• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

Not Quite Perfect but Fun Nonetheless

Note: This review is based on the 1.3 version and may or may not accurately reflect changes in future updates.

I'm quite fond of Megaman games. They're enjoyable little romps with great gameplay, stage design, and boast fantastic music. Megaman fangames, on the other hand, are a territory I haven't really traveled, my experience limited to the first two Day in the Limelight games. Megaman: Revenge of the Fallen is therefore one of the first fangames I've picked up, and the first where you play as Megaman, eager to see how it stacked up.

Let's get into it.

Every good Megaman game needs a good Megaman physics engine. The official titles, notably the 8-bit iterations, have some of the smoothest control in gaming, with controls and physics that feel just right. How does Revenge of the Fallen compare? Well, it's not perfect. Megaman's momentum is accurate, though his speed and jump feel a little bit off, and he also seems to fall a lot faster than in an official title. If you can get past this, however, they work just fine for the gameplay. Where the physics become bafflingly off is when Megaman is underwater, or during Star Man's stage; Megaman shoots very high into the air with each jump and can take quite a while to return to the ground, which was a little awkward to get used to. Knockback also feels a little weird, and maybe it was just me, but I swore spikes were more sensitive than in official titles.

Other changes include a charge shot that takes quite a little longer to charge than the charge shot in official titles. Whether this is a good thing or an annoying thing is up to one's own personal preference, though I'm assuming it's intended to add a bit of challenge considering the charge buster charged pretty quickly in official titles. Rush powerups are also triggered with a third button instead of the fire button, a change I find a little pointless but can see the convenience: It allows you to shoot without waiting for Rush to be summoned, so you could keep a Rush powerup out while you run and gun without any hitches.

Otherwise, the gameplay is standard Megaman fare, only with ten robot masters instead of eight, and an intro stage, which 8-bit titles lacked. Within each stage is hidden several powerups, such as the Rush Jet, Coil, and Marine, as well as various other useful items. E-tanks and W-tanks are no longer found in the stages and are instead hidden as mini versions, four of which completing a full tank; these will regenerate after a game over, which is a very generous addition that makes finding them worth your time and can help with more difficult portions of the game.

One last thing to note is the game's scoring system, which on the surface seems similar to the first Megaman game's, but in reality points only serve to grant you a bonus, such as an extra life at a certain amount. You lose points on death however, and a game over wipes them entirely, so reaching those bonuses will be quite the challenge.

Stage design:
This game's stages are pretty lengthy, with plenty of obstacles, challenges, and enemies to test your skills along the way. Generally speaking, there's a good source of variety among the stage's gimmicks, most stages possessing very interesting and unique gimmicks to prove that they're not just direct rips of their official counterparts, just padded out. Stages also possess multiple paths you can access based on your current arsenal, adding a fantastic sense of depth and replayability to each stage. This doesn't let up in the Wily fortress stages either, which also possess a handful of extra paths with extra goodies to even further help sweeten the final stages for those having issue with them. I only contest a small handful of things. The first is an issue admittedly present in official titles, but instances where you can easily end up spiked because you didn't see the spikes coming, notably in Magnet Man's and Star Man' stages, though beyond those I can't recall that issue too badly. Another are the yoku block segments, which seem to rely too often on jumping on the block that appears above you instead of creative and challenging patterns. The last is just a personal preference, but the levels are just too LONG; generally, I enjoy Megaman games because the stages are just the right length, with the perfect amount of content in each one. Some exceptions exist in the official series, and those I tend to favor less. I feel Revenge of the Fallen does a lot better than the official titles that have lengthy stages, but I still felt as though they did tend to drag on a bit in most cases.

One thing to note about the stages are the checkpoints. Because of the stages' length and the difficulty of the game, checkpoints at the midway point of robot master stages and just before the boss door exist to ease the journey. They're very generous and gracious.

Bosses are probably this game's strongest point, for the most part. Not content to simply copy the boss design from official games, the creators strove to make them familiar, but also fresh, with new attack patterns that, for the most part, work beautifully. Each boss fight is a new and unique challenge, though some can be easier than others, especially if you know their weaknesses, but that's pretty standard of official titles too.

Eventually, the three Megaman Killers are triggered and can appear in the midway portion of the stage you're playing, requiring you to defeat them in order to continue. This can be a pain, because losing to them on a game over requires you to redo an entire half of a stage to reach them again when you may just want to move on to the rest of the stage. The bosses are mostly fairly designed with recognizable patterns, though Enker can be unpredictable, and Punk has an attack where he jumps above you and pounds the ground five times, stunning you if you're not in the air when it happens and landing free hits; very annoying.

One thing I am not fond of are bosses that have instant death obstacles to use on you, namely Mechazaurus, Magma Man, Tornado Man, and Wily Machine 5. I feel like a boss's challenge should come from their own attack patterns, not whether or not they can instant kill you, which I feel is the case with the two robot masters. Granted, Mechazaurus was never a tough boss, but I still feel like instant death spikes on the first boss is a bit much.

But apart from those complaints, the game does boast a slew of fantastic boss fights, and special credits to the Yellow Devil fight, which I easily found to be the best Yellow Devil fight I've seen, from an official game or fangame.

This is where the game falters a bit. The music in this game is taken from existing Megaman titles, which is fine in and of itself due to the game's overall theme, but instead of being the original 8-bit tunes the music is instead MIDI, many of which just don't sound very good. It's as though the creators simply went to VG Music and grabbed the first MIDI they found for each song they intended to use. I understand that the creators had no access to musicians to perhaps do remixes for the game, but it would have been better to hear the original tunes instead.

Related to the music, there is ONE instance where I had to question the song choice: Using Megaman 6's final battle theme for the boss of the intro stage. It felt quite out of place to me, but this is only one song use misstep in my opinion.

Now onto sound. Mostly, the sounds are intact, from Megaman's buster shots to the sound of taking damage to the little noise Megaman makes after landing. There are a few sound changes, such as the sound made when your health or weapon energy fills, and the charge shot's sound is changed to the same charge sound used by Atomic Fire in Megaman 2. These changes I'm assuming were made to annoy the user a little less than the default sounds; while I personally don't mind the original refill sound, I can see how people would find it annoying, but I must say I much prefer the original charge sound and find the sound from Megaman 2 to be much more irritating. This really comes down to personal preference. There is one issue with the sounds otherwise: The various sounds used seem to vary in quality and volume levels when compared against each other, which is a little odd and bugged me a little. Sound, it seems, is not this game's biggest strong point.

Despite gameplay physics that don't perfectly emulate official titles and a few missteps in game and boss design, Megaman: Revenge of the Fallen is actually in the end a very enjoyable experience and a mostly fair challenge. Your enjoyment of it will in the end come down to whether you can get past the iffy physics and lengthy stages, as well as how well you handle challenge. If you can handle official Megaman titles consistently, you shouldn't have too much trouble with this one. It's hardly perfect, but it's worth the play regardless.