Review by The Manx

"Goodbye, Mega Man. Can't say this was one to remember you by"

So here we are at last, the last Mega Man adventure on the NES. And it manages to do everything wrong that its prequels did and then some.

First off, it tries to pretend that you're not fighting Dr. Wily again, but somebody named Mr. X. Okay, look, what happened in the last three Mega Man games? They pretended that Wily wasn't responsible for the robots Mega Man had to fight, and then it turned out later that he was. After three straight games of saying, ''The villain isn't Dr. Wily this time...yes it is!'' it was just stupid. A fourth time was insulting. I remember Nintendo Power's article about this game actually saying ''We're not giving anything away by saying this--there's no Mr. X, it's Dr. Wily again.''

But there is something of a story, so I'll talk about that. Somebody named ''Mr. X'' (*wink wink*) is running a tournament for robots people build to see who in the world can create the strongest 'bot. So it's like Robot Wars on steroids. Anyway, when the final eight are decided, he kidnaps them all, reprograms them, and sets out to conquer the world with them. Strangely, Mega Man, for killing powerful robots is a way of life, was not entered. Anyway, it's his job to destroy the robots and then get Mr. X.

So it's the same game structure as ever, trying to pass itself off as something a little more. But as always you kill eight robots, steal their weapons, and then storm the castle of the evil mastermind.

But let's look at the robots. Once again we have an ice guy and a fire guy. We also have an Air Man clone this time around (even though I understand the Wind Man robot master was based on a winner of a submission contest held by Nintendo Power). Hey, there's even a Plant Man whose special weapon is a protective ring around himself, just like Wood Man! Yep, pure inspiration here, folks.

And that's not all. This game was made something like five, six years after the first Mega Man game? Then how come Mega Man looks and moves exactly the same as he did in his debut title half a dozen years earlier? Like I said when reviewing Mega Man 5, I have this feeling Capcom only felt comfortable with a few cosmetic changes per game like extra vehicles, and didn't want to really change the series for fear of alienating the longtime fans. And I loved the original Mega Man as much as the next nostalgic gamer. But seriously, Capcom, video games are a progressive industry. So learn to progress if you want to be part of the industry. That Mega Man can slide and charge his gun doesn't change the fact that you've been using the exact same sprite for him for all six games.

The graphics aren't bad, but like most of the game they're nothing new either. The sound I actually enjoyed in a couple parts, and when I was gathering energy tanks and such for my trip into Mr. X's...okay, let's cut the crud, Dr. Wily's castle, I went back to several stages a couple times in order to hear a certain background song while doing it. So kudos on keeping that fresh at least, Capcom.

Rush was a step in the right direction for keeping the games fresh, but for some reason he's no longer Mega Man's dog in this game. Now he's Mega Man's adaptable suit that makes him either strong or able to fly for short distances. What's up with that? Weren't they happy with Rush being a jet sled? I was. And didn't they think Mega Man had enough weapons already?

Mega Man 6 smacks of being another part of a franchise Capcom was trying to get more money from without being either inventive or courageous enough to break the mold they'd stuck themselves in for the past five installments. And they got it from me, I'm sorry to say, but I'm going to be sticking to the earlier games whenever I get that urge to hunt down some Robot Masters from now on.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 03/08/04


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