Review by FFM


Let us begin with this: Megaman 6 does not bring any distinctive features to the table. It's best described as a simple rehash of the Megaman formula. Capcom bases this formula off several simple components: eight bosses, special weapons, and some kind of doctor. Nevertheless, just because Megaman 6 fails to incorporate any innovative features into its gameplay doesn't mean that it's not an enjoyable game.

The blue bomber, with his self-titled series, has made his return . . . for the sixth time. At the beginning of the game, like always, you're presented with eight different robots. The new nemesis, Dr. X, has hijacked these robots in an attempt to rule the world under his monarchy. Dr. was once an honorable man, but something has turned him into a twisted being. As for the eight robots he's hijacked, they have their own individual feature that makes them different from the next robot on the list. For instance, Wind Man can fire projectiles, such as blades, at you. He'll float around in the air while you're in battle with him. On the other side you have Centaur Man. He's able to disappear and reappear somewhere else on the screen, and at the same time, shoot a spread shot at you. Blizzard Man takes pride in trying to run you over by turning into a giant snowball.

The bosses are generally easy to defeat, and they're no problem if you have the special weapon that happens to be their biggest weakness. One weapon from another robot might inflict a higher amount of damage than another one from a different robot. Therefore, you must use trial and error with each weapon to expose the weakness of each boss. If you have no special weapons in your possession, then you're stuck with the megabuster (the default weapon). They make it where if you don't have a special weapon, the boss can still be beaten.

Of course, half the fun isn't fighting the bosses. It's making your way to the end of the stage. Most stages are relatively short. They take around five minutes to clear the first time through. Since most people can clear them in such a short time, they added secrets in some levels. You can only expose some of these secrets with the aid of Megaman's suits. You'll come by these suits only after you have defeated a boss. Only three of the eight bosses hold these suits, so it's not like every boss just hands them out like candy to a little kid on Halloween. Each has its own special ability. For example: One suit, named the ''Power Suit,'' allows the player to break blocks that have fissures running through the middle of them. So you'll have to make your way back to a level that you've already cleared and find that block and destroy it.

What's behind the block could be just a power-up or a secret path to the boss. Four of the eight levels include their own secret path to the ''hidden boss.'' The hidden bosses are in no way different from the normal ones, but when you defeat them, you'll find one of four letters needed to summon your bird friend BEAT. BEAT is a blue bird that Megaman thinks very highly of, since he's able to take out oncoming hordes of robots in about two hits. He's pretty much useless against a boss, since he only deals out a small amount of damage to them.

Megaman's friends don't just end there. Rush makes a welcomed return. Instead of just using him as a jumping pad or a hovercraft, he'll mold into your body armor to create the suits. Your little friend, Eddie, comes by every so often to give you a power-up or one-up. He's never real generous and he only gives Megaman a condom with encouraging words like ''Get'em tiger.'' If found, your brother, Protoman, will bestow Megaman with a great item that's able to restore power to weapons that need it. Megaman's supportive friends make his trip a lot easier in the end. I often recall Eddie giving me a power-up, which was just enough to make me able to reach the end of a stage.

They all look the same as well. Wait, but everything looks about the same. The ground is composed of the same thing, repeatedly. Lots of stuff can make up the ground: sand, snow, rocks, or nothing at all. They won't bombard your eyes with a kaleidoscope of colors, since the Nintendo can't push out that many. The backdrops are basically the same as the ground; one image is repeated over and over and over again. The backdrop for each stage is different; they don't use the same one for each stage. Some of them might have an oil refinery in the background, while other stages are just sporting clouds. When Megaman equips himself with a special weapon, his body armor changes color as well. If he goes under some oil, he'll disappear from view. If a flame shooter happens to drop fire on you in the oil, it'll burn your ass to a crisp. Most of all, however, Eddie will be saddened by the loss of his condom.

Megaman 6 doesn't try hard to achieve any certain level of flashy effects. Even when he dies, all that happens is an anticlimactic death, which includes him breaking into about 30 illuminating balls that spread across the screen.

While Megaman 6 is nothing but a simple add-on to the series, it's worthy of the name. It'll give you some simple but fun gameplay. While they could've toned the graphics up some more, it's nothing that will get in the way or affect the overall enjoyment you get from playing the game. If Capcom would've added a few new moves in with some cool abilities, it could've succeeded tremendously, instead of being known as simply ''The Megaman game that happened to be the last for the NES.'' In the end, Megaman 6 had a lot of potential; it just fell a little short. It did prove, however, that the Megaman formula can withstand the test of time.

Final = 7

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/26/03, Updated 09/27/03

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