Available on: NES
Publisher(s): Capcom, Nintendo
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.
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?
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!
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.