Review by Estil
"This and MegaMan X Collection belongs in ALL MegaMan fan's libraries!!"
(score and categories are based on GameSpot's rating system)
Ever since Super Mario All-Stars released the first compliation game (or at least the first really great one) in 1993, many fans of other video game series hoped that their favorites would get that treatment too. Ninja Gaiden Trilogy did in 1995 for SNES, Sonic Jam did in 1997 for the Sega Saturn, along with all the different Namco, Atari, and Intellevision compliations released in the past few years (mostly on PS1 or PS2). So naturally fans of the Blue Bomber hoped they too could get a "MegaMan All-Stars". Well, in 2004 MegaMan fans everywhere got their wish with MegaMan Anniversary Collection (MMAC)
GAMEPLAY: 8 (Great)
(In addition to the overall gameplay quality, I will use this section to also judge how accurate the ports are as well as whether or not any changes made are for the better or for the worse.)
In MMAC, you receive all eight of the original Classic Series MegaMen, including MM1-6 from the NES, MM7 for SNES, and MM8 for the PS1. MegaMan & Bass (who some consider the unofficial ninth Classic Series game) is obviously not included since it was released on the GBA the previous year. But as an added bonus, you can also unlock two new MegaMan games (well, new for non-arcade players anyway); MegaMan: The Power Fighters and MegaMan: The Power Battle.
As with almost all compliations or "all-star" games, there are bound to be little changes here and there. Fortunately, most of these changes are for the better. For example, the NES games (MM1-MM6) give you the choice of starting with 3 or 5 lives (MM7 does that too), they include the option of using the original NES menus (including all new weapon menus for MM1-MM3) or the MegaMan Complete Works (previously Japan/Europe only) style menus with remixed music (for some of the stages anyway) and hints from other Classic MegaMan characters. But the best new feature of all is that you can save your progress at any point where you receive a password (but only one save file per game though) so you don't have to write down passwords constantly or play through the whole game in one sitting, although you can still use passwords if you want.
Unfortunately, there is one major change that is definitely for the worst. A good chunk of the ending in the MM7 credits was cut for technical reasons, but this doesn't really affect the overall gameplay/story though.
As for gameplay quality, all eight of these games are good solid games for any gamer who loves side-scrolling 2D shooting action. However, you will get the most enjoyment out of these games if you're already a MegaMan fan and in the case of MM7's Wily castle, love a VERY tough challenge.
(this rating is based on how all the games, on average, compared to games made up to the time the original games were released. This is NOT based on the graphical capability of games today because then this rating wouldn't be fair)
MMAC features a very clever menu for selecting your games and options, where you move the PS1 style MegaMan through all the different teleporters to select your game or options. The graphics on all these games are just as awesome as you remember them. Even the NES games you say? I say ESPECIALLY the NES games, because the last three or four NES games especially were among the very best graphical works of art you will ever find on the NES, right up there with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Super Mario Bros 3, and Kirby's Adventure. And the PS2 shows these graphics even cleaner and brighter than on an original machine too! MM7 and MM8 have pretty nice graphics too, although I found the MM7 graphics considerably darker than the original, and neither one really seemed to push their original consoles to the limits like the NES games did (the MM8 doesn't break a sweat!). But they do get the job done pretty well nevertheless.
But as great as the graphics were in these MegaMan games were, the music was often the real claim to fame. Many other MegaMan series such as X and Battle Network have used remixes of some of the tunes you'll hear in MMAC time and time again. In fact, if you choose the MegaMan Complete Works menus in the NES games, you'll hear remixes of classic tunes that way! Some of the greatest tunes are: MM2 intro theme, MM2 BubbleMan theme, MM2 Wily Stage 1 theme, and MM3 intro theme.
When you consider many of the original NES games (especially MM1 and MM6) sell for $30 or more by themselves, $30 (or a mere THREE DOLLARS a game) is an awesome deal. But you don't get just the games and their new features. You also get all kinds of unlockable music and artwork, along with a super secret extra special unlockable that is exclusive to either the PS2 or GCN versions.
While there could've been more extras in MMAC, this is still a solid "MegaMan All-Stars" game and is a must have for any MegaMan fan. As for which version to get, I strongly recommend the PS2 version (and this is coming from a pretty big GCN/Nintendo fan) because the button layout is just like the original games, whereas the GCN version has the jump/fire buttons reversed (A is fire and B is jump). Luckily they corrected this very bad error in MMXC, but as you can see in my MMXC review, the PS2 version has the best controls for both MMAC and MMXC and is overall the better version.
FINAL SCORE: 8.2 (Great)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/02/06
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