Review by God Squirrel
Ahh, Capcom. There was a time when you made such wonderful platformers. The Mega Man series was probably one of the most well known and hardest platformer series on the original NES. Many, many hours wasted on that little blue guy with a gun for a hand.
200X – The Future!
The year is 200X. The “future”, I suppose, at least it was in 1987. Dr Light (wonderfully translated into “Dr Wright” in this game) is in the business of making robots to help mankind, and has built several to help out. It seemed like a good idea at the time, at least until his assistant Dr Wily got involved. Dr Wily is basically a giant asshat, and wants these robots for his own plans. The only one Dr Light has left at the end of the day is Mega Man, our blue buddy. He sets out to destroy the six evil robots, and go through some bitchingly hard levels along the way. Like “throw the controller at the wall” hard, but it keeps you coming back for more.
What is there to say about this guy. He’s one of Capcom’s best and most successful characters, and he evolves quire a bit over the course of the series. He is a robot built by Dr. Light, and he has the ability to take on the weapons of the robots he defeats, which pretty much makes him the best thing Dr. Light built. All of Dr. Light’s other robots were taken over by Dr. Wily with relative ease, yet Mega man keeps going at Wily to save the world, and maybe Dr. Light’s reputation, since this whole situation could have been avoided with better pre-employment screening.
The big jerk of the game, and well the whole series. Everything is going fine with Dr. Light’s experiments, until this balding asshole comes along. Not only is he bent on taking over and destroying the world, he makes the robots hide in incredibly strange and difficult areas apparently, causing Mega Man to have to go through these worlds to defeat them. He otherwise sits around, hiding out in his castle, confident in the fact that the one robot he left behind won’t be able to overpower the six he stole (along with the army of less important robots), and then make it through his defenses. And no matter how many times it happens, he never learns.
Stages and Bosses
Cutman stage is where most people start out. It is simple, as far as this game is concerned. It gives you a good feel for the game. It also lets you know how unforgiving things are about to get. Cutman himself is rather easy, and will drop with your regular weapon. Just watch out for his boomerang on the return. The weapon he gives you is just a cut blade that flies in an arch and then returns to you. This is very useful for taking enemies off the ground who are too short for a standard buster.
The difficulty goes up a bit here. This stage is far more vertical than Cut Man’s was. There are more difficult enemies, and many of them you’ll have to fight from ladders. Get hit on a ladder, fall off and hope you can catch before you leave the screen. This stage also marks the first appearance of the blocks that appear and disappear, a feature that I both came to loathe and love over the course of this series.
This stage is, well it will test your jumping skills. You’ll spend parts of this stage jumping on moving platforms that periodically drop you to the ground, or death, whatever you prefer to call it. You’ll lose a life, whatever you call it. Parts of this level will truly test your patience. The reward is being able to toss those big ass blocks you see in the other stages and some boss rooms.
Iceman’s stage will… wait a second… what the hell is he doing with his face? Why is he doing that with his mouth and what does he want to do to Mega Man? Why have I never noticed this before? I’m really not sure if I want to know. Anyway, moving on, this stage is a bit different from the others in that it is covered in ice. What a shocker. The ice makes you slide around a little each time you stop or land a jump. It also has some of the most frustrating platforming in that it has moving platforms that shoot at you. Have fun with that part.
This brings us to the end of our regular stages, and this stage sort of reminds me of Fireman’s stage without the lava. I mean that in the way that it just keeps throwing shit at you while you’re trying to take some jumps, where a missed jump can mean death, and so can a single hit from an enemy when it knocks you off the ledge. The boss fight itself isn’t too bad, as Bombman himself is very slow.
This stage starts off looking nice enough. It isn’t. There are parts here that will beat you down and send you running home. You’ll probably end up continuing more than once here. Flames come out of the ground, the floor is lava, bullets that explode when shot fly at you, fire rains from the sky. In many parts of the level, all these things happen at once.
This stage itself consists of 4 stages within it. There are some new bosses, as well as all the old ones ready to try to take you out again. All the stages up until now were almost just a tutorial to get you ready for these last 4. They will test your abilities as a gamer, and you might end up breaking a few TVs by throwing your controller into them. I would even wager that this has some of the hardest Wily stages in the series. Best of luck if you’ve made it this far.
Overall Mega Man wasn’t the best in the series by any means, but it laid the groundwork for a series that is still going on to this day, even of the newer ones are more needlessly difficult than just fun. This game will kick your ass, but keep you coming back for more. It is probably she shortest of the series as well, with only six bosses instead of the standard eight. It also was the only game of the series to use points, although they really weren’t anything more than bragging rights at the end of the game, and well, if you beat the game, you already had bragging rights. The only thing this game was lacking was a password feature, but the series came to have that later on, so this is forgivable. That and the music is probably the worst of the series, but again, that is forgivable as well.
This is an amazing game that no classic game lover should go without playing through. It is the perfect balance of fun and frustration that kept so many of us gaming back in the NES era. Playing through this game will leave you wondering when the fuck games quit being like this and became way too easy, as they are now. The only downside is finding a cart of this game in good condition can be a bit rough, as the series really caught on after Mega Man 2.