What is it? Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge was originally released on the Game Boy in 1991 and was the Blue Bomber’s first foray into the handheld scene. More of a remix than a new entry, Dr. Wily’s Revenge took elements from Mega Man and Mega Man 2 on the NES and combined them into one distinct adventure. Select Robot Masters from each game make appearances, along with a new enemy named Enker. The premise is simple: challenge a Robot Master, complete his level, and then defeat him to claim his weapon. That weapon can then be used for the rest of the game. Each boss enemy is weak to a specific weapon, giving the game a rock-paper-scissors design.
Review Basis: Completed the game at least a dozen times, on both the original Game Boy and 3DS.
The Great: Mega Man on the go! The original Mega Man series remains as one of the greatest relics of the 8-bit era. The fine-tuned gameplay, fun characters, and excellent stage design made the NES games stand out as some of the best on the system. The Game Boy title, Dr. Wily’s Revenge, successfully kept the spirit of the series in tact on its way to the handheld scene. The game still remains fun to play today on the eShop. With so many Mega Man titles available on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console series (including 1 through 5 and X), it was only a matter of time until the Game Boy titles made their debut. If you enjoy platforming/action games, this is a great choice.
+ Fun and challenging 2D levels. While not nearly as long as the NES originals, the levels are well designed and challenging. They can be completed in short bursts, which is ideal for a handheld action game. Each stage has a unique gimmick or stage theme to fit with the boss’ name/powers. Also, even though the boss enemies are the same, the levels are actually completely different from the NES games! Even the stage themes have been changed, to give the game a distinct flavor. Each level has a variety of traps and hazards, many of which can kill you instantly.
+ Tight controls. The jumping and shooting mechanics are as spot on as ever. Certain sections require precise jumping skills, so mastery of the controls is an absolute necessity. Several levels are quite difficult.
+ The Restore Point feature improves on the game’s balance. The original game was incredibly punishing because of its high level of difficulty. The password system let players save their progress, but the Restore Point feature makes saving progress easier and can make tense platforming sections less stressful.
+ Eight bosses, including one special boss! There are four main levels to tackle, each of which housing a Robot Master to take down: Fire Man, Ice Man, Cut Man, and Elec Man. In Dr. Wily’s castle, players can face off with Quick Man, Bubble Man, Flash Man, and Heat Man from Mega Man 2, in addition to the Mega Man Killer Robot Enker! Defeating Enker nets you his unique and powerful Mirror Buster weapon.
+ Catchy chiptune music. While not as memorable or as exciting as Mega Man or Mega Man 2’s soundtrack, Dr. Wily’s Revenge has a radical set of tunes.
-Compared to later Game Boy Mega Man games, the package is light. Mega Man II through V on Game Boy have more stages and content to play through.MM IV and MMV especially outshine this entry thanks to a slew of fun, new features, better level design, better visuals, and improved balance.
-The zoomed-in perspective can make platforming more difficult. Compared to the NES games, Mega Man’s character sprite is larger and the perspective is far more zoomed-in (most likely to compensate for the Game Boy’s small screen size). This can make traversing difficult platforming sections even more stressful.
-No Energy Tanks. Even after all these years, it still hurts.
Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge is far from the best game in the classic series. It is easily outshined by the superior NES titles and some of the later Game Boy entries, especially Mega Man V. Still, even a “good” Mega Man title is still far from the bad choice. It jumps ahead of many other games available on the eShop Virtual Console service and is worthy of a purchase. If you like run-and-gun 2D action games, give this one a go!