Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What Did Famitsu Think of Rockman 1 Back in 1987?

Famitsu's review of Rockman 1 is almost as old as the game itself. So it's pretty timely that, for the very first time, it's been translated in English.

This neat little blast from the past comes to us via Garou:

5: An action-scidescroller like we had them often in the past. But isn't it a little too hard? You can start with any of the 6 stages, but I couldn't reach any of the bosses no matter where I started. Uhm, I guess it's a balancing-problem.

7: It feels a bit malicious, but somehow this action-game gets me fired up. Once there were so many of these games, but in recent times they've been rather scarce. Even the characters, even though they are original, are quite good (excuse my rudeness). Well, it's quite welcome.

7: A really totally very hard game. You have to take a really close look at the movements of the enemies while calculating your next 2-3 steps, otherwise you will fail. If you miss the timing just a little bit it's already over. You have to use your skills of course, but also your head quite a bit. Although I love the animation when Rockman gets hit.

5: A rather rare type of game these days. You can start this game from any stage, but there are some stages that if you don't clear them in a specific order you won't be able to advance. I won't hint any further than this. The characters are cute, but typical of Capcom it's super-hard.

In total, the game scored a 24/40 (for comparison, Rockman 2's score was marginally better with a 28/40). The consensus is pretty consistent with the game's general reputation. It's neat to see that, despite the game's difficulty, everyone was impressed with the freedom start from any stage.

Low score aside, Rockman 1 went on to become a surprise hit, warranting a reprint in Japan in the Spring of 1988. The rest is history.

Source: Cheesemeister and Square2015


  1. Thank God!!! I know Japanese!!!! Final Fantasy has a great score. Mega Man and Metal Gear are almost the same.... And what is "Doki Meki High School"? And why his score is higher than Mega Man?

    1. Probably a high school dating sim or a VN, those were and remain popular in Japan. I think it's meant to be read as "Tokimeki", because there's a sequel on SNES called "Tokimeki Memorial", or Tokimemo for short.

    2. Oh, I was thinking the "To" was a typo and this was a videogame related to "Doki Doki HighSchool".

  2. As a kid the only really difficult Robot Master stage for me was Ice Man's stage without the Magnet Beam. I also couldn't beat Bomb Man's stage but that was because I had an irrational fear of Sniper Joes.

    Then there's Wily Stage 1 and Yellow Devil, I had to have my brother beat him for me, and he used the Select glitch to do it.

    Strangely enough, I found Mega Man 2 to be more difficult.

  3. And they say modern American gamers complain about classic games being "punishingly hard"!
    I've always believed that the majority of Japanese gamers welcomed intense challenge. After all, their loyalty turned so many brutal game franchises into the cornerstones of the entire industry.
    Then there's the super-popular Japanese variety show GameCenter CX, where Chief Arino tackles some of the hardest classic games ever made.
    It's a refreshing change from American culture where everyone suffers from trophy syndrome and losing at a game is seen as a result of flaws in the game rather than the player's lack of skill.

    1. Noooo, modern American gamers want insane challenges in their games these days, especially in action title and RPGs. The Japanese complain games are too hard nowadays and want Easy Mode patches in everything, like with Catherine (Normal was too difficult for them). They even think we're the insane ones for doing Level 1 playthroughs in Kingdom Hearts titles.

  4. "An action-scidescroller like we had them often in the past. But isn't it a little too hard? You can start with any of the 6 stages, but I couldn't reach any of the bosses no matter where I started. Uhm, I guess it's a balancing-problem"

    Sounds like this review could have been written in 2017. Hey-o!

  5. I dont care about the review. The Review sucks and its just an opinion. I love Rockman 1 in the past and still love it today. My favourite game ever!

  6. I always knew Rockman 1 was trash.< /sarcasm >

  7. Wow, even back then game journalists whined about difficulty.

  8. No one cares, fumitsu is trash half their reviews are perfect or near perfect scores for generic JRPGs, the other is giving FFXIII perfect scores (yes that's right, 13 for you non Romans), the rest is giving games like JoJo's Bizarre All Star a perfect score, a game that launched with a game breaking glitch that literally had the entire game crash upon playing a normal mode normally.

    Their readers follow suit as well, top ten favorite games is basically a list of Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and other such games.

    Famitsu can eat it, I'd rather IGN opinions a million times over theirs and I hate IGN.

  9. Mighty No. 9 got a 30/40, higher than both MM1 and MM2.

  10. "An action-scidescroller like we had them often in the past."
    "Once there were so many of these games"
    "A rather rare type of game these days"

    This was only 1987! How many tough action sidescrollers in the vein of Mega Man could there have been by that point?

  11. How bout Famitsu go play some Pokemon or Dragon Quest or something, that's all they are good for.


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