Mega Man 5, known as Rockman 5 Blues no Wana?! (ロックマン5 ブルースの罠?!?, lit. "Rockman 5 Blues' Trap?!") in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It is the fifth game in the original Mega Man series and was originally released in Japan on December 4, 1992. It saw a release during the same month in North America and on November 18, 1993 in Europe. The plot takes place after the fourth defeat of the evil Dr. Wily at the hands of the heroic robot Mega Man in the year 20XX. Proto Man uncharacteristically leads a group of menacing robots in attacks on the world and kidnaps his own creator Dr. Light, leaving Mega Man little choice but to take up arms in a fight against his once trusted brother. Mega Man 5 carries over the same graphical style and action-platforming gameplay as the four preceding chapters in the series. The game introduces a new character, Beat, which the player can use as a weapon once a series of eight collectable letters are found. Mega Man 5 was met with an average to fairly positive critical reception, with the one major complaint being its lack of originality in either its plot or gameplay.
The fictional storyline of Mega Man 5 takes place during the 21st century (the year 20XX). Proto Man, once an ally to the world's greatest hero, leads an army of robots in a series of destructive attacks on the world. To cripple the world's defenders, he kidnaps his own creator, the genius scientist Dr. Light. Mega Man wonders why his brother is doing this, but with little choice left, he sets out to stop him. After prevailing over a new group of eight Robot Masters, Mega Man makes his way to Proto Man's castle and confronts his fellow creation, who nearly kills the protagonist in the process. However, the real Proto Man arrives in the nick of time to reveal the fake as Dark Man, one of Dr. Wily's newest robots. Mega Man vanquishes the imposter, then pursues his archenemy to his newest hideout, defeats him, and saves Dr. Light. Wily manages yet another retreat.
Gameplay in Mega Man 5 is nearly identical to previous games in the series. The player, as Mega Man, must run, jump, and shoot their way through various stages that each end in a boss battle with a Robot Master. Destroying the Robot Master lets the player copy its special Master Weapon, which can be selected and used for the remainder of the game. Mega Man's chargeable Mega Buster weapon from Mega Man 4 has been upgraded slightly, allowing its powerful charged shots to encompass a wider area. The player can also call on Mega Man's faithful dog Rush to reach higher platforms or cross large gaps using his "Coil" and "Jet" abilities. Mega Man's life energy and weapon power can be replenished by picking up items scattered about each stage or from fallen enemies. Extra lives, "Energy Tanks", and a new "Mega Tank", which fully refills health and all item power, can also be found.
Some of the level designs in Mega Man 5 are unique up to this point in the series. For example, in Gravity Man's stage, the gravity is reversed from the floor to the ceiling, while in Wave Man's stage, the player drives a water craft from the halfway point to the boss room. Each of the eight Robot Master stages contains a lettered circuit board. Collecting all eight of these boards ("M-E-G-A-M-A-N-V") will prompt Dr. Light and Dr. Cossack to give the player access to a new item, a robot bird friend by the name of Beat. The player can then call on Beat as a weapon to attack any onscreen enemies.
This game was re-released for the PlayStation as part of the Rockman Complete Works series. A port of this version with fewer extra features was released in North America for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube in 2004 and Xbox in 2005 as part of Mega Man Anniversary Collection.
Reception and legacy
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||7.75 out of 10|
|Game Informer||7.75 out of 10|
|Nintendo Power||3.825 out of 5|
Mega Man 5 received generally positive reviews from written gaming publications during its original release. Many were complimentary of the game's graphics, music, play control, and challenge level. A member of Game Informer magazine's trio of reviewers stated that no other series has five incarnations on one system and that Capcom should "keep 'em coming". Mega Man 5 has, however, been criticized for not bringing anything new to the series with respect to any of these same attributes. GamePro summarized, "Capcom must get some kind of cash rebate for recycling video games, because 1993's Mega Man is déjà vu all over again for disciples of the series." Writers for other newspapers like Entertainment Weekly and the Tribune Media Services made similar comments. Later reflections on the Mega Man franchise showed mixed opinions on the fifth title. IGN lists it as the 84th best game on the NES. The website's Thomas M. Lucas called the game the one with the least impact on the series: "I'm actually a pretty big fan of Mega Man 5, because I think it flows well from beginning to end -- it's an easy one to pick up, play through to the end and be done with. Good for a quick Mega Man fix. Unfortunately, that's probably about all it continues to offer." GamesRadar editor Brett Elston remarked that although the game follows the same format as the two before it, the game's levels, robot designs, and soundtrack were enough to satisfy fans for another year. 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish painted Mega Man 5 as "a painfully phoned-in episode lacking not only innovation, but pretty much all the polish and balance that made the earlier games so enjoyable".
- Mega Man 5 at GameFAQs
- Rockman Complete Works: Rockman 5 at GameFAQs
- Official Rockman website (Japanese)