Review by The Manx

"Beating a dead horse"

The problem with going back and playing old games you loved as a kid is sometimes realizing they weren't as great as you thought and sometimes were driven by a gimmick that was almost entirely beaten to death by the series, which is unfortunately the case with the Mega Man series.

So in Mega Man 5 Dr. Light, Mega Man's creator, has been kidnapped...by Proto Man??? Yes, it appears to be true. Mega Man's brother, who formerly seemed to be on your side, is the leader of a gang of evil robots (eight of them, of course) bent on world domination, and Mega Man has to blast through them all to save his creator.

Unfortunately, the nature of the antagonist shows how cheesy the series had become. When the Mega Man games pretended that the main enemy was somebody other than Dr. Wiley (4-6), it always turned out to be Dr. Wiley in the end. How many times can you make a game where Dr. Wiley builds eight evil robots, Mega Man kills them all, then invades Dr. Wiley's castle to battle some more bosses and then capture Wiley himself? By the fifth game in the series, it was getting tired. Really, really tired. So for story, 3/10.

Gameplay-5/10
Exactly the same as the first Mega Man game ever, except that Mega Man now has the Mega Buster that he got in the last game, and its shots look different in this game. Apparently because it's supposed to be even stronger now, but since you're fighting a whole different bunch of enemies who can tell? Mega Man has his faithful dog Rush to help him out in this game, but Rush didn't get any new forms in this game, so it's hardly even worth mentioning him. I thought the grappling hook and balloon adaptors from the last game were an interesting idea, but they're gone from this game.

You pick one of the bosses to fight, run through his level blasting everyone who gets in your way, then you fight him and take his weapon, and then pick another boss to do it again. Just like the first four Mega Man games, and the three or so to follow.

Graphics-5/10
Again, they look exactly the same as the first Mega Man game, and it was getting kind of boring after this many games that they didn't try to improve the look at all. Getting the idea Mega Man's series didn't evolve that much while still on the NES?

Sound-7/10
Not bad, some memorable tunes in this game. Pretty darn good for a Nintendo game, I have to say.

Enemy design-4/10
The point of each Mega Man game is to see what the new robot bosses are like, but only one or two are really all that cool. I mean, what's up with Charge Man and Gravity Man? They look totally stupid and have dumb weapons it's hard to use.

Replay Value-6/10
Slightly above average because there are some things you can do different, like fighting the bosses in a different order. Also, in every stage there's a letter, and once you get them all you can get a new robot pet for Mega Man named Beat. These give a little extra kick to playing the game again and trying everything you possibly can.

Overall-4/10
With the same formula every time and so few done to improve the franchise, the Mega Man series was getting old by this point. Yeah he's a classic character and all, but why in the heck couldn't they deviate a little from the standard formula? I guess they were afraid of alienating the long-time fans, but the unwillingness to change is what ultimately alienated me from the Mega Man series.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/28/04


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