Leathcos Top Ten Mega Man Games
If there's one thing Capcom is known for, its.....well, its prolly Street Fighter 2. But Mega Man comes up in a close second. The Blue Bomber has been Capcoms premier mascot for a long time now, and for good reason. Even when the games become stale, stagnant, and completely unoriginal, they're all still fun as hell to play. And there's been literally dozens of Mega Man titles, spawning across multiple systems such as its birth on the NES, moving to the Game Boy, SNES, Genesis, Game Gear, PS1, Game Boy Advance, DS, Saturn, PS2, X-Box, and now as downloadable titles in the retro style on PS3, Wii, and X-Box 360.
So, lets check out my personal Top Ten Mega Man games! :
10. Mega Man 6
Mega Mans final outing on the 8-bit NES. US audiences almost never saw this game, as Capcom had no plans on releasing it here, but Nintendo published it themselves. Its a good thing too, because the Rush Armors where a unique way to play the game once they were unlocked. Your canine robot buddy Rush would meld with Mega Man, giving him extra abilities like unlimited flight charges, and incredibly powerful short range blasts. We never saw the Rush Armors after this game, which was a shame, as they are what made this game stand out.
9. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
Some may think this is a cop-out for being able to throw the first three games in one spot, but not at all. European Mega Drive owners got a great deal on this cart, playing the first three titles with remixed sound and renewed graphics. Personally, the graphics and music upgrades are hit and miss, but the games are still incredibly fun, and having three on one cart, plus a hidden bonus after you beat all three, was one hell of a treat. US audiences only saw this game on the short lived Sega Channel as a download, which is a shame, because it was a blast to play. Even today, it is one of the most sought after high priced games on the Mega Drive.
8. Mega Man 4
This game is where the bosses started to get kinda weak and bland, but Mega Man got his charge shot powerup, which has stayed with him in most all games released afterwards (other than 9 and 10). Being such a new thing, in its first outing it overpowered ALL the bosses, being even more effective than using the weapon the boss was supposed to be weak against. Still, this small enhancement gave the game a whole new dimension (although Mega Man could charge his shot in Mega Man 2 if using Flame Mans weapon).
7. Mega Man Legends
Finally diving outside the Original Series, Legends was Capcoms attempt to bring the Blue Bomber to 3d. It kinda sorta worked, spawning off Legends 2 and Adventures of Tronne Bonne. It gave the Mega Man series a much deeper story, and in this reviewers eyes, a new version of gameplay that had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the Legends series was short lived, possibly because the games lacked a bit of polish and were early generation 3d. I think this style could see a resurgence if meshed with todays more powerful consoles.
6. Mega Man X3
The X series was somewhat of a revitalization for Capcoms mascot. X3 continued the formula with the added ability to play as Zero, a character that got hugely popular in X1. Zero gave gamers a new way to play Mega Man, using his Z-Saber to do incredible damage to enemies, but requiring him to be in close range. Gamers would later see more of this gameplay style on the GBA in the Zero series. The rest of the game played similar to the other X titles, including beginning the usual "Sigmas behind it all!", much as the original series had the "Wilys behind it all!" motif in EVERY GAME.
5. Mega Man 2
This is probably where the game improved the most. First we went from 6 bosses to 8 in the initial parts of the game. The music improved a whole lot, featuring some of the best 6.5.0. tunes available on the NES. Mega Man also had Options 1, 2, and 3 for enhanced mobility before Rush was introduced in Part 3. While 4 is often maligned for the overpowered Charge shot, 2 has its own overpowered weapon in the Metal Blades, which hardly uses any energy and can cut through most bosses with ease. Oftentimes you can complete 95% of the game using only Metal Blades as your weapon. Still, this game featured not only great music and gameplay, but a huge graphical jump as well (remember the Dragon in the first Wily stage?)
4. Mega Man Zero
Mega Man took a step back in this series as Zero jumped to the forefront. The entire ability system was changed to something much deeper, and the gameplay got a LOT harder. Zero had a different graphical style than the X series did, approaching Japanese Manga. While I'm not a huge fan of the graphical style, the graphics look really good on the portable GBA screen, and I'm a huge fan of the more difficult gameplay. This series spawned 4 titles (with the first 3 being exceptional) and had a good life on the GBA, but seemingly the Zero series has died with the Game Boy Advance.
3. Mega Man 9
Capcom did the most creative thing they could with the original series after the disaster Mega Man 8 was.....by being completely uncreative and ripping off Mega Man 2, than melding it with tons of instant death traps. And we, as gamers, ate it all up. The 8 bit NES graphical style looked so refreshing, and after removing Mega Mans slide and charge abilities, the game heavily relied on awesome level design, which was done quite well. Gamers who wanted the slide and charge abilities could play as Proto Man, at the expense of taking more damage when hit. While Mega Man 10 is decent, 9 was exceptional.
2. Mega Man 3
For me, this was the best 8 bit Mega Man game (including 9 and 10). Introducing the slide ability to get into small spots and quickly dodge, as well as Rush for your added abilities instead of just Option parts, 3 had a great feel. Not only did you get 8 new robot masters, you had to deal with reincarnations of the 8 old robot masters from part 2, before you dealt with even MORE bosses in Wilys castle! (this game is over a decade old, if I spoiled the ending becase you actualy believed Wily had a change of heart like the manual said, you've never played classic Mega Man games). This game also kept up with the great music that part 2 offered, with music you'll be humming hours after playing.
1. Mega Man X
How do you revitalize a stagnant series? Capcom took the Sonic the Hedgehog route, and gave Mega Man some *attitude*. Mega Man got armor upgrades to give him more abilities, got a new sidekick (or Mega Man himself was a sidekick to) in Zero, and got new antagonists in Mavericks, with Sigma being their leader. He even got a new name, being called X (signifying being an unknown value). But the great gameplay stayed, using his arm blaster to rip apart enemy baddies. For me, the X series was the most fun games in the Mega Man franchise, lasting from the SNES all the way to the PS2 era.
Mega Man X Command Mission - I LOVE RPGs, and a Mega Man RPG was a dream come true for me. This was an overlooked PS2 RPG that really was fun to play. I ALMOST put it on my top ten, but it just doesn't feel like a Mega Man game. Still, its damn fun.
Mega Man Collection - The first 8 Mega Man classic series games, on one disc, with bonus features. A must have if you don't feel like collectiing the NES carts, SNES cart, and PS1/Saturn disc.
Mega Man X Collection - The first 6 Mega Man X games on one disc. This one is sorely missing X7 and X8, but is still a great purchase.
Mega Man (PC version) - Oh god, it sucks. Completely different from the NES version, it has different bosses and graphics. This wouldn't be a bad thing, if it weren't for the fact that the gameplay was awful.
- Classic / Retro