Rockman and Forte (ported to English as Mega Man & Bass) has an interesting caveat - it's really a good game, just provided you don't play as the main character.

At the outset of each new save file, you choose Mega Man or Bass/Forte (I'll call him Bass from here on out) as your player-character for the game. If you pick Mega Man, you are in for a world of pain. The Blue Bomber has his qualities - he can slide, which allows him to get to some hidden bonus content that Bass can't reach, and he can also charge his Buster up, which makes some of the bosses in the early going of the game easier. Bass's major advantage, however, is his double-jump, and his massively long dashing jump, which allows him to clear some troublesome areas quickly that Mega Man has to muddle haplessly through.

Playing as Bass makes the game feel more like a Mega Man X game, which the overall structure really resembles more. Trying to port stiff, NES-style Mega Man into such an atmosphere just really doesn't work out well for our little blue boy in his underwear.

So, presuming you take on the game as Bass, you can expect a challenge level comparable to that of the first Mega Man X game - tough but balanced and enjoyable. The game really emphasizes getting the right weapon to take on each boss - they'll tear your ass up unless you approach them with the correct weapon. Even then, you sometimes have to apply them in creative ways rather than just blasting away mindlessly as in the other games. One boss, who is weak to the ice weapon, requires you to create ice walls which you then use to shove him into spike pits. Nothing incredible here but it is a nice touch.

The big draw is the graphics. Players of Mega Man 8 may feel a bit jipped as two of the bosses and many of the sprites are recycled from that game, but you have to be impressed with how this game looks as compared to most of the rest of the SNES catalog. It's like a Playstation 2D action game minus the loading times. Personally, as I've never played Mega Man 8 (as I expect many people haven't - it was released long after the general public had gotten tired of Mega Man) the whole recycling thing wasn't that much of an issue. I'm just happy they crafted a very nice-looking game with solid level design and boss fights.

So that's what its all about. If you insist on the Blue Bomber as your avatar you may be disappointed, but if you come to this one simply taking it as a star turn for Bass you'll have a good time with it.

Videos :

* Gameplay video