Release Date: December 1987
Here we are with the beginning of one of my all time favorite NES franchises, Mega Man! Capcom has been hit or miss up until this point, but here they really knocked it out of the park. I expect Mega Man will rate as one of the top titles of 1987. Maybe not the best, but top 3 for sure. Controls are simple, you jump with the A Button and shoot the Mega Buster with the B Button. Each boss you defeat, earns you a powerup that can be selected at any time with the Start Button.
You are Mega Man, a robotic creation of Dr. Light. Not the only one, however, as the evil Dr. Wily has turned six of his creations against humanity. Each robot has a weakness to another robot master. I usually run the robot masters in order of Bomb Man, I find him the easiest to take down with the default Mega Buster. Then Guts Man, who falls easily to the bombs. Then Cuts Man, who is fell with a few giant rocks. Then Elec Man, who is very quick, but clipped with the scissor attack. Then Iceman, who is obliterated with just three electric beams. Then Fire Man, who is very difficult otherwise, but easy to outlast with the ice beam.
After defeating all the robot masters, you attack Dr. Wily’s fortress. The first level pits you against a bunch of jumping behemoths, which zap a ton of energy if they hit you. If you can pass them, the route to the Yellow Devil is fairly easy. This boss, however, is not. He comes at you in a set pattern of pieces, which must be avoided, however, I typically have trouble half way through. I used the only real cheat I know here. If you attack with the electric beam and press the Select Button as the beam hits the Yellow Devil’s eye, you can hit him multiple times. After dying a couple times, I succumbed to the temptation.
The next level tasks you with defeating clones of the defeated robot masters, Cuts Man and Elec Man. They go down quickly to their respective weaknesses. Then you have to defeat a clone of Mega Man. This can be difficult, but I found the Electric Beam to be my friend, as the clone would get knocked backward when I hit him with it. The next stage forces you ahead with water to a boss with several pieces. You must defeat each one before they can whittle your energy away.
Finally, you must defeat the rest of the robots, Bomb Man, Fire Man, Ice Man, and Guts Man. Once you make short work of them, it’s on to Dr. Wily himself. Wily has two forms. The first has a red circle gun as a weak point that Fire Man’s weapon makes short work of. The final Wily form is injured greatly by Cuts Man’s rolling cutter. After you defeat Dr. Wily, you get the staff roll and the victory!
I think the graphics are very good. Everything is well detailed.
Capcom really stepped into the zone here. I think Castlevania had better music overall, but Mega Man has some good tracks.
Mega Man controls very well. He has room for improvement, which he receives in future installments, but for now, it’s close to perfect.
This can be hard if you try to fight the Yellow Devil legit. Guts Man’s stage can be hard with the moving platforms, as well. That was a source of headaches as a child.
Fun Factor: 4.0
Mega Man is a great game that everyone should be able to derive some fun from.
Overall Grade: 3.6
Mega Man earns an A-. It is well deserved, as this is a great beginning to an amazing franchise. I’m curious to see how I rate Mega Man 2 and 3.