Review by Gbness

"Step down from the past, step up from the future."

Who would have thought that a release of a simple game like Mega Man, which forced you to complete six stages and then defeat an evil scientist, would lead to a huge series spanning several different consoles, going into cartoons, comic books, and god knows what else, as well as still be here today with more and more sequels coming? Add to that, the Mega Man series can be seen as one giant series, but there are five different kinds of games in the series, the X series, the Legends series, the Zero series, the EXE series, and the Classic series. This, my friends, was the last great game in the Classic series.

Mega Man 3 was thought by many to be the end of the golden parts of the blue bomber's life in the classic series. Although 3 was definitely a superb title, it is truly wrong to assume that the classic series fell apart at the third title. Although the fourth was lackluster, I thought the fifth to be one of the best in the series, and Mega Man 6 to be just as good as the third part, although not quite so good as part 5. Why part 6 is always blasted, I may never know, but it will always be one of my favorite entries. It is, however, the last good game in the classic series, looking at parts 7 and 8.

As usual, the game features an enjoyable story line. This time, a robot tournament is being held to see who is the best robot designer, by having the robots duel it all out. When the last eight are left, a guy called Mr. X appears and claims that he was manipulating Dr. Wily from the beginning. He reprograms the last eight robots to kill Mega Man: Flame Man, another robot working with flame; Blizzard Man, another robot working with ice; Wind Man, another robot working with air; some originality in fighters called Knight Man and the mysterious Centaur Man; two strange robots called Yamato Man and Tomahawk Man; and Plant Man, a robot attacking with the forces of flowers!

This brings me to one of the things that made me like MM5 more than MM6. I felt that 6's robots were very boring. How many times have we seen robots like Flame Man and Blizzard Man? There's Fire Man, Heat Man, Ice Man, and Bubble Man from the first two Mega Mans, you know. Yamato Man and Tomahawk Man are really lame names, the way I see it. Wind Man is practically Air Man from Mega Man 2 with a different name. Centaur Man was awesome and perhaps had the best name of all of them, despite fighting too much like Flash Man and Bright Man. Knight Man was awesome, but I couldn't help but feel Plant Man was a bit weird. Never did I feel in such a way with the robots in 5.

My faith was restored when I found the stages themselves, though. Flame Man's stage is set in an oil field. What better place is there for a master of fire? Blizzard Man's stage is a fun one, full of ice walls and snow... Knight Man's stage is set inside a castle, added with a "medieval" feel to it. Several new things were added to the stages, just when I thought it couldn't get any better (Gravity Man's stage from Mega Man 5 comes to mind). There are these bouncy yellow wheels which will bounce you up and down, which worked pretty well. There are secrets all around, making you rely on the right weapon a lot, making for some good fun. This is one of the only NES Mega Man games where I felt like coming back to the stages a lot.

Rush, this time around, is more than just a robotic dog who can turn into a trampoline or a jet. This time, you can wear some armor of his which will give you the special abilities of his. You'll get this a little later into the game, which can make you come back to some of the stages (the "non-elemental" ones like Knight Man, Centaur Man, Tomahawk Man, Yamato Man, particularly). There are two bosses in the stages listed above, one in which you will probably fight first and which is easy to find, and one that needs a special armor to get to and which usually requires you to go back to. After you beat the "real" boss, you get a letter (B, E, A, or T). Once you've got these, you'll get that bird we've come to love from the previous title: Beat. While I do not like this system quite so much as the system from Mega Man 5, it's innovative nonetheless.

And the graphics? Ah yes, out of the six NES installments, this one easily takes the cake visually. There are beautiful backgrounds, nice and detailed enemies... it makes you surprised that it's on the NES. The game looks an early generation SNES game, and they're almost as good as Mega Man 7's were, maybe even better. The robots look even better than they did in 5, particularly Centaur Man and Yamato Man. Centaur Man looks just like you'd expect from a centaur: half man, half horse, it's really cool. Yamato Man also has an awesome design to him, it didn't disappoint at all. What a step the graphics have taken up from the original!

I'll be honest; the music in Mega Man 6 was not quite as good as that in 3 or 5, my favorite Mega Man games musically. Still, it manages to fit each stage quite well. I like the upbeat feeling of Wind Man's stage, and the dark feeling of the music in Knight Man's stage. The music in Yamato Man's stage also had a great feeling to it, suiting his stage quite well. The sound, on the other hand, wasn't quite as excellent, but managed to add up. I noticed every weapon had the exact same sound as the normal buster; even charged it sounds just like the regular shot! Besides that, it was all done good.

I know, Mega Man 5 was a tad bit too hard for the average gamer, but Mega Man 6 goes a little too far trying to improve on that. The only boss I particularly struggled with was Tomahawk Man, and all the stages were easy. Hell, even Wind Man's was easy with all those jumps and stuff, and at the same time my controller was messed up. The final boss was also one of the easiest yet in a Mega Man game; it was also quite easy to get about 6 E-Tanks before the final stage! Still, a game that's too easy is better than a game that's too hard.

Although I've seemed overly negative in this review, Mega Man 6 is a quality game that delivers a great, classic Mega Man experience, but it doesn't hold the same thing in my mind that the third and fifth titles did. It's definitely worth a purchase, especially in the $30 Mega Man Anniversary Collection out for PS2 and GCN. It's a better game than Mega Man 7 is, and at least twice as good as Mega Man 8, to say the very least.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/30/04

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