Mega Man 5 Review
I have to admit, I didn't see much hope in this game after playing the forth one. Although a fair few people saw Mega Man 4 as a good, challenging game, I found it a little too easy for my liking, in more ways than one. I suspected this game to be more or less the same. All I can say is that I'm glad I was wrong. This game got its Mega Man feel back on its feet, maybe not in quite the same way the first 3 Mega Man games felt, but I can say it's better than decent for sure.
So the game starts out with the same old stuff of the world being at peace, then something terrorising man-kind. This time it appears to be Protoman, who has kidnapped Dr. Light. That's all there is too it. In all honesty, Protoman was there to help Mega Man in the third and forth game, and this seems out of character of him to instantly do bad things. I'm not implying Dr. Wily is behind it all (okay, maybe I am just a little bit), but since Dr. Wily was behind it the last four games, it would be wise to keep that in mind. In fact, the story is turning into a "defeat all eight robot masters... *gasp!* It was Dr. Wily all along? Defeat Dr. Wily" In fact, I'm already calling it that Dr. Wily is behind it in all the other Mega Man classic games. Oh, and apparently Dr. Cossack is working with Dr. Light now.
Eight new robot masters to fight (as per usual), which are: Gyro Man, Stone Man, Star Man, Napalm Man, Wave Man, Crystal Man, Charge Man and Gravity Man. For some reason, I like these robot masters. They make sense, they are all pretty different and have this generally feels more creative than the forth game. I was surprised to see that Charge Man was in fact using "charge" as a force, not as electricity, but that adds to the fun of it. The weaknesses also make a sort of sense, just barely though.
Along with the slide and the powering up mega-buster (Yes, it's now called that), you can collect these letters (M, E, G, A, M, A, N and V) with in the level, one letter per level. If you can collect all of them, then the new robot "Beat" will be out to use. What Beat does however, is a surprise, as they haven't had time to test it yet. It's a nice thing to add to a mega man game, and as such, you can actually back track through a level to get these letters again, and it makes replaying levels have a purpose, apart from reliving old memories. However, Stone Mans letter is the hardest to find, as it actually is hidden. Look around for breakable blocks, or you'll just skip it altogether.
The level design is amazing. Compared to the forth game, it's really creative and fun. Gravity Man's level is my favourite, as it takes gravity into play and you can walk on the ceiling. That is just pure genius. Also I get to make the excuse of making GRAVITY defying jokes, but you probably wouldn't understand the gravity of the situation. Jokes aside, the level design of pretty much every level is designed well, keeping things fresh and exciting for the player. I loved the last stage of Protoman's Castle. It's level designs like that which really make a great feel of game play.
The music is pretty awesome. I can only say so many times how the music to a level of a mega man game can match the feel of the level theme and how the beats and music work very well with everything, and how the boss music and such really works you up for a battle and such, so instead I'm going to say it is very Mega Man like. The music offers all that a Mega Man game asks for. Fast paced action, generally awesome, something along those lines. You won't be disappointed with it.
The graphics are even better for the NES than the forth game. Further are the backgrounds detailed to a level that I didn't think the NES was capable of. The later Mega Man games have some of the best graphics for the NES, and the use of colours is amazing, even if the animations are precisely the same. You know what, that simple animation of Mega Man running along has become iconic to me as a fan. I wouldn't have it any other way....although the walking animation for Mega man X was also pretty amazing.
The difficulty was nice and good. It was a little harder than Mega Man 4 for me, but I still found it a tad, a slight bit too easy for me still. Again, it was linked to the charging of your mega-buster than made it easy. However, the boss patterns actually made it harder to land a hit on them, almost balancing the charged up mega-buster to make the game harder. Some were easy, but others were a real challenge, and I admire that. So I won't hold it against this game, even if the end level bosses were a little easy for me.
Overall, I give this game an 8.9/10 I like Mega Man games, and this one will surely go in my top 10. It's a fun game that retains that Mega Man feel to it, with a great set of levels and awesome music. The weapons from the robot masters are creative and fun to use (especially the Charge Slide. Tricky and I hardly use it, but it's still rather creative), and the weaknesses made some sense, which I like. After playing Mega Man 4, you might want to try this one afterwards for a slightly harder challenge. even though Capcom could have made a game for the SNES at this time, they still choose to do it on the NES. Maybe they thought that the 8-bits gave this game style it's certain charm.