perjantai 20. elokuuta 2010

REVIEW - Mega Man 6 (1993)

Genre(s): Action / Platform
Released: 1993
Available on: NES
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom, Nintendo
Players: 1

Enough is enough. Considered one of the most essential games in the original series, by some minorities begging to differ, Mega Man 6 was this close to never seeing daylight outside Japan, ever. Nintendo of America took matters into their own hands and finally released the game in the U.S., to milk fans burning for the arrival of Mega Man X with ONE MORE NES game. Well, at least it was never officially brought to Europe. We have the NES’ waning popularity and Mega Man X to thank for that.

Scrap metal

Eight battle robots from around the world survive a tournament conducted by a mysterious multimillionaire known as Mr. X. Soon after this tournament, Mr. X, who happens to be a brilliant engineer, reveals he has reprogrammed the victorious robots to help him take over the world. Looks like a job for the Blue Bomber.

I know one sentence that describes this game perfectly: “Damn it.” It looks the best out of all Mega Mans on the NES, technically. The soundtrack is the best applied to the series since Mega Man 3. Most of the problems with the framerate have been fixed, and the system is technically taken to its limits with long, diverse stages. The enemy and boss design sucks balls, though, in every possible way. The enemies are mostly rehashed, watered down concepts from earlier games, and the bosses are just ridiculous across the board. Plant Man, Tomahawk Man, Yamato Man, Blizzard Man with his stupid woolly hat... what the fuck, I say!? This is more of a design note than criticism towards the audiovisual department, but those guys should never have been drawn, so I guess it is a graphical issue!

The gameplay gets worse with each game, and why? Because it never changes! ...If it does, I have to say it’s for the worse. The most important change is that Rush doesn’t really make too much of an appearance here, instead Mega Man himself is graced with a couple of adaptors that give him Rush-like abilities. He can morph into the Jet and smash cracked blocks with his fist to open pathways to hidden rooms and to otherwise unreachable items. What’s total shit is that neither one of these abilities is at your disposal in the beginning of the game, and in some stages, you simply CANNOT PROCEED without using one of them. Oh well, you can always quit the stage in midway and select a new one. Uh, since when? Oh wait, that’s right, YOU CAN’T! The only way for you to get out of a stage with a dead end, as well as any other stage which gives you too much hell to handle, is to reset the game or lose all of your God damn lives, counting in the dozen extra ones you’ve accumulated along the way. What’s ironic about this is that when you’re trying to sacrifice yourself, it’s way harder to kick the bucket than during serious play. What is so fucking difficult about giving us an inpromptu Stage Select option?

Nightmare springs.
Mega Man’s physics haven’t been improved at all, and that becomes a huge problem very soon because the schemes of level design are new, they’re like planted in from some other game. They feel like abandoned concepts of DuckTales, and you know damn well that Mega Man’s physics differ quite a lot from Scrooge McDuck’s. In some stages, there are these springs all over floors. A spring should lunge you high up into the air after a few consecutive jumps, but in Mega Man’s case, the laws of physics don’t matter while the laws of luck do. You will suffer many painful deaths on these springs for one reason or another. Either you make a high jump at a totally wrong time, at the totally wrong place, or get mauled to the junkyard by enemies spawning everywhere around you as you desperately try to take to the sky.

Like I said, the bosses are corny and ridiculous, and only a few stages really support a theme. There’s another important thematic feature in the series, down the shitter. They made a change that would’ve made some difference to the gameplay, if it would’ve been done properly. You see, every time you select a stage, you see a “tale of the tape” type of introduction of the stage’s master, his attributes including strength and durability. If it has any significance – I’m not quite sure about that myself – it’s a decent addition... but let’s suppose they are and take note that these attributes are shown to you AFTER you choose to enter the stage. Once again, you have no chance of leaving. This game is all about committing suicide, or trying to do it. Nothing more frustrating. The previous games were hard, but it was never downright impossible to make progress. In the earlier games, it wasn’t until the final stages that you absolutely needed to use your gained abilities – which made sense, because at that point you had gotten everything in the game at a 100% certainty. Capcom, if you tried to take the non-linearity even further, thanks for that, but some sense would’ve been nice too!

Gee. Ouch.
Oh yeah, speaking of nonsense. I’m really, really tired of these stupid-ass plots. Dr. Wily is dead, Dr. Wily is in prison, Dr. Wily has changed his evil ways... blah blah blah. When I got this game, I already knew there was some sort of loophole to bring Wily back one more time, even after two consecutive, lousy tries to make people believe he was no longer the primary antagonist. I never thought it would be THIS obvious, though. Just look at Mr. X. “I was controlling that fool Wily all along... oh wait, are my fake beard and stupid sunglasses enough to convince people I’m not him?” The answer: FUCK NO! The plot has never been the series’ trump card or even relevant to it, and I really don’t understand why this ridiculous crap is force fed to us like it would really matter. If they really wanted to turn Mega Man into a story-based franchise, it would’ve been nice to come up with a real story. Oh well... things got even worse with Mega Man 7 on this front.

It takes a lot of tries to get started and lots of retarded backtracking to see what’s behind the breakable blocks in each level – nothing too fancy, I tell you – which makes the game quite long since you can’t leave any stage even on the second run, but I see the game as boring and frustrating over being really difficult.

Mega Man 6 is for the most die-hard Mega Man fans only, who don’t care about all the heartburns it’s going to inflict and just want to see the Blue Bomber in action, even in the stupidest setting ever which is extremely far from the “Greatest Battle in History”. Luckily this was the end, for a short while at least, and we got one excellent game in return. If only I could travel back in time to 1993 and tell people to save their hard earned money and use it on the SNES and Mega Man X instead of this disgraceful end to the once magnificent line of NES classics.

Graphics : 8.8
Sound : 8.0
Playability : 6.2
Challenge : 7.5
Overall : 6.3


a.k.a. Mega Man VI, Rockman 6: The Greatest Battle in History!! (JAP)

To this day, the game hasn’t seen release in Europe.

A remade version of the game is part of Rockman Complete Works, which was released on the Sony PlayStation in 1999.

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