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Mega Man (NES) artwork

Mega Man (NES) review


"I relish fighting off a legion of floating animate flames or blasting shark-faced missiles out of the sky. I still get a giant kick riding the annoying moving platforms in Gutsman's stage. No matter how many f-bombs left my mouth when said platforms dropped me at key points, I still played."



Mega Man asset


"The original Mega Man? Seriously? Why not play Mega Man 10, or one of the X games? The first one feels like a visit to a Bronze Age exhibit at The Smithsonian."
-Random neighbor

"Mega Man games are like cell phones, dude: new features make the old models redundant."
-Random guy on the street

"People still play that? That came out like, what, 1995 or some long time ago?"
-Random coffee drinker

"Mega who? Is he that guy with the cape and the spandex? Oh, that poor Mr. Reeve, God rest his soul."
-Random old woman

I regret to inform you, Mega Man, that arbitrary people don't regard you with the respect your younger brothers have garnered. For shame! It's not just the non-gamers, either. Some avid gamers regard you poorly as well, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret: you and me are inseparable! That doesn't mean that I think you're a flawless guy, or that you aren't obviously aging. Don't hide that beer gut or your liver spots. I'm not blind!

You know, old buddy, I think it's that we're all spoiled nowadays. We get all bent out of shape when all we see is 'PRESS START' at your title screen. We think, "Where's the password screen?" Yeah, it sucks having to play you in one sitting; that's why I mainly play the Anniversary Collection version of you these days.

I think most of us can look past the lack of a password system and dive right in. It's after the initial screen that we truly start to feel awkward. "What the...? Only six robot masters?" Oil Man and Time Man were not part of the original boss line up--a history lesson for young'uns. We still decide to play along, and some of us pull out our fancy smartphones and Google which order to battle the bosses.

It's like we don't realize that this is where the classic Mega Man idea originated. We aren't totally at your mercy when it comes to level order. We can mix it up, experiment with different orders each playthrough, or even try tackling the toughest enemy first for a real challenge. But what it all comes down to is making mundane ol' Mega Man stronger by stealing a boss's weapon and using it against another boss. Half the fun is trying to figure out for yourself which weapon is a certain boss's bane through trial and error.

We ignore that because we're too fixated on the score at the top of the screen, or searching the menu for Rush, or wondering why we don't slide when we press 'Down+A'. We're too busy calming our frustration when we realize there isn't a single subtank, Beat letter, or visit from Fliptop/Eddie.

You didn't rely on special gimmicks or extra features to move copies. What you had was magical. Maybe not as much as your younger brother Mega Man II, but definitely special. The blend of run 'n gun action and stellar platforming is what I will always remember. I relish fighting off a legion of floating animate flames or blasting shark-faced missiles out of the sky. I still get a giant kick riding the annoying moving platforms in Gutsman's stage. No matter how many f-bombs left my mouth when said platforms dropped me at key points, I still played. You taught me perseverance, and you taught me that jaw-breaking challenge can be addictive. Every time I died, I wanted to push myself further to see how long I could last, how far I could travel. Rising to the occasion always gave me a sense of accomplishment.

But I will say, my ass still smarts over some of your scenes. That first boss in Wily's Castle? Seriously. Beating him was a milestone for me.

Sure, you're not as advanced as many of your brothers, but I can't say you weren't strong where it counted--that you weren't fun, challenging, or addictive. So please stop calling me while drunk at 2 AM, asking me if I think you're still a fun guy, because you are.

What? Hang out tomorrow? I've got plans, dude.

...

Yes, those plans are with Mega Man III, but that's beside the point. I've already told you what I think, now get some rest. And say hello to Dr. Wily's Revenge for me.

Rating: 7/10

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (September 10, 2011)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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If you enjoyed this Mega Man review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

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threetimes posted September 12, 2011:

I have really enjoyed reading your reviews Joe, but I've got to say that this is my least favourite of them all, well, of the ones I've read. The cursing seemed overdone. Once maybe, for effect, but after that I didn't see the point of doing so again, and to be honest it nearly turned me off reading more.

I can see why you'd try and liven up the possible responses to the game but there was just a bit too much of it, I thought. You got into your stride towards the end, and the best paragraph was the one where you talk about the gameplay and the attractions of the game in a straightforward and compelling manner. "You didn't rely on special gimmicks or extra features to move copies..." You said it. ;)
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honestgamer posted September 12, 2011:

I have to admit that the cursing was a bit jarring to me, as well. It didn't really seem necessary and didn't add anything in my opinion (particularly the multiple uses, as noted, which didn't add any flavor that the single instance didn't already take care of). If you want suggestions, I'd personally wait until later in the review to use the profanity, and I'd do it only the once, so that the reader by then has more opportunity to get a feel for the valuable ground that you do cover in the text and doesn't click away early on after making the mistake of believing that you're another Angry Nintendo Nerd copycat (or whatever). This was a reasonably fresh take on a classic and I'd hate for someone to stop reading before realizing that.
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jerec posted September 12, 2011:

I stopped reading before I realised that.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted September 13, 2011:

Thank you for the comments. I have updated the submission with less profanity. I really didn't realize how much was in there until I read it. I know I've been having a rough week, but sheesh.

Jason:
Thanks for the protip! I never did think of that.

Jerec:
That's the kind of honesty I want. Thank you!
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SamildanachEmrys posted September 13, 2011:

I didn't even notice the profanity until I read this topic. I wonder what that says about my social circles.
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Masters posted September 13, 2011:

I didn't get a chance to see the original version of this review, but I really like and appreciate what you have up there now, Joe. I always appreciate reviewers trying something a little different -- whether it comes off or not. Here it does. Gimmick reviews are never going to cover the game as professionally or as thoroughly as 'proper reviews', but sometimes it seems a prudent choice, given the age of the game, or how much it's been covered already. This is one of those times. Nice job.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted September 14, 2011:

Thanks, Marc!
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overdrive posted September 14, 2011:

Twas a good review. Did a good job of balancing the nostalgic effect of the game with the reality that it is a bit primitive compared to others.

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