Mega Man & Bass
Mega Man & Bass (or Rockman & Forte in Japan) is a spin-off of the Mega Man franchise developed and published by Capcom. The game is also known as Mega Man 8.5 by fans, due to it having similar visuals and gameplay as well as having two Robot Masters from Mega Man 8. It is a typical action-platforming game where you can choose either Mega Man or Bass in order to take down a mysterious villain robot named King, who desires to create a utopia just for robots. It was released in 1998 for the Super Famicom exclusively in Japan, due to the high demand for the console at the time. The game was rereleased for the Game Boy Advance in 2002 in Japan, with an international release in 2003. A Japan-only sequel of the game was released in 1999 for the WonderSwan, titled Rockman & Forte: Mirai Kara no Chousensha (or Mega Man & Bass: Challenger From the Future).
- The main draw of this game in both versions is the notoriously high difficulty. All the levels are designed to make them harder (especially King's Castle). While Bass has little trouble about it (except with the final battle with King), Mega Man on the other hand has a hard time dealing with them. Because of this, many fans considered the main protagonist of the entire franchise as the harder route of the game.
- Due to the limitations of the Game Boy Advance, the screen was cut in half, which makes the port of the game five times harder.
- It heavily reuses content from Mega Man 8, such as having almost all enemies in it. There are new enemies in Mega Man & Bass , but they're just variants of the previous game's enemies.
- It goes to the point it has Tengu Man and Astro Man from that game (although their weapons are completely different).
- The localization of the Game Boy Advance port was rushed.
- If you die and use up weapon energy, it will not be fully restored like in Mega Man 8, its inspiration.
- There is a lack of E-Tanks like in Mega Man 8, which makes the game even harder.
- Unlike Mega Man 8, if you die against a boss with the weakness weapon depleted, the weapon energy does not refill unless you get a game over.
- You have to beat the Robot Masters in a certain order to advance to the next one instead of being able to go after them in any order the player wants like in previous titles.
- The second-to-final stage is literally three stages on a row each with really hard bosses, especially the last one.
- The plot of the game, while isn't that important in a Mega Man game, is very stupid. To sum up the story, King kicks out Dr. Wily from his castle yet King was told by Dr. Wily to kick him out. It is very stupid and not many other games in the series reach this low with the story.
- After you defeat the boss in King 1, not only does the boss expodes, but the platform falls. Meaning that you can fall off after the boss dies!
- This is the first time where Bass is a playable character.
- The visuals are quite impressive for a late SNES title.
- Some of the songs are nice to listen to.
- The Robot Master designs look cool.
- Good controls like most Mega Man games.
- The database is a good collectable.
- The shop and bolt system is restored back to Mega Man 7's style with some upgrades thrown in.
- Despite the deranged difficulty, it still can be fun to play.
Mega Man & Bass got positive reviews from critics but mixed reception from fans of the series, with many pointing out the frustrating difficulty. Despite the Super Famicom version never being released in the west, it developed a cult following over the years.