Mega Man X6 (PlayStation) review
"X: "Oh, no! Zero died! I think. And there’s a virus that’s going to DESTROY THE WORLD! I got to stop that." "
X: "Oh, no! Zero died! I think. And there’s a virus that’s going to DESTROY THE WORLD! I got to stop that."
So is a summary of the basic plot to Mega Man X6, which is probably the most useless of the side-scrolling MMX games.
If you were around in 1993, you may remember the release of the sensational evolution of the Mega Man series: Mega Man X. It improved on the franchise in every way, with more lifelike and creative bosses, a darker and more mature plot, and a level of fun that carried through the X-series until about X5. When that not-so-good game came out, the greasy gamers living in their mothers’ basements knelt and prayed to the Mega Gods that their next Mega Man X offering would be, you know, good. They knew that the entire series needed a savior breathe life back into it.
Well, the Mega Gods willfully ignored these prayers and just left the series to die on a hospital bed of mediocrity. But instead of giving it a proper burial with pomp, they burned the body, collected all the ashes, made them into a delicate ash tapestry, and smashed it all over the PlayStation. With that, Mega Man X6 was born.
And, let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, if the Mega Gods’ ambition was to make the X series go from good to dull, they certainly achieved their ultimate goal.
The story is virtually nonexistent. As you read from the beginning of this review, Zero died because he sacrificed himself in X5. To make matters worse, there’s an evil virus that will, yes, destroy the world. And that, my friends, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of X6. WOOHOO!
The gameplay resembles your average Mega Man game’s control system (you know, run, jump, dash, jump off walls, etc.), except for the fact that you can use Zero’s Z-Saber. However, instead of having items to increase your suit’s power, you have totally new suits. That whole concept annoyed me, though, because you have to select which suit you want before you start the level. To add a little bit of confusion, you have random “parts” scattered about that you must collect to power yourself up. This was, apparently, supposed to start a customization theme. But, come on, Capcom, this is Mega Man X6, not Custom Flipping Robo!
Another rather annoying facet of the gameplay is the NPC interaction. At the beginning of every stage, as well as at every point that there is a puzzle or tough spot of some sort, your "friend" Alia, who’s supposed to be "helping," will call in to tell you useless information that either (a) you already know, or (b) has no impact. Example: At one point, when I was in the midst of an incredibly useless and annoying puzzle (shoot the mirrors until they’re at the right angle to reflect light onto a door and open it), she interrupted my puzzle-solving (which, by the way, shouldn’t even be in a Mega Man game, for pity’s sake) to tell me that the whole mirror thing "is like a puzzle game." And I’m like, "...Thank you, Alia. Now, shut up."
The boss battles are all right by themselves, but their names and character designs are somewhat... annoying. In the first few Xs, you had bosses that you felt proud to be fighting, with sweet names like "Wheel Gator" and "Armored Armadillo." But now you have rumbles with lame-looking baddies with such miserable monikers as "Blaze Heatnix" and "Shield Shieldon." Seriously, Capcom, could you please explain what the heck a Heatnix is? Or a Shieldon? Though one boss, Commander Yammark of the Miscellaneous Jungle Level, is kind of fun and cool-looking, the rest are not noteworthy at best.
Another point where X6 is somewhat lacking is in the sound. X makes this annoying diarrhea noise of varying length ("HYYYYYAHHH!" to "HHHYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAHHHHH!") whenever he jumps, fires a charge shot, or gets hit. The music is okay for the first few bars, but most of it is tunes more belonging in a disco hall than an action game.
I guess it’s not a bad game, but just a painfully boring one that tries to be original (an original Mega Man game! Good luck with that), but messes around with most everything that the X-series does correctly. (Customization elements? Puzzles in the middle of stages? Uh, no.) It's not too terribly awful, but its predecessors are better. Just go and play the first four X games, and remember how good the series used to be before it died due to the Mega Gods’ thoughtless neglect.
Featured community review by wayne_steed (October 01, 2007)
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