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Forums > Submission Feedback > zippdementia's Mega Man 5 review

This thread is in response to a review for Mega Man 5 on the NES. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: snowdragon
Posted: August 21, 2012 (07:48 AM)
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I recently played through all the NES Mega Men in an effort to both revisit some old favorites and give a fair shake to ones I hadn't played much of or at all, and I was surprised to find I rather enjoyed 5—in fact, I'd rank it my third favorite after 3 and 2. I think this was the first game where the formula started showing cracks, but it's still solid. It's one of the better entry points for newcomers to the series because it hands out extra lives like Halloween candy and is comparatively easy aside from a few choice segments (Charge Man's battle is frustrating, as well as the dropping crystals in Crystal Man's stage if you don't have Star Man's shield). Maintaining difficulty balance from game to game was always a bit of a struggle for the Mega Man series, and 5 erred farthest on the side of accommodating the player. Also, while this game relied on individual level gimmicks more than past entries, I didn't have a problem with that because I felt most of them were successful (though they could have done more with the gravity shifting).

Decent review, though I often wonder just what exactly you were expecting from the game at times, and I'm not sure a level-by-level breakdown is the most effective approach, since the game as a whole is, I feel, a little better than the sum of its parts.

Also, Power Stone is by far the worst weapon in the entire mainline series.

I'll have four fried chickens and a Coke.

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Author: dagoss
Posted: August 21, 2012 (07:49 AM)
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This game, more so than any other in the series, was very carefully planned out. There are vast stretches where you can just jump and shoot and run to the right and, if you time your jumps and shots the way some programmer intended, enemies magically seem to line up in your path like ducks waiting for a hunter. Once you recognize these patterns, MM5 because a lot of fun to run through, if that's your thing. I can't think of a single cheap part where you can't avoid being hit.

In that respect, I think this is one of the tightest designs in the series. The same goes with the theming. Yes, Wave Man's level has no water section--good them for not taking the easiest way out. The 1st half of the level has some great, meticulous spaces and jumps (and no enemies) before the on-rails jet ski part shifts completing to shooting. Likewise with Star Man's level, which is built around enemies with tall vertical movements.

I think some of Robot Masters have lazy AI; I'll agree with you there. Their patterns are too easy to extrapolate and exploit. The Dark Moon robots are also pretty uninspired too.

Overall though, I think this is a strong, well-designed NES game. It's not my favourite, but there's nothing remotely bad about it. I mean, to criticize is music seems a little ridiculous compared to many games on the NES. I love the intro and Protoman's stages; Wave Man also gets me humming. I think if it wasn't part of the Mega Man series, it wouldn't get the flack that it does.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: August 21, 2012 (09:56 AM)
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After playing and reviewing five mega mans and seeing various feedback and comments—agreements and disagreements—on the reviews, I've come to figure out that what I seem to look for in a Mega Man title are two things: challenge and spectacle. My favorite games in the series have been those which had captivating stage design and were pretty difficult. Mega Man five took this a step backwards, I felt, especially in the difficulty. I didn't feel like I was working hard at any point in the Robot Stages. I missed the challenge of Mega Man 1 and 2, and the cleverness of 3 and 4. The castle stages were brilliant and that's where I see the design sentiments that Snow mentions.

I was always a fan of the early Castlevania series, even though they completely murdered me, because I enjoyed the immersion and I enjoyed the difficulty. Mega Man I've come to like more because its challenge is often more realistic and I feel I have more control over it. Castlevania I felt like I died many times because I was stuck on a staircase and couldn't attack or because I was knocked backwards by an enemy mid jump. Though I liked Dagoss' (was it Dagoss?) point about it in the recent castlevania review: that it's a game where you have to go slow, despite the pumping music and action vibe. Definitely true for the first game. I disagree with that for the third game, which was balls hard and made you go fast, but I digress.

To get back to the original point, one of the cool things about Mega Man games is that it's hard to ever rate them lower than a 5 or 6 because there's something there for everyone. With the exception of Mega Man 1, they are designed such that people can approach them from multiple angles. The Robots of each game are going to appeal to some... and then not to others. The lineup changes drastically enough each time to recapture an audience, even if they were turned off by the last game's selection. There are easy parts and hard parts. There's ways to beat the games using expert timing and ways to beat them by spamming robot weapons. It's a fun mix. It's also why sometimes my reviews of the series get a lot of agreement and other times not so much. I've enjoyed the disparity.

Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."

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Author: bbbmoney
Posted: August 21, 2012 (01:03 PM)
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Do you write these level at a time? Go out for a cigarette after each one? Call your buddy and be all like, "fucking megaman, dude." I'm curious to know the process!

I'm not a Megaman player but this has been a pretty epic volume, you should get it published somehow. Or find some kind of way to put it on a shelf.

Mobius 1, engage...

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: August 21, 2012 (06:37 PM)
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Thanks, holdthephone! It'd be fun to get it featured in print, somewhere. Maybe as a retro feature, who knows? For my design class next winter's term we have to publish a book, so I think I'll use these and gather them, redesign and layout them with new features, and publish 'em that way.

The process is me by myself, usually very late at night, kicking back and enjoying some classic gaming. I play through the entire game, usually stopping after each level to jot down my gut level reactions to a level and Robot Master and maybe even a preliminary score and a few comments. The hardest part of doing all this is finding the right night to take on the castles, since they can take three or four hours if they are very hard and I die a lot or if they come in two sets.

When I've beaten the game, I tend to go online and watch Roahym Mythril and other players play through each level. As I watch, I'm reminded of my thoughts on each stage and I'll pause after each video to write out the review of that Robot Master and his stage. Sometimes when I watch the video I discover something I didn't know or hadn't thought about. This is really fun, especially with the perfect runs, because I get to see how they beat bosses which totally kicked my butt. I've gotten pretty good at Mega Man by this point and can do a couple perfect runs myself, but it's always cool seeing the strategies laid out right in front of you. These videos are also where I get my screenshots.

I'd say each review takes me between four and five hours to write, start to finish. Usually I break this up into two or three sessions, especially now that the games are getting longer and having more stages.

One of the best things about all this is that I had never played all of the Mega Man games and only beaten one or two of them. This has been a great revisiting of nostalgia for me without the usual strings of memory attached. Mega Man still represents my childhood, even if much of this is new to me.

Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."

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