Review by Yami Shuryou

"You'd do well to buy this."

Mega Man Anniversary Collection is a Mega Man fan's euphoric wet dream. The original Classic series consisting of ten games, bundled up with extras such as an interview with the series creator Keiji Inafune and remixed music, as well as some graphical improvements, all for the price of 30$ American, is something that no sane devoted loyalist would pass up. Not to mention that no longer are you required to remember or write down a password or complete the game in one go, as the game automatically saves everything for you.

In the days of yore, the Mega Man games were another series of platformers to toss onto the increasingly large pile of platforming video games. However, they presented a special innovation; you could fight from six/eight different main mechanical bosses, and after you were the victor of a match against any one of them, you were able to obtain their main weapon of mass destruction. These bosses, known as the Robot Masters, each had a weakness to one of their brother's weapons. Add to the mix later on the ability to slide, charge up your own buster, and use several vehicles to make your way through levels, including a coil, and it was really one of the more popular series at the time (It should also be mentioned that from number two onwards, the bosses were entirely fan-made).

The premise of the Mega Man games was simple; Dr. Light and Dr. Wily are two aspiring robot researchers who have built nine robots (Although one of them was presumed destroyed at the time). However, Dr. Wily just flipped on a certain day, and proving his evil desires, reprogrammed seven of the eight remaining robots, escaping with six of them. The one who resisted the programming was Dr. Light's housekeeping robot, Mega Man. Convincing Dr. Light to make him into a fighting robot, he went on to defeat Dr. Wily.

Since then, Dr. Wily has done several things, sparking over half a dozen conflicts. This includes building his own eight robots to try and take over the world, pretending to be good again and backstabbing Dr. Light, blackmailing or otherwise framing other esteemed persons to disguise his own involvement in robot rebellions, and using infamous Dark Energy, able to completely destroy whole planets. Always is Mega Man there to stop him.

One of the two things I really have to complain about for the GameCube's version of Mega Man Anniversary Collection (From here on referred as MMAC), is how the controls have been done. While the original games always had the jump button to the right and the shoot button to the left, these controls have been reversed for the first seven games. Also, the seventh game is really awkward, forcing you to slide manually where three to six have Y as a sliding button, and eight has X and Y as shooting and jumping buttons in addition to A and B. This isn't including how unrelative the proportion of size between the A and B button is to most other controllers, including the NES, SNES, and PS (No Saturn) controllers. Thankfully, the problem isn't as present in the first six games as the seventh and eighth.

The second is how you can't have the remixed tunes playing while you're going through a game. While I highly enjoy the original music for most games, there are a few exceptions, such as almost the entirety of Mega Man 2. Due to lack of memory and lack of memory alone, MMAC will only allow you to hear the remixed music in a sound room.

However, the GameCube's version of MMAC has a slight nose above the PlayStation2's due to its shorter loading times, and its lack of the infamously dreaded ‘Disk Read Error'. Unfortunately, the GameCube still does have a loading time, but it's nothing compared to prehistoric PlayStation2's loading times.

As for the version exclusives of the GameCube, you have the interview by Keiji Inafune vs. a few episodes of the Mega Man cartoon. Many fans are in concurrence that the Mega Man cartoon is a defilation, a scar if you wish, of Mega Man's legend, and you can pick up the whole three seasons on DVD now. Still, it's your choice as to whichever version you want to pick up.

As far as my opinion extends, I say that it's good to see that the magic of Mega Man is still holding strong. This is especially because Capcom has officially announced that should sales for MMAC be strong, they will begin to develop and publish Mega Man 9, the supposed Classic Series conclusion that fans have been frantically whiting their knuckles over for more than half a decade. If it happens, this is one blissful gamer who will then feel complete.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/08/04


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