Next up in the series, we have Mega Man & Bass. This is a title that was originally released in Japan on the SNES, but didn’t see the light of day in the USA for many years later when it was released as a GBA title.
Even though the game’s was released on the SNES originally, it occurs chronologically after the PS title Mega Man 8. Many of the animations and sprite-art actually seem to come straight out of Mega Man 7.
In this game, the new “freak of the week” is a new robot named King. King steals a bunch of plans from the Robot Museum with the intention transforming the world into a robot utopia free of human control. Naturally, Mega Man steps up to ward off this threat. Optionally, the player can also choose to play as Bass. In this scenario, Bass decides to defeat King as a way to prove he is more powerful than Mega Man.
Eventually, it is revealed that King is actually a creation of Dr. Wily. Once both King and Dr. Wily are defeated, Bass asks his creator why he deceived into thinking King was robot of unknown origin. Wily explains that King was only designed to test Bass’s abilities. Furious, Bass declares that he will defeat Mega Man one day to prove he is the most powerful robot of all time.
This game is an interesting blend of both older and later Mega Man titles. To me, it feels a lot like the Mega Man X games in the sense of level design and graphics. There are collectibles scattered throughout the levels. However, this time it is impossible to collect them in a single playthrough. So the player is encouraged to play through the game more than once. Plus, with the ability to experience the game as Bass, this seems even more encouraged. This was the last true Mega Man game released by Capcom for many years.
Difficulty: Very Difficult – Once again, the difficulty level has been taken up ANOTHER notch. In fact, I’ve read somewhere that it was the goal of the developers to make this title as “hardcore as possible”. At this point, I guess we really cannot complain, and should look at this as a staple of the series. This title contains every dirty trick you can image.
Story: Here we have a good story that helps to flesh out the Bass character a bit. The introduction of King is also a nice tough.
Originality: This game is a nice mix of both old and new. The ability to play as someone other than Mega Man is a really nice touch. Both characters have their pros and cons and this makes the experience quite different.
Soundtrack: Decent tracks here, but somehow they seem to lack cohesion. Some of them seem a little out of place, but overall it’s a decent soundtrack.
Fun: Fun- if you’re a sadomasochist. This truly is one of the harder action platformers out there. Patience is a must.
Graphics: Very sharp and crisp on the GBA screen. The game definitely show it’s 16-bit roots, but I find no reason to complain.
Playcontrol: No real complaints here. The controls are precise and responsive. It’s important to note that both Mega Man and Bass have a different feel about them.
Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 – This a pretty good title and a welcome addition to the handheld Mega Man universe. As I said, the difficulty level is pretty intense so be warned going in.
Original System: Super Famicom, GBA
Not currently available
Other Reviews In This Series:
MMX – MMX2 – MMX3 – MMX4 – MMX5 – MMX6 – MMX7 – MMX8 – MMXtreme – MMXtreme2 – Comman Mission
Zero – Zero2 – Zero3 – Zero 4 – ZX
BN – BN2 – BN3- BN4- BN5 – BN6