Retro Review: Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge

Genre: Platform / Action
Publisher: Capcom
Series: Mega Man
Platform: Game Boy
Releasedate: 1991

Mega Man Dr Wily's Revenge box art

Mega Man is probably Capcom’s biggest mascot. The “Blue Bomber” as he is lovingly called by fans has been around since the early days of the NES system and is still going strong with many games and series on his name. My first introduction to Mega Man was probably this little gem for the good old Game Boy. But how does it hold up in this day and age?


Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge doesn’t really have much of a story. When you fire the game up, all you see is the starting screen, followed by the stage selection screen.


All you really need to know about the story, though, is that Dr. Wily is up to no good and apparently out for revenge. Without the game manual, you’ll never really know why, though.


Mega Man games are widely known as excellent action platform games and the controls are pretty smooth, especially for a Game Boy game. You jump with the A button and shoot your weapon with the B button. Every time you manage to defeat a boss, you’ll get its signature weapon and you’ll then be able to use that weapon. Half the fun of playing a Mega Man game is trying to find out which bosses are weak to which weapons. Usually you can guess this stuff a little bit, like how Ice Man is probably weak to Fire Man’s weapon, etc. All bosses can, of course, also be defeated using Mega Man’s Mega Buster weapon, but the erratic movements and the damage some bosses do will make some fights quite hard with just the basic weapon.


Although this is still a good Mega Man game, it’s definitely not the best. This comes down mostly to the fact that you can only choose four bosses from the get go, while the games on the NES all started with eight. You do get to fight more bosses in the game’s fifth level, but once you reach the end of that stage, you simply teleport to a boss, defeat it, acquire its weapon and repeat until you’ve defeated all five. This makes you wish that those bosses would all just have had their own stages, but alas.

Level design and graphics

The graphics of Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge are pretty good and still hold up well today. The bosses and baddies are designed well and look a lot like their NES counterparts. Of course there was less screen to work with, so sometimes the screen does feel a little bit cramped. This became even more obvious when I booted up the classic NES Mega Man for comparison. The levels aren’t short, but they aren’t very long either and with only four initial boss stages, there’s only a total of six levels in this game, which seems very little. This means you can finish this game really fast and that is a bit of a pity.


Mega-Man-Dr-Wilys-Revenge (1)

The American Box Art is quite different from the European one I posted at the top of this review. All of the story is pretty much there as well, although I wonder if the “eight empires” thing was translated correctly, since there really are only four levels before you break into Dr. Wily’s Lab. Mega Man has had some pretty weird box art in the past, but this one seems okay. Although I really do appreciate the European ones more, since that’s what they eventually settled for with the art direction and not some weird man with a hand cannon.


Capcom’s Sound Team never disappoints and this game isn’t an exception. Although it has to be said that the soundtrack isn’t as memorable as those from the other games. Still, the music is good and I constantly caught myself whistling along with the familiar tunes from my childhood memories.

The game’s limited amount of stages does mean that there’s not that much music. But still, overall the soundtrack and sound effects are solid in this game.


Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge definitely isn’t the most memorable Mega Man game ever created, but it was a solid attempt to bring the Blue Bomber to everyone’s favourite handheld. The game’s short duration is made up by it having a good mix of challenge, gameplay and graphics.

If you’ve never played a single Mega Man game, I wouldn’t recommend starting here, but it is definitely worth playing through at least once. I know I still do so occasionally and I’m never bored of the game when I play it either. 3,5 stars would be my conclusion, based on other entries in the Mega Man series.

Graphics: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Gameplay: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Soundtrack: 🌟🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟½
Story: 🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟½

Happy gaming!


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