Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge
  • Genre:
    • Platformer
  • Platform:
    • Game Boy
  • Developer:
    • Minakuchi Engineering
  • Publisher:
    • Capcom
  • Released:
    • JP 07/26/1991
    • US December 1991
    • UK 1992
Score: 75%

This review was published on 03/23/2015.

Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge is a platform game developed by Minakuchi Engineering and published by Capcom for the original Game Boy. It was released in Japan on July 26, 1991, North America in December 1991, and Europe in 1992. Mega Man is known as Rockman in Japan, so this game is called Rockman World over there. According to series creator Keiji Inafune, this is the first Mega Man game outsourced to a developer not part of Capcom. This is also the first Mega Man game released on the Game Boy and it's sort of a stripped down version of the first Mega Man on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's not exactly a port, though, because it takes many liberties with its design, combining elements from the first two NES Mega Man games into a single handheld reimagining. There are enough differences between this and the NES versions to make it worth checking out. While not as good as its more colorful NES counterparts, Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge is still a remarkably solid game for the Game Boy.

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This game is actually set after the events of the first NES Mega Man game, despite being a kind of retelling of it. Dr. Wily is an evil mad scientist who tried to take over the world using robots he both created and stole, but his wicked ways were stopped by the heroic blue robot, Mega Man. Figures that a scientist named Wily would be up to no good. As the title suggests, Dr. Wily is back and ready to get his revenge on his nemesis, Mega Man. Wily's revenge consists of him sending an army of robots to terrorize the denizens of the world, pretty much the same as he's always done. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, seems to be the wily scientist's motto. Creativity isn't Wily's strong suit. It's a good thing Mega Man isn't programmed to feel tedium, because it's now once again up to him to save the day by demolishing Wily's devilish robots.

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The objective of a Mega Man game, and the objective of this Mega Man game, is to defeat all of the Robot Masters. Every time Mega Man offs a Robot Master, he nicks their weapon and permanently adds it to his arsenal. He's a bit of a kleptomaniac. Each Robot Master is weak to the weapon of another, forming a weakness chain that Mega Man can exploit to make life much easier. Initially, Mega Man is armed with nothing but his lowly peashooter, so beating his first Robot Master is much more difficult than beating his second or third. The first four Robot Masters you face in this game are taken straight out of the first Mega Man for the NES: Cut Man, Elec Man, Ice Man, and Fire Man. The NES original had six and this version only starts off with four, though, so the weaknesses have been altered a tad to accommodate for this change. Other than all that jazz, the Robot Masters are pretty much the same as their NES selves, minus the color.

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Every Robot Master presides over its own stage as a boss, and Mega Man is free to tackle the stages in any order he pleases. Because there are only four Robot Masters initially, it goes without saying that there are only four main stages, not counting the final set of Wily stages. That's definitely a downgrade in terms of content and game length, considering the NES games have anywhere from six to eight stages. It's understandable that this one has fewer stages, though, as this is a handheld game, after all. Even though the first four Robot Masters in this game are taken from the first NES Mega Man, the stages themselves take elements from both Mega Man 1 and 2 for the NES. For example, Cut Man's stage in this game is a lot like Metal Man's stage from Mega Man 2, even though Cut Man himself is from Mega Man 1. Elec Man's stage has a segment of Air Man's stage from Mega Man 2 in it, as well. Some stages also feature new elements not seen in any other Mega Man game. The stages in this game are also, surprisingly, far more difficult than the NES ones. As for the music, the four stages all have Game Boy renditions of songs from Mega Man 1, which sound okay for the most part. The stages are all designed well, but they're a little too hard.

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After toppling the four robotic Robot Masters, Mega Man will gain access to Wily's base of operations. This is where the game takes an even bigger departure from the NES titles. The big twist here is that you'll have to face off against a second set of four Robot Masters, this time from Mega Man 2. Yes, that's right; this game does in fact have eight Robot Masters in all, but they're from different games in the series. The second set consists of Bubble Man, Quick Man, Flash Man, and Heat Man. Just like the other Robot Masters, you can steal their weapons and they have their own, self contained weakness order. Sadly, these Robot Masters don't get stages of their own, and instead are all stuffed into a single Wily stage as a boss rush. That feels a bit rushed, honestly. This is also the first appearance of Enker, a special "Mega Man Killer" robot created by Wily to, well, kill Mega Man. As cool as all that is, there are only two Wily stages as opposed to the four in other Mega Man games, so it's all rather anticlimactic. The developers tried to make up for this by making these two stages the longest and hardest in the game, but that only exasperates the issue.

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Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge does a good job of bringing the Mega Man formula to a portable platform. It even does a few things to set itself apart from the NES games, like redesigning the stages, mixing elements from the first two Mega Mans together, and occasionally adding new stage gimmicks and bosses. This game is essentially a remix of the first two NES Mega Man games, except it lacks color and is portable. It's not nearly as bad as you'd expect from a portable rehash. If you're a hardcore Mega Man fanatic, then you should consider checking it out.

Word Count: 1,079

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