Mega Man 6
  • Genre:
    • Platformer
  • Platform:
    • NES
  • Developer:
    • Capcom
  • Publisher:
    • Nintendo
  • Released:
    • JP 10/05/1993
    • US March 1994
Score: 80%

This review was published on 06/25/2013.

Mega Man 6 is a 2-D, side-scrolling platform game developed by Capcom and released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's the sixth game in the classic Mega Man series, and the last one made for the NES. Six games on one system for a single series is quite an accomplishment, though it's not one to be proud of. Capcom was blatantly milking the Mega Man franchise for all it was worth, and the well of ideas was running dry by this point. The series that started off with a bang was becoming stale. Mega Man 6 also came out fairly late in NES' lifespan, during a time that the Super Nintendo Entertainment System's popularity was rapidly rising. In fact, Capcom actually developed Mega Man 6 at the same time as Mega Man X, the latter of which is the SNES successor to the original series. Due to that, Capcom didn't even feel the need to publish the game in North America. Nintendo of America decided to publish it in Capcom's stead, giving people in North America the opportunity to experience the game. That's really swell of them, because the game isn't half bad. It by no means is the best in the series, but it provides enough entertainment to be worth playing.

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Mega Man is the blue robotic hero to this story, and he was created by the brilliant genius, Dr. Light. A mad scientist named Dr. Wily tried conquering the world five times in a row, and Mega Man was there to stop him every time. The wily doctor even tried framing others a few time, in an attempt to pass the blame onto someone else. Some time has passed since those dark events, and now a new event is about to take place. A mysterious old man steps out of the shadows to host the first annual "Robot Masters Tournament," a worldwide tournament that would test the combat capabilities of all the Robot Masters in the world. His name is Mr. X, and he looks an awful lot like Dr. Wily. Hmm, I wonder what that could mean. I'm sure it's just a coincidental resemblance. Because Dr. Light is a pacifist, he decides not to enter the violent tournament, but he kept a close eye on it. Near the event's conclusion, Mr. X predictably reprograms the eight finalist robots to help him take over the world. Mr. X then announces to the world that he had been manipulating Dr. Wily all this time, secretly running the show from the shadows. Yeah, I buy that. Just like always, it's up to the blue bomber, Mega Man, to save the day. I can't help but feel like the development team got really lazy with this one. I don't expect much out of a Mega Man story, but they could have tried a little harder with this one.

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If you played the previous five games, then you know the drill. There are eight selectable stages with eight Robot Masters at the end, and Mega Man can absorb the weapons of whatever Robot Masters he defeats. The Robot Masters are all weak to certain weapons, making stage order slightly important. Your masterful foes are Flame Man, Blizzard Man, Plant Man, Tomahawk Man, Yamato Man, Knight Man, Centaur Man, and Wind Man. The Robot Masters are themed after different countries, like Yamato Man is a samurai robot that represents Japan, and Flame Man is a fiery Robot Master that wears a turban and lives in an oil rich desert. The Robot Masters in Mega Man are always a little goofy, and Mega Man 6 is no different in that regard. Centaur Man is probably the most ridiculous one, as he's a man with the body of a horse; you know, like what his name implies. The off-the-wall designs might scare off a lot of people, but their creativity is very welcome. Almost all the Robot Masters in the Mega Man series are humanoid in design, so it's refreshing to see a few that deviate from the typical formula. Knight Man is pretty cool, though. How could you say no to a robotic knight? Sadly, none of the special weapons you get from these guys are good beyond exploiting boss weaknesses. This is a trend that most of the newer Mega Man games fell into. Mega Man 6 has some decent Robot Master designs if you can get past the silliness of a few of them.

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Like the Robot Masters, the stages are all themed after various countries, which is a first for the Mega Man series. For example, Yamato Man has a stage with Japanese inspired environments and enemies. Tomahawk Man, a robot that resembles an Indian chief, is set in a stage with a Wild West theme, which is fairly awesome. Knight Man's stage is also awesome, being that it's set inside of a medieval castle. There is just something magical about blasting robots as Mega Man while traversing a castle of Gothic architecture. Some stages don't necessarily go with the Robot Master in theme, such as Centaur Man's stage. For whatever reason, Centaur Man's stage has a water theme, which makes no sense. What do centaurs and water have in common? I don't know. I think the development team created a water stage and simply didn't have a water boss designed for it. As far as the level design goes, though, Mega Man 6 does exceedingly well in that department. One section I find particularly interesting is in Blizzard Man's stage, where Mega Man must walk across a ship as it floats up and down. The catch is that the ceiling has icicles on it that kill you in one hit, so you have to cross when the ship isn't floating upwards. That section is really creative and well thought out. Really, the only thing that sucks about the stages in Mega Man 6 is the music. The music is pretty good in general terms, but not up to the high standards of the Mega Man series.

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Rush, Mega Man's robotic canine, has undergone a major transformation in Mega Man 6. In previous games, Rush would transform into a jet or whatever to help Mega Man out in a pinch, but this time, things are different. Ever since Mega Man 3, Mega Man would start the game off with the Rush Coil, a Rush ability that lets him use the dog as a stepping stone in order to reach higher platforms. Mega Man would then get the other Rush transformations after beating a couple of the stages. The latter is still true in Mega Man 6, but you don't start the game with Rush this time. That's not the major difference, though. The big change to Rush is that he now has the ability to combine with Mega Man to form awesome looking armors. These are known as the Rush Adaptors, and there are two in total. The first one is the Rush Jet Adaptor, which transforms Mega Man's armor into a red suit with a jetpack on it. Jet Mega Man can fly for brief periods of time, but the downside is that he can't use charged shots or the slide. While those are some major downsides, the ability to fly any time you want is just too good to be true. The second transformation is the Rush Power Adaptor, and this turns Mega Man into a powerhouse that can push his enemies to death. To be honest, this one isn't very good. It can't slide, either, and the shots don't travel very far. It's a powerful form that can break certain blocks, but I don't find it anywhere near as useful as the Jet Adaptor. The cool thing about these adaptors is that they don't waste energy, unlike in previous Mega Man games. That means you can use the adaptors endlessly without ever having to worry about refilling on energy. Without a doubt, the best thing about Mega Man 6 is the Rush Adaptors.

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Soon after Mega Man emerges victorious from demolishing all eight Robot Masters, Mr. X reveals his fortress. This should be abundantly familiar to anyone who played the last two games. Mega Man will have to traverse four more dangerous stages with four more dangerous bosses before he can face the mysterious Mr. X. That's a really stupid name, by the way. Pretty much all the bosses in these final stages are huge, often taking up most of the screen. They're supposed to be different from the Robot Masters you normally face. After getting through Mr. X's base, you find out that it was a ruse all along, and Mr. X is really just Dr. Wily with a "disguise." I use that term loosely, because Wily was barely disguised for that one. All he basically did was put on a pair of sunglasses. The people of the Mega Man world must be pretty stupid to fall for such shenanigans. In any case, Mega Man has to go through Wily's Castle after getting through Mr. X's base. This really doesn't make any sense, since both of these bases are technically owned by Wily. As usual, this means four more extra stages with four more extra bosses. The two castles concept was started in Mega Man 4 and got old in Mega Man 5, so by Mega Man 6, it got positively ancient. Like the last two games, Mega Man 6 would have been better off with only one final fortress.

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Mega Man 6 is kind of an unnecessary sequel, but it's still pretty good. For an NES game, it's extremely impressive, sporting the kind of game design you'd expect out of a 16-bit title. The graphics are also extremely good, with lots of large, colorful sprites and a nice amount of detail. You probably won't be too impressed by the music if you played other Mega Man games, but that isn't bad, either. The only thing that really stands out from Mega Man 6 is Rush's new transformations, which are pretty awesome. Besides that, Mega Man 6 is a standard Mega Man game.

Word Count: 1,683

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