Mega Man in Dr. Wily’s Revenge (GB) Review – Despite some flaws, Mega Man got off to a good start on the Game Boy!

This review, from fall 2001, might be the first one I posted on the internet.  Today I’d give the game a slightly higher score — probably a C+ or B-, reflecting that it is a good game and I do love the series, and that considering its early release date I under-rate the games’ graphics (the flicker is bad, and the later games are more detailed, but it still looks pretty good!) — but I won’t change the review, I think it still holds up well.  Comparing these old reviews to my more recent ones, I followed a much stricter review formula in the older reviews.  I’m not sure if my newer style is better or worse than this one, it’d be interesting to hear thoughts on this.

  • Game Name: Mega Man — Dr. Wily’s Revenge
  • Developer: Minakuchi Engineering, Inc. for Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: 1991
  • Review Date: 10/19/2001
  • System: Game Boy

Synopsis: Mega Man 1 for Game Boy is a fun, if dated, game.  While action game and Mega Man fans will like it, most of the later games in the series for any platform have more features, levels, etc. and are better than this one.  Even so, its a good game and a good buy if you like the series.


Game Overview: Mega Man– Dr. Wily’s Revenge, otherwise known as Mega Man 1 for Game Boy, was the first Game Boy Mega Man game.  It was released very early in the Game Boy’s lifetime, and in some ways it looks it.  Even so, it is a Mega Man game so if you know anything about the series, as I think everyone does, some things can be taken for granted, like the fact that it is a action shooting game where killing bosses gives you a new weapon that you must use on other bosses later to be successful. This one has less of the features that the later Mega Man games have, though.  While it may be more primitive than later games on the Game Boy in many ways, its still fun, and as the first Game Boy Mega Man game, it sets some standards that the later ones on the system follow.  Now, on to the review.

Gameplay: First, the differences between this Mega Man game and most of the rest of the classic Mega Man games.  First, Mega Man himself.  Unlike most Mega Man games, in this one Mega Man can’t charge up the Mega Buster (basic pellet shots are all you get), he can’t slide like he can in most Mega Man games, and Rush the dog is absent (Instead, Mega Man can create temporary floating platforms).  Second, the game structure and difficulty. There are only 6 stages in Mega Man 1– four initial levels with bosses, just like all GB Mega Man games, a Dr. Wily’s Fortress level, and a final Wily’s Space Station level. There is a second set of four bosses, but they are bosses only, no levels, and you play them all at once at the end of Wily’s Fortress.  However, the basic Mega Man game mechanics of you having to find out what order to play the levels in order to use the right weapons against each is intact.
Other than that, there are a few things to say.  First, the game has good play control– there is no hesitation between your button press and Mega Man’s action. Sure, control could be a little better and more precise, but it has a style that you’ll get used to.  Overall it’s fine, but may take some getting used to.  There is one annoyance: the main game uses passwords. The passwords are a 5×5 grid with 5 dots in it… a lot easier than later Mega Man games which use a larger grid with every block in it filled with numbers or pictures, but still annoying to copy, as a grid is harder to copy and is larger than a normal letter password like most games. Oh well.
Score: 8/10

Single Player: The single player gameplay is described in the sections above.  In the game, you play the first four levels in any order you wish… until you figure out which order is best.  Until then, you may get a little frustrated at getting all the way through a level only to be easily killed by the boss because you don’t have the weapon that is his weakness.  Once beating these four bosses, you get the last password in the game… the last two levels must be done in one sitting.  That gets very annoying, but for some reason all Mega Man games do this for the last few levels. In the end of the next level, there are four bosses to fight… and like the first four, you must find the best order to fight them in in order to beat them. After that its just gameplay until you reach and try to beat Dr. Wily.
Mega Man is a fun game, but it has a few problems. One is that because there are so many weapons and so few levels, some of them are really not used because you get them near the end when they only have one use.  Another is the lack of a password for the last level. Even so, overall the game is fun, if a little too hard.  The challenge level is quite high in this game, as I said before. It may not be the longest game in number of levels, but it makes up for it in challenge.  Even without most of the added features from later Mega Man games, the game is fun.
Score: 7/10
Multi Player: Like all Mega Man action games, there is none. Obviously, there is no score for this category.

Graphics: Mega Man has graphics that, while OK at parts, are clearly old for the Game Boy.  When you compare its graphics even to other later GB games like Mega Man 4 or 5, it just can’t compare.  It has low detailed backdrops, for one, and the sprites are not as well done as later games’ sprites.  They look simpler and less detailed than many other games. Also, once in a while there is a lot of flicker, even on occasion when only one enemy is on the screen.  This is sometimes a problem, but its not a game-killing flaw.  Between its mediocre graphics and flicker, this game has graphics that are not that good.
Score: 5/10

Sound: The sound in Mega Man 1 is ok. While not as good as some games, the music is fine and the sound effects right– Mega Man’s gun is his gun, etc.  Nothing really to complain about here… the music and sound are pretty well done for the Game Boy.  Not much to say for this category.
Score: 7/10 (this is comparing it to other original Game Boy games, not any other platforms… otherwise a GB game would never get more than a 4 or 5 except for very rare occasions)

Other Info: This is the first Game Boy Mega Man game. If you like it, try to find the newer games in the series, namely Mega Mans 3 to 5 for GB and Mega Man Xtreme for GBC. Mega Man 2 GB is not worth getting because it can be beaten in under 2 hours flat.  I know this because I played it for the first time once at a cousin’s house and beat it less than two hours… that’s not good, especially when you consider the fact that MM games don’t really have any replayability!

Gameplay: 8/10
Single Player: 7/10
Multi Player: N/A
Graphics: 5/10
Sound: 7/10
Total: 27/40 or 67.5 % (not the final score– this is just the total of the parts)

*Final Score: 76 % (not an average)* – C

About Brian

Computer and video game lover
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