Review by Warhawk
"Superb Collection for any Mega Man fan"
Mega Man Anniversary Collection. What can I say about this collection of not only the first eight of the Classic series you get two additional games included, "Mega Man The Power Battle" and "Mega Man 2: Power Fighters", that were released only on the Arcade. One of the things that intrigues me about this collection is the interactive menus at the start of the game letting you walk Mega Man over to the game of your choice that you want to play, which is probably the only time that a feature like this is put in any collection like this. For any Mega Man fan that grew up playing these games should not miss out on this collection or if you're new to the series and wanting to play some of the older Mega Man games, then you may want to check out this collection at any chance you get.
Each of the games featured in this collection are like that for those who grew up playing these games during their time back in the late eighties to around the mid to late nineties. Mega Man 1 through 6 are featured in the original 8-bit graphic style graphics, Mega Man 7 featured in the original 16-bit graphics and finally Mega Man 8 while released on the PlayStation still looks great in this set. While the older games some of the newer fans may wonder "Why the graphics look like they do with the first six games?". The only answer is that this is how far technology was at the time that the games were originally released and wasn't anything like with PlayStation nor PlayStation2 at this point in time. In Mega Man 7 while originally released on the Super Nintendo did improve no only graphically but they were able to do something that wasn't done in the first six games and that's having a intro stage like you seen in the "X" series. Each of the characters in 7, with the graphic enhancements fans got to see Mega Man leap into the next gen at the time and see how well he looked. Then we finally get to Mega Man 8, while originally released on the Sega Saturn and then later released on the Sony PlayStation. By this point while staying true to the roots of Mega Man by keeping him 2D at this point due to the fact that's all they were able to do with him by this point and wasn't a 3D Mega Man game by the time Mega Man 8 was released.
When playing Mega Man games prior to Mega Man 8, on the Sega Saturn or even the Sony PlayStation, the games were released on a Nintendo console. Mega Man 1 through 6 being released on the first Nintendo console, the Nintendo Entertainment System and there was only the D-Pad along with the A and B buttons to use on the controller for the console. At that point there weren't much to the controls of the series and when Mega Man 7 came along and having a few extra buttons on the controller allowed for some changes to be done with the controls for the game. For the first time in the "Classic" series being able to select the power you gained from the boss you defeated instead of having to pause and then select the weapon to beat that particular boss was nearly a thing of the past. Mega Man 8 followed suit with this feature making it seem odd that the first six games were on a console that didn't allow this kind of feature just yet. Well at least until this collection was released. Allowing the first seven games to be played just like Mega Man 8 if you are familiar with how that game played on the PlayStation. It was getting some used to for those who grew up playing the original seven games prior to Mega Man 8 or this set.
Everyone will always say which game in the series was the hardest one to get through and everyone will say it's this one or that one. To me the first two games were probably the hardest ones in the series and even in this collection those games stayed true to the original US release. This is a good thing to be honest with anyone. One of the reasons that I say that the first game is one of the hardest is due to the fact that you don't have any energy tanks throughout the game and have to rely on any energy pellets that you find throughout the stage that you're in. As for the second game goes with the difficulty wise, while at times can be forgiving due to that this is the first game with energy tanks but only one catch. You can only carry up to four at a time which can be a pain later on in the game let alone possibly during a tough boss fight throughout the game. Mega Man 3 while one of the best games to me in the "Classic" series but not that difficult to like the first two but can still provide a challenge to anyone that plays it for the first time. When it comes to Mega Man 4 through 6 the difficulty does seem to be toned down some during those games but if I had to choose which one(s) of those three are the hardest probably a tie somewhere between Mega Man 4 and 5. The sixth and final installment on the NES, is probably the easiest of all the games at that point in the franchise. Mega Man 7 provides more of a challenge than that of Mega Man 6 but then again so does Mega Man 8 providing more of one from installment seven.
It won't surprise me if anyone that goes about playing any of the games in the Mega Man franchise that the first thing they will notice about the games is the music. The games were made with one thing in mind, and that was music of course. The Mega Man franchise is one of the games that is well known for his soundtrack throughout the years and probably to this day still one of the ones that hold up well considering how old some of the games are. Some of the stages that you play through will have some music that you'll hear and may not be able to keep out of your head, cause the music is rather awesome. I don't believe that there's one song in the games that is ever done twice in the "Classic" series that I'm aware of and if there is, it may be a remix of the song from a older game. Throughout this Collection there is a added bonus just for playing through each of the games. For doing particular things in the games such as "Defeat Boss X" or "Beat Mega Man [insert number here]", you'll unlock something in the unlockables. These can range anywhere from artwork to music and if you own the PlayStation2 collection, a full episode of the television series that was released. The very first episode to be exact. I feel that some of these unlockables that you can get by doing what you need to do to unlock them are a nice touch to this collection that I can guarantee for sure. Although I kind of wish there could've been more things to be in that section but I won't complain at all about it, and the finish product is good enough for this Mega Man fan.
Closing thoughts on Mega Man Anniversary Collection is that this is a nice collection to any Mega Man or non Mega Man fan out there. Whether if you're a fan of the series or new to the franchise this is definitely one of the ones you'll need to check out if you can find a copy of the game. For me it was a chance to relieve my childhood days to some degree and honestly this is probably the best if not the best collections that I see out there of any franchises that has any kind of collection out for them. If you ever think about starting off with any Mega Man game, this is where you should start because this collection has the games that started the whole "Mega Man" craze.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/14/13
Game Release: Mega Man Anniversary Collection (US, 06/22/04)
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