Review by Cryogen_

"How long did this spend in the development room?"

When I heard X6 was coming out, I was anticipating a great game, one that would finally tie the storyline together for good. X5 was a bit of a disappointment, more like an expansion pack to X4, and I thought this one would bring the series full circle, but I was wrong. Let's see, where to start?

The in-game graphics weren't bad, especially the background art, but they weren't as good as they could have been. A lot of things look recycled from X5, which itself looked recycled from get the idea. Even Zero's new animations are a bit of a disappointment; the sword attacks look really choppy compared to his old style.
The out-of-gameplay graphics are what dropped this down from an 8 to a 6. X4 had those wonderful full-motion anime cutscenes. In X5, you got stills. I was hoping for anime here in X6, but if anything, the still cutscenes are even cheesier than X5's were. Maybe the ending will surprise me; I've only played up to Gate's fortress so far.

Capcom did one thing right with X6; the went back to using music that fits the stages instead of X5's awful guitar rock tunes. Some of these are really good: Blaze Heatnix's stage got my blood racing several times faster than even Magma Dragoon's theme, and Rainy Turtloid's stage theme is a favorite of mine. Now the bad parts: the boss intro music has always been cheesy; it's Capcom's way of making sure people don't take the X series too seriously and get depressed by the dark storyline or something. This one's intro is absolutely awful, though. The boss fight theme is even worse: it's the same few bars of music over and over again.
As for the sound effects: Most of them are recycled from X5, which is usually good. However, the in-game voices are terrible. X sounds a little better, but everyone else except for Alia and Signas sounds awful. The in-game sound effects are even worse (Ground Scaravitch's voice is hilariously bad). The worst part is the lag time between the spoken voices in the cutscenes. I don't know much Japanese, but I know you don't wait ten seconds in between each sentence.

This is the one thing that stops me from really liking this game, despite all its other shortcomings. I was raised on a steady diet of the NES and SNES games, and the thing that stood out the most for me was the incredibly responsive play control. When the series was moved to the PSX, the play control just went down the toilet. And it's never been worse than it is here in X6. X and Zero feel like they're trying to walk through molten lead, and the response itself is slow. This makes for serious frustration, especially in the more intense areas. When I wrote a review for The Wily Wars (Genesis) I noted similar complaints. I never thought I'd see worse control than that, but here it is. This is bad enough on its own, but it is absolutely inexcusable for a series that was known for good control.

My only real gripe with the gameplay is the amount of cheap hits and blind jumps involved. This whole game is cheap hits and leaps of faith onto platforms that may or may not be there. There are spikes and pits everywhere, and far too much of the game is spent watching your step around those instant-kill zones. It's also nearly impossible to avoid damage in many areas, especially if you're trying to rescue the ''friendlies'' scattered throughout the stages.
Other than this, though, there are some innovative parts that really caught my attention, like the giant Illumina enemy in Infinity Mijinion's stage. The teleporters add some replay value, and I actually like the Nightmare System.

Overall: 21.5/40 (5/10)
<bRent it first. If you really like this, buy it, but if you don't, it's not worth shelling out the $35 U.S. for. This applies even to hardcore Megaman fans like myself, who may be turned off by the sluggish play control.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 12/15/01, Updated 12/15/01

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