Also available on PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Android, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 01/29/2019 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Mega Man 5 keeps the smooth controls and solid gameplay of Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 4, but it also, thankfully, addresses the rather boring selection of robot masters that left me a little disappointed with Mega Man 4. Mega Man 5’s cast of boss robots, while not especially crazy or outlandishly creative in their designs (with a couple of exceptions), are interesting and well done enough to keep me entertained and keep boredom and monotony at bay.
The latter five of the 8-bit Mega Man games didn’t stray too far from the core concept established in the original game, but little bits here and there were added to keep things interesting, and Mega Man 5 is no exception. The level designs are generally the among the best that the series has to offer although there are some bland spots here and there. The robot masters are all really well designed, but there are two specifically stand out to me as especially fantastic and, in my opinion, stand out as the best robot masters of the series to this point – Napalm Man and Crystal Man. Their character sprites and level designs are both absolutely fantastic, and the weapons they drop after you beat them are among my favorite of the series. Those two bosses and their levels show how much creative talent Capcom had and how much potential the NES color pallet had when properly utilized.
One of the most immediately noticeable changes in Mega Man 5 that most fans might take issue with but that I, personally, loved was that the difficulty level in Mega Man 5 was markedly lower than previous games. As one who sucks at video games despite loving them, this was a welcome change for me. The music also really stands out here even in the context of the 8-bit Mega Man games. There’s not a single bad track in the game’s soundtrack, and if you’ve got some good speakers connected to your TV, you’re in for a great time.
Mega Man 5 takes the series to new heights and fixes all of my complaints with the somewhat bland robot masters in Mega Man 4. The visuals are bright and colorful, and the sprites seem to pop off the screen. The music is top notch, and the difficulty curve makes this an especially approachable Mega Man game. I still have a few gripes – a couple of the bosses were a little TOO easy in my opinion (looking at you, Star Man), but that’s a very minor gripe in an otherwise fabulous game.