Mega Man - The Wily Wars Review by: Crazy LiMega Man Gracefully Done in 16-bit
Before learning of Wily Wars, I had played all the original NES Mega Man games to differing degrees. My favorites were the first few, especially 2 and 3. However, as much as I liked the series, I primarily grew up on the Genesis, spending countless hours on Sonic. Perhaps I'm a bit biased towards the console. How amazed I was to find a Genesis adaptation to the great Mega Man series. It seemed like something right up my alley. With this game, you get all of the greatness of the original three Mega Man games rolled into one package with a couple of extras.
I always felt the original MM graphics were pretty darn good for a NES game. The designs were creative enough while still being clear and distinct in sprite form. The Genesis remake of these games obviously up-scales and shades the sprites to be nice and 16-bit. It's clearly a graphical improvement over the NES versions, though not on par with the best graphics available for the Genesis that can be found in games specifically made to be 16-bit from the get-go. I don't fault the game for this, since it's more or less an up-scaled port rather than a fresh game for the system. I would have liked more effort in some of the sprites (namely Proto Man), but it was mostly taking the NES sprites and adding shading for the most part. Only Mega Man himself received any real attention.
How can you not love Mega Man music? The tunes were so catchy and well-composed that even in 8-bit quality, they're addictive to listen to. Taking advantage of a higher music quality just makes them all the better. The sound effects are decent enough. Some may be slightly off, but for the most part it just sounds like a higher quality version of the original.
This is what it really comes down to in a platformer. We know Mega Man games play well on the NES, but what about the Genesis. Not all ports are graceful (ever play the GG port?). This one seems to perfectly replicate the physics of the original games. Believe me, I ran tests accessing things like MM's jump height, his rate of ascent/descent, shot speed, etc... both versions really feel the same. Capcom did an excellent job in replicating the engine. Another big plus for this game in my book is that the ratio between Mega Man himself and the rest of the screen is comparable to the NES games. Mega Man 7 for the SNES is another example of MM going 16-bit, but in my mind, it does not make the transition nearly as well. MM's sprite is far too large in that game, making it more difficult to see what's coming and react to it properly. It loses the feel of the original games which I think is something that retains better in Wily Wars.
Well... Mega Man technically DOES have a story... but very little of it ever gets conveyed in the first three games, so I had to rate this one fairly low.
Considering this is three whole games in one and there are bonus bosses at the completion of all three, I'd say this game offers a lot to do for a player.
This game isn't really hard if you've already played and become familiar with the originals. To a newcomer, it can be quite a challenge, though. Being very used to playing Genesis games, I found Wily Wars to be far easier than the NES versions of the games, but I've had people who grew up on the NES tell me the reverse. There is also the notable difference of bosses gaining invincibility (flashing) frames after being hit much like Mega Man himself has. In the NES versions, you could fire three blasts at once into a boss and do more damage. In this game, doing the same will get the subsequent shots ignored. That may take some getting used to if you're a shot-spammer. Still, it includes Mega Man 2, which is probably the easiest game in the entire series, so it can't be THAT hard.
I feel like this was a great compilation and feel it was a great shame it never reached the US outside of the Sega Channel. Perhaps the US market would have given Capcom the extra sales they were seeking to make a sequel to this for 4-6. It feels like something is missing now that the rest of the NES games were never done in this style.