Review by Rip
"Megaman X6 is the Worst Megaman Game Ever!"
First off, I really wanted to like this game. I’ve been a long time fan of Megaman since the beginning and I love the little guy. However, this game is simply inexcusable. Capcom must have gotten all of their worst designers in a room together and told them to run with a new Megaman. I guess they figure that they can put The Blue Bomber on anything and sell it. This game is nothing more than a shining example of a corporation whoring out their franchises to anyone with an extra thirty dollars. For your reading convenience, I’ve divided my scathing review into the following sections: Sound, Game Play, Translation/Story, and Graphics.
The soundtrack was the only positive element I found in X6. While there was nothing memorable, there was definitely an air of nostalgia. The music was pushy when it needed to be and relaxing when things got frustrating. The sound effects were neither exceptional, nor disappointed. They were pretty standard fare for an X game, but considering Capcom’s other entries into the PSX market, I couldn’t help but want something more.
The voice acting, on the other hand was inexcusable. I don’t think that they could have talked any slower if they wanted to. You will be grinding your teeth while you are waiting for someone to finish their sentence. In addition, the sloppy way that the voices were clipped and pieced together made those pauses between each sentence all the more cumbersome. Worse yet, they didn’t seem appropriate for the characters they were representing. Megaman has always been a relatively cute little character. He even looks cute when they show him in the cut-scenes, so why on Earth do they need to use such an angry voice to represent him? Then there’s Zero. While he is a badass, he is still fairly small compared to many of the other reploids, yet he has the deepest voice in the game. I’m sad to say that the other characters fared no better with their voice actors than Megaman and Zero.
I never thought that anybody could make a Megaman game with poor controls. Previous games all seemed to work so well, but Capcom obviously decided to prove me wrong. If you play this game through, you will die several times because Megaman did something that you did not tell him to do. He will dash in the air when you just wanted to fall down, he will stand when you wanted him to duck, he will dive into a pit when you just wanted him to slash his saber.
Another place where Megaman X6 misses the boat is with the bosses. My favorite aspect of Megaman games has always been fighting the bosses. Learning the boss’ patterns and how to counter them has always been a major part of the Megaman fun factor. However, in all of their wisdom, the designers who made X6 decided that this game should have bosses with only two attacks and they should die within a minute of battle. My first time meeting the final boss’ first form I killed it in less than thirty seconds. The bosses are also far too easy. I was actually filling up my E-tank while I was fighting the final boss because he drops health constantly.
Then there are the stages. The stages are by far the hardest thing about this game. However, they are not hard because it takes a lot of skill to get through them or because there are a lot of enemies. They are hard because you cannot see where you are going, or there is an invisible platform that blocks your way, or you can’t reach an enemy that keeps shooting at you from underneath.
In addition to the stages being unnecessarily frustrating, they are also far too linear. One of the coolest things about the Megaman series when it made the jump from the NES to the X series on the SNES was all of the area that there was to explore. In the original Megaman X, there were huge rooms to explore and multiple ways to get from point A to point B. On the other hand, in Megaman X6 there is only one way to get to where you are going, and there is no exploring at all to be done. Each stage has a fork with two ways to go, but it’s always poorly hidden and there are never any surprises.
Finally to top all this off is the aptly named Nightmare System. This means that every time you visit a new stage, it will make every other stage several times harder by doing things like hiding yet more of the screen in darkness, teleporting fireballs in to attack you, and spontaneously dropping steel blocks that come out of nowhere and kill you by smashing you into the floor before you could ever hope to react.
I wish I could say that Megaman X6 had a great storyline, but to be honest I couldn’t follow it because of the incredibly poor translation. The people that translated it obviously did not speak fluent English. For a good laugh, read out loud Alia’s bio of Blizzard Wolfang on the results screen after defeating him. What is she talking about?
In a word, the graphics are weak. Very weak in fact. I expected detailed, smooth animations and varied, dynamic environments; instead I get sprites jumping around and backgrounds that distract from the game. If you have played any game that has been released in the last five years, you will not think much of the graphics in this episode of Megaman.
Remember the smooth fully animated cut-scenes in Megaman X4? Too bad Capcom doesn’t. Every cut-scene in X6 is just one still after another. Even this would not bother me too much, but the angles in the cut-scenes are awkward to the point where sometimes you don’t even recognize familiar characters.
The in-game graphics are equally disappointing. No doubt the artists at Capcom decided that they didn’t have enough room to show all the great detail they wanted to give Megaman, so now every object takes up too much space and there is not enough room to maneuver. One of the cardinal rules of game design is that graphics should never take precedence over the game play. Violating this means that you are constantly being forced to jump off the screen toward platforms and all you can do is pray that there is something there to land on. Often there is not.
The backgrounds are incredibly annoying as well. Everything in the background operates on two frames of animation and in several instances this prevents the player from seeing an enemy or projectile coming towards them. This is incredibly annoying, especially in the Weapon’s Facility stage when there is so much moving around already.
The in-game animations have much to be desired as well. All of Megaman’s animations appear to be recycled from the last couple games and the some of the enemy animations will make you laugh out loud when you see them because they are so poor. For instance, Rainy Turtloid has three frames of animation: one where he stands with his back towards you, one where he rolls into a ball, and one where he dies. That’s all he does and because of his size you will often take damage if you are standing too close because his rolling animation takes up more room than the animation with his back towards you.
Do NOT get this game. Even if you absolutely love Megaman, I’d still recommend renting it first, because more than likely you won’t want it.
Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 12/09/01, Updated 12/09/01
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