Review by neothe0ne

"Grand finale to the original Mega Man series"

Pros:
You can play as Bass
Bass can shoot up and in diagonal directions
Currency system and shop
Many collectables
New flexible stage select format

Cons:
Mega Man is not so mega...
Insanely hard and challenging

Rockman & Forte (Mega Man & Bass in the states) was the last game of the original Mega Man series, and it was released on its home console of the Super Nintendo. Many gamers mistakenly called it Mega Man 9, and while it follows in order like that, that's not the games name. Nevertheless, Rockman & Forte is an amazing game to finish off the original Mega Man series, and it's going out on its home platform of Nintendo.

Visually, Rockman & Forte is stunning. The graphics are very bright, colorful, and clear, and is definitely an improvement over Mega Man VII, Mega Man X1, and maybe even Mega Man 8. The character models are very detailed, even if some are not well done, and the level designs are great and look appropriate. Robot death explosino animations are also VERY well done, and look much better than before. The models and many stages give the game a 3D feel, such as the opening stage boss, so this is the pinnacle of the SNES's platform graphics.

The music in Rockman & Forte follows in the tradition of the original series, yet remains unique in its own way. The music is generally light and cheery, but the tunes are actually catchy and good, unlike Mega Man VII and Mega Man 8. Coldman and Burnerman's stage themes are very nice, as well as most of the other themes. The Boss theme, while pretty light, sets the mood well and is a pretty catchy tune, too. As a side note, the stage introduction theme is the same as the one from Mega Man X1. The sound effects for shots and explosions are also very well done, and sound much better than before.

The game follows the story about how King has declared himself the greatest robot, and now Mega Man and Bass are going after him. You choose either Mega Man or Bass to play the game as, and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages, as well as serious effects on the challenge level of the game. In the opening stage, you see Protoman seriously injured, and that's the end of Protoman. :) Maybe King's claim has some truth after all... because the stages are all very long and filled with many tricky areas, including our ever-favorite spikes and tricky jumps and timings to avoid death. The bosses are also very hard to beat, especially since one of them has a recharge function much like a never-dying sub tank. The stage select screen is laid out in a unique way. When you clear a stage, paths open to other stages that are connected to that one, so you can actually go to the final stages without beating all the bosses. This has great disadvantages, however, since you won't get all the boss's weapons. In each level, you can pick up bolts from enemies that die, and these are the currency you use to buy items and upgrades. There are items that let you touch spikes temporarily without dying, and items to improve your damage and the works. Because the game is in Japanese, of course, you'll have to search online for an English transcript, or play the new English GBA version (which is a disgrace to this game).

Mega Man is basically what he always was, but more sluggish and weak than before. Mega Man's animations look kind of lame, especially the way he brings his blaster up to shoot. Shooting normally doesn't work at all in this game, and you won't do any damage at all. You need to fully charge and then shoot to do real damamge, and that causes problems with more powerful enemies. Some enemies, like the opening stage boss, need to get a shield taken down to take damage, and then you'll basically have to shoot a charged shot and then keep tapping shoot to do damage, and that takes a long time. Mega Man can still slide, but it's only useful for retrieving discs and things that Forte can't get to.

Bass, however, is another story. Forte shoots in rapid-fire bursts, and he can shoot forward, up, diagonally-up, and diagonally-down. His shots don't do as much damage as Mega Man's charged shots, but he fires fast enough to more than compensate for having no charge. Bass has no slide, but he can dash and dash jump. His dash can't get him through little holes that Mega Man's slide could get through, but you won't miss anything important anyways. Bass can double-jump at the start of the game, too, so there's almost no reason to play as Mega Man anyways.

Basically, this game's only major problem is the difficulty. Capcom made it extremely hard, and with the gameplay remaining the same throughout all the Mega Mans, they had just reason. If you've beat the previous Mega Man games and think you've mastered all there is to know, play this and think again. You won't be disappointed.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/23/05


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