Y'know what? I don't know if I've ever played Mega Man 5 before. Weird. I didn't find it familiar. I had the first three NES games as a kid. And I do remember a buddy of mine getting the fourth game. And I wasn't too into that one. And then I think by the time that the fifth game came out I was more focused on 16-bit games. Hmm. So yeah I guess I must have missed this one until now. Which of course is why archival releases like the Mega Man Legacy Collection on Switch are so awesome.
It was actually kind of neat going into an 8-bit Mega Man game without being familiar with it. I was taken aback by the ability to charge your shots in this one. Now, I don't remember Mega Man 4 that well, so maybe that ability was in that game too? I don't know. I guess in my mind I always assumed it had started in Mega Man X, but apparently - what the heck do I know?
I have to admit something weird, though. Lately I've found that I'm enjoying jumping into the Mega Man games on these Switch collections and not actually beating them. I don't know what it is. I basically just really enjoy playing through all the main robot boss levels and then just quitting instead of doing the endgame stuff. I guess I just find those main levels more interesting - especially going against the robot masters and seeing how they behave.
Given that these robot masters were all new-to-me, it was kind of an interesting and fun little one-sitting endeavor. For instance, Charge Man? Wow. Capcom was really running out of... steam. (Sorry). But... on the flip (sorry), I thought Gravity Man's stage was cool and actually I wonder if it could have inspired stuff like VVVVVVV. So there's that.
All in all, Mega Man 5 seems like a fine 8-bit Mega Man game. It's not the greatness that is Mega Man 2 or 3, but it's certainly not a terrible game. Or even a bad one. It's pretty middle of the road, but definitely fun.