Review by Master Epyon
"The best idea for a game collection ever, rivaled only by Super Mario All-Stars."
The premise alone was enough to make me wonder "What's the catch?".
10 games in one.
For $37.99 Canadian.
I thought there had to be some sort of drawback. There'd be no way in hell they'd sell that many games at such a low cost.
I was wrong.
6 NES games, 1 SNES game, 1 PSX game, and 2 Arcade Games (Both hidden) are featured in this INCREDIBLE collection.
Story - 7/10
The story isn't really what draws many people towards the Mega Man series, but in all seriousness, the story isn't THAT bad. In fact, ever read a novelization of a Mega Man game on places like Fanfiction.net? It's amazing, and I figure if Capcom wanted to make a (dark) Mega Man novel, they easily could. As it is, however, the story is rarely explained even in the game itself. Still, just for the fact that the story has POTENTIAL to be so good is what gives it 7/10.
The story, for those living under rocks for the past 15 years, follows the story of Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, who gave birth to AI. Wily stole the first seven robots they both built and tried to reprogram them. It worked on all of them except one...
Mega Man must save the world by killing his six brothers (Guts Man, Cut Man, Bomb Man, Fire Man, Elec Man, and Ice Man) and ending the mad scheme of Dr. Wily. Of course, that's just the plot for the first game. The rest would be spoilers, I suppose.
Graphics - 6/10
By today's standards this game has sub-par graphics. But look past that at the graphics for each era, shall we?
For NES games, those graphics are pretty good. MM2-6 display really nice backgrounds and enemy designs. MM1, however, has pretty poor graphics.
MM7 for SNES has decent graphics for a system like SNES. Just a typical side scroller, nothing special.
MM8, while it does have cut scenes (with some of the worst voice acting in existance), is more or less just MM7 in terms of graphics.
But it's not like any real gamer cares about graphics anyway, so let's move on.
Gameplay - 10/10
This is where the series truly shines. From the hardest game (MM1) to the most innovative (MM6-8), the series offers very different games all with seperate challenges and items to help you. Mega Man can jump, move and shoot. That's it. However, these simple controls have allowed for some of the most enjoyable games ever.
In the later games (MM3 onwards), he can also slide and call on his robotic dog, Rush! Slide is nothing compared to the GODLY Dash move of the X-Series, but still. Rush, on the other hand, is VERY useful. He can transform into a coil (you'll use this more often than you'd think), a submarine (he can't in MM5 onwards though, as each time they included it they had to include a water level/section, or at least, that's what I'd think), or a jet.
MM4 onwards allows Mega Man to hold down the fire button to charge up his attack, to allow it to have more power when he releases it. This shot can pierce through enemies and travel until it leaves the screen or hits an enemy it doesn't kill. Note that MM2 allows you to charge up the Atomic Fire weapon, but you could only shoot that twice if you did. The charge shot with your normal Buster can be done infinite times, but you must charge each time you wish to do it.
MM6 offers other unique abilities, such as the ability to fuse with Rush. This allows him to smash blocks or Jet anytime he wants (but only for a few moments). MM7 basically combines these two powers, and calls it the Super Adaptor. MM8 has all sorts of nice stuff, like a shorter charge time upgrade.
The level design in the games is superb. Especially MM5. You will never see a level cooler than Gravity Man's stage. Ever. You get to go through his level upside down, and then FIGHT him upside down. It's awesome.
The basic concept for a Mega Man game is rather simple. You can pick which bosses you want to fight from the very start. Some are extremely difficult (new players will not have enough skill to defeat Needle Man or Shadow Man if they attempt them as their first stage, for example), but others are easier. When you defeat a boss, you get their weapon. One of the other bosses is weak against that weapon (well, except in MM2, where the Metal Blades work against three bosses, which includes the boss you get it from. But on the other hand, Metal Blades own your soul).
After defeating the robot masters (The first game has 6 of them, every one afterwards has 8), you go to Dr. Wily's fortress and fight until you get to him. Along the way, you have to beat the robot masters all over again, and some other bosses that guard the fortress. Then after confronting Dr. Wily, 75% of the time he will escape using mad ninja skills. Er, yeah. Right.
The bosses are nicely done for the most part, each with unique patterns and challenges. The one flaw is that some are overused. Plant Man is a weaker version of Wood Man, and Wind Man is a weaker version of Air Man. But other than that, the selection of bosses are amazing.
You get the idea, the gameplay is brilliant. :)
The two arcade games are basically tournament fighting games. You can do special moves in it by charging, holding up, then releasing the charge; or jumping as you hit a wall to jump off it. Other than that, it's just a Mega Man game in tourny fighter style (and they're short too).
Sound - 9/10
With the Navi Mode on, the first 6 games get music remixes, which is very very nice to listen to instead of NES beeps. Sometimes, however, the game will mess up on the remixed music. Magnet Man and Top Man have the wrong music for their levels. Other than that, the music is excellent. The sound effects are fairly good, although MM7's jumping noise irks me (it grows on me though, so that's good).
Challenge - 5/10
Well, the games aren't very hard if you're good. They will take you a bit of practice, but overall they're not that difficult on their own.
What can make them hard, however, are the challenges you can do for the game.
Try beating Dr. Wily in MM7 with only the Mega Buster and no E-Tanks or S-Tanks. Absolute nightmare, took me about 50 tries. In fact, Buster only games are great ways of improving skill and finding out boss patterns. Even though it makes the game harder, you should do a buster-only/No E-Tank game sometime during your MM experience.
With other weapons and E-tanks though, the game becomes much easier, with the only real hard part being Ice Man's level in MM1, and that's just because sometimes the game will glitch and you will fall through the platforms. The Yellow Devil boss in MM1 (Located in Wily's first level) will give new players trouble as well, but they will eventually get enough skill to defeat it easily.
To rent or buy - Buy if you are a fan of Mega Man, you will not be disappointed. If you aren't, you may wish to rent the game first since some people can't stand Mega Man's gameplay. Hell, it's not like the game is expensive or anything. I've seen SNES games that were higher priced than this game.
Overall, Mega Man Anniversary Collection was a game I greatly enjoyed, even if the NES games were about an hour long each. Still, even though the games on it are short (for the most part), they are INCREDIBLY addictive and fun. This game is a MUST buy for any Mega Man fan. Hell, the only thing that could be better than this would be a Mega Man X Collection. That would be Godly. But this, in the meantime, is good enough to be Jesus.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/24/04
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