Mega Man & Bass

Game Boy Advance

Review by Dustin Gulley

Capcom

Platform/Shooter

Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 8


Mega Man & Bass was originally a Japanese only game for the Super Famicom.  However, thanks to the powers that be, it has been released again, and this time for the Game Boy Advance.  Some go as far to call this Mega Man nine, since to date it is the last game in the series that has officially starred the blue bomber.

This game takes a bit of a departure from previous Mega Man games since at first your nemesis is the Robot King, instead of the evil Dr. Wily.  You can choose to play as Mega Man, or a new robot, Bass, to fight eight evil boss robots and stop the Robot King from building an indestructible army of robots.  Bass was built by Dr. Wily, but has decided to join Mega Man's efforts to ward off the Robot King, as he is a threat even to Wily!

Mega Man & Bass has some noticeable differences when compared to previous Mega Man games.  First of all, instead of choosing which of the 8 bosses to fight, you must choose between only a few.  After defeating each boss a path will open to allow you to choose more boss robots to fight.  Next, there is a new system of collecting screws, which can be used as money in order to buy upgrades for yourí character.  Last, the difficulty has been taken up a notch from previous Mega Man games.

Some reviewers have said that Mega Man & Bass is overly difficult.  However, I tend to disagree.  While Mega Man & Bass is hard, it never uses cheap shots, and all the bosses move in patterns that can be figured out.  It is much more accurate to say that Mega Man & Bass is challenging, instead of difficult, because once you learn the layout of the levels, and the patterns, the game really loses a lot of itsí difficulty.  Some reviewers have even gone as far to say that by choosing Bass the player is choosing the easy option, and that by choosing Mega Man the player is picking the difficult option.

Mega Man and Bass both function in very different ways.  Mega Man can charge his buster and slide, while Bass uses a rapid fire gun and has a double jump, also, Bass has the ability to aim his weapon in any direction.  The double jump and aiming ability do tend to make Bass an easier character to use, though his shots do slightly less damage than Mega Man's.

I gave the graphics a nine, simply because they were well above average. Everything was crisp and clear, as well the entire game was animated superbly.  The sound suffered a bit which is why I gave it a seven.  While the sound isnít bad overall, it really doesnít seem to sound a great deal like any of the Mega Man games released prior to this one.  Keep in mind, a seven is still above average.  The gameplay is where this game really shines.  I gave it a 9, being that Iíve rarely played a game with tighter controls than this one.

Mega Man & Bass also has some replay value.  After beating the game with either Mega Man or Bass, you will want to go through and beat the game with the other character.  Some of the levels even vary slightly depending on which character you choose.  You can also go through to collect CD's.  The game has one hundred CD's, each CD has a profile of a Mega Man series character on it.  You will need to use both  Mega Man and Bass to find all the CD's.

Overall I gave this game an eight, keep in mind though that the only reason this game didnít get a nine overall is because of the sound.  I would definitely recommend this game to any Mega Man fan, or any fan of platform/shooters.  This game exceeds expectations in both graphics and gameplay.  It does what every game should do, it pushes the player to do better and challenges them in every portion.  This game provides a fun challenge, which is something many other games lack.  It is a perfect example of a great game.   

In this last section Iím going to provide some tips to help you make it through the game, if you donít want them than donít read anything else.  To start out Iím going to list all the boss characters, their weaknesses, and any strategies for beating them, if necessary.  Than I will move on to some strategies for beating the Robot King, and finish off with a tip to help defeat Wily.  Keep in mind, these tips are primarily for using Mega Man and may not work as well with Bass.

    So here goes, I will start off with Dynamo Man.  It is best to use the Mega Buster until Dynamo Man jumps to the top of the screen to refill his life.  When he jumps to the top you should quickly jump to one of the ledges on either the left or right.  Aim yourself at Dynamo Man then use the copy vision, obtained from Astro Man.  A hologram of Mega Man will begin firing on one side of Dynamo Man, now go to the ledge on the other side of Dynamo Man and begin firing at him.  Doing this will stop Dynamo Man from filling his life, remember to do it quickly that way he doesnít have time to replenish much life.

Letís move on to Cold Man.  The best weapon to use against Cold Man is the lightning bolt, obtained from Dynamo Man.  Using the lightning bolt not only hurts Cold Man, but renders him unable to move for a few moments.  It is best to use the lightning bolt frequently to keep Cold Man from moving.  Now to Ground Man.  Ground Manís weakness seems to be the remote mine, obtained from Pirate Man, but I find it easiest just to beat him with the Mega Buster.  He has a pattern that is pretty easy to figure out, get the pattern down and youíve got Ground Man.

Pirate Man is next.  When fighting Pirate Man it is best to use the Mega Buster until the water has lowered.  Once the water has lowered use the web burner, obtained from Burner Man, you should be able to defeat Pirate Man a lot easier this way.  Next up is Burner Man.  Many people find Burner Man a very difficult Boss to beat.  His weakness is the ice wall, obtained from Cold Man.  I find it easiest to use the Mega Buster until Burner Man starts slowly hopping toward you while using his flames, in an effort to make you fall in the spikes.  When Burner Man does this simply use the ice wall and push it at him.  The challenging part about Burner Man is that it is very difficult to dodge his attacks.

Lets move on to Magic Man.  Magic manís weakness is the Tengu Blade, obtained from Tengu Man.  Using the Tengu Blade you shouldnít have a very difficult time with Magic Man.  Next is Tengu Man.  When fighting Tengu Man it is best to use the speed drill, obtained from Ground Man.  I like to wait till he lands next to me, and then speed drill him.  Remember to stay in the middle of the platform or Tengu Man may blow you onto the spikes.

Last is Astro man.  It is best to use the Magic Card, obtained from Magic Man, when fighting Astro Man.  Often times Astro Man will be at the top of the screen.  Remember, even with Mega Man you can shoot the Magic Card straight up.

Next Iíd like to move on to some strategies for fighting the Robot King.  By this point you should have bought every upgrade possible.  If you havenít yet, do so.  When you first fight King he will be holding a shield.  Donít fire at him while he holds the shield.  He will move around a little and fire a sequence of five giant X's at you.  You should jump over the first two X's, slide under the third, jump over the fourth, and slide under the fifth.  If you fire at King he will shoot a giant laser beam at you. 

Keep the auto life replenish equipped while fighting King right now.  After several moments Proto Man will appear and break Kingís shield.  If youíre low on life keep then donít press any buttons while Proto Manís speech bubble is up.  King wonít attack you, and since you have the auto life replenisher equipped yourí life will go up.  Once yourí life is full let Proto Man finish his conversation. 

 When fighting King the next time start off by equipping the special weapon saver, then use the lightning bolt.  Use the lightning bolt frequently and try not to give King much chance to move.  If you do this correctly you should just about defeat him, finish him off with the Mega Buster, and equip yourí shield.  Now get ready, youíre going to have to fight King again!

Last, when fighting Wily for the final time he will be in a ship that disappears and reappears in different areas of the screen, and fires at you.  Iíve found there are two strategies that aid in fighting him.  You can start off the fight with the lightning bolt and special weapon saver equipped, use it at the beginning.  While using the lightning bolt Wilyís shots will go right through you.  This is a good way to knock about a quarter to a third of his life off without getting touched.  If you donít like this approach you might want to try using the good old Mega Buster with the shield equipped.  Wait till Wily shoots the homing grenades at you and then use the lightning bolt.  This will destroy all the grenades. 

Defeating Wily is very difficult, his moves can seem somewhat random.  Remember to equip the offense booster if yourí life gets really low, that has gotten me out of more than one tight situation.  The key to this game is figuring out the patters, keep trying and you will win.  Good luck!

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Last updated: Saturday, March 20, 2004 05:13 AM