Mega Man 5

Developer: Capcom
U.S. Publisher: Capcom
U.S. Release: December 1992
Genre: Platforming
Format: 4-Megabit Cartridge

Based on: Capcom selling sub-par NES games in order to convince kids to beg for a Super NES.

Games | Nintendo Entertainment System | Mega Man 5

Article by wumpwoast | February 1, 2008 | Part of the 8-bit Mega Man series

Not only does Mega Man 5 suck, but it's largely forgettable -- to the point that the only enjoyment I can eke from writing about it is by being bitter and cynical.

When I was a kid and I first received the game for doing well on my spelling tests, Mega Man games were a highly anticipated life-altering event. That's because I was a pathetic little cretin and a graphics whore with very few friends. The upside was that by the time my friends were becoming graphics whores for PC games like Quake II? and Unreal?', I had seen the error in my digital lustfulness. Fortunately for me, because by that point the road to whoredom involved not only $50 games but also annual $300 video card upgrades. But I digress.

We've established that Mega Man's continuing highlight is in graphical detail and technical accomplishment, and Mega Man 5 proudly waves this banner of shallowness. The level artwork in particular exudes color and detail to a degree the NES is normally incapable of, full of large cylindrical bricks, tanks, mountains, and other tricks to make you forget the tiled nature of the art. Although the conceptual artistry of the game can't compare to its classic predecessor, Mega Man 5's technical merits are still noteworthy -- it's one of the earliest examples of a game that looked much better in motion than in screenshots.

Sad, then, that the game mechanics are stale and lazy, with Mega Man X? on Super Nintendo and even the Game Boy series eating it for lunch. The freshest and most curious idea is found exclusively in Gravity Man's stage, which contains zones where gravity (and Mega Man's vertical controls) are flipped. The concept makes a great game in itself -- that's why Irem had developed Metal Storm two years prior and fully explored the concept. Hurrah for a Mega Man game that can't even rip off other games well!

My personal highlight is the scramjet-style Super Arrow item -- although it creates sticky platforms when attached to walls, the arrows themselves can be ridden through midair, to the effect of "Rush Jet at ludicrous speed." It's as pointless as the rest of Mega Man's post-Mega Man 2 arsenal, but it does at least entertain, which is more than can be said for daring weapons like the "Crystal Shot" or the "Water Wave." Unfortunately, fun ideas like the Super Arrow were jettisoned for future games in order to preserve space for idiotic recurring characters like Mega Man's new robo-hunting chickadee, Beat.

A weak game deserves a weak article, so in lieu of further scathing criticism I present you with a checklist of Mega Man 5's most pathetic elements. Impress your friends and family with trivial facts about an eons-old video game, or satisfy your morbid GameSpite and Internet compulsions by reading on:

Table of Patheticness 
Less challenging than previous games
Fewer foes with cool-looking cartoonish evil eyes
Fewer and less interesting robo-fauna
Level artwork is pleasing to the eye
Who gives a crap in this day and age
And the levels are still weak rehashes
A boss and level based on a freight train (Charge Man)
The Game Boy games walk all over it
Robot Masters are generally pathetic and weak
Charge Man is actually lamer than the Train Man from The Matrix: Revolutions
Wave Man: reused name of a hideous boss from the hideous PC version of Mega Man 3
Napalm Man
Less music at the castle/Wily stages than Mega Man 4
Proto Man's henchmen all look the same
Proto Man's henchmen are all just extra Robot Master-like bosses
But wait!! They have more interesting attack-patterns than the Robot Masters.
Actually...that kinda sucks, too, doesn't it?
Castles are nondescript metal structures void of architectural or artistic direction
Anticlimactic Wily boss-fight ripped straight from Mega Man 2
Weapons shamelessly cribbed from earlier games
Weapons are situationally useful for some levelsLOL
Yet another frigging shield weapon
Can flip gravity to kill enemies
Napalm Bombs don't obey reverse-gravity
You use this counterintuitive fact to your advantage in beating Gravity Man
Larger Mega Buster and Beat break the game balance
Points for trying4 / 25 (for artwork and Napalm Man)
Score16 / 100 (SUCK)