Genre: Action, Platformer
Year: 1993
Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Nintendo
Platforms: NES
Feeling Like: Beat it

Where have I been for the last 6 months? This time, at least, I have a tangible excuse.

I made a website for my cricket team. Took about 150 hours of work. If I’d known that prior to starting it, I wouldn’t have gone ahead; I already have an ambitious website that I’ll never finish, why do another?

Contrary to past performance, I actually completed it. It helps that after every match, various members of the Ross Bay Cricket Club would ask when the website update was coming.

Apparently, I need a video game team to constantly ask me why I’m not done the 500 yet. I’ll have to conjure some internal motivation. Christmas break is over, and the top 10 for 2021 is up. Onward.

Mega Man 6.

This is a personal pick, but aren’t they all? This is possibly the most obscure, least played Mega Man game out there and for good reason. By the time it was released, Mega Man X was already out on the Super Nintendo. Players were ready to move on, not only for new hardware but for a fresh take on the formula.

After all, six games of roughly the same type of adventure is an indulgence, no matter how tasty the original recipe is.

Luckily for me, I seldom get tired of a good thing. It’s likely the reason why I’ve never tried a single cigarette in my life; my addictive personality reminds me that my best life is when I have balance in all things. I can get hooked on things easily, I also have the gift of foresight in regards to this.

I mean, I do now. Not when I was nine years old and thought Mega Man was the greatest thing ever. So I played, and loved, every single one. Mega Man 6 is no different.

The levels and bosses are predictable and comforting. No prizes for guessing if you obtain a defeated boss’ power and can use it against another foe with beneficial results. You’ll get random drops of health and energy, sometimes a free life if the game feels particularly guilty about a cheap death, or a pit that you can’t seem to get over. There’s nothing offensive to be found, but it’s all rote at this point.

But still, the basic movement, jumping, sliding, charging and shooting are timeless. I can’t resist. I can feel the controller in my hand as I type, and know that if I began another playthrough, it would take no time at all to master the controls and jump right in.

The hook in this version of Mega Man is that when you acquire your faithful Robot Doggy Who Fucking Rules, he attaches to you instead of you riding, or bouncing on top of him. Rush has never looked cooler; there’s a reason they chose that configuration for the front box art. You better be confident that your mascot looks amazing if you’re going to fundamentally change the color you’ve gone with on the previous five iterations.

I like the design of all the bosses here. Once you start approaching 50 Robot Masters, you’re going to have to start getting creative, or scraping the bottom of the barrel depending on how you look at it. I’m not certain Yamato or Tomahawk would fly today, so I’ll gracefully bow out of that conversation. I am glad Centaur Man’s weakness is Knight Man’s power. That’s something that makes sense to me now, and made sense to me then. Otherwise, it’s a massive game of guess who and I usually lost a few times trying to determine who to tackle first. I see a Plant Man, so maybe…I dunno, what’s bad for plants? Flames? Blizzard? Apparently it’s Tomahawk Man’s ability that is powerful against Plant Man. I guess that tracks.

I specifically remember this one had cool environmental hazards, like how an inert oil patch would be mostly harmless until it’s ignited by a wayward enemy fireball and turned into a deadly blaze. Or how there would be water sections, but upside down on the roof. Time those jumps carefully.

While I have Mega Man 6 at 260, it gets there largely at how snappy it is and the quality of the experience, not that quantity. This was a rare NES game I beat alongside Dobbo in his basement. The blasts and noises were muted at night, we dare not incur the wrath of an awoken parent. As far as we knew, their only weakness was to keep silent until we hit the end credits and could justify going to sleep.

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