If this is your first time visiting this blog, you may be thinking “Why Mega Man 6?”, well, throughout the year I’ve reviewed 1-5, so this not only ends the original NES run of Mega Man games on this blog, but it’s also the Mega Man franchise rep for the Smash Bros. Ultimate marathon! Double… er… thing. Anyway, does Mega Man’s original run end with a bang or a whimper? Let’s find out!
Keeping up the tradition of forgetting to take a screenshot of the select screen!
Mega Man 6, known in Japan as “Rockman 6: The Greatest Battle of All Time!!”, which may be a slight case of over-hyping, was first released in November 1993 in Japan, and March 94 in the US. It never got a release in Europe, therefore the 3DS Virtual Console version of the game, released in June 2013, is Mega Man 6’s PAL release date…
The final (NES-era) line up of Robot Masters are Blizzard Man (surprisingly only the second ice-based robot master so far!), Centaur Man (a Centaur robot who… can stop time…?), Flame Man (take a guess!), Knight Man (uses a medieval flail and shield to battle), Plant Man (creates a shield of plant bits and throws it, just like Wood Man’s Leaf shield, or Star Man’s Star Shield), Tomahawk Man (Stereotypical Native American garb, throws tomahawks!), Wind Man (I’m just surprised we haven’t used that one yet…) and finally we have Yamato Man (which just like Knight Man and Tomahawk Man, is based on an old warrior type, in this case, Japanese Samurai. He has a long spear which probably has a specific name, but hey-ho).
It’s an odd mix of really basic elemental attack types and historical warriors.
I strongly considered jumping out of a window trying to do this part of the level…
While the basics of the game remain the same (run, jump and slide your way through the levels, you can shoot rapid small blasts or hold to fire a larger charge shot, every time you beat a boss robot you get a new gun based off of their abilities, health, energy, refills for both being collectible, etc.) there are at least a couple of new things.
First off, you get two new forms where you combine with robot dog Rush and gain new abilities, “Jet Mega Man”, where you can fly upwards and hover for a bit but you can’t use charge shot or slide, and “Power Mega Man”, where you can unleash a super-powerful short range blast, but you’re slow, have no reach and also can’t slide. Every level has branching paths now, including two different boss doors to reach, some of which will net you a circuit board, gather all of which will get you the bird sidekick Beat (who thankfully isn’t a near-necessity for certain bosses this time…) These both combine to give your certain alternate paths which you can only reach with the jet, or can only get to by breaking large blocks with the “Power Mega Man” blast.
They don’t reinvent the wheel, but they were fun additions to the game.
Graphics and Sound:
Erm… yeah. Scary.
Nothing new to report here, that’s for sure. Much like the last few games, backgrounds are a bit more detailed and look a bit brighter, but this time there isn’t much in it between 5 and 6. The sprites are still the same as usual.
Sound effects are the usual stuff as well, and background music is often catchy, but not particularly memorable.
A great looking sub-boss!
A fighting tournament featuring robots from around the world is taking place, with Mega Man overseeing the proceedings. Suddenly the mysterious Mr. X arrives and takes control of all eight of the participants, turning them into his personal army to try and conquer the world.
To the surprise of literally no-one, Mr. X turns out to be Dr. Wiley! Given the way they revealed it, and generally his design to still resemble Wiley (his moustache was sticking out of his helmet for instance) it was done very much as an in-joke, seeing him twitch his eyebrows while his classic UFO woo-woo-woo sound plays as he zooms away for the sixth bloody time.
As some sort of finality though, the ending sees Mega Man actually succeed in capturing Wiley, complete with a newspaper front page showing Wiley behind bars. Now, obviously, I know there is Mega Man 7 to 11 still to come next year, but it was a nice end to the NES era if nothing else…
An example of the Jet Mega Man ability, never to be seen again…
I don’t know whether this was easier than others, or it’s just that I’ve played these games so much now, but I zoomed through this in just a couple of play sessions. The Jet and Power modes, along with different paths, gave the game a slightly different feel, but also quite an easier one (especially with the Jet). It was still fun, but with less challenge and not even a noticeable increase in looks or sound, 6 is certainly nothing to write home about.