Before I talk about my lackluster performance so far in Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge, which I picked up for a cheap deal of two bucks on the Nintendo 3DS the other night, let me share with y’all my history with Keiji Inafune’s robotic humanoid servant-turned-hero franchise, which I like greatly from a distance, but have never really enjoyed playing most of the games, save for Mega Man Legends, the shiniest diamond in the dirtiest rough.
Shocking as this may read, I didn’t pick up my first Mega Man game until I had my SNES. Yup, my first experience of running and jumping and shooting enemy bots with balls of energy didn’t happen until Mega Man X, some ten iterations after, uh…I don’t know. And maybe not exactly ten, given the number of spin-offs and such, but whatever. I’m not going to go through the list and count them up, but I’m sure many started somewhere else in its early years, with either the original game or maybe Mega Man 3. I do remember hanging out at a neighbor’s house, watching them play one of these earlier games–whatever one had you in the clouds, jumping on those floating faces that had spikes rising up from the sides of its head–but I was always a quiet, timid kid, and so I simply watched them try to reach the level’s Robot Master and did nothing more until many years later when I had a Super Nintendo console of all my own.
Call me kooky, but I find it rather fitting that the first Mega Man game for the SNES was also my first Mega Man game. I mean, that system and me–to use this generation’s language: SO MANY FEELS. From what I can tell, there’s also a more substantial story in the X series to follow than the older games gave out, which was basically a handful of levels to run through, get to the boss, beat it, and use its power on other bosses. Good job, robot. You win. Mega Man X takes place in a futuristic world inhabited by both humans and Reploids, which are robots capable of emotions. Alas, because of that, Reploids are prone to criminal activity, and those bad boys are labelled Mavericks and no longer invited to Bots Night Out, which happens every Thursday after work. Anyway, you play as Mega Man X, an android member of the military task force Maverick Hunters, and it’s up to you–along with the help of Zero–to stop Sigma, a Maverick leader intent on human extinction. It’s pretty fun and relatively easy when compared to other adventures, but I remember it fondly, especially finding all the hidden suit upgrade chambers.
Since the Mega Man X days, the only other traditional Mega Man games I’ve dabbled in would be Mega Man 8 for the PS1, Mega Man 9 for the PS3, and Mega Man 10 for the PS3. When I say dabbled, I mean that. I pick a level, make a decent attempt at it, and don’t get very far, especially when disappearing platforms are involved. There’s just always been something about the platforming that I’ve never been good at. Or maybe it has to do with how quickly our blue-suited hero loses health. Yeah, let’s go with both of those for escape goats. Other related titles in my collection include Mega Man X7…and that’s it. Sadly, there will be no Mega Man Legends 3. Ever.
Hmm. I guess I should get back to talking about Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge now. I mean, really, that’s the true topic at hand. Sometimes I get lost reminiscing. My bad. This spin-off title originally for the Game Boy continues Mega Man’s adventures as he once again confronts Dr. Wily and his slew of revived Robot Masters, as well as a special “Mega Man Killer” called Enker. There are four initial stages and bosses (Cut Man, Ice Man, Fire Man, and Elec Man), all from the original Mega Man. Later, you can take on another four levels and bosses from Mega Man 2–if you get that far. And then, if you’ve gotten that far, I believe there’s one more level to go to stop Dr. Wily for the time being.
Like I said, I’m strangely rubbish at these games, and I really don’t understand why. I do just fine in other platformers, though I can’t really think of any at the moment that specifically follow Mega Man in style and skill. Duck Tales for the NES? Cave Story? But these levels here are exceptionally difficult, and I haven’t even made it to a boss fight yet. Little to no room for error. Also, whenever Mega Man takes damage, he slides back a teensy bit, which means don’t get hit when standing on a thin, narrow ledge. There’s no actual save slot, but a built-in password system will help you keep your progress intact; however, as soon as I get far enough that I feel proud of, I’m going to also rightly abuse the Nintendo 3DS’s Restore function. One other complaint I have is that the sprites are huge. Massively so. Which can be problematic as you can only fit so much on one screen and can’t see what dangers lie ahead, leading me to jump and shoot at the same time for nearly every jump at the far right side of the screen. This was fine in Metroid II where you’re not going to lose a ton of progress from falling into an open pit. But no, not here. The screen needs to be zoomed out by another 25%.
So, two dollars well spent? Probably not. Just two dollars spent.