In the annals of robo-history, before the famous doctor we all know and love gave the breath of mechanical life to our hero, he created the very first android ever. However, this prototype 'droid had a few screws loose, and it slipped away into the galaxy to spread chaos!
Sound like another cheesy installment in the Data vs. Lore saga on Star Trek: The Next Generation? No way, we're talking Mega Man V! Proto Man, Dr. Light's original invention, appears to have gone on a helter-skelter robo-rampage. His army of eight all-new 'bots trashes the city and kidnaps Dr. Light. Mega-ally, Dr. Cossack, flashes the proverbial MM signal in the sky, and Mega Man is hot on the trail of his renegade brother!
All in the Family
Mega's duel with his bad-blooded bro is the fifth in Capcom's premiere NES series. This top-notch but predictable sequel perpetuates the qualities of its predecessors -- sharp 8-bit graphics, snazzy music scores, fast action, tons of weapons, and, of course, Doc Wily (hint, hint).
As in the previous games, you step into Mr. Titanium's boots and battle eight robots in any order to snare their weapons. Once you've sent the crazy eight to the scrapyard in the sky, you move on to Proto Man's four-level castle. Crash his party and you'll steamroll into the final four-stage fortress, owned and operated by you-know-who. In total, the 16 levels are identical in length and difficulty to MM 4.
- As you acquire weapons, use your newfound powers to nail other bosses. For example, slow down Gyro Man with the Gravity Hold, and shatter Crystal Man with the Gyro Attack.
- Make your life easier with the classic Energy Tank loop trick. Take a Tank, commit suicide until the game's over, continue, and grab the tank again. Carry a full stock of Tanks before entering Proto Man's domain.
MM's well-rounded arsenal is enhanced in spots, but nearly unchanged. His main tool of the trade, the Mega Buster, can shoot pellets or power-up to unleash a big blast. Supplemental weapons can be garnered by nailing Charge Man, Napalm Man, Gyro Man, Stone Man, Crystal Man, Wave Man, Star Man, and Gravity Man. By collecting hidden letters that spell M-e-g-a-M-a-n-V, Mega Man can also call a new friend into action, an attack robot named Beat.
- Use the Super Arrow as a stepping stone to reach high-up Energy Tanks and save yourself from long falls.
- Most guns have a ''waiting period," which restricts firing to only one shot at a time. To counter this problem, press Start to Pause, then press Start again to un-pause. This will remove on-screen bullets and enable you to fire your gun again without waiting.
On the transportation side of the fence, Mega Man gets a dashing assortment of movers and shakers. MM's best friend, Rush the robo-puppy, can propel him as a coil or provide an airlift as a jet. The Wire and Balloon Adaptors from MM 4 are gone, replaced by a Super Arrow that acts as a sticky plunger and helps the Man scale walls. One water-based area puts Mega Man in a jet ski boat for a thrilling shoot-em-up sequence. As always, Mega-controls are flawless.
- When confronted by a sticky Phase Block situation, use Rush Jet to take the high road and bypass this nuisance altogether.
- Look for one Beat letter in each of the first eight levels! You'll need this buddy to "beat" through Doc Wily's kingdom.
Like a fine old oak tree, Capcorn preserves the traditional side-view Mega Man game play, while injecting a measured dose of “new and improved" to the enemies. Familiar foes make reappearances, and some get facelifts, such as the Hard Hat Macs and their gaggle of kids. Factory-fresh creations include Crystal Warriors, Crazy Chickens, and Flying Robo-Fish. The mechanical menagerie keeps players on their toes, but the password feature brings the challenge down to Earth.
To dispatch the Head of the Deep in Wave Man's level, wait until its nostrils peek out of the water, then leap and open fire.
Capcorn must get some sort of cash back rebate for recycling video games, because 1993's Mega Man is déjà vu all over again for disciples of the series. If you're one of the few NESers who've never fired up the Mega Buster or thrown Rush a bolt, this installment is a great place to start your Mega-training. For MM die-hards, the game's still first-class, but it's only a baby step for robot-kind.
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