(GB / Game Boy)

Game Review

Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Slightly less than mega

Back when the Mega Man franchise started with the release of the original NES game, Capcom never thought it would do well — the first game was expected to bomb horribly, as almost nobody at the famous developer thought people would like it. Fast forward to today, and Mega Man has become one of their best-known franchises.

In 1990, Mega Man 3 on the NES was released in Japan; as the previous two games had both enjoyed great success, Capcom looked into expanding the series to other platforms as well. The most logical choice was, of course, the Game Boy, which yielded Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge. As the first departure for the franchise on Game Boy, it is no surprise that it is the first of these titles to grace the 3DS Virtual Console.

Capcom, apparently, was not very keen on trying to change up the gameplay formula, as the game is pretty much like the first NES game. You battle through four stages, at the end of each you defeat one of four Robot Masters, who will be familiar to veterans of the NES original; two of the six bosses from the NES game are, however, missing in action. From each of these you'll receive a special weapon which you can then use in the remaining stages, which also targets the weakness of another Robot Master.

After all four stages have been cleared you go to Dr. Wily's fortress, which consists of just two stages in this title. At the end of the first, you won't re-battle the four Robot Masters that you just defeated, which is the norm for the series. Instead you'll fight four from Mega Man 2; once these enemies are vanquished you fight a completely new boss. At the end of the second and final Wily stage, you'll have to deal with the evil genius himself.

The first thing you'll notice is that the sprites in the game are enormous — Mega Man takes up quite a bit of space on the screen and his enemies aren't exactly small either. Although not game-breaking, this does lead to some very annoying situations; the sheer size of the characters means it's sometimes very hard, or in some cases even impossible, for Mega Man to dodge an attack. The Robot Masters are, of course, the same size as Mega Man, so you’d better make sure every shot you fire at them counts, because there's no way to avoid bumping into them constantly, and they'll kill you fast.

The stages themselves are completely new: some elements from their NES counterparts, such as disappearing blocks, are still there, but for the most part the layouts are totally different. For example, ‘Cut Man's’ iconic stage no longer takes place outside, but rather inside a factory, with a lot of conveyor belts. Mega Man 2 elements can also be found in all six stages, to make up for the fact that none of the four Robot Masters from that title have their own stage. As a result of this title having just six stages, the 3DS Virtual Console restore point feature isn’t particularly important. Some may find it useful, however, if a particular stage causes them trouble.

The game's graphics are fairly decent for a Game Boy game, looking pretty much exactly the same as their NES counterparts. The only real flaw with them is that the sprites seem to be too big for the Game Boy's small screen; while the game display is bigger on the 3DS, the issue of sprite size remains. The music in the first four stages, as you might expect, tries its best to sound like the matching themes in the NES game, but the melodies have changed slightly and the Game Boy sound makes them sound far less impressive. The Wily stages, however, have two completely new songs, which actually sound pretty good.


Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge is a decent first attempt at a handheld Mega Man game. It's fairly fun, but you may have the feeling you're playing a watered down version of the NES games, which will end up making you want to play them instead. The game is over in a flash - with just six stages, it's shorter than every other game in the entire franchise. Thankfully, Capcom noticed this and kept it in mind for the remaining four Game Boy Mega Man games, each of which has ten or more stages and are, overall, more impressive than this first attempt.

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User Comments (36)



Sabrewing said:

It still makes me sad that Capcom cancelled the GBA compilation of the first five Mega Man GB titles. They were supposed to have options for specially colorized graphics, similar to GB titles that supported the Super Game Boy. God, that woulda been awesome.



Bass_X0 said:

Its over in a flash? I couldn't even beat it as a kid. Just having six stages doesn't mean its a short game if you have a hard time doing those levels. I could do one of the four regular levels without a game over but I kept losing lives that I couldn't continue long. The Wily stages are also quite hard. Never even knew about Enker until a few years ago. Maybe it'll be different with the save states but it'll still be tough. The graphics are just right. The stages are designed so they don't feel cramped; its not like in Super Mario Bros. DX where the game screen is the size of a console game and you could only see a small portion of it. Here, the game is split into several 'challenges' - get past this trap, get past this enemy, make this jump. You will get hit a lot, thats an unfortunate aspect of the game, it can be unfair sometimes. Not just difficult but actually unfair on the player. I like the sound too, its catchy and does sound good. I'm not hearing the inferiority that the review mentioned. I'm writing all this from memory though. I haven't downloaded it on 3DS yet. A 6/10 is a little too low, I'd give it a 7/10. It has its flaws but its still a good third party game compared to other third party games on the GB.



skywake said:

I was pretty hyped about this until I saw the trailer on the eShop. It just seems kinda.... less punchy if that's the right word. It's not really Mega Man without the colour or sound of the NES.

I do think that restore points are a must for Mega Man though so that's a huge plus in my books. Not that I've played a Mega Man game with restore points before........................ cough



Link79 said:

This is a decent first entry on Gameboy but the sequels are far better.
Well not counting MM 2 on GB of course.
Don't know what happened with that one but something went horribly wrong.
MM 4 and 5 are fantastic and just as good as the Nes games.
With the rate of VC releases we'll probably see those in 3 years



outrun2sp said:

This was a good start. Looks and plays exactly like megaman should.

I liked part 2 on GB and dont know why it got such a bad wrap. Part 3 was the best though for sure.



Aqueous said:

@Marcel - you said "as almost nobody at the famous developer thought people would like it." I think you want to use but or exept instead of at. Still nice review.



TKOWL said:

Should've had Brutus review it. He would've had better things to say about this.



47drift said:

I personally love it. Today was my first time ever playing it, and it's got everything you could want out of a portable Mega Man. Hard levels, fluid controls, and great music.



Kid_A said:

Spot on. This game is definitely in the "good, not great" category.



KeeperBvK said:

@ Aqueous: Why should he? He was saying that nobody at Capcom (the famous developer) expected the game to become a success.



bezerker99 said:

I beat this game last night - I would have given it an 8. It's better than what is presented here.



Philip_J_Reed said:

It's definitely a good game (does the review suggest it's not good, Mickeymac?), but clearly flawed. All the MMGB games have their issues, apart from 5 which is a masterpiece. I really hope we get that one.

Great review, Drake.



Yogsoggoth said:

You must be playing a different game than I am because I am really enjoying this. I think it is one of the stronger VC titles to date. I would give this an 8 or a 9.



Geonjaha said:

Yes, it's not got a lot of stages but the stages are quite hard, and you cant just put the game down because of the comparisons to the NES or later versions, because they're not on the eShop right now. For whats available as GB games on the 3DS eShop this deserves more. Kirby's Dream Land and Super Mario Land are completable in much less time.



Tethers said:

Are the sprites in the other titles of the Gameboy-series still as big as in "Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge"?



StuffyStuff said:

If they continue releasing the GB titles, MMII will get a 3 at best if this one got a 6. That game is a train wreck.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@8 No, he got it right. It agrees with the previous clause about the game being expected to bomb, so "as" was an appropriate word choice ("because" would've also worked), whereas "but" or "except" would've been wrong choices.



grumblegrumble said:

I got this yesterday "on a whim" and just find it kind of cheap and incomplete, and a little difficult in weird spots, too. Anyways, I would give this a 4/10 if you're not familiar or aren't a fan of the Mega Man series. It's just.... meh... ok... nothing special and definitely nothing great.



Jcarlospc said:

I forgot how difficult mega man titles are. Wait... now i remember... it was not difficult, ir was masochist! Thank you Capcom for a lot of joystick breakings. ( Sorry guys my english is really rusty).



daznsaz said:

im doing segments without getting hurt then create restore.so crawling really its a toughy



MrHeli said:

Your English is spot on! For more than one instance of joystick breaking, I can't think of a better phrase. Only, broken joysticks could sound slightly more native. You're right about this game though. Brutal! Nice to have MM on the 3DS, though.



Adamant said:

" Although not game-breaking, this does lead to some very annoying situations; the sheer size of the characters means it's sometimes very hard, or in some cases even impossible, for Mega Man to dodge an attack. The Robot Masters are, of course, the same size as Mega Man, so you’d better make sure every shot you fire at them counts, because there's no way to avoid bumping into them constantly, and they'll kill you fast."

Eh, you're not being quite fair here. The stages are all well designed to work with the smaller screen, and there aren't any more "cheap hits" than in the earlier NES releases. The game is lacking a bit in originality, but it's just as polished as you'd expect of an MM title at the time.

(also, using restore saves is for cowards)



Adamant said:

Just downloaded - and beat - the game. Didn't find a single spot where the cramped space led to annoying situations... anyone got any examples of where this is supposedly the case?

Oh yeah, and a tip for newcomers - the Ice Slasher is an incredibly useful weapon in this game. Iceman is by far the easiest robot master too (he was hard in the NES game, but in this game they cut his ability to fire at medium height, so his shots are much easier to avoid), so get it early.



squirrelguys said:

I love this game. A bit hard. But good. I would give it at least a 7 maybe an 8. But all Game Boy games have a lot of replay value. So the length don't amount to nothing.



KDR_11k said:

The disappearing block sections get brutal, especially in the second Wily stage.



Adamant said:

@KDR_11k, have the Carry selected as your weapon for that segment. That way you can make a nice waiting block off to the side for those areas where a block will spawn right above the one you're standing on, as well as having a way of saving yourself if you miss a block.

Even without the Carry, this section is much easier than doing the Wily 1 spike corridor in the first NES game without the Magnet Beam, though.



CrimsonMoonMist said:

I highly enjoyed this though It's really just something to get my Mega Man fix until NES's 2 or the GB's IV/V gets a release.

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