has a theme which hints at his abilities and weaknesses (ex. if you face someone called Snow Man who uses snow attacks against you, then it would make sense to use a fire attack against it.) And that's the only real difficulty in a Megaman game: figuring out the pattern to beat enemies in. Each robot has a certain weakness to a power you acquire by beating 1 of the 8 robot bosses, and the only trick is figuring out the order to the mayhem.
Also, Megaman 6 allows Megaman the capability of upgrading his body armor (a precursor to the SNES Mega Man X series, and NOT A SPOILER, LOOK AT THE BOX ART AND INSTRUCTION BOOKLET) in a form which allows you to fly for a very limited amount of time, or to destroy large objects with a single punch. As if this game could not be any easier, these abilities take most of the real fun out the game, as once these abilities are acquired, the game becomes much much too simple.
The best graphics in an NES Megaman game, bar none. Characters are detailed and Megaman has been upgraded in the animation department, which can be noticed when upgrading his body armor. Megaman 6 has the most detailed enemies in a Megaman game, if not the most original. Little details in this game really make it special: when you select a robot boss to fight from the menu, they perform a fighting stance, and their name appears, as in every Megaman game. But, Megaman 6 includes stats and abilities of the machines, really making it feel like a heavyweight championship bout of sorts between the two metal behemoths.
And, in some stages, the structure of the stage can be changed; or the background, such as the sky color, will appear altered once certain goals have been met. It's not much, but it definitely gives the game an edge over it's predecessors, as these small cosmetic changes make the game feel special the first time through.
A perfect 10 by NES Megaman game standards.
MUSIC & SOUND: 7/10
Your regular collection of tinny beats and character theme music. Megaman reached it's NES musical peak in the 2nd game, and every once in a while managed equal that level of tunesmanship throughout the series, but after playing this game, it will be hard to remember any thing you've heard, as the beats aren't as catchy this time around.
The SFX consists of your standard Megaman fare: Mega Buster charging buzzes, shot pellets beeping, metallic ricochets, energy explosions... it's all here, and hasn't really changed since Megaman 4, when Megaman first acquired the ability to charge his weapon.
FUN FACTOR: 6/10
You'll enjoy this one all the way through, albeit some of the platforming grows tedious and retreading through stages you've beaten looking for alternate paths and powerups can grow rather tiresome. Also, once you master the mechanics of the gameplay, the game will become more of a chore than a joy as you blow through it. Once you realize that you can nail every jump you attempt thanks to the spot-on game control, all drama, suspense, or emotion is drained from the game. You'll no longer be playing for the experience, but rather for the honor of beating it and being done with it.
Megaman games are of the kind that you see everything the first time through. There's no incentive to play through it again, as nothing changes once you've beaten it. NO special secrets are revealed or new ending revealed upon playing through a 2nd or 3rd time, just the same tired game.
No, you play this game all the way through once, put it in a box and forget about it, then stumble upon it some years down the road and pop it in for a nostalgic experience, only to beat it again in under two hours and remember why it was stored away in the first place.
OVERALL CONCLUSION: 7/10
DETERMINED BY AN AVERAGE OF THE COMBINED SCORES FOR GAMEPLAY & CONTROL, GRAPHICS, MUSIC & SOUND, FUN FACTOR, AND REPLAYABILITY WHICH WAS 66/100.
Not a terrible game, but not a great one, either. This is the type of game which was bought for the sake of completing the series, and not for any value it had itself, other than reliving the same experience which had been played through five times in the past.
Rent or Buy:
Rent it, beat it, and I guarantee you'll be glad you didn't shell out money to own this rehash of a tired franchise. No matter how many times Capcom would release the same game with only slight changes and different box art as a sequel in the series, the games were still fun, because the original formula was so original. But that doesn't warrant a purchase of this game, as it's only value is for nostalgic purposes; as a brief trip down memory lane.
After playing this, you'll pine for the sense of wonderment you had playing earlier, better Megaman games, such as Megaman 2. But that was back when the words ''MEGA MAN'' still meant something.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/10/03, Updated 07/10/03
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