Mega Man & Bass (SNES)

Capcom released this Super Famicom game on April 24, 1998
Capcom’s Super Nintendo swan song (April 24, 1998)

Even to this day, a part of me can’t believe this game ever actually happened. Known as Rockman & Forte, Capcom released it on April 24, 1998, well after the SNES was essentially dead. I guess there was a big enough Japanese market still for them to do this. Whatever the case may be, I’m damn glad they did. Because it’s one hell of a Mega Man entry, and a nice bow on the original series.

This is my personal boxed copy
This is my personal boxed copy

The original Japanese version is perfectly playable, but there is a bit of Japanese dialogue. Especially for the item shop and the character bios, it sure helps to be able to read it. Crazed and dedicated fans felt the same way as they worked on an English translation. As a result of that, we have been graced by Mega Man & Bass.

Alternate cover I seen elsewhere
Alternate cover I seen elsewhere
Alternate cover #2
Alternate cover #2

Bass and Treble made their series debut in Mega Man 7. Treble is a wolf and is basically to Bass as Rush is to Mega Man. But for those who don’t want to backtrack to the Mega Man 7 review, here is a quick summary…











Prophetic words indeed from the Blue Bomber. The duo did get their own game and surprisingly it was on the Super Famicom (April 1998). After releasing Mega Man 8 for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn in December of 1996, Capcom wanted to create a new Mega Man game specifically for loyal SNES fans who hadn’t yet made the jump to 32-bit. Further proof that Capcom was the best back in the ’90s.

Capcom felt bad this wasn't on SNES?
Mega Man 8 is GORGEOUS
The sprite work was simply amazing
The sprite work was simply amazing
Apology accepted, Capcom!
Apology accepted, Capcom!









Look familiar? They were bosses in Mega Man 8








Players get the choice to play as either the good old Blue Bomber or the relative newcomer, Bass. Similar to Zero from Mega Man X³, this adds greater longevity to the game as both characters play vastly different. It’s also a blast trying to beat the game with both Mega Man and Bass.







Differences range from small to big. Cosmetically, it’s cool to see the health refills and what not are in the character’s respective color. It’s a nice little touch that I appreciate, even if it’s completely minor.







However, Mega Man as you know has his classic shot. He can only shoot straight ahead. Bass, on the other hand, can shoot in all directions except for straight down. If you’ve ever played a Mega Man game and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish he could shoot up or diagonally…” then you will appreciate Mega Man & Bass. Or at least, Bass anyhow. To compensate for Bass’ shooting ability, he can’t move while he’s shooting (bummer) and his shot isn’t very strong.







Another difference: their personality and disposition. Mega Man is more compassionate and an all-around goody two shoes.







Meanwhile, Bass is a bit more “robotic” [har har -Ed.] and edgy. Hey, he is technically a bad guy. He’s only teaming up on the “good side” temporarily to knock off King.







Checking in with Bass later — for now let’s use good ol’ Megs.







There’s something strange happening at the Robot Museum. Mega Man sets off to figure out what’s going on. I like how the READY sign is big and blue — it reminds me of Mega Man 8.







Museum serves as the standard Mega Man introductory first level you must beat before getting to select from the robot masters. Right away you can see while it’s no Mega Man 8 in terms of visuals (duh), it’s damn impressive for a 16-bit console.







WHEW!! With the whipping rain and wind pushing against you, you manage to barely clear the jump. Make sure you jump at the very edge there.













Proto Man attempts to slay KING — the game’s big bad — but to no avail. OUCH!







Remember the Green Devil from Mega Man 8? He’s back. It’s a different version of the Yellow Devil which appeared in the very first Mega Man title back in 1987.







Reminds me of the bubble boss from Gradius III in that you have to blast away until you expose its core.







Simple, satisfying introductory boss battle that will wet your appetite for the main game coming up. By the way, isn’t it the best feeling in the world to beat a boss with only a health bar or two remaining? Always provides a nice little rush!







WHOA, IT SAVES?!? Yes, it does. It’s the first and only Super Nintendo Mega Man game that uses a save system over passwords.







Purists were a little disappointed when they found out in Mega Man 7 you could only select from four robot masters first instead of all eight. You only get a paltry three here. Once you beat those three, the other five open up. Let’s pay Cold Man a visit first.







Gotta love the animation of Mega Man as he’s zapped magically to the beginning of a stage. It somehow reminds me a bit of Astro Boy. See that CD over there? Throughout the game you’ll find CD’s lying around. Collecting them gives you a character bio card. It’s fun to collect and read (at least if you’re playing a fan translation or if you can read Japanese). Right now you can’t collect that CD since that ice block is, er, blocking your path. But maybe if you beat Burner Man a bit later on and use his Web Burner… hmmm…







Other CD’s are more instantly accessible. They’re not necessary to collect but of course it’s fun to try and collect all 100.







Beginning to look a lot like Christmas [TOYS IN EVERY STORE -Ed.]. No, I mean it’s almost December. That and this gigantic snowman mid boss [Oh, ahem, I knew that… -Ed.]







Slightly tricky bit where you have to time your jump correctly to catch a ride.







Cakewalk city with Cold Man. Jump over his Ice Wall and blast him with your Mega Buster.







Beware of his Sub Zero-esque ice puddle attack, however. He also sends forth an annoying cloud that can really bog you down and leave you ripe for the taking. Best to shoot it down early to avoid that possibility altogether.







Ahhh, what’s better than getting the last shot in and seeing the boss explode with that sweet visual and sound effect? It never gets old, I tells ya!







Speaking of never getting old, I also like seeing how Mega Man earns the boss’ weapon. Just sit back and enjoy.







Alright, we got Ice Wall! But, um, what does it do, exactly?







WHOA!! This game actually gives you a demo preview of each new weapon you steal! Why Capcom didn’t think of this a long time ago remains a mystery.







Ground Man, huh? To Capcom’s defense, after NINE titles you would be running out of ideas too [Oh yeah watch this! Er, um, Cup Man! Hmm, OK, I’ll cut Capcom some slack -Ed.]







There’s a ton of sand everywhere here. You’ll be wondering if there’s an instant death pit or a helpful item hiding in the sand. Find out for yourself…







Creepy robotic worms fall from a pod located up top. Meanwhile, don’t stand still for too long as you’ll sink to your death.







You’ll quickly discover you can’t kill it. So hold onto that ladder there and wait for it to pass by. The ladder doesn’t take you to a new screen. It’s just there for you to safely wait it out. Well isn’t that thoughtful of Ground Man? Helping out the good guys. Just don’t let King know about this…







Better high tail it as the nasty critter quickly reappears. Whew, just barely slid home safe here, eh?







MAJOR FAIL on the first pic there. You can’t run back to a previous screen so get ready to eat some damage. Second pic, the race is on! Who will get to the ladder first? Oh the tension…







Although not the same creature (it would be cool if it was), it’s definitely related. Tough mid boss. Its pattern is somewhat erratic so it’s a bit of a pain to deal with. Close call there, Mega Man!







OUCH. I bet that stings like a you know what. Look at the attention to detail. When your health is low, Mega Man is visibly injured. Nice, Capcom. Nice.







Watch out for its little babies. You can only kill them with the Mega Buster since they’re so small. Gotta love the classic flashing.







SAFE!! Silky smooth, that Mega Man.







Shots sail harmlessly off Sniper Joe’s shield. I’ve always liked the detail of the shots flying backwards. Sniper Joe likes to launch grenades. Give him a taste of your Mega Buster to put him down for the count.













Puzzle time! Each pillar destroyed causes the spikes to fall one more notch. It starts out simple but…













Doesn’t take long before it gets a tad trickier. Sorry about that, Mega Man.







ProTip: Not all treasure chests are helpful. A little RPG-esque here, eh? By the way, see that match there? See what happens when you revisit this level later on with the Web Burner in tow…













Speaking of boss weapons, here’s Mega Man riding the Ice Wall to victory. Sick.







Astro Man, no relation to Astro Guy from King of the Monsters, is next. If he looks familiar to you it’s because he was a boss from Mega Man 8.







Cursory glance and I might believe you if you told me this were a PlayStation or Saturn Mega Man title. It speaks volumes about how gorgeous this game looks and how silky smooth it is.







Meggers giving it the old college try.







Bonjour, Joe. That CD taunts you but after you get your hands on Burner Man’s Web Burner, you’ll be the one who gets the last laugh.







Strange birds and creatures fly out of that inter-dimensional portal screen. Part of me almost expects to see Shredder and Krang!







Interesting bit: study the light pattern and repeat it. If done so correctly, the door magically opens. If not, well, you can figure out what those guns might do…







Tricky bit with the elevating platforms. Keep moving along, Megs!







D’OH!! OK, let’s switch over to Bass now.







Firing off rapid plasma shots for a little “purple rain” action.







Double jump like a ninja. Bass can’t slide, but this is decent compensation.







Shooting diagonally in a Mega Man game? I’m so there.







Reminiscent of Mega Man X, Bass can also dash. It’s fun playing this on a cold rainy December night.







Green Devil is definitely an easier boss when using Mega Man. C’mon Bass!







“THIS IS SPARTA!” Bass battles Green Devil to the very bitter end.








Remember Auto from Mega Man 7? He’s back. He’s sometimes known as Rightot. Whatever you want to call him, call him helpful. He runs this shop where he creates useful items in exchange of bolts (the game’s currency). Throughout the levels you will find small and big bolts. Collect them to buy power-ups. There are lots of items; they range from extra lives to auto charge (!) on the Mega Buster shot. Selecting the right power-up for the right stage is all part of the strategy.








Throughout the game there are a total of 100 CD’s strewn about the stages waiting to be collected. These open up character bios. This is where playing an English translation pays off. I mean, it’s nothing fancy but it’s certainly fun to be able to read the silly little text. It’s a nice piece of Mega Man history, you know?

























Character bios span the entire previous Mega Man universe. Knight Man from Mega Man 6, Freeze Man from Mega Man 7, Frost Man from Mega Man 8, and yes even Saturn from Game Boy Mega Man V! Impressive. True diehards will definitely make it a point to collect all 100. By the way, Saturn hates video games? BOO!


Mega Man & Bass, er, Rockman & Forte, rocks
Mega Man & Bass, er, Rockman & Forte, rocks

I remember when I first found out about Rockman & Forte being a real thing. It was during the mid 2000s and I was thinking, “Seriously? Capcom released this great looking Mega Man game on the Super Famicom in 19-freaking-98?!” That they did. Whatever the reasons were, I’m damn glad they did. It’s easily the Super Nintendo’s second best Mega Man game, only trailing the epochal Mega Man X. Being able to use Bass, with his double jumping and diagonal shooting, brings a whole new dimension to the table. The items present a bevy of strategies one could take and the game presents a fairly decent challenge. The 100 CD’s are fun to collect and read — it’s basically a little Mega Man compendium. Oh and perhaps best of all, you can now save. What a fantastic swan song for the Super Nintendo from the fine folks at Capcom. If it weren’t for 1999’s Sutte Hakkun, I’d say this is easily the last great Super Nintendo game ever crafted.

In a flash, Capcom bids farewell
In a flash, Capcom bids farewell

Stunning visuals, classic Capcom audio and vintage Mega Man gameplay cements Rockman & Forte (or Mega Man & Bass) as one of the best Super Famicom games to never appear in North America. Thank you Capcom for giving us loyal SNES fans one last bang. Capcom’s SNES swan song turns out to be one of the Blue Bomber’s finest 16-bit outings.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Longevity: 7

Award4Overall: 9.0
Gold Award 


Quit monkeying around and play this!
Quit monkeying around. Play it!

Mega Man 2 (NES)

One of the true cornerstones of the NES library

For anyone who grew up on gaming in the late 1980s and had an 8-bit Nintendo, we all have certain games that we connected with. For many of us, one such game was Mega Man 2. Released in June 1989, Mega Man 2 rocked my world. It truly captivated my imagination. The ability to pick your stage, take enemies’ weapons and the fact that you’re a freaking robot made this game an absolute slam dunk. There’s not much left to say in 2016 that hasn’t already been said thousands of times before, but I still wanted to talk about this game for a bit. It’s an incredibly nostalgic piece of gaming history for me. Remember that intro? It set the mood perfectly and haunts me to this day.






Ah, childhood memories
Ah, childhood memories
That music, everything. It worked
That music, everything. It worked
The classic select screen
The classic select screen

I remember the first time I saw this, my eyes popped. I never really played the original Mega Man, so this stage select business was brand new to me. Back then all the games I had played were done in a linear fashion. The game had a set order of levels and you had no choice but to follow that order. Not so here. Capcom gave us the freedom to pick and choose. Of course, as we would come to find out, there was a method to their madness. The bosses all had a special weakness that required another boss weapon. So there was a hidden order if you will, but it’s always nice to be given a choice.

The first boss I ever chose
The first boss I ever chose

I selected Wood Man first because I liked his burly look. That plus I figured it would take place in a forest type level. I’ve always had a thing for forests in video games, even way back in 1989.







Who could ever forget the sleeping bats? As soon as you get near them they spring to life. The purple hare was always a favorite enemy of mine. It wasn’t big or tough enough to be considered a mini boss, but it was strong enough to sustain a few bullets. I love enemies that are a notch above cannon fodder. Of course, the big bad wolf/dog creature and his flaming breath is an image that has been burned into our memory banks, pardon the pun. Classic stuff.







Watch out for the bird which if not killed early on drops an egg that could be bad news for ya. Love the random sprinting chickens.







After defeating Wood Man, you take his weapon Leaf Shield. Discovering the proper order of a Mega Man game is all part of the charm and fun.

Ah, Flash Man. Another classic boss
Ah, Flash Man. Another classic







It’s your classic typical icy level where the surface is slippery. Ah, these images bring back such fond memories of a simpler time. I *hated* that robot rider with a burning passion. He always seemed to zap my health without fail each and every damn time.







One of my favorite things about fighting Flash Man is that his battle zone isn’t a straight flat surface. I like all the different tiers there. It just makes the fight that much more interesting.

The music here was unrivaled
The music here was unrivaled







This was one of my lesser favorite levels but it still has its moments. The giant spiked crane reminded me of Contra and the conveyor belt added a decent gimmick to this stage.







Those Metal Blades are deadly, slicing and dicing anything caught in its path. They become yours after you send Metal Man back to the scrap heap.

The stars are a nice touch
The stars are a nice touch







Like your typical forest and icy levels, you have your obligatory sky or air level. I’ve never been a big fan of these stages. Not crazy about instant game overs!







Those squiggly worms were a good place to “farm” for goodies. That big guy there tries to suck you in [Sounds like your standard Saturday night *rimshot* -Ed.]







One of the joys of playing a Mega Man title is figuring out which boss weapon works best on another boss. It’s a game of trial and error. Keep in mind too that back in 1989 there was no internet. There was no GameFAQs. And there was no YouTube. You couldn’t just find out the solution in mere seconds. Back then it was a real battle of wills. You traded secrets with your buddies on the playground. It was just a sign of the times. Signs from a bygone era.








When I was a kid I struggled with this stage. Hey, I was 6, OK? I always seemed to get hit by those damn floating Tellies. Especially right at the top just when I’m about to leave that bloody screen forever. Later you come to this makeshift ride with more annoying Tellies.







I remember watching my brother and his friends getting this far. I never could back in 1989. It’s funny how certain levels haunted us as kids, but we can now dominate as adults. The same applies for vice versa.







I watched in sheer awe as my brother and his friends made short work of Crash Man. I remember thinking to myself that they just accomplished the impossible. Ah, the innocent of youth.








I *hated* those laser beams. I never could get past them back in the day. I liked how the screen was dark except for when that enemy chucked his flaming ball.







Alright, another boss fight where the surface isn’t flat! [Wish I could say that about my wife… *rimshot* c’mon now what the hell -Ed.]








Ah, the mandatory water stage. I think pretty much everyone has the image of that giant robotic fish firmly implanted in their brains. One of my favorite things about any Mega Man game is reaching the boss zone. I loved the giant Dr. W sign and the “health bar door.” Come on, just look at it. It looks like your health bar!







Don’t jump too high! It made this fight a little more challenging than normal.








Those bloody Tellies are back to haunt me. And there’s your token disappearing block jumping section. Over a death pit, of course. Of course.







Heat Man’s weakness, surprise surprise, is Bubble Man’s Bubble Lead. Even I was able to figure that out as a kid. Thanks Battle Beast. Water always beats fire!








After defeating all eight robot masters, it’s time to head to Dr. Wily’s evil fortress. This reveals a series of more levels to further extend the game.







Some of the more iconic bosses in Mega Man history right here. They blew my mind back in the day, particularly the King Kong wannabe. He took up like half the damn screen!







It’s the final fight! Against Dr. Wily! *laughs* Right, because Capcom and “final” go hand in hand, and I’m not talking about Final Fight, either.


Thanks for the memories, Capcom
Thanks for the memories, Capcom

There were a total of six Mega Man games on the NES. People often debate over the years which one is better: part 2 or 3. My answer remains the same throughout the years, Mega Man 2. Maybe it’s nostalgia talking, but Mega Man 2 just hits a sweet spot for me that very few NES games do. Even to this day, I find it to be highly playable — it’s held up well over the years. If it weren’t for Contra and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, this would be my favorite Nintendo game. From the impressive visuals to the music to the whole novelty of it all, Mega Man 2 stands as one of the finest 8-bit video games ever created. Its lofty place in gaming history is firmly cemented.

I think back to the year 1989 and remember how excited my friends and I were playing Mega Man 2. Discovering each boss’ weakness, figuring out the best path to take and beating the boss with one pellet of health remaining… these were all part of the joy of playing any given Mega Man title. All those Saturday mornings spent in Ben’s garage that summer of 1989 provided a plethora of fond memories. It was the thrill of banding together as a group of friends and playing the game well into the afternoons. When we couldn’t just find out secrets and tips with one simple click. Those were some great times from a bygone era. Those memories stay with me to this day and I can’t help but reminisce about them whenever I think of the greatness that is Mega Man 2. Hats off to you, Capcom. This sequel truly made the Blue Bomber a force to be reckoned with.