VC Weekly 302

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

Fans of the infamous 'blue bomber' of Capcom fame will no doubt be pleased by this selection as we have three titles of his for you to enjoy. Anyway enough from me and on with the games!
Available for download this week we have...     

Megaman V
Megaman VI
Megaman Battle Network

Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 1993
System: NES

Fundamentally each game in the Mega Man series is very much the same as the previous, this fifth entry is no exception which sees the Blue Bomber suit up yet again to defeat the evil Dr. Wily and his eight Robot Masters, you choose to take on the stages in any order but keep in mind that you'll be facing the relevant master of the stage that you selected as a boss at the end. This is relevant because each of them possesses a certain power which you'll acquire upon defeating them that's required to defeat another of the masters effectively, of course you can defeat all of the bosses with your standard weaponry but it's in finding the best route where part of the appeal of these games lies.

Rush returns as your loyal robotic companion once again as you'll be needing to call upon him for assistance at certain sections of the game as he has many abilities this time around which will be of great use to you, including 'Rush Coil' which allows you to jump higher plus the infinitely awesome 'Rush Jet' which allows you safe passage over some of the trickier sections such as spiked pits or deadly falls, these are limited powers however so you'll want to use them wisely. In an interesting twist there are also such things as 'Letter Plates' scattered through the games eight stages, providing you can locate them all to spell 'MEGAMANV' then you'll earn the aid of another special helper, this is a rather excellent addition that adds another layer to the proceedings.

Naturally the controls are really responsive never letting up for a second, as has become a tradition for most Mega Man games so you'll feel right at home here with easy access to your abilities along with your repertoire of staple moves, which are simple to perform just as you'd expect. Admittedly the level of challenge isn't quite up there with the rest of the titles but that's not to say that it's any pushover either, as there will still be moments when you'll likely need to repeat a certain problem section more than a handful of times, seasoned veterans won't have too many issues though the few hidden surprises along the way will likely delight all who play it.


Easily one of the best looking titles from the NES era, this entry carries on the tradition of delightfully detailed sprites alongside beautiful backdrops and ground detail that all come together in a creative fusion that's truly a visual treat to behold; couple this with the top-notch animation on all of the characters which adds up to something that's as much a joy to look at as it is to play. Audio is still of a typically high standard that many have come to expect featuring some of the best chip-tunes the series has ever seen that'll make you smile as you play blasting everything in sight, which is satisfying in itself thanks to the largely unchanged substantial sound effects that have also become yet another staple.

While there are better games in the series the difference really isn't by that much, when you consider what the fifth instalment has to offer it's impossible not to recommend, it's a game of very high quality and yet another entry in the series that fans will love. If you're a newcomer Mega Man then I'd advise trying one of the earlier titles first but whichever way you look at it Mega Man 5 is a spectacular platform game with a lot to offer.

Verdict : The fantastic fifth game in the Mega Man series is still fun to play.


Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 1993
System: NES

It was the early ninteties, Capcom were all geared up to release Mega Man X - we're still waiting for our EU VC release of that btw - on the SNES but they seemingly couldn't resist making just one more Mega Man game for the beloved NES, so we ended up with Mega Man 6... or rather Japan and America did as Europe never actually got this back in the day, until now that is! In very similar vein to the previous two entries, you are up against a non-Wily villain who goes by the name of Mr. X who is hosting a 'World's Strongest Robot' competition; unsurprisingly he then reprograms the eight most powerful robots to do his bidding - and we aren't talking about the auction variety here - so it's up to Mega Man to save the day.

Of course it's the same age-old formula which has been re-used multiple times, eight robot masters who reside within eight different stages that you must beat in any order, upon defeating one of the masters you then acquire their power which you get to use in the other stages. Each of the bosses will be weak to the power that one of the other seven possesses so obviously this means that there is a 'proper' order to completing the stages; it's just up to you to figure it out... or you could of course just 'cheat' and look up the routes but where would the fun be in that? It's a rather brilliant mechanic though, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to find the sixth game of the series using the same setup once again.

Mega Man has a variety of moves at his disposal including both the slide and charge shot from previous games, but additionally you can now 'fuse' with your robotic dog named 'Rush' in order to create new armour sets; this is a pretty unique addition for the series, helping to add an extra layer of depth to the otherwise relatively familiar proceedings. Another new element which makes things a bit more interesting is the alternate paths which are contained within some of the stages, while perhaps not really offering anything truly revolutionary it's still nice as it means that each playthrough has the potential to feel at least a little bit different to the last, so at the very least it has the capacity to boost that all important replayability factor.   


For a NES game that was released relatively late on in the life-cycle of the console, this Mega Man title looks simply spectacular as it makes full use of the hardware to deliver a vivid, varied colour palette coupled with some rather nice extra touches which really bring the stages to life like never before. Audibly everything is of a decent standard featuring some nice tracks which fit in well with the stages, while the themes may not be the strongest in the series there are still a handful of them which really fall into the category of being classic tunes which you'll be sure to enjoy.

Certainly not the Blue Bomber's best entry to date but kudos to Capcom for finally making it available to Europe twenty years on, indeed within the year of Mega Man's twenty fifth anniversary it makes perfect sense. This amazing title is certainly well worth playing especially if you're a long-term fan of the series, if you're new to the series then you'd be better off playing Mega Man 3 instead as in my opinion it's a more ideal starting point; more Mega Man is always appreciated though so Thank You Capcom for finally letting us play this game which was until recently a long lost title.   

Verdict : Mega Man making the most of what's sure to be a memorable anniversary.


Price: GB £6.29, EU €6.99
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 2001
System: GBA
When this spin-off title was initially announced back in the day it was met with mixed feelings of trepidation relating to whether or not it would even live up to the Mega Man name, especially when it was almost assumed that we would be getting new sprite-based platformers at some point in the GBA's life-cycle being that the series would have surely benefitted from the advanced portable hardware at the time; it would seem that well over a decade on though being that the Mega Man Battle Network series emcompassing a further five entries suggests that it was a success of sorts. Your main character in this new-fangled sci-fi RPG is a youngster named Lan who is a futuristic school kid in appearance who has a friendly computer program named Mega Man would you believe? It seems that in the future we are essentially permenantly connected to the internet - who would have thought? - so these computer companions - PET's - are required to access 'the Net' making Mega Man your controllable avatar when you're in the Tron-like cyber space which is similar to the alternate reality which you are currently residing in... with me so far? Good, as it makes more sense when you're playing.

Of course not all is well because wherever you have something that is vast like this network then you'll always have people who want to spoil it for everyone, in this instance the threat comes from an organisation who wishes to control the entire world via the network by spreading viruses all over the place, so it's up to you as Lan to break them down one computer at a time but it actually falls to Mega Man to rid the Net of viruses; so what you have is an interesting dynamic where you are split between two realities which makes for an interesting gameplay concept. Even the style is different to the vast majority of RPG's which were available on the system at the time as Capcom seemed to go with the much more visually appealing 3D Isometric perspective which has always been a personal fascination of mine in gaming since the early 'Ultimate Play the Game' (Rare) days as it offers a unique view of the game world which is both intuitive and eye-catching, further drawing you into the game world as you feel like you're looking into a living, breathing diorama which suits this genre perfectly allowing for a more dynamic experience.


In battle you get to experience a rather inventive interface which relies on real-time but remains faithful to the Mega Man roots, from the start of each battle you'll be required to choose your 'Battle Chips' which are activated during the fight so you'll want to choose wisely here as you will want to make the most of your fire-power, after this you can move Mega Man across the red three-by-three grid on your side which makes up half of the battle arena with the other side being another similar-sized section coloured blue containing your enemies which you'll be blasting at while trying to avoid their oncoming attacks; it's really something that's better exoperienced in motion as it really is a lot more spectacular than this solemn description might suggest. You'll be able to acquire many more battle chips as you traverse both worlds so keep a keen eye out for them as they might just be your ticket to victory in your next battle being that they contain a wide array of effects, this also brings about a collection element as well which is sadly slightly dimished by the inability to trade with your friends which would have been in the original version but regardless you can still collect plenty in-game it's just that this will be your sole source of them, so you could either see it as a down-side or a challenge... personally I'd choose to see it as the latter as at least it's a chance to experience for the first time or play the game again for a relatively low price.


As aforementioned it's the isometric viewpoint which not only creates such an amazing visual impact, it also affords an extra level of detail which you only seem to find in these kind of games so in addition to the game utilising a varied colour palette you also get an overworld which is packed with detail particularly in the 'real world' portion of the game which you will find packed full of cheeky references which I won't spoil for you here in addition to some really top-tier animation being contained throughout. On the audio front things are a little more standardised especially when you compare the soundtrack to that of the original Mega Man games but it still does the job nicely, even sounding pretty decent in places; it's all of decent quality though even featuring some rather nicely sampled sound effects which suit each situation perfectly.

Mega Man Battle Network is a well designed title which may well suffer from a simplistic plot for an RPG but still remains both engaging and entertaining for the duration, there are also some nice pieces of dialogue scattered throughout the adventure. Although it might not be the Mega Man game that we had always hoped for on the GBA it certainly ranks in as being on of the more pleasant surprises that was brought about from the early noughties era of portable gaming; now you can play it on the big screen and contribute to a growing community on Miiverse if you so desire, either way this is one title of the Blue Bomber's which won't be fading into obscurity just yet.      

Verdict : Massively Mega Man Outrageously Real-time Playable Game.

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!

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