Mega Man 5 (NES)

Game Review

Mega Man 5 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Can you ever have too much of a good thing?

While the Mega Man series on NES system didn't change too much from release to release, Capcom did manage to keep coming up with new and more challenging ways to keep platformer fans coming back for more. Mega Man 5 didn't try to re-invent the wheel, but what it did do was bring eight brand new robotic bosses to the table for Mega Man to tackle, and even tossed in a couple of surprises for fans to enjoy.

At its core, Mega Man 5 sticks to the traditional formula that made all of its predecessors so popular with gamers during the 8-bit era. When you first begin the game, you're taken to the robot boss selection screen where you can choose which stage you want to play. Much like previous releases, the order you defeat the bosses can greatly influence how effective you'll be against them.

When you defeat a boss, you're then given that robot's weapon of choice. Since each of the eight robot bosses have a specific weakness to a particular weapon, it's up to you to discover which weapon works best on a specific boss. It's this challenge that adds a nice layer of strategy to the mix and forces you to use a bit of trial and error to find just the right weapon for each of the game's bosses.

Mega Man's faithful helper Rush returns once again and brings with him a host of special abilities that Mega Man will need in order to traverse some of the game's tougher sections. There's the ability to jump higher using Rush Coil, or being able to scoot across difficult platforming sections with the Rush Jet, for instance. The developers were even kind enough to toss in another unique set of hidden surprises, called Letter Plates, which are well-hidden in each of the game's stages for you to locate. If you can locate them all and spell MEGAMANV, you'll be given access to another rather helpful assistant.

As with past Mega Man titles, this fifth incarnation controls like a dream. The controls are spot-on responsive and making use of the special abilities is as easy and intuitive as ever. The challenge level is not quite as steep as previous games in the series, but there's still plenty of challenge, even for seasoned platformer fans who think they've seen it all. Toss in a few hidden surprises and the challenge of figuring out the best order to take on the levels and you've got yet another solid and engaging Mega Man experience.

Mega Man 5 features some of the best looking levels in the 8-bit series, but there are a few bland spots along the way as well. Highlights like the Crystal Man and Napalm Man show a lot of colourful creativity and really take advantage of NES's colour palette, while the robot bosses are as uniquely animated as ever and show a surprising amount of detail.

Mega Man has always had a reputation for its amazing musical presentations and this release is no exception. There's not a bad track in the bunch — this is some of the best chip tune music to come out of the 8-bit era. And, of course, all the patented Mega Man sound effects are present and accounted for as well.


Mega Man 2 is widely regarded as the best Mega Man title to come out of the NES era, but it's difficult to not appreciate just how amazing this fifth instalment truly is. The level themes are among some of the best the series has to offer and while some of the robot bosses are a bit cheesy, they're also extremely unique as well. It goes without saying that if you're even a slight Mega Man fan, this is a game you absolutely must not miss.

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User Comments (35)



DarkRoy said:

Nice review, Corbie!
I remember MM5 as being a boring game, but after reading your review, I must play it again and give it a second chance.



GeminiSaint said:

All that's left now is Mega Man 6 and then all NES Mega Man games will be on the VC! Hurry up, Capcom!



WaveGhoul said:

Mega Bland 5? Oh we'll see.
After I'm done with Nintendog's + Cats, Super Mario Land and Zelda: Link's Awakening DX it's time to take a tubular nostalgiac trip back to Mega Land. I remember enjoying this one a bit more than MM3 and especially MM4 growing up, yet I haven't played it since!

I think the biggest annoying thing which seems to be with 5 is that you'll see the same enemies like those giant robo chickens for example thrown in multiple stages....Which makes them feel out of place.



TKOWL said:

Ooh, I gotta grab this one, been waiting for MM5 for awhile. The next time I get a Points Card, this will be my next purchase



Megaman256 said:

Mega Man 5 is one of the easier Mega Man games. The game is an enjoyable experince with some surprises. Mega Man 2 still being my favorite but Mega Man 5 is a solid game. You are not going to be pulling your hair or throwing your controller compared to Megaman 9 with it's insane difficulty.



kevohki said:

I know it's not the best Mega Man game but I think it's the third best on the NES after 2 and 3.



Angelic_Lapras_King said:

You owe us 3 MM games in Europe Capcom (This, MMX and MM on GB which is on the Japanese eShop). Don't make it 4 or more.



WaveGhoul said:

It's gotta be better than MM4....But what do you guys think of MM6? How does it stack up against MM5?



CanisWolfred said:

I disagree with this immensely. Everything about the game is just B-L-A-N-D. The music was forgettable and didn't fit the stages. The bosses were just O.K. The levels were unique, but still boring and pitifully easy. Really, I don't see anything about the game that classes it anywhere near the rest of the series. It's easily one of the worst Mega Man games out there.



BlueBandanaJake said:

I like to refer to MM5 as "No One's Favorite MegaMan" since just about everyone will have a title they favor over it (my favorites are 9, 7 and 2), but that doesnt make it a crappy game. Personally I do love this game, many of its tracks are some of my favorites (Title, Stage Select, StoneMan, NapalmMan, Wily Stages, Wily Capsule are really cool). And alot of the level gimmicks are pretty fun too. I think this review was spot on, and anyone who loves the classic Megaman games should definately try this. If MM2 or 3 didnt sell you though, this one isnt going to change your mind.



Tasuki said:

I pretty much agree with Mickeymac on this one. To me Megaman 5 just seems rushed to me like the developers just wanted to hurry up and get the next Megaman game out. This Megaman game has the worst castle bosses in the series and it left me scratching my head going what they couldnt think of anything. No dont get me wrong its not a bad game its just not on the top of my favorite Megaman games.

@Waveboy: Honestly I dont see what was wrong with MM4 granted it wasnt good as 2 or 3 but that might be it after those 2 great games maybe people were expecting something great, I dont know. As for Megaman 6 I thought it was a bit better than 5. They change they made to Rush was a nice touch and the different routes you can take to get to Bosses was also a nice touch as well in MM6. Its little stuff like that that they added in MM6 but didnt seem to add in MM5 that makes MM6 better than MM5 IMO.



MeloMan said:

Cool. Plenty more MM to go though, we need 6, 7, X2, and X3 now...

(...and MM Soccer... )



JGMR said:

I remember being awe-struck by it's ad in EGM back in January 1993 (with the Hyperstone Heist cover). Mega Man 3 was just released, and there it was in the U.S. ...Mega Man 5!!!



Tornado said:

Y'know, I don't think the later NES Mega Mans are as bad as some make them out to be. What gets me about 4, 5, and 6, however, is the two back-to-back castles at the end of the game... across which you cannot save! Nice that the VC's auto-save fixes that.



LuigiFreak said:

I played and beat the game last week. I really like it, especially the music. Only thing I hated about it were the power ups. They're just... bad. Except for the Charge Kick



SNK said:

not more mega man rubbish,when are games like Moonwalker,Strider and Super Hang On coming to the VC because these Mega Man games are getting boring now.



Megastar8271 said:

I am kinda divided on this one, To me it's kinda lacking. But it's NOT the worst, That title would go to like Mega Man 8 or something. (Mega Man 4 is my all time favorite Mega Man game.)



SwerdMurd said:

my favorite of the 6 NES games--mostly due to music. Fantastic game, and best of all the NES music soundtracks. Rock Man, Gyro Man, and Charge Man in the same game? Yes please



Capt_N said:

Saved 500 of my Christmas points for this. Now (I) am at Wily. Might replay the title prior to Wily, since I need "V", & I now know to be cautious to reach Wily w/ an energy tank, for the first part of that battle. Also, I noticed that Napalm man, & to a lesser extent, some of the other rms are a little more aggressive, than compared to the anniversary collection. Napalm man in particular. He fires his rockets much more. EDIT: I personally like Mega Man 3/9 the best. 2, & 8 I'm not a big fan of. As a matter of fact, those are the MM titles I don't really like. But of course, everyone's opinion is different.



dinkelberg said:

is this game avaliable on the vc now in america ? i live in europe and i cant wait for this game i personaly wait for mega man 5 on the vc as well as mega man x on the snes which is confirmed coming in the summer



MasterGraveheart said:

My only real complaint about this game was the Robot Master weapons. Aside from their respective boss fights, they felt kind of mediocre and meaningless. For my money, Mega Man 9 was the pinnicle of multi-tasking weapons.



theJudeAbides said:

OH. MY. GOD. My life is now complete, now that this game is finally out. To the guy above who said this is "nobody's favorite Mega Man": Bullcrap! This is MY favorite Mega Man! This is the only one I ever had as a kid and I played it to death.

I just downloaded this and played through it (in it's entirety) in under 2 hours, not even using a continue. It was amazing how quickly my skills came back and how I remembered all the enemy placements. One thing I thought that was funny about Mega Man 9 was how, in Water Woman's (or whatever her name was), they copy the bubble jump part from Wave Man's level in this game.(As a matter of fact, the bubble patterns are EXACTLY the same).

Really, this game should be 10/10. 2 &3 were alright, but lacked the Mega Buster, which makes them clearly inferior. 4 was a step up in the right direction, but they hadn't quite perfected the MB in that game yet. In Mega Man V, it all came together perfectly. Still haven't played 6, so I can't judge it, but now that I have I-V on my SD card, I can clearly see that V is the best.

This game was long past due to be released. Shame on Capcom for taking so long. Hopefully Europe will get it soon and 6 will be on it's way shortly.



OmegaBlacky said:

Wow this game....not much to say about it but its ok and bland if only they'd release a game like mega man 64 on the vc that would be great.



Urbanhispanic said:

This installment was pretty fun to play through. And while I love Mega Man 2, it's not my favorite; that honor goes to Mega Man 3 (I love that game to DEATH)



KnightRider666 said:

I love this game! Does anybody know when in June exactly Mega Man 6 is being released for the 3DS VC?



TreesenHauser said:

I've gotta play 5 again, but IMO my least favorite is the fourth game. My favorites are 1, 2, and 10 (not counting X)



EarthboundBenjy said:

I don't like Gravity Man's stage because you have to hold the up direction to slide when gravity is flipped. I remember reading about how the Sonic & Knuckles development team had play testers test and confirm that holding downwards for the spindash was more natural than up, even when playing upside-down. Mega Man was obviously before Sonic & Knuckles, but that doesn't stop it feeling awkward to control.

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