Review: Mega Man 5 (NES)

By Drew Wilson

Mega Man 5 is the fifth entry in a now very long Mega Man series. We take a look at this next entry in this side-scrolling action series and see if this particular iteration is worth playing today.

This entry in the series was released in 1992.

The story is essentially that Proto Man is allegedly behind numerous attacks on the world. It’s up to Mega Man to stop him. During his adventure, Mega Man finds out that Proto Man was framed by Dr. Wily who is, as usual, attempting to take over the world.

The game introduces a new side-kick for mega man: Beat. Beat is a bird that, if you collect all of the letters to spell “MegamanV”, you’ll earn. Beat can be called onto stage, fly around on screen and attack enemies, even damaging enemies that are impervious to Mega Man’s weapons.

A feature that continues from the previous Mega Man game is the ability to charge Mega Man’s main buster weapon – producing a more powerful shot once charged.

There was a little innovation with the Gravity Man level in which players pass over certain area’s and have gravity reversed. Even some of the enemies mirrored the gravity effect when you crossed over those fields. That certainly made things somewhat interesting while it lasted.

There were other ways the game played with gravity such as the low gravity of the Star Man level, but that really isn’t anything new if you’ve played any level with water in it in previous games.

Another good element that was in this game was the drop in difficulty. I thought that the larger difficulty detracted from previous games, so dropping the difficulty in this game really helped make this game more accessible. It isn’t until you reach the last castle that the difficulty is where other Mega Man games are set at.

Now, having said all that, I’ll go into the many things that plagued this game. While there was the reverse gravity area’s, and Beat which was earned by obtaining letters in all of the levels, the innovation in this game was pretty sparse overall with only mere hints of new ideas occasionally dotting the level levels landscapes. There is the large pit lined with instant death spikes which was something done in Mega Man 2, there was the framing of a good guy which was almost a direct copy of Mega Man 4, there was the robot master select screen which has been a staple of this game since the beginning, the disappearing and reappearing shifting floors which have been around since at least Mega Man 2, the moving floors which has also been around since Mega Man 2, the charge up buster weapon which was introduced in Mega Man 4, the Rush items which have been either a direct copy (Rush Jet) or very similar (Rush Coil) to tools from the past (and earned when you beat certain levels like before), and Dr. Wiley’s ship which is the same idea from previous games. You might get the idea of Mega Man being able to turn around in this game when he jumps on those flashing moving platforms of when he earns a weapon, but this is simply relegated to the “huh, interesting” category.

There is also the issue of weapons balance. The amount of damage the charged up Mega Man buster does on a robot master is equal to the weapon that the robot master is weak against. I thought that this was a huge oversight on the part of the designers because if the amount of damage caused by a weapon the robot master was weak against was greater than the charged up mega buster, I would say that the weapons you get from defeating robot masters would actually be relevant in the game. Instead, the new weapons are practically worthless and are not worth exploring in the grand scheme of things. By the time you actually find the weapon that makes a difference in the battle, you would have probably taken more damage than just using the charged up buster weapon.

Graphically, there wasn’t a whole lot to be had here that wasn’t done in previous games in the series. In fact, I found that there was even fewer interesting effects like previous games. The graphics weren’t horrible, but they wasn’t anything that says “wow” either.

In terms of audio, the sound effects are pretty much standard fare. They are pretty much what previous Mega Man games were. The let-down was the music. Normally, there’s at least one song that really stands out. Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen here. The music was passable, but generic.

Overall, innovation was sparse. The storyline has been done before. While there were good aspects of this game (such as the lowering of the difficulty), there were other elements that sadly dragged this game down. One can play through this game and be entertained by it, but I could only really find myself wanting to play this game if there was nothing else to play. An interesting novelty, but otherwise forgettable.


Furthest point in game: Beat the game.

General gameplay: 16/25
Replay value: 1/10
Graphics: 5/10
Audio: 3/5

Overall rating: 50%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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