Review by Sour

"Love it or Hate it"

Capcom was still raking in dough from the first four Mega Man games. The series was chugging along with the force of a train with no end in sight. Mega Man 5 would be the next in the series added to the already massive powerhouse. However, with an early 90's release date, they decided to still keep the series on the Nintendo Entertainment system, which still had yet to be fully phased out by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Why they did so is a mystery, but nevertheless, Mega Man 5 is still a great addition to the franchise.

Story: 10/10: On a seemingly peaceful day, Proto Man announces that himself and several of his robot buddies are out to wreak havoc, in an attempt to lure Mega Man to him. Mega Man does not wish to fight his own brother, but is forced to do so when Proto Man kidnaps Dr. Light, their creator, and leaves behind his trademark yellow scarf. Dr. Cossack from Mega Man 4 upgrades Mega Man's Mega Buster, allowing to to shoot even more powerful charged shots. In addition to Rush, Mega Man now has a new animalistic companion, courtesy of Dr. Cossack as well, by the name of Beat. Beat is a bird who's very body looks much like Mega Man's helmet. Armed with these new abilities, Mega Man must once again rush into battle to stop the destruction. Just remember, much like Mega Man 4, not everything is as it seems here.

Gameplay: 10/10: The traditional side-scrolling shoot-em-up is just as good as it ever was. When you start up the game, you'll start off at a level select screen, each with a mugshot of that stage's boss. This allows you to choose any order you desire to progress through the game. Upon reaching the end of a stage, you'll enter through a boss door and face off with that stage's boss, each of which has their own unique abilities. Should you defeat the boss (known as a "Robot Master"), you'll get their special power. That special power can be used as much as you see fit, weapon energy permitting. If you're running low, you can kill enemies and they may drop special weapon energy, which will replenish whatever weapon you have selected. Each Robot Master is weak to another Robot Master's weapon. So, it becomes a fun game of trial and error to figure out who's weak to what. Once you know them all, the next time you play through the game, you can totally whiz through it if you take the right order of stages. The levels are full of danger, such as bottomless pits, and tons of spikes. Touching a spike will instantly kill you, as will falling down a pit. As I said before, Rush makes a return with his Coil and Jet abilities. Rush Coil works slightly differently than it used to. Before, you just had to jump on Rush's back and he would launch you into the air. Now when you jump on his back, Rush will spring up himself, and you have to jump off of him. That new feature met with a lot of negative criticism, but I don't mind it. Also, in each stage, there is a hidden letter to find. This makes for eight letters in all and spells out "MEGAMAN V". The word is in your menu, grayed out. Upon retrieving a letter, it will turn gold to let you know that you got it. Once all of the letters are acquired, you'll have a new item/weapon in your menu, Beat! Firing Beat will cause him to fly in the direction of enemies and take them out. Upon beating all of the stages, you'll have to go through Proto Man's fortress, which is a series of stages right in a row, and you have to complete them as such. You don't get any passwords that will allow you to start a few levels into it or something. You have to go through it from start to finish.

Audio: 10/10: The charging of the Mega Buster has been toned down a bit thankfully, allowing you to hear this game's music much easier than in Mega Man 4. Overall, the music is much catchier than Mega Man 4's soundtrack, but not quite as atmospheric. It attempted to be catchier, alas Mega Man 2 and 3. Beat also makes a little chirping sound when he attacks which is kind of cute. The final boss, like Mega Man 4, also has his own boss music, and won't be worth noting in future reviews since every game since 4 has followed suit. Mega Man 5 has a great soundtrack and it's definitely worth hearing!

Graphics: 10/10: Capcom for a long time, has believed that Mega Man should focus primarily on gameplay instead of graphics. That may be why we saw this game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System instead of the shiny new Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The graphics aren't on par with Super Mario Bros. 3, but it's probably for the best. Capcom went with what they knew, and what they know is making great games. Sadly, the next game in the franchise would be the last 8-bit Mega Man game for over a decade until the release of Mega Man 9.

Overall: 10/10: This game unfortunately hasn't made it to the Wii's virtual console yet, so you'll have to go and pick up a used cartridge at a local used games store and fire that dusty old NES up to play this game for now. Mega Man 4 thankfully just made it to the VC, let's hope 5 and 6 make it there as well. So if you've still got a working NES, go ahead and snag this game, because it's a must-play for any fan of the series.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/10/10

Game Release: Mega Man 5 (US, 12/31/92)

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