"The rehashed robot..... Mega Man!"

Despite being more of the same, I did like MM5 more than MM4 but it still can't compete with MM2 or MM3. Usually if a series goes beyond a trilogy, it's safe to say that it is being rehashed, especially when it's the fourth game on one single system and with many more to come. If the Nintendo Entertainment System was good for something, it was good for jumpstarting several influential series into fame. Mario, Zelda, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy and Metroid are just some examples. Mega Man is another example. Mega Man for the NES is the beginning of a legacy that spans well over 50 titles and does not appear to be stopping any time soon. There are 6 Mega Man games just for the NES! Legend of Zelda has only two, Final Fantasy had three and Mario Bros. has 3. The NES Mega Man games aren't too much different than one another which would probably explain why the later games aren't received as well. The games were rehashed for the most part and there wasn't a whole lot of spark of creativity. Mega Man 4 is truly where you can start to see the decline and honestly, Mega Man 5 continues that declining trend.

Mega Man 5 is a platformer but it does have unique aspects that only the Mega Man series can call as its own. The story as you know begins as the brilliant scientist Dr. Light made humanoid robots to perform specific everyday duties. Mega Man was the first of these. Dr. Light and his assistant Dr. Wily proceeded to develop six additional humanoid robots all with different purposes. Dr. Wily went evil and re-programmed all the robots to do help him enslave the world. Fortunately, Mega Man was here to save the day and he crushed Dr. Wily, not once but twice. In Mega Man 3, Wily had planned to steal the blueprints to Gamma from Dr. Light. Mega Man once again foiled his plans but now a new foe has arisen. A mysterious new enemy, Dr. Cossack, who claims to be a brilliant robot designer wanted to destroy Mega Man to get fame. Of course Mega Man stopped him. Now the main threat in this game is none other than Protoman who you may remember. You have no choice but to stop Protoman.

At the beginning of this game you will have the option of eight levels to choose from, one for each of the aforementioned robot masters. This is different from the original Mega Man which only had 6 to choose from. Your goal is to navigate through each level and have a final showdown with the robot master at the end. This isn't as easy as it sounds though because several of the robot masters can really only be easily defeated with their weakness. I personally approve of this way, I think it requires you to have more strategy than just waltzing through each level. Having these different powers at your disposal is really nice and adds a lot to the game play because let us be honest here, it would get boring just using your little blaster over and over again. The robots featured in this game are Star Man, Gravity Man, Gyro Man, Crystal Man, Wave Man, Charge Man, Stone Man and Napalm Man. They aren't very exciting robots. Mega Man 5 has all the abilities Mega Man had before with the charger and the ability to slide. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything new.

Mega Man 5 is a very challenging game. Difficulty wise, it is much more intense than a Mario game. While the difficulty can't quite compare to the original, that is actually okay, it is more balanced in this game. Simply jumping over a pit can be a challenge because you have to time your jump just right. One thing that is irritating about this game is that you have to be precise. You'll have to battle some tough regular enemies and you have to make sure you shoot well, or an enemy might run into you which would knock you off a block you were standing on. There are some block puzzles where the blocks will appear and disappear and you'll have to study their patterns and act accordingly. Of course, by accordingly I mean quickly. It can get irritating but once you have conquered it, it's quite satisfying and rewarding. I will admit I was often frustrated with this game. This is a very difficult game but it was still slightly easier than the other Mega Man games. There is nothing wrong with that though.

The graphics of this game are better than what was done so far at that point in time but in retrospect, they are merely sub-par now. The backgrounds were still very nicely done for an NES game. The enemies were creative and original and the attacks were noticeable. The scenery was at times pretty vibrant and it's overall pretty impressive for a NES game. This was nice and all for previous games but Mega Man 4 and the rest of the NES Mega Man games including this one, Mega Man 5, really fail to add anything new to the graphical aspect. I'm not going to justify the soundtrack with a separate category because there is nothing to say about it except it's boring and uninspired.

Rating Breakdown:

Story: 8/10
Game Play: 9/10
Graphics: 8/10
Music: 3/5
Sound: 5/5
Difficulty: 8/10
Average Score: 8.2 = 82% = B

Unique Abilities
Pretty good graphics for the time
Okay sound
Interesting game play
Balanced Difficulty
All previous abilities are still available

Rehashed story/ Bad soundtrack
Beginning of a decline

Mega Man 5 is nothing impressive. I personally liked it better than MM4 but it can't compete with MM2 and MM3. Rehashing is bad and judging at how many Mega Man games are still out there, Capcom doesn't seem to realize that yet.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/06/06

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