Mega Man 5

MEGA MAN 5
Developer: Capcom
 

Mega Man 5 is a good game, however it’s not a good Mega Man game. Enemies either run from you or scroll off the screen and in fact, they don’t even challenge you in any real way. Stage design and layouts are good, but with lackluster enemy designs there is nothing to brag about. Physics are kept constant and they are up to par with Mega Man 4. Graphics look sweet and the overall feel is right.
 
Sadly, Mega Man 5 falls apart due to the charged buster mechanics. 95% of the enemies die in one hit, and the charge brings the game into its knees. Weapons are horrible and of no real use in comparison. Robot Masters could have been improved as well. If you need an easy introduction to Mega Man, maybe this title would be a good place to start, but in my opinion this game doesn’t belong in the Mega Man franchise. Mega Man 5 is just like any other Capcom game on the NES, it even shares the engine with Darkwing Duck. Makes you wonder which game was more important to Capcom at the time.

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Tesserex
Tesserex

This was the Mega Man game I remember best from my childhood, as I was about 5 years old when I played it. As such, like many people, my impression of it is still tinted by nostalgia. Mega Man 5 is well known as the easiest entry of the classic series. Enemies provide little to no challenge, and they hand out extra lives like Halloween candy. For a child or anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a serious gamer, this is a positive, and Mega Man 5 serves as a gentle introduction to the series. For veterans, however, the experience is dull and repetitive.

The stages feature bright, lively graphics and upbeat, catchy music, continuing the tradition of earlier entries. It’s easy to get distracted looking at the pretty colors on the walls, but that’s okay, because you can just walk on through while blowing everything away with your charged buster. New and creative stage gimmicks are seen, but they are promptly wasted on stale bosses and never seen again. The excellent gravity reversal gimmick of Gravity Man’s stage is a particularly missed in the castle stages. The weapons obtained have some originality to them, but it feels like they were designed only to stand out from the previous games, rather than to provide any practical use. With the insane power of the buster, you can breeze through the whole game without giving them a second look.

Any fan of Mega Man should certainly give this entry a try. Just don’t be surprised when, upon completing the game, you’re left without any sense of accomplishment.

Graphics: 4 / 5
Music: 4.5 / 5
Controls: 9 / 10
Stage Design: 5 / 10
Enemy Design: 3 / 10
Weapons: 2 / 10
Cohesion: 4 / 10
Fun Factor: 7.5 / 10

Total: 39 / 70

Game Rating
5,6
Brent Critic
Brent Critic

How long has it been since I reviewed Mega Man 4? Sorry for taking so long but things have been tough lately. I won’t go into detail about that though. Let’s go into detail about Mega Man 5. A game that I am so mixed on. Let’s start with the negatives.

First of all, the music (some of it). Some of the music is excellent and well composed but a lot of the soundtrack is so forgettable. After finishing Mega Man 5, I rarely hum most of the tracks. Compare that to Mega Man 2, 3, 4 and even 1 (all four of which have fantastic soundtracks that I can hum to consistently with 3 being my favourite). I don’t know what to say about the music, for the most part it’s just there with a few stand outs.

The game’s biggest flaw is the weapons balance. The charge buster alone ruins any incentive to try out the other weapons due to how extremely overpowered it is. The charge buster was fine the way it was in 4, why do you have to change it in a way that ruins most of the challenge let alone being cancelled every time you get hit which is annoying and makes fighting enemies less enjoyable and more clunky than previous games? On top of that, most of the weapons aren’t that fun to use. Power Stone is the worst in the game, it’s just 3 stones rotating whilst gradually spacing away from you. It hardly hits let alone kills enemies and it’s better to just use the charge buster. If I’m being honest with you, aside from the power stone (and my favourite weapon from 5 later on), I don’t remember the names of these weapons mainly because I rarely experimented with them and even the good ones aren’t as good as the previous best weapons from 1, 3, and 4. I will say 5 has the better selection than 2 if only because at least there’s more than 2 good weapons and star crash is a very fun weapon that acts like leaf shield only much better.I

Another issue is the lack of challenge. When people say 5 is the easiest of the NES Mega Man games, they aren’t kidding. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a game over when playing this game. I died a few times but that was it. I heard that 5 was intended to be a first in the series for new Mega Man players who don’t have a SNES which is fine except that we already got 2 with the different difficulty options and the lack of challenge does hurt a lot of the fun factor I would have when playing the stages.

One more issue is that this is a stale follow-up. Let me explain. 1 started it all, 2 made some improvements (while also downgrading certain parts of the design), 3 added Rush and the slide, and 4 added the mega buster and improved the gameplay to near perfection. 5 on the other hand didn’t add anything new nor did it reinvent the series in some way. Because of this, Mega Man 5 feels more like an expansion rather than a proper sequel. It’s the same length as 4 but so what. It’s still the same game just with different levels and weapons (and an overpowered version of the mega buster).

Lastly, I don’t think the bosses are anything great. They’re fairly easy, they’re taken out fairly quickly by the mega buster alone, and they don’t pose much of a threat. I can at least say they’re fun bosses with decent patterns to their attacks.

So far I’ve been rather critical of Mega Man 5. Don’t worry because there are positives. I’m not lying when I say 5 has some of the most creative robot master stages in the NES lineup of Mega Man games. Every stage has a really fun gimmick that separates them from each other very well and the overall level design is pretty decent. Most of the stages could have been really boring if it wasn’t for these well designed gimmicks. The castle stages were fun too. Not 4 levels of amazing but certainly better than the first 3 combined. Well designed, have some level of challenge, very colourful, and very little BS in the way.

Speaking of colours, Mega Man 5 is beautiful to look at for a NES game. The colours are vibrant and varied, the attention to detail is astounding, and the polish is there. Capcom have proven themselves time and time again that they know how to make the NES show off magic through your tv screen with flying colours.

Lastly. The game controls just as well as Mega Man 4. The jumping and shooting is responsive, you can jump out of a slide (unlike the next game I’ll check out during the summer) and the overall movement once again feels refined and you feel like in control.

That’s all I have to say really. Mainly because although Mega Man 5 is a solid game, it’s also a fairly forgettable one with the only memorable things about the game being the creative stage gimmicks and the admittedly entertaining story of Proto Man being evil then revealing that it was a fake. Overall. I have to say this is my least favourite NES Mega Man game with Mega Man 2 being a fairly close second. As of this writing, my favourites in the series are 4, 3 and 1 in order from favourite to least favourite. I’ll cover 6 around the summer and until then, I hope you enjoyed this review.

Game Rating
6,5
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