Much like Mega Man 2, I have fond memories of Mega Man 6. While it's hard to deny the series was running out of gas by this point - just take a look at some of the robot masters - there were several things that managed to grab my attention. The most important additions in Mega Man 6 revolve around the Rush adapters that grant the player the ability to turn into Jet and Power Mega Man. These forms allowed the player to reach previously inaccessible areas and helped bring back a little of the exploration that was slightly siphoned out of the games over the years.
Welcome as adapters are, they can also show one how sloppy the game can be. The first eight stages of the game play like a dream and I have no complaints. It's only after the player enters the final two fortresses do we see where how ugly things can get when game's challenges are not tackled the right way. Things are entertaining and a breeze with the right weapons/form in hand, but this slick veneer is quickly peeled away when the player is caught between a rock and a hard place. Even with advance knowledge of what's ahead it's amazing how easy it is for trouble to rear its ugly head.
Still, like the family pet the fails to do its business outside, it's hard to stay mad at Mega Man 6. This especially holds true when one considers the fact the game almost didn't make it out of Japan. With the arrival of Mega Man X on the SNES, Capcom decided to forgo publishing the game abroad; it was only after Nintendo decided to pick it up for the fading NES that we actually got the game. While it's easy to see how Mega Man 6 would pale to the first title in the X series, I think most can agree it would be annoying to have a title missing from a string of sequels.
Its interesting history and aggravating points aside, Mega Man 6 is an excellent conclusion to the NES library of Mega Man titles. While my memories don't exactly gel with currently realities - the game not being quite the juggernaut I remember - such is the fate of many of the games we grow up with. That said the game is easily a worth while investment for fans and newcomers alike.