Review by Spidee

"Once upon a time, games were simple...and tough!"

There is always a tickle of nostalgia that goes through me when I hear the title of a game from the old days. When I heard Capcom was considering putting out a few games in anniversary packages, I was hoping the Mega Man series might be one of them. Well, it seems I got my wish.

The Mega Man games were one of the things that put Capcom on the map as a gaming company. Back in the time of the original Nintendo, it was not the company name that sold games. It was the characters in them! Amongst my friends, the names "Castlevania" or "Mega Man" were spoken more then Konami or Capcom. As time went by, the names of the companies behind these games were more known. Hearing "Konami" spoken usually meant, at least to my circle of friends, a good game was coming out. Capcom did that too. Every time we said "Capcom," we knew a good game was there and during this time, Mega Man was the popular gaming figure. Until Street Fighter II. But that is another review.

Let's look at the game itself.

*Graphics.*

If you're looking for advanced, high-res, 3D graphics, you won't find them here. The original Nintendo graphics are still there. The games look exactly as I remember them. Compared to today's standards, newer players will be disappointed. At the time, this was state of the art. It's going to be a matter of taste.

*Gameplay*

Nothing is lost in the game play. It's exactly like it was when the game was in cartridge form. The need to jump in the right spot at the edge of a platform is still there (annoyingly so if you have forgotten the patterns.) The secret to winning Mega Man games is knowing which weapon to use to defeat the bosses and other enemies, and in some places, which weapon will help you open up certain areas to access to the upgrades like energy boxes or 1ups. The thing about the Mega Man games is that once you have memorized where enemies are and what defeats them, replay ability will drop as you play the same way over and over again.

There two additions to gameplay that have been made. If you are playing the PS2 version, pressing the triangle button will fire off a three shot blast. The normal firing button only fires off a one shot per button hit. There is also Navi Mode. This helps in showing you which way you need to go to progress in the game. As a bonus, turning on Navi mode will play remixes of the classic game music! It's all optional and won't deter from the experience at all.

Remember those picture passwords? They are still in there but with a game saving card, your Playstation 2 will automatically save your place and will enter your password for you. That's certainly better then page after page of passwords that used to fill my notebooks (and occasionally appeared on my homework papers prompting red-inked "What is this?" marks from my teachers.)

*Sound*

Capcom preserved the 8 bit sound exactly as it first appeared. Again, newer gamers will frown on that. Don't forget those music remixes with Navi mode on.

*The Extras*

Now where is an anniversary collection without some specials? The game features a fair share. There's a full set of production art sketches to be seen and two classic arcade Mega Man games. I am told only one of them actually appeared in the U.S. They are "Mega Man Power Battles" and "Mega Man The Power Fighters." I don't remember either one so I'm keen to practice upon the past to see something new. And on the Playstation 2, there is a full episode of the Mega Man animated series. I'm hoping it is not that campy show that was on CBS several years back. Gamecube players get producer interviews.

*Final Thoughts*

There is no competition here with today's games. Hey, these are old games! If you did not grow up with them, you probably will not appreciate them. For those who remember, they are a blast from the past. Overall, this is a nice tribute to a series that is still working today.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/11/04


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