My Bottom-5 Least Favourite Mega Man games
As people should know, I love me some Mega Man, I even listed my 10 favourite games from the series a while back. But as much as I love Mega Man, of course I’m willing to admit that with such a high amount of games that he’s been featured in over the years, I assume that not all of them have been all that great.
I’m generally very forgiving when it comes to anything relating to the blue bomber, however, I do promise you’ll see at least one main-series title on this list. Just keep in mind that I have not played any of the Zero-series titles and my experience with the Battle Networks series was limited just to the first title. And I’ve also not played any of the X-series titles on PlayStation or PS2 (but you’ll still see one title from the SNES on here).
And lastly, keep in mind this list is more for entertainment than any serious recommendations (or whatever the opposite of that is). Let’s get on with it…
Sega got seriously snubbed when it came to Mega Man in general. Apart from The Wily Wars on the Mega Drive (Genesis) and ports of Mega Man 8 and X4 on the Saturn, the only other title for Sega’s consoles was a Game Gear title released very late towards that system’s life-span. Now, please keep in mind that this game isn’t here because it’s a bad game per se, because it’s really not.
In fact, it’s a very passable 8-bit redo of a number of levels from Mega Man 4 and 5 for the NES. Yes, this game literally features recreated levels from two of the latter-day NES Mega Man titles. The gameplay is solid enough, mimicking that of MM5. The only thing that maybe takes some getting used to is the vertical scroll which is necessary since the Game Gear’s screen is so small, but if you’ve played these levels in their original forms, you won’t run into too many nasty surprises.
Indeed, it feels all around like a passable Mega Man game. So why is it on the list? Well, because of laziness. Not my own, but the developers’. I could accept the game being consisted of nothing but recreations of MM4 and 5 levels if this was supposed to be anthology title similar to The Wily Wars, but it’s not. It’s supposedly an original Mega Man title but one where all the levels were ripped off from other games. That’s kind of inexcusable and while the game isn’t at all bad, you do have to ask a serious question about why would you want to play re-created versions of the level on a handheld system if you can just play the original instead.
Mega Man for the Game Gear isn’t really a bad game, just really frickin’ lazy.
I really do genuinely love both Mega Man X and X3 for the Super Nintendo, both counting as not just my favourite games for that system but of all time in general. Therefore, it might puzzle some people why I seem to dislike the middle-chapter of the SNES trilogy so much and the answer is quite simply this… it’s just not as much fun.
Mega Man X2 certainly has the graphics and gameplay to match its fellow SNES instalments. In fact, I’d say this game has hands down the best opening sequence of the three titles. And some of the background themes are pretty frickin’ sweet. And the gameplay is just as good as X3 and even better than X1 just because you get the dash at the start (and the air-dash eventually).
However, everything else about this game is kinda lame. The boss selection is just really goofy and unmemorable. You have such winners as Magnet Centipede, Overdrive Ostrich, Morph Moth, Wheel Gator and, of course, the single least threatening Mega Man boss of all time: Wire “fucking” Sponge. The selection of enemies also looks really stripped down and uninteresting and almost every level has some really annoying element that makes playing them frustrating (the robot fish, the rising lava, the hanged shooty robots etc.).
That said, X2 is nowhere near as frustrating to beat as either X1 or X3. Mega Man X3 is unquestionably way more relentless to the point it might get those unfamiliar with Mega Man to quit after the first few levels. X2 is way more forgiving and even its final boss fight is an absolute cake-walk. I just find X2 to be lacking the kind of fun-factor that makes me come back to the two other titles on the SNES.
While Mega Man 9 wasn’t exactly everything I hoped it to be, it was still a really fun game, featured something new for the series and was all around an enjoyable title. When Mega Man 10 then quickly followed suit, it was hard to see it as anything but a shameless cash-cow attempt, but I was genuinely shocked at how low Inti Creates sank with the follow-up to Mega Man 9. Mega Man 10 is, simply put, not a very fun game.
First of all and in a very similar fashion to Mega Man X2, there’s the simple fact of how completely uninteresting the boss roster is for this one: Blade Man, Strike Man, Nitro Man, Pump Man etc. Vast majority of the bosses fit the description of “anthropomorphized inanimate object”. Secondly, the game’s difficulty is just infuriatingly relentless. The game is so unbelievably punishing, I’m left at a complete loss as to why Inti Creates didn’t learn from their mistake in Mega Man 9 and just give Mega Man his frickin’ Super Shot and Slide back. And thirdly, the music in this game was a real yawn fest. I can’t believe how incredibly mediocre most of the background music is.
Now, if you’re desperate enough, you can play through the game on the super pussified Easy-difficulty setting if you wanted to see the game’s underwhelming finale that badly. Mega Man 10 is simply not a very good Mega Man game in any sense and completely eclipsed by every single one of its nine predecessors.
But as horribly bland as Mega Man 10 is, it’s still a proper Mega Man game at least…
2. Mega Man “3” for DOS
Oh yes, the infamous Mega Man PC games from High-Tech Expressions. These games have garnered a type of cult following and are really something truly nightmarish to behold. Mega Man 3, the second of the DOS titles, downgraded the graphics for some more levels. The keyboard controls aren’t that bad to be honest, but the game is still a far cry from a proper Mega Man game.
If there is something positive to say about Mega Man 3, it’s mostly in comparison to the first PC Mega Man game. For one, the boss roster is at least moderately more Mega Man like, as are the enemies and the artwork, even if vast majority of it has been ripped straight from Capcom’s own marketing materials. The levels in MM3 are at least way more varied and exploring them is at least fun to a point.
However, you are always under attack from a relentless barrage of enemies, the level layouts are infuriatingly convoluted and, probably most terribly of all, the game has absolutely no music in it.
Simply put, it’s less a proper Mega Man game than it is a paltry pantomime of one. But at least, it is a pantomime of one.
No matter which way you slice it, this game just fucking sucks. You can always tell a game is headed into trouble when killing the first enemy you encounter is nigh-impossible. Add to this a game with only three robot masters, enemies that don’t really even look like they belong in a Mega Man game and, same as MM3 for DOS, no background music and you start to wonder why High-Tech Expressions even bothered.
The game’s graphics aren’t too bad but don’t really feel right and the controls wouldn’t be too shabby either. It’s unfortunately everything else that is a complete mess in this game.
Mega Man for MS-DOS is bad… really, really bad.