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Review was written by Stephen Deck; originally published 01/31/2019 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Mega Man 6 was the Blue Bomber’s last hurrah on Nintendo’s 8-bit powerhouse. When this game released in 1993, the 16-bit Super Nintendo was already on store shelves. Capcom, owing a huge amount of their success to the NES, insisted on giving their Mega Man franchise a glorious swan song.
In most regards, Mega Man 6 is just more of Mega Man 5. The visuals, while no different stylistically than the previous five games, are bright and colorful throughout with some fantastic boss sprites. The music is superb, keeping up the series’s unbroken record of awesome soundtracks. The controls and platforming feel tight, response, and polished nearly to perfection. There’s one thing that sets it above Mega Man 5 for me, however, and that’s the Rush Adapters. Mega Man basically fuses with his dog to get a couple of different armors that give some cool new abilities like a jet pack or an extra strong punch.
There was almost a second addition that set Mega Man 6 above Mega Man 5, but unfortunately, poor execution ruins it for me. They implemented some alternating paths in a few levels, but not only to the paths feel rather pointless – they branch out in the middle before coming together at the end rather than having alternate level endings like Mario 3 – but they feel like a bit of an afterthought with their implementation. Only two of the robot masters’ levels have alternate paths whereas something like half of the castle’s levels do. It’s not that they’re bad, per se, but they feel like a last minute addition that could have been so much better if a little more time and thought had been put into them.
Mega Man 6 is an example of what an 8-bit action platformer should be, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s right up there tied with Mega Man 5 for “Best 8-bit Mega Man Game.” Overall, it’s more of the same from Mega Man 5 with a couple of things that make it better and a couple of things that are slight detriments. Still, though, if you had to choose one of the six NES Mega Man games to play for the rest of your life, I’d definitely suggest going with Mega Man 6.