Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge is a Mega Man game by Capcom for the Game Boy. The game takes place in the same universe as its Nintendo Entertainment System counterparts and also shares much of the same gameplay and story elements. Basically, the evil Dr. Wily is not pleased with the way Mega Man has been foiling his plans, so he decides to exact his revenge by sending in four of his old robot masters to take care of the Blue Bomber for him. It’s up to you, Mega Man, to stop these robots once again and restore peace.
In case you are new to the series, as this is the first of the Game Boy set of Mega Man titles, let’s go over the basics. You play as Mega Man, a robot with the ability to jump and shoot. You can have three bullets of your standard buster on the screen at once. At the start you can pick any of the four bosses to take on from the selection screen. They are Elec Man, Fire Man, Ice Man, and Cut Man. Each one has a stage to go through first that’s based on their elements and shares similarities to their NES Mega Man counterparts. You will need to jump and shoot your way through the level until you get to the boss room. If you die, you’ll be sent back to a checkpoint until you run out of lives and then must start over from the beginning of the stage or select a new one. Once you reach the boss room, you can fight the boss. Defeating them will reward you with a weapon based on their abilities. This can now be selected from your pause menu at any time, but these weapons run on ammo which refills at the start of each run. You can also replenish these with certain ammo drops from enemies, much like the way you can refill your health with health drops. You’ll also get a password after every stage clear or game over which can be used to continue. Each of the special weapons can be used as a weakness of another robot master. You will also acquire the item called carry. This creates a temporary platform under your feet when used but runs on a similar ammo meter.
After beating these four robot masters in any order you wish you’ll be taken to Dr. Wily’s Castle. Here you’ll have to fight through a tough stage followed by a room full of teleporters taking you to four more robot masters, Heat Man, Flash Man, Bubble Man, and Quick Man, that are making their return from the NES Mega Man 2. Similarly, you’ll get their special weapons for beating them, but they must all be defeated in a row with only a large health refill after each victory. After beating these four in an order of your choosing you’ll unlock the final teleporter. This will take you to an all-new enemy known as Enker, a robot designed specifically to take out Mega Man. Upon defeating Enker, you’ll be taken to another Dr. Wily level… in space! Here you’ll have to get through another difficult level and then fight a multi-form final battle with Dr. Wily himself. The only question is… are you a mega enough man to defeat Dr. Wily?
This game is actually pretty good. It controls a lot like the first Mega Man but seems to have less glitches and cheapness. I like how it is somewhat of a remix of Mega Man and Mega Man 2 from the NES yet there’s still whole new stages to go through. They have similar assets, but the new levels really added a lot to keep it from feeling like a straight up port mashup. I also really enjoyed how instead of giving you a boss rush of the same four bosses you just fought, you get four totally different ones instead. It just gives you more content and a full set of robot masters in total. Enker is a pretty cool new enemy to have for the sake of something new, as is the Wily Machine final boss. So I guess I just like that it’s more Mega Man that is different enough from the source material to make it a worthy addition to the series and an interesting companion piece. Plus it still sounds great, even if it lacks a bit in the visual department due to the size of the screen and the palette limitations of the Game Boy. It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s hindered by the system due to the similarities to the original Mega Man. Oh, and it integrates the weapon usage pretty well I thought.
However, it’s not without a few flaws. I could understand the return of the sluggish and slightly slippery controls from the original being a frustration for veterans of Mega Man 2 and 3. There’s also some interesting AI. While I think the bosses do a more reasonable amount of damage compared to the original, I think their patterns have been a little too simplified. There were some parts where I got them stuck in a loop that I could repeat until they died… in stark contrast to them being damn near impossible to predict and dodge otherwise. Their weaknesses help a lot, but it seems like trying to deal with the symptoms rather than curing the problem. There’s also some artificial difficulty to lengthen the game about halfway through. See, you get a password after each of the first four robot masters, but you have to go through the rest of the game on one set of lives because you can no more passwords after that. So you have to go through a Wily stage, fight five bosses in a row, then do a second Wily stage, and defeat two forms of a final boss. You have to do ALL of that on one set of lives. The real kicker is that if you die on the Wily fight, you are restarted immediately in front of the boss again. So if you ran out of your best weapons, good luck beating him with the next lives. That uphill battle would at least be a bit more forgivable if not for the fact that the second form and ONLY be damaged by ONE weapon, so if you run out of it during your attempt then all of your extra lives mean nothing. You just have to burn through them and try again all the way from the first Wily stage. It just doesn’t make sense. Clearly you should get a password at the start of the second one. Bringing all the glory of NES hard into the palm of your hands.
Still, Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge is pretty good. It takes familiar Mega Man ideas and manages to make them different enough and interesting enough to make this game worth your time. Plus, it’s a handheld title so… bonus! I would definitely recommend it to Game Boy enthusiasts and original Mega Man fans. It’s more Mega Man goodness while also being an interesting companion piece to the series. I believe it’s available in a few different places, but it’s one that I’d say is worth maybe up to 15 bucks. You can probably get it cheaper, but with the amount of times you replay Mega Man games, it could easily end up being worth it. Ya know… in case 6 original Mega Man games on the NES wasn’t enough for you… you greedy bastard you.