Review by neothe0ne

"Capcom, never EVER rush a game like this again!"

Features some exceptionally good hard, rocking songs
X now has the Beam Saber from start
Lots of upgrades/items to collect
Zero's Beam Saber has a new animation for the 3 strokes, and covers more area now

Rushed for the holiday season, and it shows
X's shots still don't go through walls
X's Beam Saber sucks
Zero's Beam Saber is sluggish to use and not worth the makeover
Zero's Buster can only be shot while not moving
Most music is boring, annoying, or repetitive
Cutscenes speak in Japanese
Many grammatical errors in translations
Rescue the Reploids system
Nightmare system
Most upgrades/items you collect are worthless or not worth the time

Mega Man X is one of the greatest platform games of all time, and Capcom decided to rush it for an American release in time for the holiday shopping season, and that meant releasing it ONE WEEK after the Japanese launch! Why... would ANYONE... destroy a game with good potential for Christmas shopping profits??! Well, that's not quite true... a lot of problems with Mega Man X6 were there from the launch of the Japanese original, so it's not fair to lay ALL the blame on Capcom America, but if they'd only taken maybe one more week, they could've caught so many problems...

Mega Man X6 picks up immediately where Mega Man X5 left off, where Zero is dead and had sacrificed himself to save the planet. Gate, a Reploid scientist, is wondering where he is when he finds a little piece of rugged computer chip. A month later, he's turned evil. Guess who could have caused that?

X goes off to defeat something called D-1000, a machine no one could kill. When X damages it severely, however, a purple Zero teleports in, slashes it (with his slash from the X4 and X5 style) and kills it, then teleports out. Then, a Reploid known as High Max comes in, calling himself an investigator of the Zero Nightmare, and he and X fight. X can't do any damage to him, and High Max leaves in scorn. Now, a Reploid named Isaac is declaring that the "Zero Nightmare" is disturbing many Reploids everywhere, and has dispatched Investigators to many areas to "investigate." X is wary of High Max and Isaac, and goes out to hunt the eight investigators.

The graphics of Mega Man X6 are pretty mixed. Overall, they looked sloppy and dark for some reason, and many backgrounds lack detail and look too plain or unfitting. X's models are not very well done for his findable armors, so unfortunately he looks grainy/blocky and just plain messed up later on in the game. Also, Capcom seems to be trying to cover up the bad graphics by giving you blackouts or partial-blackouts in many stages, or rising lava or hoards of enemies in others. Making the game unfairly impossible to cover up bad graphics with possibly even worse enemy models doesn't work well.

The music in Mega Man X6 is very diverse, featuring calm songs like the Opening Stage theme, upbeat songs like Shielder Sheldon's stage, and hard-rocking songs like the Boss theme, High Max's theme, and the Sigma theme remixed from Mega Man X1. The game also features the return of the X vs. Zero and Dynamo themes from Mega Man X5, which are two great, great songs, as well as a Metalized X-Hunter Stage 2 from Mega Man X2. Some songs are annoying, though, like Ground Scaravich's stage, and others are just plain boring, like most of the stage songs. Regardless of what style the music is, a lot of songs are simply repetitive, and that can make them annoying too (High Max's theme, for example).

Mega Man X6 plays a lot like Mega Man X5: X's shots still don't go through walls, X and Zero can duck (but it's not as necessary anymore), and you can choose who or which armor to enter a stage as. However, the gameplay of Mega Man X6 has taken a deep plunge, and it's something Capcom seriously needs to look at.

First, no voices were translated from Japanese to English. This might be Capcom's way of attacking us gaijin, but it really isn't amusing. The Japanese is very distracting, annoying, and take away from the cutscenes. Although the cutscenes were translated in text, there are many gramatical errors, and some of it is just plain stupid. "THE BADDLE HAZ JUSD BEGUNN!" What were they drinking? Also, some Japanese songs have been left in the American game intact, which is previously unheard of, and you might like them... maybe.

Now that we've got that out of the way, we can tackle the actual playing of the game. X starts the game with Zero's Beam Saber, and to use it you press the button. Now, X takes a loong time to execute that one slash and then put the Saber back, so it's almost useless. Well, it would be useless, except you're forced to use it to get rid of a few obstacles. Also, when you get Zero, he can use a Buster, but it's a single-shot unchargeable one, and you can only use it while standing still. It does decent damage, and it does have range, but you'll probably be better off with his new Saber. In addition to the eight main Investigators, many other Reploids went out to investigate on their own, and they are poor, poor hunters who are crying in fear next to Nightmares that only activate when X gets close. If these Nightmares fly over to the Reploids yelling Help! before X touches the Reploids, they turn evil and start to shoot at X and stuff. Now, the game counts how many Reploids you've rescued out of 126, and it's just plain annoying to save them all from the most ridiculous of situations (including garanteed death for rescuing that poor reploid). When you touch them, you usually get a little health back, which is nice enough, but that doesn't cover up for hitting spikes or landing in a pit to save a poor little bot trying to be cool. As for the Nightmares, when you kill them they turn into little blue floating orbs. You can collect 9999 Nightmare souls, and if you leave a soul hanging there for a while, it'll turn back into a Nightmare.

Add these two annoying systems to the unfairly cruel stages. Lots of stages have blackouts where you can only see a little bit, and that makes you run into enemies a lot without knowing what you're doing. Other stages are filled with sudden-death objects, though it's not as bad as the Final Stage in Mega Man X5 that was filled cealing and floor with spikes, then with miles and miles of rope to climb across. Yeah, ropes are still in Mega Man X6. Oh.. I just remembered, if it's not filled from top to bottom with spikes, then it's filled up to half the screen with lava that kills in one hit. My bad, I forgot about that one... And, of course, enemies appearing out of thin air right next to you is another common feature of the stages of X6. That includes magical avalanches that simply push you back a couple hundred miles, if you don't fall off into a pit first. Oh yeah, in addition to annoying background music, you've got a place where you can actually get stuck and be unable to continue through the stage. What kind of programmer did your "random" coding? Sorry, Capcom, but this just won't work...

Is the torture done yet? Well... when you get to the Final stages, you'll need some certain armors for X to get through them. Otherwise, it's impossible, unless you make spikes climbable. The final stages are long, hard, and have hard bosses. (Un)Fortunately, the "infinate life system" is back from X5, which makes the insanely hard beatable through a trial-and-error system. And, then, at long last, you get to fight an incomplete Sigma. THE BADDLE HAZ JUSD BEGUNN indeed! At least the music for the final stages is pretty good, as well as the boss themes, even if the stages and bosses are hard.

Mega Man X has been through a lot, but this really tries to walk over the lines. Capcom, there are several things you need to do to make a game, and this fails at many of them. A domestic release and a Japanese one need to be.. well, English and Japanese. Japanese and Japanese kinda removes the purpose, doesn't it? Also, difficulty needs to have a limit, not an endless pit of pointy reminders how the game relies on trial-and-error because the camera shows you so little. Please, just... I don't even know what can save Mega Man X now. Just give the developers some TIME! In time, bugs can be ironed out and things can change. But today, things are not so nice, so you would probably be best off if you avoided this.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 01/26/05

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