Review by Figure Four

"The one that started it all"

Mega Man, one of the true staples of the game industry, first appeared in the NES game entitled, what else Mega Man. Though the Blue Bomber's popularity has waned a bit in recent years, his adventures on the NES were wildly popular and some of the best action games around.

Mega Man chronicled the first confrontation between our hero and the evil Dr. Wily. Mega Man (Rock Man in Japan) was originally a housekeeping robot along with his sister Roll in the employ of Dr. Light. Dr. Wily, Dr. Light's assistant, one day ran off with the schemes for six robots and planned to use them to take over the world. Thus began Mega Man's adventures.

This first Mega Man game is also the only to offer six stages (all of the latter had eight). At the time, it was revolutionary for Mega Man to be able to choose which stage he wanted to tackle first: Guts Man, Bomb Man, Elec Man, Ice Man, Fire Man, and Cut Man. However, the fun is, as it is in all Mega Man games, to discover which weapons would work best on which boss. Only by acquiring all the weapons and defeating all the bosses could Mega Man enter into a final showdown in Dr. Wily's castle.

Graphics: 7/10
Today: plain and simple looking. Back then: excellent detail. The first game really set the precedent for the series with Mega Man's design (the same sprite used throughout all six NES games), wacky robot enemies and bosses, and huge stages. Mega Man is actually quite diminutive compared to his surroundings and some of the bosses. However, none of this really matters as Capcom fills the screen with some of the most imaginative character and stage design seen. In addition, the backgrounds really fit the theme of the character, with igloos and penguins in Ice Man's stage as an example.

Sound: 7/10
Again, most of the sound effects used in the first Mega Man were recycled for the rest of the NES installments, which isn't exactly a bad thing. For the most part they compliment the action very well and don't distract from the gameplay. The music as well is one of the best of the Mega Man series to this date and although it can't match today's CD audio, the bouncy and catchy tunes are more than enough to draw the player into the game.

Gameplay: 7/10
Shoot anything that moves, jump from platform to platform, discover the boss order, fight bosses, fight Dr. Wily. In the first game Mega Man had no additional weapons (Rush would be introduced later, as would his slide) other than the ones acquired from the robot bosses. Despite this, the game is still a lot of fun to go through. There are a few tough jumps to make, but nothing overly frustrating.

Replayability/Lasting Appeal: 7/10
As I mentioned earlier, there may be a few difficult spots in the game but nothing that can't be done with a bit of practice. With that said the game won't take that long to beat, since there's only six boss levels and four Dr. Wily levels. However, the game itself is fun to play and revisit, as any game should be. I recommend to anyone who hasn't played this game to hunt down a copy and play one of the true video game classics.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/16/01

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