You Need to Play Mega Man 5 on Switch Online Right Now

  • Nintendo Switch Online added original Game Boy Mega Man series, making GB Mega Man 5 easily playable now.
  • GB Mega Man 5 is an original entry in the series, with unique levels & bosses like Stardroids based on planets.
  • The game is challenging but fun, with original levels, cool boss themes, save states, and pleasant gameplay on Switch.

Recently, Nintendo added the entire Mega Man series for the original Game Boy to Nintendo Switch Online. The first four games in the series are enjoyable, brief remixes of the NES versions, featuring slightly altered, pea-green levels from the main series. However, the fifth game, Mega Man V, stands out as an entirely original entry that many gamers missed but everyone should play. If you haven’t experienced it yet, now is the perfect time to dive in!

It’s surprising how few people have actually played this game. If you have, that’s fantastic—you’re among the rare few, which, considering my skill level, isn’t saying much. The reality is that it feels like Capcom released only a handful of copies, making it incredibly difficult and expensive to obtain today. A quick check on eBay shows that loose copies are selling for around $250. There was one lone copy listed for $30, but it’s probably either a bootleg or someone’s grandparent selling it without knowing its value. In any case, getting your hands on a legitimate copy is a challenge. While Mega Man V for the Game Boy (which is distinctly different from Mega Man 5 on the NES) was eventually re-released on the 3DS eShop, that happened 20 years later. And, as many of you know, the 3DS eShop has since been shut down.

As of now, Nintendo Switch Online is the only convenient platform to play the Game Boy Mega Man games. While pirating them is an option, Nintendo Switch Online makes them accessible and relatively free. If you haven’t actively sought out this specific game in the series, you likely haven’t played it. Unlike most Mega Man titles, these Game Boy versions haven’t seen multiple re-releases. For some reason, both the Game Boy Mega Man games and Mega Man Legends haven’t received much attention over the years.

Mega Man 5

Here’s the important thing: the game is good. It stays true to the Mega Man formula, so if you’re already a fan, you’ll enjoy it. However, what sets this entry apart is its originality. This installment introduces the Stardroids, bosses based on planets in the solar system. You still get to acquire their powers, but now there’s a cool, new theme. Plus, Mega Man isn’t just accompanied by Rush, his robot dog, but also by a new companion, Tango, the robot cat. Dr. Light continues to be the genius preventing robots from turning on humans, but sometimes, creating automatons is both an art and a science.

Mega Man 5

GB Mega Man 5 on the Switch has a significant advantage and a minor drawback compared to the original cartridge. The major benefit is the inclusion of the rewind feature and save states. This enhancement is particularly valuable, as GB Mega Man 5, like any Mega Man game, is notoriously challenging. The limited screen space of the Game Boy further complicates gameplay, making it easier for the blue bomber to get cornered or trapped by enemies despite the well-designed new levels. With the Switch’s rewind and save state features, navigating through the game becomes much more manageable. Trust me, even with save states, I almost threw my 3DS out the window.

A minor drawback of GB Mega Man 5 is the loss of Super Game Boy compatibility, which might not make a comeback anytime soon. I hope I’m wrong about this! Super Game Boy compatibility would be fantastic, or at least the ability to change colors. While the game still looks good and the Switch’s built-in Game Boy Color palette is acceptable, missing out on those extra features is disappointing.

Mega Man 5

A Mega Man game becomes much more enjoyable with varied color schemes for each level. It’s not a major issue, but it was something that could be addressed even back in 1994. Seriously, just let us pick our own Game Boy palettes. This technology existed at least five years before The Matrix was released. We had it once, and we can have it again!

Mega Man 5

I know pitching a 20-year-old Game Boy game might seem odd when there are modern titles with stunning visuals out there, but if you haven’t played Mega Man V for the Game Boy, you’re missing out on one of my all-time favorites in the series. Released in 1994, it’s a gem of 8-bit platforming excellence. Whether you were lucky enough to snag a copy back then or have dabbled in emulators since, nothing beats the authentic, original gameplay. And guess what? It’s available on your Switch now. So, dive in, fight, Mega Man, and experience the classic action that defined an era.

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