So I have a long history with the Mega Man games growing up. 2 was the first one I played thanks to a cousin, and 3 being the first I owned, and eventually 1, 2 and 4. Starting with 3 then going back to playing 1 was a struggle at first. Seeing how 1 isn’t as polished as the later games in the series from its play control, difficulty and the weird scoring system. But i still enjoyed it! I think first time finishing it long ago was via Game Genies codes. So when I began streaming I wanted to get back to some of my gaming roots with the mega man titles. I came up with Relearning Mega Man to do such a task. I’d start relearning and finally completing the early MM titles 1-7. I would do each part of the series as a possible 2-parter: first stream being fighting the Robot Masters, 2nd and any others going through Wily’s Castles, or whoever is the big enemy’s castle prior to Wily. Considering I know 3 the best, 3 is likely to be one stream and may play it with the MM3 Improvement hack. These are my adventures with Mega Man 1.
Mega Man 1 was released by Capcom in 1987. Comparing this to the later games is rough due to the differences between the first title and later games in the series. Mega Man puts you in the role of the super robot Mega Man as he fights Dr. Wily. To get to Wily, you need to beat the 6 robots that he reprogrammed for nefarious deeds first. Traveling through each world is a reflection of which Robot Master lives there. Guts Man’s area is a construction zone, Elec Man’s stage has many electric beams and so on. Beating one of the Robot Masters will gain you their special weapon and a ton of points. This weapon can be used against enemies throughout other stages and the other Robot Masters themselves. Each Mega Man game has an order, or multiple, to progress through the game to beat one Robot Master and use its weapon against the next one. The Robot Masters paths are compared to playing rock, paper, scissors. Finishing off the 6 Robot Masters will open up Dr. Wily’s castle where you’ll use all those weapons, and a special support item called the Magnet Beam, to fight your way through Wily’s horrors and stop him from trying to take over the world.
Graphics & Sound:
Graphics are clear and colorful, which is what we all came to expect from a Capcom title over the years. You can see the little details in the landscapes as you fight off robots and many of your enemies have a number of details too. The backgrounds look great and are not just a static field of color, even when you’re inside a Robot Master’s base or Dr. Wily’s castle. There is a lot of flicker and slowdown when there’s a number of objects on the screen but that tends to go fast. The music is the start of the kind of tracks we came to love from the Mega Man games. All the tracks are catchy, and I love the Robot master theme and the theme when you fight one of Wily’s beasts in his castle. You may find yourself whistling Cut Man’s theme often! All the music in this game has a mechanical flair to it. Sound effects are clear and make sense, Mega Man’s gun makes “pew pew pew” sounds, Elec Man’s beam sounds like electricity overflowing through a circuit, and so on. Hitting enemies result sin a mechanical pounding sound, which makes sense with the enemies you’re going up against, along with the explosion when you kill them off.
Here’s where things get rough. MM1 isn’t as polished and as tight as the later games. Mega Man doesn’t stop on a dime after a jump and slides slightly to the right or left, resulting in you falling off a platform or ledge or into an enemy if you don’t think about where you’re jumping to. You can lose control too easily if you keep getting hit by enemies and end up losing a lot of health or a life.
This game is hard, and that’s even if you use the “pause trick” when using larger weapons like Elec Man’s beam or Cut Man’s scissors. Game also has no energy tanks so you’re stuck trying to grind for life in places or taking on a boss in one shot. The final boss gauntlet of 4 of the Robot Masters before Wily is quite rough, and some of the enemies in stages will wipe you out before you realize it. In later MM titles, going through the passage to the Robot master is a safe zone where you can catch your breath, heal and have a drink of water. Not here. There’s enemies in the passageways to the Robot Masters so you can make it to a passageway at full health, and end up having one hit left in life if you’re not careful navigating up to the boss. Though some spots are grind areas to refill health and weapon energy.
In all I do recommend this for anyone loving the Mega Man games, just go into playing this knowing it’s not as polished and don’t try to do things you would in Mega Man 2 and later. Especially play this if you wanna see the evolution of the Mega Man Classic series on the NES.
RATING: 3.5 ENERGY TANKS OUT OF 5
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