Sunday, September 11, 2011

Megaman X6

The most challenging in the series by far, and it's good!
Mega Man X5 was really supposed to be the last in the series, but the series was so successful that Capcom pushed to create more games in the X series, and so we got Mega Man X6. It's by far considered to be the most difficult in the series, because they went all out on it. Mega Man X6 would also be the last fully 2D game in the series. The next in the franchise brought Mega Man X to a 3D plane and's not that great. Also, they never bothered to translate the voice clips in this game from Japanese to English because the game was so rushed.

THE STORY: It's been six months since Sigma's last attack on the world, and the Maverick Virus is still plaguing the world, rendering it desolate. Mega Man X is also still on a search for his friend Zero, believing he is still alive somewhere because of rumors of something called the Zero Nightmare. X isn't too happy about this, because this Zero Nightmare has taken Zero's name. Dynamo from Mega Man X5 is also still after the Maverick Hunters. Also, a reploid scientist by the name of Gate stumbles upon a chip containing the Maverick Virus, and thus becomes infected and hellbent on resurrecting Sigma, and works with a man named Dr. Isoc.

THE GAMEPLAY: Mega Man X6 plays a lot like Mega Man X5. You have an intro stage and even start off with the Falcon Armor from X5. This gives you a limited flying ability, but the charge shot's power gets toned down. And like all Mega Man games, X6 is a platformer that requires some pixel-perfect jumps. Falling into a bottomless pit, river of lava, or spikes will kill you instantly. This game really felt like throwing in a ton of spikes too, so beware. You can also play as Zero once you get him back. After beating the intro stage, you have access to the main 8 stages of the game. Like past games, you go through the eight stages in any order you desire, and at the end of each, there is a Maverick boss to defeat, each with their own ability. Each special move will deal more damage to a certain Maverick boss, creating a set "order of weaknesses". Each stage also has an alternate or "nightmare" area that often leads to many great rewards, and are usually altered, more difficult versions of a path. Each stage has a Heart Tank to acquire, which will raise the maximum life bar of the character who picks it up. In addition to this, there are capsules hidden throughout the game that will give X a piece of armor, and there are two sets of armors to find in this game, just like in Mega Man X5. This game also introduced a new gameplay element. Throughout the stages, you will find "Nightmare DNA". These enemies, when destroyed, leave behind a Nightmare Soul, which are collected and used as currency. You'll want to try and get them as soon as the Nightmare DNA dies because these souls will quickly degenerate into nothingness. In this game there are also helpless reploids, and the Nightmare DNA often stalks them and seeks to turn them into an enemy. You can either destroy the DNA first or go for a quick rescue, whichever is more appropriate for the situation. Saving these reploids will often reap massive rewards, such as Quick Charge, 1/2 damage, etc. Be warned, once these reploids are infected, they are gone forever. The more souls each character collects, the higher their ranking will eventually become, allowing them to equip more special parts given by the rescued reploids.

Throughout the game you will also find Sub-Tanks, which work like Energy Tanks in the classic series in some respects. They start off empty, and must be refilled as you go along. Once your character is at full health, any health energy they pick up while in this state will go into the Sub-Tanks and act as a reserve when needed, but must be used manually. You can also find Weapon Tanks that have the same effect on your weapon energy, and are filled the same way. Once you've defeated all eight Maverick bosses, you will gain access to the Gate stages. These stages can not be saved in between and thus, you will have to go through them all in one run. The Gate stages are perhaps the hardest in the entire series, as they are loaded with extremely cheap deaths, but can be gotten around with the right level of skill, and the other armors will most assuredly help you. Once a few stages ino, like every other Mega Man game, you will have to fight the game's main eight bosses again before finally taking on the final boss, so I hoped you remembered those weaknesses, because the bosses in this game are also arguably the toughest in the series. The difficulty of this game really sets it apart from the others, so I hope you're ready for a challenging ride.

THE SOUND: The music in Mega Man X6 doesn't disappoint. It's often very dark and heavy, similar to Mega Man 3 for the NES in some ways, but a lot of the tracks are remixed songs from past games in the Mega Man X series, and they all sound absolutely amazing! The music is absolutely perfect for this game. There is, however, one glaring problem with the audio. The game's audio never got translated to English when it came over to America. You will eventually get around this however and learn to ignore it, but still. They could have taken a bit more time and had the audio translated to English, Capcom certainly had the money, so there's no excuse. Otherwise, the sound effects are great and the music is perfection incarnate.

THE GRAPHICS: The last two-dimensional game in the series, and it looks perfect. It's well-polished, and the level design is great, as well as the boss designs. Dr. Isoc also looks a bit like Dr. Wily, which raises some questions, but those are quelled in the next installment. Like Mega Man X5, all of the cut scenes are done with pictures instead of animated cut scenes like in Mega Man X4. Still, none of it really looks bad and the in-game graphics are fantastic as always. The characters look nice and fluid.

OVERALL: It's the last 2D Mega Man X game and despite it not being expected to ever even exist, it turned out to be a great game regardless. Though, the difficulty has often been a put-off to some players, and the Japanese voice acting just sounds out of place. Other than that, it's a solid Mega Man X game, so if you can find this game at your local used game store, go ahead and get it. That is, if you can handle the challenge. This game isn't for the faint-hearted or those inexperienced in the Mega Man or Mega Man X franchises. You can also find the Mega Man X collection with this game on it, which provides you with the other 5 games before this one as well. Either way, go ahead and buy it if you're a die-hard Mega Man X fan!

SYSTEM: Play Station, PC



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