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SAR Info

SuperAdventure Rockman
For Playstation / Saturn 3 CDs 1998

NOTE: This information page is based on the original
Japanese game (there is NO English version). Since I can't
read much in that language, some parts might be inacurate.


Information & Story

SuperAdventure Rockman (SAR) is not your average Mega Man game. In fact, by some people's definition, it wouldn't even be called a "game". It's structured as an interactive story: you watch many story sequences, all fully animated and voiced, linked together by decisions and boss battles. There's no platforming or character control beyond that. Released in 1998, it was declared by some Japanese magazines to be the "worst game of the year". The most likely explanation for these reviews is that SuperAdventure Rockman was considered as a game, not as an interactive story. Once you get past that barrier, you end up with something enjoyable.

The game's opening begins with the crash of several helicopters over a jungle. Shortly after, Dr. Light is seen working in his lab. As he notices on a monitor a strange cloud formation over South America, Roll casually enters the room then, without warning, collapses on the floor! Worried, Mega Man and Dr. Light put her under a special capsule to run a full diagnostic. While the scientist is trying to figure out what's going on, guess who appears on all the screens available in the lab? Of course, it's none other than Dr. Albert Wily.

After the typical boasting of "BWAHAHA, I'm the one behind this!", he explains that Roll's problem is only the tip of the iceberg. Wily managed to get a hold of a special device located in a secluded area in South America. This device, coming from an ancient civilisation, creates microwave interferences at a low degree. Wily increased it's power to the point that it's now affecting electronics worldwide. Ultimately, this will cause a breakdown in various equipments, explaining the helicopters incident as they were closer to the scene.

The mission: go over to the ancient ruins, get a hold of Dr. Wily and return everything to normal. Mega Man's quest, this time around, takes a more personal tone: he only has 48 hours to act before reaching the point where all electronics will become permanently useless, causing the death of his very own sister. In order to assist Mega Man, Dr. Light calls his 6 robot masters (Cut Man, Guts Man, Ice Man, Bomb Man, Elec Man and Fire Man). To avoid any further problems for the group, Light treats them with a solution against interferences. Mega Man then departs, accompanied by Rush and Beat. It's the beginning of a new adventure!

The screenshot shown at the left gives you an idea of the size of the movies compared to the entire screen. There are borders present at all times outside of the boss battles, most likely to save space on the disks. It might look small at first, but you get used to it quickly. At the left of the screen is the ever-present energy bar, always shown during dialogs or battles. This is important as some of the choices you make in the game can rise or lower that energy level. The blue zone at the bottom is used to display possible choices such as "Go right" and "Go left". Sometimes, orange arrows will appear around the video. Act quickly to dodge an obstacle!

Displayed at the right is a standard battle screen, which happens in full-screen. The view is from the first person, as YOU are Mega Man. The opponent's energy bar is displayed to the right, as expected. You have no way to move: to block the incoming attacks, you need to shoot them, sometimes several times. The indicator at the bottom left is your MegaBuster's charge level. Holding the fire button will charge it. Charged shots do a lot more damage, but in frantic battles, you might find yourself hammering the fire button instead.

Standard scenes from the original Mega Man series will show up from time to time: Proto Man might drop by to give you a tip, E-Tanks are found at pre-determined locations to refill your energy, and so on. To resume, this game is an interactive movie with some instant decisions to make alongside several boss battles. All of the robot masters from Mega Man 2 & 3 will try to stop you once again, so be sure to stay alert!

Preview

File Size Description
SAR Introduction 1 4.56 MB This is the first introduction of the game, as presented on disk 1. This movie is composed of various story sequences taken from Episode 1, the first disk. I've lowered the quality to keep the file easy to download for everyone. The in-game display and sound are clearer.

Guide

Superadventure Rockman Walkthough: MegaBoy wrote this comprehensive walkthrough to give detailed information about the events, fights and items. It's a great asset if you are stuck in the game, or want to find all possible paths.

Review

Gameplay: 6 / 10

The gameplay of SuperAdventure Rockman is limited: outside of some decisions, along with the battles, you have precious little to do. The instant decisions (where you only have a few seconds to react to an event) help to keep the player involved in the story. The battles themselves are challenging yet repetitive: each enemy has a different attack pattern, but at the end, all it takes is for you to destroy the incoming shots and fire away at your target.

Graphics: 8 / 10

The animation quality is great. The graphics are done in a different style than Mega Man 8's pseudo-realistic proportions, being a closer match to the NES games's artwork. This especially benefits some characters such as Dr. Wily, who really looks at his best in this game. The in-battle sprites are well rendered and show sides of the robot masters that we're not used to see thanks to the first-person view. However, the opponents have very limited animations, something that could have been easily improved on.

Music: 9 / 10

Excellent. While it doesn't reuse known themes of the series (outside of the intro and outro vocal tracks, originally from Mega Man 8), it always fits with the ongoing events, much like a TV show's soundtrack: you don't always notice that it's there in the background, but it's definitely appropriate. It could have been a bit louder, as it tends to be drown out by the character's voices and other sounds. Later in the game, a specific event involving Dr. Light and Mega Man is accompanied by a theme reflecting very well the difficult situation they are in, adding more emotion to the scene.

Sounds: 4 / 10

Those sounds! Argh! There is a large variety of four different sound effects during a battle: the enemy firing, you firing, the sound of your hits reaching their target and you being hit. It gets old rather fast, especially as they are quite loud. During the movie sequences, however, the sounds are just fine.

Replay value: 5 / 10

You can make some decisions and take a few different paths through the game ("turn left" or "turn right" can lead to a different sequence of events), but otherwise, there's little reason to come back for a second round unless you feel like rewatching the entire story.

Overall: 7 / 10

As an interactive movie, SuperAdventure Rockman does the job well. As a game, however, it's more limited due to it's somewhat repetitive nature and few possible choices. On my end, I enjoyed the game quite a bit, as the story is interesting and some parts are hilarious. The consequences for a defeat are also nice to watch: instead of simply running into a Game Over screen, or the same sequence time after time, many of the battles end with your opponent giving the final blow in their own special way. In some instances, an ally will even save you at the last possible second from certain death, giving you another chance to battle.

This project could have been handled differently from Capcom's side: remove the instant choices, turn the battles into automatic events, and you end up with an excellent 3-parts show to put on the air or on DVD! The option to view the story this way is available in the options screen once you clear a disk.

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