They're fighting at a mini-golf castle!
We're here! The end of Rockapalooza is here and I'm playing the first Mega Man game I ever owned.
I'd like to note that Capcom didn't publish this game because they were moving on to the 16-bit era... yet the copyright still displays their logo and fanfare!
Let us begin.
Robots from around the world are gathered together for the First Annual Robot Masters Tournament, sponsored by the strange billionaire Mr. X. Eventually, the number of participants in the tournament is reduced to eight finalists:
Blizzard Man, a Canadian-built robot originally built to monitor the weather conditions at the South Pole.
Then, Mr. X reveals takes control of these eight finalists and reprograms them to use in his bid for world domination! Rock confronts Mr. X about it and is told that the billionaire was the mastermind behind all of Dr. Wily's schemes and that ol' Al was no longer needed.
Rock goes off to put a stop to the eight robots' rampage and then goes after Mr. X's fortress. Once he's stopped, Mr. X that he is really...
Whoever didn't see this coming, raise your hand.
So Rock goes after Wily and manages to arrest him and everything is gumdrops and peppermints until Mega Man 7.
Controls are the same, I'd be beating a dead horse by now talking about them.
Some people consider the gameplay to be inferior to the previous couple of entries, but I honestly don't see that much. The stage layout is pretty much on par with MM4 and MM5, if you ask me. Mr. X Stage 2 is really of linear, sure, but the latter two sections make up for it. Not only that, but the last third of Plant Man's level REALLY gave me a hard time as a kid.
Also, we are introduced to the Rush Adaptors in this game.
Power Mode allows you to bust blocks that may or may not have items like a 1-Up or E-Tank behind them; it also can be used to attack enemies... but its range is really short. One cool thing about it is that it knocks away come smaller enemies, like the robot hockey pucks in Blizzard Man's stage, and even takes out shielded enemies when their defenses are up.
Jet Mode allows you to fly for a moment. It REALLY helps out with some of the platforming sections, allowing you to take shortcuts and can even allow access to alternate routes.
Jet Mode is the shizz-nit!
The downside to all of this is having to switch back and forth between modules. It may not sound bad, but imagine you're in Jet Mode flying over this huge gap. You reach the other side, but there's a block in your way, so you switch to Power Mode and bust it. On the other side, there's another big gap that you have to fly over. Kinda slows things down!
Also, the bosses (especially the ones for Mr. X's stages) are pretty underwhelming. The Mr. X Stage 1 boss was a pretty interesting concept and one for Wily Stage 1 looked cool... but the Mr. X Stage 2 boss is one of the most irritating in the Classic series:
You're supposed to hit it with Silver Tomahawk, but it always moves up and down the wall shooting at you. All the while you try to get out of the way for its shots and hit it, exploding boulders are dropped from above.
Also, I'd like to note that the inclusion of mini-bosses returns after its nadir in MM5: we've got two Gorilla Tanks in Plant Man's stage, two Metall Pottons (those things that dispense Mets) in Tomahawk Man's stage and one in Wily Stage 4, and (my favorite) Gamarn-and-Gamadayu in Yamato Man's stage.
Beat also comes back! You have to defeat Tomahawk Man, Knight Man, Centaur Man, and Yamato Man in an alternate room in their stages to get the B, E, A, and T panels. People complain that he sucks in this game because he can't attack bosses... but screw them! That's a small price to pay when you have something that stupidly powerful to attack normal enemies and often one-shot the stronger ones!
All in all: bosses aside, gameplay pretty much stays the same course as MM5. Kinda wish they kept the M-Tank, though...
This game probably boasts my favorite soundtrack in the entire 8-bit Classic games.
The western theme of Tomahawk Man's level pretty much defines this game, along with the epicness that is Yamato Man's theme. Also, when I play against a boss, the riffs in the battle music makes me think I'm watching a bullfight.
The Mr. X theme sounds really futuristic and the **** theme is moody, yet smooth as well and I think I like it a little better than the "Wily Castle 1" theme in MM2 (Someone also said that it sounds a little like Michael Jackson's "Earth Song", but I don't hear it).
The excellent soundtrack is matched with really good graphics. The sprites are solid, as usual, and for some reason being in Yamato Man's stage and looking at Wily's castle really makes me think of Samurai Pizza Cats and the ill-fated 1995 edited dub of Dragon Ball.
Well, so much for trying to avoid spoilers...
Was his contractor Emperor Pilaf or Big Cheese?
Speaking of anime, Keiji Inafune's otakuism strikes again with the boss for Mr. X stage 3:
What's more, the boss of Wily Stage 1 (yeah, the cat's out of the bag now, so I won't bother censoring his name any longer) is clearly inspired by the Mechasaurii from another Go Nagai work: Getter Robo.
Then there's the Wily Stage 2 boss:
For some reason, I keep seeing it as a descendant of the Czar Tank!
One last note in terms of graphics: if you revisit certain stages AFTER unlocking Beat, the background and foreground graphics will change. For instance: Tomahawk Man's stage will take place in the early morning rather than the afternoon, the sky in the first room of Knight Man's stage will be grey instead of orange, and Yamato Man's stage will take place at sunset.
Some people tend to dismiss this game as complete garbage. For my money, it's pretty good. It may have some rough edges and stupid-looking bosses, but I think it's a better introduction to the series for newcomers than MMII... it's not as easy as that one, but not as hard as Mega Man and Bass. The story may be laughable (seriously, Rock falls for "Mr. X's" ridiculously obvious disguise, who throws it off nonchalantly?), but nobody really gives a darn about storyline unless it's an RPG or a Phoenix Wright game.
I say lay aside the naysayers, give this game a chance, and draw your own conclusions. With all the varying routes in the levels, you've got a little replay value as well.
Give it a shot!
AND WE'RE DONE WITH ROCKAPALOOZA!
In hindsight, it's kind of a bittersweet thing, considering how the franchise has pretty much died due to Capcom's neglect and stupidity. It was fun to revisit some of the games I grew up on (and tried out three I had never played until this marathon). Now I can safely say that I was able to take down the Yellow Devil in MM1 without using the pause trick.
Good times, good times...
But now I must move on to new stuff. Considering dipping into some movies, anime, and cartoons on occasion.
I'm DLAbaoaqu. Full-on!
- Mega Man 6 is owned by Capcom and Keiji Inafune
- Mazinger Z and Getter Robo are owned by Go Nagai and Toei