Welcome to the official discussion thread for Mega Man V on the GB!
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It's Mega Man vs. the Stardroids in this fifth installment on the Game Boy. Unlike its predecessors, Mega Man V is a completely original title for the Game Boy with no thematic ties to its NES counterpart.
I didn't get to post this the other night, but this was a fun little game. I hate to be that guy but I thought it was really good...for a Gameboy game. I thought it was fun but it's nowhere on the level of the best NES MM games. The characters are uber forgettable, the music is okay, and the Gameboy just holds this game back with a pretty hefty amount of slowdown. Most bosses can be taken out with the Mega Buster alone.
I did like the graphics and I liked the secrets you could uncover by moving certain blocks. There were more cheap deaths in this game than I'd prefer (the falling into a room full of spikes gag is way more offensive on the small screen).
Overall I thought it was fun but honestly it just left me wanting to play other Mega Man games. Definitely a top tier Gameboy game though.
Oh yeah, I loved this game! Probably my favorite Mega Man game overall. It's a tie between this one and Mega Man IV. I can never fully decide which one I like better.
But this game had so much cool stuff. Great bosses, fantastic music, a new main weapon for Mega Man himself...there was even a decent amount of variety thanks to the SHMUP stage thrown in there (because hey, why not). Secrets galore, multiple paths through some of the stages, and one of the more legitimately surprising final boss fights in the entire series. Top it off with hands-down the best presentation the 8-bit series ever had, and we've got a bona-fide classic, literally right in the palm of our hands. Just phenomenal.
I wish the NES games took these kind of risks and creativity, but sadly that never happened. Still, hard to argue with the tried-and-true formula. Just wish Capcom branched out more on the console. It really felt like they gave their portable team far more freedom. Oh well.
Mega Man V, w00t! Congrats on beating it! Such a good game...
I thought MMV could actually hang with some of the NES titles, personally. Not the best ones, but it's got enough surprises and solid design to be worthy of the classic Mega Man name. I actually ranked all of these among the classic series when I played them earlier this year (GB games for the first time) and here's how they stacked up for me:
NES games Game Boy games SNES game PSX game NES-like (Wiiware) games
I think the NES games generally took more risks than the GB ones, which always felt more like pseudo-"remakes" to me since they reused most of the music and boss characters from prior titles. That didn't stop me from enjoying them a lot, though. MMV branches out more, for sure, but it's more the exception rather than the norm for the GB titles.
I liked all of 'em, though. It was a treat to play through all five of these games for (more-or-less) the first time this year, and I'd recommend them to old-school Mega Man fans.
I've grown up with the Game Boy MM games, not the NES ones. I've got fond memories of playing them. However, I do think they're inferior to the NES games overall, not just due to them being remixes of the NES games, but also because it's easier to cheese them. Because your sprite is so big on the screen, you can cover a lot of the screen with your shots by simply constantly jumping and shooting. And because a lot of enemies take one shot to kill, a lot of the challenge is lost.
Personally, I felt that the Gameboy games were not *just* remixes, but refinements over the original NES ideas. They were able to take a second pass at gameplay designs and themes. The bosses and music were the same (for the most part - except for the fifth one, of course) but the stages, challenges, secrets and more were quite different. Often times for the better, IMHO. Mixing the bosses from two different games gave robot masters different weaknesses, and Mega Man himself got new tools, weapons, abilities and animal buddies to help him through the adventures. The pacing was always different too; not just compared to the NES games, (which became painfully predictable by the fourth game) but from each other, too. Each new game in the Gameboy line got progressively longer with more stages, mid-stages, mid-bosses and story. It was clear Capcom was making an effort with the portable titles, while the NES ones felt (to me) often too derivative of each other and were made simply "good enough" to make a profit. As a big fan of this franchise, that was disappointing to see. I really wanted the NES games to take off and soar, since that was clearly what was happening with the Gameboy games. But it just never ended up that way. It's a real shame, IMO.
Because your sprite is so big on the screen, you can cover a lot of the screen with your shots by simply constantly jumping and shooting. And because a lot of enemies take one shot to kill, a lot of the challenge is lost.
I personally didn't really like the bosses and thought they were kind of forgettable. I remember Saturn because he was the one with the rings but aside from that the others are just a blur. It took me forever just to remember which special weapon did what. "What did Jupiter do again?"
Granted I didn't get to listen to the music enough, but what I heard wasn't nearly on the same level as the best NES games (though few games are). Fun music but nothing I was humming later.
I thought the presentation was above other MM games but that was really it for me. It was fun and probably better than like MM6 or something but the other games just feel better, look better, and sound better 95% of the time. This was still quite an accomplishment for the GB though. I can't really think of any other action games that compete with it.
Or on the other hand, your big sprite makes it tough to avoid things. Like I said, they pull the gag where you fall to the screen below and have to avoid spikes on the ground...except basically it's a game of chance trying to figure out where the spikes are, even more so than in the NES Games. I felt like there were a couple parts in the game that felt like I had to die once or twice before proceeding, making it a bit of memorization at times. Did the NES games do this as much? Maybe my memory is just foggy. The spaceship part comes to mind. There really isn't a way to avoid those big laser beams unless you've done that part of the level before. This part, while cool in concept, was way more annoying than I was hoping it'd be. Avoiding the little ships just didn't feel very smooth.
It's been my experience that the "falling down a shaft avoiding one-hit-kill spikes" was a staple of the Mega Man series; regardless of the hardware the game was being played on. A lot of the series was built upon the foundation of "trial by error" - at least, IMO.
I mean c'mon, did you really get through all of Flash Man's stage the very first time you went through it? (if you did, wow that's amazing, I'm really impressed. like, no joke, honestly impressed)
I found that same video but didn't link to it, because he plays differently than I did. You can just mash the shoot button in that stage and kill enemies (especially those grenades) as soon as they show up.
I guess it just felt more aggregious in the GB ge because Mega Man is bigger and I really have even less time to react than in the NES game. There were also some spots in the GB game that were hard to tell if something was background or if it was a ladder or a spike or something, but that's probably more of the fault of the GameBoy.
I dunno, mate, I think you might be in the minority in feeling that the NES titles were less ambitious than the GB ones. I'm a fan of portable games--heck, I prefer Link's Awakening to A Link to the Past and I'm pretty sure that's a felony in most states--but I think you're severely underselling the appeal of the classic MM NES games. I think they all added more than any GB MM (barring maybe V)--let's go through 'em:
MM1 laid the entire foundation and did a great job of bringing this world of robots to life. Nonlinear stage selection, boss powers to gain, a rockin' chiptune soundtrack...all excellent stuff, all great ideas that became long-lasting staples of the series.
MM2 super sized the first game, polishing it's rough spots (for the most part...curse you, Wily Castle 4!), bringing in even better-designed bosses and stages, and cranking up the soundtrack to super-rockin' levels. We also got E-Tanks, Items 1, 2, and 3, and more variety in the adventure with small puzzle-based elements and challenging falling sequences.
MM3 kicked it up again with an introduction to several long-lasting classic features: the slide (which really helped MM's mobility and granted bosses and enemies and stage design some much-desired complexity), Rush (a more personable version of the Items, basically), and a move to stronger plot elements with new character Proto Man (still my second-favorite character in the series). We also got the challenging Doc Robot stages to mix up the formula, great variety in the levels (like Gemini's tadpole egg navigation, mini-boss battles with Proto Man, and the Rush Jet/Marine sequences). And the soundtrack continued to rock at least as hard as MM2's.
MM4 wasn't as fresh-feeling, but it still pushed the series in a more explorative direction with its hidden items, in addition to bringing in the classic Mega Buster attack. MM5 pushed the exploration even further by hiding an item in every stage to unlock Beat, and brought us Gravity Man's stage, one of the cleverest and coolest MM levels ever. MM6 wasn't amazing, but even it still brought some nifty innovation in the form of the Rush Adapter.
In comparison, most of the GB games do add some neat spins on some of these levels, but that's kind of the bare minimum I expected, honestly. And it's still less than all new stages and bosses would actually provide...which is a large reason why pretty much everyone agrees that MMV is the best of the portable games. That said, most GB MMs did do a solid job with the Wily sequences and changing things up a bit with the Mega Man Killers.
Yeah, I've gotta agree, Mega Man V is definitely the best of the Game Boy games, and I think a large part of it is because it did its own thing instead of reusing the robots from the NES games. It's also the only one that uses Super Game Boy features. MM V is the only one where I wasn't comparing it to the NES games in the back of my mind, and such a comparison is not favourable to the Game Boy games so it isn't something good to be thinking about when playing them. As such, I feel only Mega Man V can stack up to the NES series, though I did think Mega Man IV was good too. The rest, I felt were pretty forgettable and disposable.
@TriforceBun A nice rundown. To add to the things Mega Man 4 did well, I feel it has one of the best, most refined sets of weapons in the whole series. Most of the weapons have their uses, and are fairly balanced which each other, which is a pretty big change from Mega Man 2 where most weapons were pretty useless, and Mega Man 3 where most weapons ate up ammo too quickly.
Oh I know I'm in the minority. There's no arguing that! And just to be clear, I'm not saying the NES games are bad...I enjoy the heck out of them! Fantastic games, really. I just don't understand the "second-class citizen" the Gameboy line gets (unfairly, IMO) stuck with.