Review by Xenon
"Classic Megaman Goodness on your Gamecube"
There are a few names in the video game world that should speak for themselves. Names like Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and oh, of course, Mega Man. Since 1987, Mega Man has been one of Capcom's staple series. While Capcom has apparently abandoned the original series after 9 installments in favor of its numerous spinoffs (X, Battle Network, Zero), the originals are still classic titles. So now that we can get all of the original Mega Man series in one disc, I jumped at the chance.
Mega Man Anniversary Collection contains Mega Man 1-8, as well as the two Arcade games The Power Battles and The Power Fighters. Now, most people that are interested in these games will be familiar with the gameplay, but there may be a few of you youngins that don't.
The Mega Man series runs on a simple formula. Start Game, pick a stage, go through the platforming stage blasting everything that moves (and some things that don't) in you attempt to reach the boss of the stage and beat him until he's scrap metal. Rinse and repeat until all the robots are destroyed. Then, go through a giant castle to kick an evil mastermind's butt.
Mega Man 1-8 are extremely similar. All have stage selects, all feature bosses that are weak to another bosses weaponry, and all feature big castles at the end. That isn't to say there isn't anything new in each title. Mega Man 2-8 feature eight robots to destroy instead of six. Rush the Robot dog is introduced in MM3. The Mega Buster debuts in MM4, and Beat the robot bird in MM5 to name a few. Each new game makes its own contributions to the series that makes each one slightly unique.
Unfortunately, the differences are slight. The Core Gameplay is identical from game to game. The only addition that makes real significant changes to the series gameplay is the Mega Buster (and that change is arguably for the worse), the difficulty varies with each game but really, they're almost all the same game. MM7 and 8 put a nice shiny polish on the game and make little additions that give more control over Megaman, but again, the changes are very small. This isn't to say that the gameplay is bad. The Mega Man series has challenging and fun action stages, it's just that each game is more of an expansion, new bosses to beat, new stages to blast through. Its fine with me, but if you're looking for 8 unique experiences, you're not going to find them.
What you will find is quite a bit of challenge. If this is your first time through the Mega Man games, expect to die, expect to die a LOT. The Mega Man games require timing and precision with jumps and attacks in order to survive. While this can be frustrating at times, it also is the only source of the games length. Which is a slight complaint. Simply put, each of the games is pretty short. Your first time through (or if you haven't played in quite a while) will take you some time as you have to learn how to get through each stage and the pattern of each boss. After that, however, you'll be able to fly through a couple of these games a day and still be home in time for dinner (as if you ever left yeah ). The replay value on each of the games is quite low.
The Power Battles and The Power Fighters are also similar. The difference is that in these arcade titles, you go straight to fighting the boss. No Stages here, kids. Probably the most important features to these games are that they are two-player. You can choose between Mega Man, Protoman, and Bass in Battles, and the cast returns for Fighters with the addition of MM8's Duo. Again, however, the two games are extremely similar. The only real difference is that in Fighters you can choose your opponent as opposed to it being randomly selected for you.
Since all of these games are ports from older systems, it's worth noting that they have been ported nicely. The controls are tight and extra control was added to the older games (pre-7) since all those extra buttons were present while the NES only used two. You can use either the control stick or the control pad, and they both worked fine for me. Also, the game features numerous unlockable pictures and tunes for the Megaman fans. The GCN version even features the G4 history of Megaman show.
Mega Man, not Beauty Girl
You should know, Mega Man 1-6 were all NES game. We're talking 8-Bit in all its glory. MM7 was made for the SNES and features you're normal 16-bit sprite action. MM8 was made for the PSX and features hand-drawn sprites that have excellent quality. But that's all you're getting. Battles and Fighters use the graphics from MM7, and while they're not bad, they aren't exactly amazing.
Simply put, the graphics from the Mega Man series aren't very good. And this is expected. The NEWEST of these games is about ten years old. Limitations at the time simply don't allow graphics up to this generation's quality. I'm sure most of you were aware of this, but you don't want to buy this game for its graphical quality, buy it for the gameplay.
It's Over, Wily!
Mega Man is one of the most influential series in the history of gaming. It's what basically every 2-D shooter aspired to be. Mega Man Anniversary Collection is your chance to play through and re-live a simpler time in gaming history.
More importantly, however, Mega Man features a lot of fun games. Mega Man games are fun, challenging, and simple in execution. True, the graphics are REALLY dated, true, there's little replay value in the games, and true, every single game is extremely similar to the others, but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it right? Old Megaman fans should pick this one up for sure, and newer gamers who haven't experienced the old Megaman games should also take a look at this one for lots of old school goodness.
+++Eight of the Main Series games
++ Two new to America arcade games.
+ A plethora of extras for the Megaman fan.
--- A bit repetitive game to game
-- Little replay value
- REALLY Dated Graphics
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 08/22/05
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