Review by EJRICH

"Let a light shine......."

Opening Opinions: Being the final game in a long, drawn out video game franchise, certain expectations were definitely set in place as I turned on my gameboy. I can truly say as of now that some were met, while yet still some others seemed to fall on the wayside. Let's face it, every year another Battle Network game springs out of the woodworks, and every year they follow the same pattern of completing missions and battling enemies. I will be quite honest here and now, this gets extremely old, very fast. Some way though, Capcom seems to land a good quality title out of it, even with all of the repetitiveness intact.

Even with these shortcomings, this game is by no means a bad game, it's just I would have expected by the 6th game that something special would be bought out of it, something that would push the boundaries to the extent of perfection. Not that it was going to happen anyway, as by the third game they were still just adding small things here and there, but there always was a small chance.

This is definitely the most developed story that a Battle Network game has come to offer, as just by making the game more story driven, you add a good amount of perception to the overall title itself. Sure, you can say that the story was good in the previous games, and I agree with you on that, but it just got to the point that I felt that they weren't really developing the characters to the extent that they could have and should have. Characters just seemed to come on the screen, whether it be a story or not, and then after you were done they disappeared into the void of forgotten roles. This is one thing that I can say that was definitely improved from 5, as I don't even count 4 as a valid reference point.

With that out of the way, the game is pretty linear still, but it is just more planned out in terms of overall development. The story starts out as usual, only with a twist, Lans moving, and he has to leave not only his town, but all of the friends that were previous staples of the games. Not to say that they go away forever, but without giving away that much of the story I'll just say that they take an absence for a good portion of the game. The whole story goes haywire when the two cyber beasts are released, and depending on your version, the cover beast merges with Mega Man. This is the whole part that ticks me off, instead of being kind and courteous by giving us both beasts, they have to be money grubbing jerks who make you have to buy both versions if you wish to experience everything at its fullest. Not to say that that isn't a wise business move, as it only makes sense to push something like that, but as a fan of the series it kinda kills you to have to go out and buy another pack just to get everything that the title has to offer.

Aside from those points that were mentioned, I really think they took this game in another direction, which is good considering the overall slump that the series had drifted into, to bad they had to do it by the series final title. Still, with the new game coming out sometime next year, you can expect to see some of the changes implanted into it, even if it isn't the same direct series.

Aside from a few changes, battles still follow a similar formula for mechanics, as even throughout 6 games they haven't changed much, aside from slight variations in combat from game to game,(souls, crosses, ect.), that being said, this is probably the best game in terms of pure battling, as with the additions of crosses and other small things, multiplayer experience is given an overall boost. You see, that's been a real problem with the series as a whole, multiplayer has been lacking in the previous titles. Aside from 5 and 3, it was sorta a pushed aside venue for extraneous fun with friends. With that being said, I liked the additions of crosses instead of souls, but that can very well just be me, as I personally liked styles the most out of all three. Styles seemed to just fit your playing style better as a whole, and to me that meant that you could earnestly see what kind of player you really were, and from that you could get better. So much for that, as it lasted two games then was thrown out in favor of a different, kinda stupid, should system that didn't add any personality to the game at all.

That being said, I'd like to briefly touch on the basis to which battles are fought. Battles are fought on a 3x6 gaming grid that resembles much of what a tile board looks like. You simply upload chips from your folder, more on that in a minute, and duke it out with enemies. Folder customization is probably one of the series best draws, as the loads of fun you get from tweaking your folder adds to the overall enjoyment/time scale to which you are playing the game. With that, there are a ton of chips from which you can draw your folder from, which only furthers the overall customization. Crosses have been introduced into this game in place of the soul system, and that's actually pretty good all things considered. It really is only just a swap in the name, plus giving you unlimited time basis. I like this, but that's about it.

Now basically this game is driven by the task system that seemed to work for much of the previous titles. With that, you also get to take Mega Man into the cyberworld to fight enemies and such. The originality is great, as things that you wouldn't expect to be able to enter sometimes turn out to be some of the games key points that would drive the story along.

Gameplay outside of the cyberworld is pretty standard at best, and just basically touches upon some previous gameplay mechanics. One thing that I liked were the return of the missions that oculd be accepted. They definitely add to the overall presentation, and were somethings that were sorely missed from three.

All in all, the gameplay follows much of the same type of system that was previously tuned, and because of that originality is somewhat lacking, but when you think about it in a long term perspective, you can remember the term "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This definitely holds true for the installment, and because of that I have no complaints.

The chibi art style seemed to cause some division when it was introduced, but it definitely has been perfected to fit the tastes of the gamers out there that were complainin in the first place. Colors are definitely abound in this game, as everything is finely detailed to fit the perception of its viewers. I typically liked the system, as it allowed for a more detailed touch on the overall presentation. The one thing that oculd definitely be fixed though, and I mean this when I say it, is that in some portions of the game the graphics are allitle muddy, and although you may not notice it at a first glance, after awile it can definitely be shown. I will not bring out the area in particular, as then you would look for it .

Aside from that, I typically would rate it with that of the other series. Good, but could use some minor tweaks.

I give this game this score mainly because of the nasty danger music that will continuously play after you've beaten the game. Any good tunes that play thoughout the game are completely forgotten after you've listened to that horrible music for an extended period of time. That being said, the main music is both catchy and cheery, adding to the overall atmosphere of the game. I tended to like it, although some were out of place, or in one place in particular, choppy. That being said, I enjoyed the overall percentage, just completely jerked about by the music in the post game. On another note, music from this series of games has always been cheery, so that's what I've basically come to expect from this game.

There is currently one way how to stop this music, but it entails eliminating your ability to use Higsbys service. Whether or not it's worth it to you, that's up to you, I personally just turn down the volume, which isn't that bad of an idea.

Other than that, the game could have used some diversity, mainly on the ongoing tunes that play. In every area, you find that tunes are recycled in an on-going fashoin. Repetitivness aside, I liked it, and it's pretty good.

Aside from a few, scattered at best, bosses(I'm looking at you Clownman ) you really shouldn't have much trouble at all blasting though the main game. That being said, it's the post game that seems to give problems to the unwary, which is a slight sign of overall goodness. That being said once again, with a good folder this game can be made a mockery of.

Family Friendly:7/10
Not much is really all that bad in this game, aside from some little things here and there, there isn't anything that should make this bad at all. It definitely deserves the E rating, and maybe even lower if that was possible .

You'll have no reason what-soever to want to go through this game again once it's beaten. I can perfectly say that with one slot, you really wouldn't want to anyway. Other than that, the main game is fantastic, just not enough to really want to replay after you've beaten it. On a side not, the post-game is a great souce for extra gameplay, and should be your primary focus when worrying about replay.

Buy of course, as the post game can take some extended periods of time to successfully beat, which is actually a really good sign from an otherwise short game. You can perfectly beat the main game in less than 10 hours of your a veteran, probably even less come to think about it.

Closing Opinions: Being the final game in a drawn out franchise, it was definitely a good time to end it. This game truly puts all the things that previous titles have done well, and slaps them all together for a good, albeit similar, experience to what should have been done in the first place.

Story: 8/10

Gameplay: 7/10

Graphics: 7/10

Music: 3/10

Difficulty: 5/10

Family Friendly: 7/10

Buy/Rent: Buy

Replay: 1/10

My Final Score: 7/10

This was a good, solid finale to a great franchise.

Thanks all

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/04/06

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