I've already reviewed the first four Megaman titles, so I might as well keep going...
This is the turning point in the series. This game is where the Mega Man franchise finally reached maturity and became what it is today. If you're familiar with the newer Mega Man games and wish to gradually immerse yourself in old-school MM gaming, this is the one to start with.
Playing Megaman 5 is like playing more modern MM titles (like MM7 for SNES) in many ways. Play control, the Mega Buster, implementation of plot and "cutscenes" if you will--the way things were in MM5 set the standard for the rest of the series.
With that out of the way, this is a high-quality game with some of the best music ever to grace an NES. This game offers the same kind of fun that the previous Megaman games did, but some of the level designs are unique and stand apart from its predecessors:
- Wave Man stage allows you to ride a water ski (jet ski?) while firing at leaping dolphins and giant sea robots, all while the screen is auto-scrolling.
- Gyro Man stage places you on a rising elevator that makes you dodge spikes on your way up.
- Gravity Man stage rocks because half the time you are fighting on the ceiling!
- The final stage of Protoman's castle pits you against a wall of breakable stone and a ceiling full of spikes, just waiting to come smashing down on you.
This is a very fun game but only a few things keep it from being the best:
- Some of the levels have very difficult areas that can only be cleared by incredibly precise jumping and dodging or by "cheating" by using a special weapon that takes the fun out of things.
- Some weapons, like Crystal Eye and Charge Kick are almost not worth getting. Maybe it's just me, but I only use them to take down bosses. A special weapon should be more useful.
- There are so many extra lives, it's absurd. I had maxed out my number of extra lives before I even beat all of the initial 8 robot masters the last time I played. I thought extra lives were something that you treasured and did difficult things to get. (Can anyone say, "Bionic Commando"?)
Other than that, Megaman 5 is a fine game, and it made the Mega Man franchise what it is today.