Review by striker64

"It's a great game, but... it's not as good as some other NES Mega Man titles."

I'm not going to say that this is the worst of the classic NES Mega Man series, because it isn't. Far from it, in fact. I think this is an excellent game. However, there are some areas in this game that make it not nearly as memorable as some of its predecessors. There are a lot of people that bash this game and no other games in the classic line of titles, and I think it may possibly be simply because this is the last of the classic line, and people are maybe slightly upset about that? Possibly. Still, it's a great game, and it's the most rare of the classic series line.

In the year 20XX, the first annual robot tournament was held. Mr. X was the billionaire who decided to begin the competition. He then took control of 8 robots and decided to turn them loose on the world with aspirations of world domination. Frustrated by his inability to take control of Mega Man, he sends his robots after him first. So once again, our little blue hero is called upon to save us all from almost certain doom. Mr. X's 8 robot masters in this game are Plant Man, Blizzard Man, Wind Man, Flame Man, Yamato Man, Knight Man, Centaur Man, and Tomahawk Man. Fliptop is here to help you out in some stages, and Proto Man and Dr. Light are here briefly. Some of these Robot Masters are indeed unusual, like Centar Man, but some like Yamato Man are rather clever. Now, if you've never played Mega Man before, I do feel sorry for you, but here's the basic breakdown of gameplay. In the beginning you're given which choice of these 8 Robot Masters you want to go after first. You play through a stage that resembles that Robot Master's characteristics (for example, Blizzard Man's stage is snowy, Flame Man's stage has oil and fire and stuff, etc.), then you reach the Robot Master itself. Using some special ability the Robot Master will try and defeat you. Once you defeat a Robot Master you acquire its special ability for use against other Robot Masters, all of which have a weakness to some other ability aside from its own (heh, wouldn't that suck if their weakness was to their own weapon). But wait, there's more. After defeating a certain Robot Master you acquire Rush Jet, in which Rush the red robot dog and Mega Man's faithful sidekick transforms into a jet pack for Mega Man's use. This is quite possibly the most useful device ever made in any Mega Man game (although fans of Mega Man 3 would likely say the original Rush Jet was better. They're probably right.) as it allows you to flat and hover around to what would be inaccessible areas. Also after you defeat yet another certain Robot Master you acquire Rush Power, where Rush transforms Mega Man into a robotic power builder! :D This is fun to thwack enemies around with when it's fully-charged and can also break weak blocks, that is, blocks with cracks in them. Good stuff.

Something certainly needs to be said about the difficulty here. This game is, in my honest opinion, the easiest of the classic line of NES Mega Man games. I received this game when it first came out, and it became lost in time at some point. 9 years later, remembering nothing, I re-acquire this game a la eBay and I beat the game in under 2 hours (would have been faster if my NES had not crapped out on me a couple of times) and losing at maximum 3 lives. Some of the Robot Masters are quite difficult to beat, like Wind Man and Blizzard Man, but most of them are very easy, and all of them can be beaten with your regular Buster Shot without much trouble. Yes, even difficult as they are, Wind Man and Blizzard Man fall under this same category. With a few seconds of practice even they can be easily beaten with the Buster Shot, quite easily. The stages are rather easy as well, with the exception of Centaur Man's stage, which I found just frustrating. This is mostly because the one thing I hate most in every Mega Man game is being sandwiched between instant-death spikes on both the top and bottom and having to time your jump to jump high enough to clear the spikes but stay low enough to not hit the spikes on top. ARGH. I lost 2 of my 3 lives with that in this game, one in Centaur Man's stage and one in another stage of Mr. X's castle. A note about that as well... most of the final stages in Mega Man games tend to be rather difficult, and the ones here, although longer, are really not that much harder. Some are frustrating, but few are really that hard. I found Plant Man's stage to be one of the biggest pain in the butt stages I have ever played through. It was long and tedious, and those springy-thingies drove me crazy, only to come to the end and find the biggest piece of crap Robot Master ever created.

Capcom did well incorporating all of these extras into the controls. B shoots the Buster and A jumps, while down and A slide and holding B charges the Buster. Also, Rush Power and Rush Jet have been added and they are easily used. Press B to attack with Rush Power and hold B to charge it for a mega punch, and hold A to hover for a short time with Rush Jet. Control is top-notch, as always with Mega Man games.

Visually this game is stunning. Of course Mega Man sprites are reused, but that's okay. The backgrounds are full of color and the new Robot Masters are designed very well. Chief amongst these is probably Knight Man, with following next Yamato Man and then Tomahawk Man. The only Robot Master that really stinks visually (and attacking too) is Plant Man.

Mega Man 1, 2, and 3 are chock-full of beautiful soundtracks for your listening pleasure. While the sound and music are good here they are nothing memorable. The only real music I found enjoyable was the upbeat tune of Centaur Man's stage, but that itself was it.

Overall: 7/10
The fact that this game was so easy makes me not want to play it again after I've beaten the game. Some Mega Man games I end up playing through again even after beating them, but not this one. It was too easy, and it also was just not memorable enough. However, it's still an excellent game, but it may be rather expensive as it is the most rare of the six NES Mega Man games.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/28/02, Updated 09/28/02

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