There are few video game series that I spent more time playing in my youth than Mega Man. I actually started with the second game but after discovering that one, I went back and got this one, which I played nearly as much.
This is not the best game in the series, as future installments would add new things into the game that improved them. However, this is where it all started and it’s still a pretty solid foundation for the series, which still releases regular installments over thirty years later.
That being said, even with the cool stuff the games would add in, this doesn’t feel like a lesser game, as the gameplay and design are the same as all the other NES sequels.
My only real gripe about this, which wouldn’t have even existed if I hadn’t played the second one first, is that the levels, while well designed and laid out, aren’t as polished looking. Also, this only has six evil robots, as opposed to the standard eight, which would become the formula after this chapter.
The gameplay is fast and simple: you run and you shoot stuff. You also have to evade certain enemies and traps. Some screens also have puzzles you have to solve to advance to another screen but those are pretty much blocks that appear and disappear.
Overall, this is pretty difficult in spots, especially once you beat the six robots the first time and have to go into the Dr. Wily levels. Some of the bosses in the final levels can be a real challenge for first time players.
But in the end, this is a great foundation for this series. Not much needed to be tweaked and because of that, this plays and feels like the other solid games that it spawned.
Pairs well with: all the Mega Man games for the NES.