NES: Mega Man (1987)

Release Date: December 29, 1987

Rating: 8/10

Video games are essentially interactive movies. Okay, maybe not all of them, especially not back when the original Nintendo was popular but nowadays that’s basically what they are. Anyway, I play a lot of video games and thought I would start reviewing them as I beat them. Whatever, it’s my blog.

Okay, Mega Man was a great game and the first game to feature a level select system so players could tackle stages in the order they wanted to. The story, what little there is, is about a robot created by Dr. Light to combat the evil Dr. Wily’s robots before he takes over the world. Mega Man is tasked with defeating the robot bosses and then tackling Dr. Wily at his hidden base.

The problem with this game is that it’s very, very difficult. Not just for people who aren’t used to the unforgivingness of old school video games, but also for those who are fans of the Mega Man series. It came out right on the cusp of when the pull of most video games was shifting from being challenging and just trying to get the highest score, to being something that is still challenging but is first and foremost fun to play. And this is very fun to play, but it’s also very difficult. Especially that Guts Man stage before you realize you get a move later that makes the opening portion much, much easier.

I like the puzzle solving in the final level, once you have all the abilities and are able to figure out different ways to use them. But because of the nonlinearity of the game every other level is lacking in this somewhat Zelda-like structure and instead is mostly just trying to rush through the levels and get to the end with nothing but goons in between. This is fine but seeing how puzzles could be implemented makes these primary levels feel somewhat lacking.

The music itself is pretty awesome considering they only had 8-bits to work with but they utilize the technology very well to create something fitting for a robot warrior, and each song matches the theme of each stage perfectly.

I feel like scoring should be different for these, I’m sure this will be an evolving process and might have different categories for different games, though I feel these are the “main” ones for any video game.

SCORING:

Playability: 3/4-The most important part of any game, more or less. Can it be played? Are the controls working? Are there game breaking glitches? Does the playable character do what you want them to most of the time? For Mega Man it controls pretty good overall but there’s a few enemies that can be particularly annoying because you can’t shoot down and they’re always below you. There’s a few other issues as well that I feel could have been solved with Mega Man being able to duck.

Graphics: 0/0- Does it look good for its time? Graphics are of such little importance to how good a game is I’m not going to make it contribute to the score as a whole but occasionally I might find a reason to add or subtract, still 0 will be what I do here the most because it contributes almost nothing to the enjoyment of a game (for me, anyway), Mega Man’s graphics were fine for it’s time but it doesn’t add or subtract anything from the fun.

Story: 0/1-Does it have a good story? Only worth 1 point as not having one does take away a little bit for me, but isn’t necessary to have a great game. There’s hardly any to speak of here, typical of games of the time, games don’t really need stories and when they have them they don’t have to either make sense or be believable, this is especially true of games from the NES generation and before

Replay Value: 1/1-Games, unlike movies, can be played over and over again and you can have a different experience every time, though sometimes it depends on the game. Is there a reason to replay it? Will I be able to put this game on my shelf when I’m done and expect it to only get better with time? With Mega Man, the answer is yes. Also it’s a fun enough game that once you get through it once you might want to go through again right away just to see if you can still do it fighting the bosses in a different order.

Fun Factor: 3/3-The other most important part of a game, though not quite as important as playability. Is it fun to play? For Mega Man, yes, very.

Sound: 1/1-Does it sound good? Mega Man’s music is enough to get the point on this, but I feel the SFX which are great for their time should be taken note of as well.

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