Review by durango
"Even for a newcomer like me, I find just why Mega Man is so classic."
Mega Man. One of many classic characters who first appeared on the NES during the 1980's. First debuting in "Mega Man" in 1987, the game offered unlinearity unheard of at that time. However, it apparently wasn't noticed as its successor, Mega Man II. Who is Mega Man? The Blue Bomber. A friendly blue robot armed with a Mega Buster who fights for peace. Also has the ability to use boss' abilities when he has beaten them, almost like Kirby. Mega Man Annivesary is a compilation of 8 classic Mega Man games, from the NES, to the SNES, to even one that was released on the Sega Saturn & Playstation. On top of that, there are two arcade fighters never released outside of Japan.
Yes, it varies from game to game, as they've come a long way. Many of the levels are featured in a building with a lot of machinery, spikes, and stuff like that. Of course, they also vary, like way up in the sky, in a forest with trees, etc. The NES games have the same graphics pretty much, but what's really interesting is that, even though it was just NES, there were many enemies that would be 5x to 10x bigger than Mega Man! Mega Man 7 sported really improved graphics from its predecessors, but it wasn't anything "special." I'd say it's about on par with Super Metroid, or maybe to its level. Mega Man 8 was only a notch above MM7's graphics, but it sported anime cutscenes, which were cool. It gets a 9. Only thing that held it back was that although there were big bosses and stuff, besides that, it wasn't really anything that impressive, if you know what I mean.
Beam noises sound very typical, but that's a good thing. But most of the weapons in each game have their own distinct noises, like the razor discs from Mega Man II, or the scorching noises of fire weapons from a few others. Sometimes, the noises coulda been improved or just plain used, like when you call Rush and use the spring, but no noise, and stuff like that. But other distinction is there, like sliding noises, or when Mega Man dies and blows up and it makes a weird noise, or every time Mega Man lands there's a weird sound. Some are suitable, some aren't. The music is somewhat techno-ish. After all, they are set in 200X to 20XX, but it's nothing really special technoish. However, Mega Man 7, in terms of attitude, seemed to have a big turn in music. The beats were awesome and the music just seemed to have more style in them. MM8 pretty much returned to the usual NES formula, save for the anime parts, which kicked tail. Unfortunately, it suffered from questionable voice acting, as Mega Man sounded a bit like a little kid, though he looks at least 10 or so. Think Tails from Sonic Heroes, but with less wimpiness.
Mega Man is very well known. It first featured unlinearity that was different from Metroid, if you will. Unlike Metroid, where you go into any cave or area you feel like set in a certain part of the planet (or Space Station, in Fusion), you have a level select option with that boss at the end. It's totally unlinear in that end. The stages themselves don't feature the exploration that Metroid does, which kinda takes away from the freedom, but by going to levels in your own order, you fight a boss, and gain his weapon. If you select a level and fight the next boss using the other one's weapons, you could very well have found its weakness as the weapon you had acquired does more damage than your Mega Buster. Basically, it's a weakness system, where certain attacks deal more damage to bosses. Once you fight all the bosses, you go to Dr. Wily's stage, and normally, it's divided into several sections, mini-levels. Also, you have to face former bosses again, sometimes (in Mega Man 3's case), you would even have to face bosses from previous games. The only thing I see wrong here is sometimes, if you're unlucky, finding a weakness for the first few bosses would be pointless. Oh, and also, you can use a Navi option to get help in-game. The games are fairly medium in difficulty, too, but there's an Easy & Normal difficulty option in the title screen in options.
In Mega Man: The Power Battle & Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, the set up is pretty much exactly the same, except that it feels more fighter-ish and you don't go through any levels. You simply fight the boss and win. Also, you can use Bass & Protoman in both, and this other huge robot in MM2: TPF. They all have their differences, however, like Bass can slide while in midair in MM2: TPF, and each character has their own helping buddy which does different features (except for the big dude & Protoman. It's the bird, and it makes you temporarily invincible).
8 classics, 2 Arcade 2D fighter/shooters, and a bunch of unlockable secrets, too. How can you beat something like that?
Buy or Rent?
If you're a big 2D, platforming, or shooting fan (but in 2D, like Metroid and such), get this game!
Some questionable voice acting and re-used graphics are all the hold it back. Other than that, the unlinearity, platform shooting action, music, and unlockables will be sure to keep you going for a while.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/23/04
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