Review by ZFS

Reviewed: 06/25/04 | Updated: 04/26/06

Mega Man blasts his way into homes of a new age!

You remember many years ago when you were first able to play Mega Man on the NES. It was such a joy to see the Blue Bomber running around on the screen, taking out Robot Masters, and all for the sake of bringing justice to the world. Capcom has driven the Blue Bomber into our hearts for many, many years now. We've seen him appear across many titles and spanning countless genres in his claim for fame. The little robot with the most optimistic of behaviors is here to present us with a compilation of all of his greatest games, plus some extras! You are going to find everything from Mega Man to Mega Man 8 in this pack along with some bonuses such as Mega Man: The Power Battles and Mega Man 2: Power Fighters -- two arcade hits that are in as extras.

For the most part, this compilation of games is nothing short of amazing. You are going to get all of the classic Mega Man series along with some bonuses. The port over from the NES, SNES, and PS is done very well. The gameplay, graphics, music, etc. all remains unaltered from their NES counterparts, but the cool thing is Capcom has included a "Navi Mode" that will allow you to enhance the game a little bit. If you activate the Navi Mode you'll get such things as remixed music, the ability to have auto-fire (Mega Man's buster fires just by holding down the button), and menu selection screens. Capcom also managed to include an assortment of unlockables for players, these range from artwork, extra games, producer interviews, etc. Another added feature to these games is the ability to save without having a password. In the NES versions of the games you always needed to write down the password after you lost all of your lives so that you could type it in when you wanted to play from that point again. Fortunately, Capcom added a save feature that lets you save the game without having to write down a password. So you can avoid having all of that paper scattered around your room and frantically trying to remember which one was the one to the last boss fight.

When you are actually playing Mega Man Anniversary Collection you will find that these games are nothing but a shoot back to the past. All of the games retain that same amount of difficulty they did back in the NES and SNES days. Mega Man 3 still remains a shining pinnacle of the series and the original Mega Man is still extremely hard. The one good thing about this compilation, however, is the sheer amount of replay value you will able to retain when you purchase it. These set of platformers will have you hooked for a very, very long time. The actual games themselves are not that long, and a few of them can be beaten in a day, but their sheer addictiveness and fun they provide is almost unparalleled in the gaming industry. If you haven't experienced Mega Man yet, or are looking for a way too, this is obviously it.

The basic formula for Mega Man games has always been fairly simple. Go get Dr. Wily and bring him to justice. For the most part this is what you will be doing in every Mega Man game included on the disc, as Mega Man you will run through levels that contain some great design and difficulty, only to come to the end and go head-to-head against one of Dr. Wily's menacing Robot Masters. The thing that always set Mega Man apart from other game characters though was his ability to gain the power of the person he defeated in battle, and because of this you'll be able to gain a power from the Robot Masters at the end of the level. This will in turn have you coming back to use them against a Robot Master that might be weak against that certain element. A very nice system.

Musically, the classic Mega Man series has always sported some type of techno beat. Due to the futuristic setting of all the Mega Man games this makes perfect sense, and it does fit into the picture quite nicely. Many of the tracks found in Mega Man Anniversary Collection are catchy, too. Music is a big inspiration behind the series, so it only makes sense that each game would have that certain charm that makes it memorable and easy to listen to. So as you are going through each level turning everything you see into scrap metal, you'll be treated to some of the finest music in gaming history.

Overall, what you are getting is one of the best packages that money can buy. Mega Man Anniversary Collection is a spectacular port of all your favorite NES titles. If you are a fan of Mega Man this was practically made for you and is a nice blast from the past. If you are new to this robotic world, this is the best place to start. You get a feel for the progression of Mega Man and how he got where he is today. Fan or not, Mega Man Anniversary Collection is a shining example of what gaming was, and is, all about. For its cheap price of $30, no one has an excuse to miss out on these fantastic set of games.

Final Score: 9.0

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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