Retro: VC Weekly #177

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Anyone who's a fan of the Capcom character affectionately nick-named the 'blue bomber' will more than likely be happy with this latest release. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Megaman : Dr Wily's Revenge

Price: GB �3.60, EU �4
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 1991
System: GameBoy

Today one of Capcom's franchises is Megaman which is rather impressive for something which had such a humble beginning as a NES game which no one could have predicted would do so well; yet here we are many years on and the blue bomber is very much alive though mostly through re-releases of his older titles. We've had many on the Wii already thanks to the VC but now is the turn of the 3DS which is now home to the very first GameBoy Megaman title... just how does it compare to the home console games though?

Riding on the wave of success created by the first three NES titles, Megaman : Dr Wily's Revenge was created as a way of branching the series out to a larger audience and to a point it's successful in this respect though it's unfortunately not without a certain amount of compromise in part due to being on a portable platform. From the start there's a familiar formula that's followed as you work your way through four stages each with a robot master - all from the original NES title - to beat at the end from which you'll gain a power that you can use against the others; upon completing these you'll reach Dr. Wily's fortress which this time comprises of two stages and after the first part you'll do battle with not the same robot masters but instead four from Megaman II which is quite a change for the series, after this you get to fight a unique boss before battling with Wily himself.

Stages contained within are thankfully for the most part original while retaining certain elements from the classic NES titles including everyone's favourite vanishing blocks guaranteed to create some challenging and sometimes frustrating moments to say the least. While the second set of robot masters don't have their own stages there is at least some form of homage to Mega Man II as there are many heavily borrowed elements here which will make the game feel fresh but at the same times serves as a trip down memory lane even though it isn't quite the same as playing on the big screen; the suspend save feature is most welcome in this title as it should allow for quicker progression in most cases which is something of a godsend.

Visually the title does indeed look reasonably detailed for its era, obviously lacking the fantastic colour palettes of the NES games but still nice enough with the sprites being noticeably larger in order to accommodate for the change in screen size, they still react in the same way though and are nicely animated. Audio is mostly recycled from earlier titles though doesn't quite sound as good but the original songs featured in the final stages are nothing short of astounding despite the limitations of the hardware; sound effects are essentially the same however.

Despite its shortcomings this is a decent entry in the Megaman series considering that it's the first but the design has been improved upon many times over by the superior sequels which are more than likely to appear on the 3DS VC at some undetermined date in the future. You could wait for the other games but quite honestly if you really enjoy Megaman then you'll almost certainly like this first entry in the portable series which is still well worth owning even today.

Verdict : A mega must-have for fans though its sequels are superior.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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