Hello, and welcome to the Games Growing Up Megathon, where I’ll be taking a look at the entire Mega Man Classic Series, one game at a time. First off, let’s take a look at the game that started them all: Mega Man for the NES!
Mega Man is an action platformer game, released in 1987. Playing as Mega Man, as robot boy designed to fight against evil, the player jumps and shoots through each stage, taking down evil Robot Masters, and gaining their abilities once defeated. Eventually, Mega Man will defeat all of the robot masters and advance to Dr. Wily’s castle. Where he’ll have to take down the evil man himself. Mega Man is quite a difficult game, throwing all sorts of enemies, bottomless pits, and the dreaded instant kill spikes in your path on the way through a level. Each Robot Master has a weakness, usually this weakness being another master’s weapon. You can pick the order in which you face the Robot Masters, and this adds plenty of replay value to the game. You can take the easy route, and beat the easy boss, then domino effect the rest of the bosses by using each master’s weapon against the next. You can also go for a challenge run and not use any Robot Master’s weapon and just use your standard mega buster. The gameplay of Mega Man remains constant throughout the classic series, and there aren’t many flaws in it nowadays, however this wasn’t the case in the first game. Mega Man has a strange momentum to him, where he doesn’t stop immediately when I stop pressing forward. He feels a bit sluggish as well, and there are time where I feel like it’s not my fault when I miss a jump since it’s super hard to judge the momentum. There are also times where when riding on a moving platform, mega man will drop like a rock when the platform falls, giving no room for error. Along with this, the spikes, that are instant kill, have a glitch in this game where if you get hit by an enemy, the invincibility frames don’t save you from spikes. There are times where I get attacked, the knockback that Mega Man has sends me into spikes, and I die without having any chance to save myself. The game also has some very unforgiving areas, with very few checkpoints in between the boss rush stage, and the Yellow Devil being one of the hardest bosses in Mega Man history. These negative elements don’t outweigh the good, but Mega Man 1 is still kind of a bland game. The robot master stages are quite uninteresting and the enemies are really boring. The Wily Castle stages are too hard to be fun. Mega Man 1’s gameplay really isn’t great today. The controls, as mentioned earlier, are sluggish and have strange momentum issues, and as a result haven’t aged well either.
The music and graphics are the best part of this game. The music is super catchy and everybody loves the classic Mega Man soundtracks. The graphics, while aged nowadays, looked great for the NES, and while the game isn’t anything special to look at today, for the time, these graphics were cutting edge. The music is still great, while I can still appreciate the graphics.
Mega Man 1 is a the starting point of a great series, but today isn’t that great. It has great music going for it, but the gameplay, controls, and graphics all get improved as the series goes on. I personally don’t think Mega Man 1 has aged well, but I think it’s still worth checking out if you want to see how the series started.