Review by Gbness

"Almost as mega as Mega Man himself. It's possible, alright!"

It is truly a sad thing to see when I look at it, but Mega Man 5 was sort of where the series hit its ''Dark Age''. What I mean by that is that when we got to Mega Man 5, it got blasted as being a rehash, when it was far from that. This is by far the best one in the original series, and far more than a rehash. Mega Man 5 had some difficult puzzles, tricky features in it, and it was overall much more as an experience than any of the other Mega Man titles were.

This is one of the first occasions in the series when the storyline is a lot different. As usual, though, it takes place in the year 20XX. When the hell is this? Does it have any relation to the year 2000; and is it 2020? I guess we'll never know. In any case, at this time robots are a part of life. There are housekeepers, they protect their owners, and they're used for battle. A good doctor named Dr. Light owns Mega Man, who was later used to battle against Dr. Wily, who always fights against Mega Man with eight powerful robots (with one exception in the original).

Of course, there's more than that. Dr. Wily is doing more this time around, one of his sidekicks is none other than Mega Man's own brother, Proto Man. Why is this and what is going on? Of course, Dr. Wily also has eight new robots to fight as well, just the usual.

Welcome to Mega Man 5.

And after you learn some things about one of the most interesting Mega Man storylines, you'll then go to a screen with beautiful, flashy colors. You will then see the heads of eight robots. Using the directional buttons, you can move the icon to any of these robots and then enter that stage, and after that you may go to Proto Man's castle. And just the usual, you are free to spread your wings and enter these stages in any order you want. Do you want to go for clunky old Stone Man, or are you going to get your head into the clouds for Gyro Man? Choices, choices, my friends, some that you may regret, and some you may be pleased with.

Mega Man 5 also succeeds with the interest you'll get with the robot masters themselves as well. The only stages in the game that aren't too great are Stone Man's and Gyro Man's. Stone Man's is promising, but becomes flat out boring very quickly, and the case in the latter is that it presents a lot of frustration. The better ones are Gravity Man, Crystal Man, Napalm Man, and Wave Man. Gravity Man's takes you through a factory, avoiding bombs and ending with a quick and overall fun battle. Crystal Man's is awesome in that you'll face robots who can summon crystals to throw at you and make tons of precise jumps. Napalm Man's takes you through the jungle, fighting the likes of tigers, walls with nails on them, and overall interesting enemies, and Wave Man's allows you to ride bubbles and ends with a race against a river. You don't get better than these.

And as usual, you'll get the robot master's weapon after beating it. Mega Man 5 also happens to have some of the best weapons. You've got the Star Crash, which is used to crash into enemies, defend yourself, and damage the surrounding; there's the Crystal Eye, which splits into three when it hits a wall, and the Gravity Hold, which brings an airborne enemy down. One of the more fun things about this thing is that you can also attack Gyro Man with it.

The controls, as usual, work great. Mega Man doesn't have any new powers, but for the most part he doesn't need any new ones. He can shoot and jump, and he can move, and he still has the two powers he got from the previous two games: he can charge up his buster and he can slide. As usual, Mega Man can also do large jumps with the Rush Coil, and can move around in the air, using the Rush Jet. Any more is, in my eyes, unnecessary.

Like Mega Man 4, you'll also get hidden items to collect. This time, there are eight pieces you will need to collect: M, E, G, A, M, A, N, and V. One of them is in each of the eight robot stages. After all of those, you'll get a new feature known as the Beat Adaptor. Beat is a small bird which will go around and beat the hell out of the enemies very quickly, something that is useful since you get it. This gives you some reason to come back to the game.

And graphics? Mega Man 5's robot stages are very interesting in the graphical department. These are examples: the crystals falling in Crystal Man's stage, as well as the multi-colored environments, make it a joy to look at. Mega Man's Level 3 charged buster also looks amazing, due to its size and the colors of it. A lot of areas (a key example is Stone Man) have lots of detail, the case with Stone Man being the immense detail in his stage. The walls have such detail to them, and Stone Man himself falls apart and puts himself together in an amusing way. It can surprise one that an NES can do this.

Mega Man 5's music is some of the only stuff on the NES that is clearly memorable. The music here fits into its stages just as good, if not even better than all of the other games in the series (an example if Crystal Man's stage). Tunes in the Dr. Wily and Protoman stages are some of the best you'll hear in a video game, hands down. The sound itself is also some of the best on the NES. Your own shots from your buster, as usual, sound good. There's not too much to enjoy, but what's there is all excellent.

Capcom has made dozens of Mega Man games through these years, but he's been dying. In my opinion, the best part of his life (besides the Legends series) was around Mega Man 5. This is the second longest entry in the NES series, and it also happens to be the best. Everything in this game has been done just about as good as it possibly could. You'd better play it soon, or I guarantee that you will regret it soon.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/25/04

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