Okay, so how many times have you mopped the floor with the madcap robot designer Dr. Wily -- four, five times? Enough already! In Mega Man 6, it appears that you have a new antagonist, the evil and mysterious Mr. X. It doesn't appear, however, that there's much new or mysterious about this fun, but agonizingly familiar, Mega rehash for the NES. As a stand-alone game, it's superb, but as a sequel, you've been there, done it, seen it, and beaten it.
ProTip: If you see a black square on the Stage Select Screen, it means you beat the boss but missed a secret treasure. Backtrack to find the hidden item, or you'll regret it later.
The Man with the Same Old Plan
The Mega Man series is a standard in NES side-scrolling platform gaming. If you're a true-blue player of these games, or if you're a newcomer, this one won't disappoint. If you're bored of the same old concept, however, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Even big bulldozer monsters have a soft spot in the head.
- Start your mission against Knight Man. He'll be your hardest foe, because you won't have any extra weapons. Slide under his big stomp jumps while charging, then nail him with maximum power Mega Buster shots.
Like all previous incarnations, Mega Man 6 places you in the titanium boots of a squat, blue, lovable robot who can run, jump, slide, climb, and shoot bursts from his Mega Buster with varying degrees of strength. Your goal is to beat the bolts out of all opposing robots, steal their weapons, and use the new-found guns to toast other 'bots. Your best friend as always is Rush Dog, who transforms either into ajet Adaptor to fly you around or a Power Adaptor to help you break walls. You can also call upon the powerful B-E-A-T robot to take out enemies in a flash.
If you know anything about Mega Man, you know that there are gonna be eight new funky robots ready to pound you into scrap metal, one each at the end of eight stages. You also know that you'll fight through four levels of Mr. X's castle. Once you meet Mr. X, there'll be a cinematic plot twist, and you'll rush through four more levels to the finale. You'd need the brain of a lobotomized hamster to figure out what the plot twist is.
- You'll need to fly over the oil slicks in Flame Man's stage to make it across safely.
- The Rush Power Adaptor is the only way to break through solid blocks.
Ever wonder if Capcom would run out of ideas for new boss robots? In Mega Man 6, it looks like they did. Most of the weapons seem to be lifted from past sequels. Plant Man's Leaf Shield bears more than a passing resemblance to Wood Man's weapon from Mega Man 2, and Wind Man's Tornadoes look suspiciously like Air Man's ammo. The new bosses may have cool names, but don't expect any surprises.
- When platforms display the numeral three, it refers to the amount of time you have to get your can moving, not a bonus score.
- When battling a boss with a special weapon, time your shots to hit it just as it stops flashing. This especially applies when using the C. Flash -- don't use it too fast, or you'll use it up!
The new levels are predictable, but Capcom sprinkled enough new enemies throughout the levels to keep the action fun. Some of the mid-bosses are big, imposing sprites, such as the Hard Hat Mac dispenser and the rocket- powered penguins. The foes and boss 'bots aren't overly tough, and the game only nails you when it comes to tricky platform jumping. If you're an above-average gamer you'll clear the game in under 15 hours, especially with the password feature.
Don't step off the ledge of the submarine in Blizzard Man's stage at low tide, or you'll be spiked.
Mega Man 6 is just about as good as 8-bit graphics get, but not quite. The game could use some more exciting animations for the hero (a la Battletoads) and more detailed artwork (a la Castlevania III), but the backgrounds are bright, colorful, and coordinated with the environment. There are some cool new areas to explore with new themes, such as an oil field that bursts into flame when ignited.
The audio grinds out robotic NES music. You'll like the beat when you play, but it won't linger in your lobes. Likewise, the sound effects are standard nuts and bolts stuff.
The Hard Hat Mac dispenser is vulnerable in the bolts. Don't waste your time against the little Macs.
A 'Bot-ty that Just Won't Quit
The Mega Man series is déjà vu -- over and over and over again, ad nauseam. If you've never played one of these games, introduce yourself to Plant Man, Yamato Man, and the rest of the crew. If you're already Mega-Manned out, this game is just like all the rest -- six or one half dozen of the other.
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