Of all the times I’ve featured Capcom, and of course *Capcom time* here on the show, it’s surprising that I haven’t featured Megaman, one of their most popular series (challenged by Street Fighter and Resident Evil of course). The game play in it is great, and considering I have the Anniversary collection that came out in 2004, I can review a lot of his games. So, it only makes sense to start with the first one. ... buuut for no reason what-so-ever, I’m going to review Megaman 5 today.
I gotta start off by saying the music in the entire Megaman series ranges from good to amazing and is pretty much well received by all the critics. So, each time I review a game from the main Megaman series, I’m going to try to make a medley (try being the key word here). To comment on the music from Megaman 5 specifically, it’s generally pretty good. It may not be the greatest music (standing unnoticed at some points), but you should still be audibly satisfied.
I also can’t critique Megaman 5 too much on the graphics, because they also remain pretty good and standard throughout the series. Where I can critique Megaman 5 is with its design choices. See, ever since Megaman 3, there have been some gradual changes to make the game’s look a little too “kid friendly”. In Megaman 5 however, they seemed to go overboard with it. Some backgrounds look more like playground rides with vibrant colors, made worse by the NES’ limitation. The Robot Masters also seem a little messed up: Waveman, Crashman and Napalmman have a somewhat bloated look to them. There are also a few other design choices I don’t really approve of, but I think you get the point. I’m not saying they’re bad or will hurt your eyes or anything like that, just that it seems some of it could use more work, or maybe they just couldn’t achieve what they were really trying to do.
Now is when I have to address the real issue with Megaman 5: it is stagnant. See, all the previous additions to the Megaman series brought something new to the table (I’ll address each case when I review the appropriate game). Megaman 5, however, presented a game with nothing new to its game mechanics. (You can say Beat was added, but since he’s a secret weapon, I wouldn’t count it.) You might not call that a bad thing, since Capcom already established so much, but by this point you’d expected something more. There’s a little tweaking here and there, but nothing spectacular.
This wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of the game didn’t feel phoned in either, but sadly it does. I’m not just talking about the odd robot masters or the lame odd graphics, but the level design seems also phoned it. Granted, I shouldn’t complain too much since you do get interesting elements, like reversing the gravity in Gravityman’s level and things like that, but the ones that don’t go all out feel hollow. To use an appropriate simile, it feels like a sequel to a movie you like; you know they couldn’t quite reproduce the feeling of the first one, but some of it is there, and it’s still nice they tried I guess.
Despite the plot not having anything to do with game, I feel obliged to talk about it, partially cause it’s THERE and partially cause I still need to fill in time. But it does present an interesting twist. This time, it isn’t Dr.Wily that appears with 8 robot masters to cause general mayhem; it’s Protoman! Of course this is quite uncharacteristic of him, especially considering how he’s helped the Blue Bomber in the past. I’ll now activate another SPOILER ALARM to tell you that it ends up not being Protoman, and that it IS Dr.Wily behind it all along. The problem I have though isn’t that it now returns us to the standard; it’s that the SAME twist is used in Megaman 4. *Spoiler alarm goes off again* what? Oh, looks like I ruined two games for you, sorry. Like I said, it doesn’t matter, because it can be skipped just as easily. All of this just to repeat my point that Megaman 5 is just doing what its predecessors did.Megaman 5 is still a very good game, because it’s still a Megaman man game. It looks good, sounds good, plays good and about what is expected. The problem is just that though; when a game does “what is expected” it means nothing about it stands out. Megaman 5 feels phoned in, like it was following some kind of guide and didn’t have as much thought or heart put into it. It also stagnated the series for two games adding almost nothing new. I wouldn’t tell you to stay away from this game, but definitely check out other Megaman games before it and, if you want to skip it, I wouldn’t hold it against you. I give Megaman 5 originally for the Nintendo Entertainment System 7 levels out of 10.