Guts Man’s Weapon (Mega Man)
The idea of picking up chunks of brick or stone and hurling them at your enemies sounds pretty cool. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s technology couldn’t support real interaction with Mega Man’s surroundings, so the ability to throw objects was relegated to a very specific type of obstacle. Finding them was rare, rendering Guts Man’s special ability mostly useless.
Leaf Shield (Mega Man II)
A lot of Mega Man’s special weapons can’t be rationally explained – bubbles, bees and snakes come to mind – but, seriously, leaves? In the heat of battle, seeing the Blue Bomber trying to protect himself with a halo of foliage is just emasculating. Hey Wood Man, thanks, but no thanks.
Time Stopper (Mega Man II)
Flash Man’s weapon, which freezes foes by stopping time, as the name implies, wins points for its concept. Too bad it’s worthless in practice. Mega Man can’t shoot when the Time Stopper is active, so he’s vulnerable even when his enemies are paralyzed. What’s worse, there’s no way to deactivate the weapon, so once you fire it, that’s it. The Time Stopper’s is only useful for draining the energy from one boss, but it doesn’t even completely do the job.
Top Spin (Mega Man III)
Mega Man was never known for his skills in Karate, which makes the “Top Spin” all the more puzzling. Admittedly, it’s fun to watch, but intentionally running into enemies while your character spun about in the air always required a leap of faith, because you never knew if it would just end in pain. Even worse, the move only worked in mid-air. Given that Top Man was able to throw giant, spinning tops, it seemed the opportunity was missed here.
Pharaoh Shot (Mega Man IV)
Pharaoh Man’s weapon itself isn’t so bad in this case; like the regular charge shot that debuted in Mega Man IV, the Pharaoh Shot became stronger if the player held down the fire button. At issue here is the concept behind the weapon. The Mega Man series started to head downhill at the fourth installment, when it became clear that there just weren’t many great ideas left. This is just a powerful weapon that had little to do with pharaohs, mummies or pyramids. It was hard to be enthusiastic for it, and in turn, it was hard to get excited for another Mega Man game.