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Name: Rockman Dash (85.00% in 2 votes)
Type: RPG
Platform: PSX
Company: Capcom
Release date: 1997
Reviewed by: Lamuness

Rockman now appears in 3D on your TV!! Capcom released their newest Rockman installment Rockman Dash during Christmas. Although it uses the name "Rockman", it's totally different than the previous Rockman games you have seen before. For starters, Rockman finally removes his helmet and shows his black hair (although you can wear a helmet later in the game). Also, our hero is not Dr. Light's robot anymore. In Rockman Dash our Hero Rock is portrayed as a human being, as well as the main female character Roll, who is known as the housekeeping robot in the previous Rockman games.

Rock is an orphan and is raised and bought up as a treasure hunter by a man called Barrel Casket who has a granddaughter named Roll. The game starts with Rock finding a crystal in a ancient ruin in the middle of the sea. After a series of battles, Rock, Roll and Barrel left the ruin and suddenly the engine of their airship, the "The Freighter", suffered from malfunction and the party landed on a nearby island. This island is inhabited with people with underground dungeons and ruins which nobody knows what they are. Later, a group of air-pirates led by Trom Bone, attacked the city, and Rock decides to help the inhabitants of the island and fight the pirates off. Later, Rock finds out more and more about the island, and most importantly, what the ruins are about.

The game system is very similar to Tomb Raider where Rock can view 360 degrees around him and Rock can shoot enemies with his Rock buster. Pressing R2 button will let you Auto-aim enemies. Unlike the Rockman games where your gain the boss' abilities, your fighting power increases by collecting money by defeating monsters and buy parts and accessories for your Rock buster, as well as armor, energy tanks etc. Parts and accessories can be found in dungeons as well, or when you do certain extra tasks. Also, if you give certain items to Roll, she will make special weapons for you which you can attach to your right hand to. Special weapons can be upgraded if you give Roll some money. Therefore, money, similar to RPGs, plays an important role in the game, because you need it for practically everything: parts, upgrades, armor, energy tanks, everything! So save your money whenever you can.

The gameplay in is nice. You fight from mini robots to giantic mecha as tall as a building. In towns, you can basically do whatever you want (except shooting people). You can kick at dogs, kick at trash cans, and you can even be run down by cars (and get damaged) if you don't look both ways of the street! However, the 3D viewports can be much improved since there are times when I have trouble looking at enemies from behind me. Also, Rock's does not have a lot moves in the 3D realm so it's like of difficult to fully control him at battles. Although this game is a Rockman game, unfortunately it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the previous Rockman games. It looks like as if it is a totally different game (eh, in fact, it is!). Even though characters like Rock, Roll and even Dr. Wily is in the game, they do not play the roles that are seen in the other Rockman games. No more mad scientists, no more world domination, no more Blues or Rush, no more Bass and Tremble, no nothing.

Sadly, the 3D rendering is extremely primitive (FF7 looks MUCH MUCH better). Objects are either simple blocks and primitive shapes with the facades rendered very roughly (houses), or they are simply 2d surface planes (if you look closely, the lamp posts in the towns are such). If you have played Wild Arms, the rendering quality is the same as the background walls and ground plane during the battles. The "humans" are rendered with more complexity, but they look really weird. Only Rock himself looks more "normal" to me. However, I DO like the enemy and boss design, and the lego characters (Trom Bone's henchmen) and the monkey character Data are very very cute. Even so, the enemies are too mediocre and the game would be better if it has a more variety of enemy types (they just use the same polygon just rendered with a different color!). Not only that, the colors used are not pretty beautiful as well (not texture etc). Although 50% of the time there are voice tracks (which is nice), the music SUCK. It's a disgrace to see such repetitive music that you can fall asleep easily in a Capcom product. sigh...

Also, the game is not difficult at all. If you are willing to spend the time to earn money, you are practically invincible. I beat the game in a week and I found all the secrets, items, and I have been lagging earning money throughout the game as well. So the game is pretty short (I think).

Overall, this is an average game. If you are hardcore Rockman/Megaman fan, then play it. There are so many areas of improvement in the game. Most likely there will be a sequel to Rockman Dash, so let's hope Capcom can make a better 3D Rockman game.
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