Mega Man (NES)

Game Review

Mega Man Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

The NES experience, now on 3DS

A while back, the 3DS Virtual Console got Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge, the Blue Bomber's first Game Boy outing. It's a decent conversion of the console game, but many would agree that the handheld Mega Man games didn't really begin to shine until later in the series. Curiously, instead of working their way closer to said games, Capcom has chosen to release the original NES game first.

In case you're new to Mega Man, this is as good a place to start as any, though be warned that this first entry is quite a bit harder when compared to its sequels. It's the same deal as always — Dr. Wily has launched an evil plan and Mega Man has to defeat a group of Robot Masters in order to reach Wily's castle and stop him.

The Robot Master stages can be played in any order, and upon beating a stage you'll get that Robot Master's weapon to use in the other levels. Each weapon is another Robot Master's weakness, so if you know the cycle you can take care of all the bosses quite easily, though their stages will still be a challenge! Although the weapons you get are primarily just used to take down the other bosses, some of them have their uses elsewhere as well. For example, Ice Man's Ice Slasher can freeze enemies in their tracks, allowing you to jump on or run underneath them if you froze them in mid-air.

The Mega Man series is known for combining action with tricky platforming, but no other game in the series does this as much as the first — almost every stage has one or two difficult or annoying platforming sections that'll frustrate you to no end if you're inexperienced. Thankfully, it is possible to pick up a Magnet Beam in one of the stages that allows you to spawn temporary platforms to stand on, making any perilous section above spikes or bottomless pits much easier; this item is actually needed to beat some of the Wily stages, so be sure to grab it. If you're still having trouble, the 3DS Virtual Console's handy save state feature can also offer a solution.

If you've already played some of the later Mega Man games, you'll notice that the gameplay is still a little rough around the edges in this first instalment. The most obvious difference is that there are only six Robot Masters on offer here, unlike the eight in every other game; even the first Game Boy game had eight. Other differences are smaller, but still noticeable, like a points system that serves no purpose, temporary invincibility after being hit not protecting you from spikes, and fall speed seemingly not being capped.

The graphics are simple yet effective, most of the stages have fairly bland backgrounds (or none at all!), but they get the point across. The music is also fairly good, though some would definitely argue that Mega Man music did not truly hit its stride until the second game.


The original Mega Man was a great game in its day, but when compared to its sequels, some of which are occasionally hailed as some of the best action games of all time, it feels quite dated in this day and age. If you can look past its (comparatively) short length and slightly unpolished game mechanics there's still a pretty good game here, but if you don't like a significant challenge it might be best to wait for Mega Man 2 to hit the 3DS Virtual Console.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (45)



bezerker99 said:

This is the only Mega Man game I cannot beat. Dr. Wily's Castle is too tough for me. When this arrives in NA, I will def get. Can't have enough Mega Man, esp on the go.




Cheers, never been much of a Mega Man fan although I think I enjoyed 2 and 4 (i think it was 2 and 4 i played) back in the days when my brain could take the frustrational punishment I must say, I really like the sadomasochist Mega Man X though. Is that the defiantive game in the series?



the_shpydar said:

The original has always been my personal favorite in the series, most likely due to an extremely high nostalgia-factor level. Having this on a hand-held (legitimately) will be awesome, so hopefully it will get a US release soon.



Philip_J_Reed said:

I can beat Wily's Castle, but only after loads of deaths and continues. Having it on the go might let me actually master it for real this time!



Geonjaha said:

How is not having temporary invincibility a bad feature? It makes more sense and adds more challenge. Anyway - I'm having a lot of fun with this one, and cant wait for 3-4.



GTWarrior77 said:

I never played this one back in the day. My favorite's were 2,3 and 4. I downloaded this from the eshop last week. I must say, this thing is brutal.



Rensch said:

The robot master stages are pretty easy, but I can't get past that yellow devil thing. (And, no, I can't seem to pull that trick off.)



ogo79 said:

you young whippersnappers are going to get a run for your money on this one



Bass_X0 said:

I never beat any Mega Man game without cheating using cheat cartridges, and many go uncompleted. Its just way too hard for me.



Knux said:

This was the first NES Mega Man that I've played and beaten thanks to the Wii's VC. It was one hard SOB, but I sure as hell love every minute of it. I already have this game on the Wii's VC and PSN, but what the hell? I'll buy it again when it comes to the eShop.



NintendoCat14 said:

This was always the easiest Mega Man I've played. Other than Dr Wily's Castle, it always seemed so much easier... I doubt that I'll get it on 3DS VC due to the fact that I have it on Wii and GCN. The only reason I would get it is because it will be the only 3DS NES VC game I don't have.



Spagem said:

Once this comes to NA I will be so happy. Megaman is my fav. game character. But I still can't wait for 2. And 3. And who knows? maybe Capcom will release 1 - 7 in NA.



Spagem said:

you young whippersnappers are going to get a run for your money on this one

Not this young 14 year old whipper snapper. I can beat Megaman 2 without dying and same with MM 10. I have beaten every original Megaman game too. But its probably because I've been playing Megaman for 5 years.



grumblegrumble said:

I've never been much of a Mega Man fan. Don't know why. He just seems a little cheesy and generic to me.



Firejonie said:

This is one of my lesser liked Mega Man games, it's enjoyable. But compared to the other ones, I think this one is just okay.



Detective_TeeJay said:

It would be great to finally get the chance to own a game from the series preceding my all time favorite game.



Urbanhispanic said:

Ahhhhhh.....the memories. This was one of the first games I bought for my NES. It took me three months before I was able to beat the game and for those who haven't played it yet, you will be for a rude awakening. I downloaded the first three NES games for my Wii and I got the anniversary collection for my Gamecube. Still, I'm considering buying it for my 3DS. I love it that much.



WaveBoy said:

Bah, MM desserves an 8. I'd personally nail it with an 8.5. It's one of the best in the franchise, and also one of the easiest. Don't believe the people hailing it as one of the toughest in the franchise, it's not even close. Ice man's stage, the yellow devil(maybe) and Clone Mega are probably the only real challenging parts in the game. Other than that, it's pretty easy breezy.

MM1 is a complete puppy dog in comparison to that nasty-challenging & irritating beast 'MM10' Anyways, not downloading this. Already have it on the Wii's VC. I'm not forking over any more money for this 3DS NES VC milkage. These games belong on the big screen.



rayword45 said:

MM10 is a beast? I personally found it to be easy as crap.

In terms of difficulty (all on normal):

9>1>2>10>3>8>Never played the rest fully so can't judge



Tasuki said:

The beginning of a great series. I have this one on the Megaman AC for Gamecube but having it on a handheld is too sweet to pass up, I hope NA gets it soon.

The only level I find annoying is Icemans, and if you dont know what I mean just go to Youtube and look up Roahm Mythril's perfect Megaman run that pretty much sums it up for me.



chiptoon said:

I never got to finish this as a kid. My cartridge was faulty and would freeze about 2/3 of the way through the Ice Man level.



Nekketsu3D said:

I can't understand what you expect Capcom to bring this great saga in NA. being the best with X.



MAB said:

Downloaded it 2 days ago and I have already powerslammed this mofo onto a concrete block of butchers knives MM2 next please.



Chunky_Droid said:

Wow, I didn't realise so many people had a tough time with this game, not that it's easy, it takes a lot of good timing for sure, but the boss battles are reasonably easy.

I feel good knowing I've beaten all the Mega Men up until 8 (yet to play 9 and 10!)



Samholy said:

yay i loved this megaman! as wel las most NES megaman games.




Karakato said:

I' say every Classic Megaman game is worth checking out just for the unique Robot masters and their respective weapons. Can't wait to nab this once it hits NoA and do a Rolling cutter run again. The hard part for me was the yellow devil, but thanks to a certain weapon glitch, I took him down easy surprisingly enough and then the rest of the game was a breeze.



theoldman said:

if only they would start making games like this again. sure they are making new platformers for the 3ds and what not, but damn. these games had charm you dont find anymore.



MegaAdam said:

I was just playing this on the Wii VC the other night. I might actually buy it again for the 3DS.



eleven59 said:

Why why why all these Nes games on the 3ds when there's a huge library of gameboy/color/advance games to release!! Plus maybe a few game gear, tg-16, neo pocket color, and maybe just maybe one day... Virtual boy and lynx



SparkOfSpirit said:

I already have this on the VC. :/

I wish they would go back to the Game Boy games, I've always wanted Mega Man 4 and 5 GB.



Zach777 said:

Dear Nintendo: The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages/Seasons on the eShop would be rad. Thanks bro. Oh and Reggie, Donde esta Harvest Moon y Legend of the River King GBC ver, amigo?



KnightRider666 said:

I'm happy Capcom is finally starting to give us the NES Mega Man games. Although 1 isn't my favorite, I'm thankful we got it. Personally, MM3 was always my favorite. I played it the most growing up. I'd love to have Capcom release Mega Man Mania on a 3ds cartridge. Port the unreleased collection but add an option to play in 3D. I can't tell you how many times I bought and sold the game boy set b/c the gba game kept getting pushed back only to be cancelled:(



Yanni said:

Grabbed it on the 3DS eShop few days ago. It's a shame, but that's my first contact to the original series (I have the "Maverick Hunter X" on the PSP) and I already love it. The game in really challenging which is a good thing. I'm having tons of fun with it!



Inflame227 said:

I'm new to the mega man franchise and I thought I would start out on the original.
I never imagined it would be this hard, thank god for those restore points...

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...