The Mega Man Retrospective continues! After the release of Mega Man 4, we got Mega Man 5 a year later and this game is a more ‘simple’ sequel compared to Mega Man 2 and 3. It has less new features, but it sticks with what works and it ends up being a great time because of that.
Right after Mega Man 4 release, development soon followed on a sequel game. Inafune continues working with the series but for this title, citing that he feels Mega Man 5 was one of the more easier games in the series. In his own words, he did not want to “make an unreasonable game, an affront to the players”.
The Team Behind Mega Man 5 includes the following:
Director – Ichirou Mihara
Producer – Tokuro Fujiwara
Designer – Ichirou Mihara
Programmer – Tadashi Kuwana
Artists – Keiji Inafune, Hayato Kaji, Naoya Tomita, Kazunori Tazaki, Kazushi Ito
Composer – Mari Yamaguchi
Considering they felt they stretched the core foundation as far as they could at this point, they just made everything ‘better’. Mega Man’s slide remained the same but they gave his charged shot more power thanks to Mega Man 4 sudo-villain, Dr. Cossack, upgrading his Mega Buster. He also made a little bird robot named ‘Beat’ which can help Mega Man attack foes when he is close to them.
Some interesting information about Mega Man 5 is that the robot masters featured in the game, are all based on creations over 130,000 gamers sent to Capcom thanks to a collaboration with Nintendo Power. This continued for a number of titles (just like Mega Man 3 and 4).
The game released in December 4th, 1992 to solid scores and solid well for Capcom. One would thing this would be the final NES Mega Man title around this time period but we got Mega Man 6 a year later, which I will touch on when I make the Retrospective on that title.
After the events of Mega Man 4, Rock and Dr. Light are relaxing in his lab but when they go outside, what appears to be Protoman captures Dr. Light and Mega Man follows suit. Protoman is causing havoc across the world and goes after a series of robot masters Protoman took in; Star Man, Gravity Man, Gyro Man, Stone Man, Crystal Man, Charge Man, Napalm Man, and Wave Man.
After defeating them, we head to Protoman’s base of operations and it functions like the Dr. Cossack levels in Mega Man 4. After fighting Protoman, the original Protoman appears and we learn that the one causing all the problems is a creation from Dr. Light called ‘Dark Man IV’.
We then head through Dr. Wily’s Fortress and take him out, saving the day. Dr. Light escapes and Mega Man saves Dr. Light. All is well with the world, with Protoman watching over Dr. Wily’s base being destroyed as Mega Man & Light escape.
Simple story and one that continues the ‘Wily is not the main villian…..nah, we are just playing around. Take out that guy yet again.’ It makes up play through more levels, so cool with that set up.
Well….its more Mega Man Classic. Jump and shoot action with abilities from past games feeling good here. The charged buster shot is very powerful and makes fighting through the robot master levels & fighting them much easier compared to past games. We also get a little bird named Beat, which can attack foes that come close to Mega Man. He is very useful for fighting bosses and its a good idea to find him! You do so by exploring the different levels for M-E-G-A-M-A-N-V letters.
Level gimmicks this time out continue to be interesting like past games, with Gravity Man having, well, gravity gimmicks that are tricky but fun to get through. My personal favorite robot master stage was Wave Man’s level, were you get to ride a water craft until you get to the boss encounter.
The fights themselves are fun and enjoyable, with different patterns like other Mega Man titles. What makes this fun is how the level gimmicks translate into the boss stages. Gravity Man pushes upside down and right side up as you fight him, so Mega Buster or Weakness, you have to watch your surroundings and movement.
Some of the robot master powers are fun to play with, like the Star Shield though that isn’t very effective. This mirrors the other powers, with them far less useful due to the stronger Mega Buster outside of Robot Master fights. This gets fixed in later games but it is a small issue here.
We see that happen in other Mega Man games with Underwater fights, but its nice seeing the robot master bosses having new ways to fight them. The only downside is that they are very easy to fight, as thanks to Mega Man’s powerful Charged shot, you can kill them quite fast compared to normal Mega Buster shots.
The Tower stages follow Mega Man 4 with them being easy but still very rewarding to get through. The first fortress has a nice haunted feel with the location being set in a drab castle.
The second level is more high-tech with a lot of gimmicks to interact with. Spikes and Conveyor Belts common in this section.
The final two Protoman castle levels is on the a rooftop and one where you fight the fake Protoman himself.
The Wily Fortress is composed of four sections. The first one is a tricky section, with spikes being common and having you jump on spinning wheels.
The second area is set in a pipe system flooded with water. This is a fun section, as this wasn’t explored in past castle stages. The final two levels is a BOSS RUSH, with two fights with Wily. This part of the game is enjoyable due to the Wily fights being rewarding battles, with the final one being against this big tank with a skull design. The weakness for this? Spoiler: Super Arrow
Overall, this was a fun set of tower levels to go through.
Did you enjoy the presentation of Mega Man 4? Well, its more of that! The game has bright colors and more space-like locations compared to past games, and I love space levels.
The robot master designs are great as well and show a lot of personality.
Musically, we got a few nice tracks though I prefer the other NES soundtracks over this game.
Crystal Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNMI…DA338C7EA8D0FA
Gravity Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPiK…A8D0FA&index=4
Charge Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C75Q…DA338C7EA8D0FA
Wily Fortress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5YI…8D0FA&index=21
Evil Protoman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZS5…DA338C7EA8D0FA
Protoman Fortress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cuD…DA338C7EA8D0FA
I had a great time playing this for the first time! The gameplay is more Mega Man and after having some issues with Mega Man 4, having a more calmer and relaxed pace with this ones easy difficulty was nice. I enjoyed revisiting Mega Man 4 and honestly prefer that to this, but I enjoyed my time with Mega Man 5 a great deal. Highly recommend this if you want a fun adventure with the Blue Bomber.