Review by Tarrun

"Fight, Mega Man; For Everlasting Peace!"

One of the many great series in video games, alongside Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, and Final Fantasy, is Mega Man. The Blue Bomber has starred in over twenty games, spanning from the NES all the way up to the Playstation 2, and there are more games on the way. As a way to commemorate Mega Man's fifteenth birthday, Capcom overjoyed us by releasing the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, a collection of ten Mega Man games, from NES, Super Nintendo, Playstation, and two fighting games that were only released as arcade games. For those who don't own any of the older systems, or for people who don't have the money to afford buying some of the more rare games, the MMAC offers the chance to own and play these amazing games.

For the most part, the games have been left alone; which is overall a positive. Each game is just like I remembered, disappearing blocks and all. (Those damn disappearing blocks….) True, there's the Navi mode, but that can be disregarded. And thankfully, the music, the bleeps, sweeps, and creeps of the NES, are back, now on your Playstation 2!

Gameplay wise, Mega Man did receive a bit of an upgrade. While the controls are the same as they were in Mega Man 8, it's really easy to get used to using X and Square instead of the NES' A and B. (Especially when I hear about the horrible control scheme the GameCube version has.) One of the little things I appreciated was the ability to use R1 and L1 to switch between weapons (which was only available in Mega Man 7 and 8) throughout all eight games. Thankfully, Capcom didn't go overboard by adding newer ideas to the older games. (Like allowing the ability to charge the Mega Buster or slide in every game.) Also, by pressing Select, you can escape whatever game you're playing and return to the title screen, which is a lot faster than committing suicide or restarting the game. While this isn't a huge advantage, it was nice to see some little things that were put in that showed that Capcom thought their ideas out instead of just throwing something together.

Also, the difficulties of the games haven't been altered. (Although the option to choose between Easy and Difficult in Mega Man 2 is gone, we only have the latter.) While I think this is a positive, if you aren't familiar with the series difficulty, you're in for a ride. (My ten and eleven year old cousins almost had a hemorrhage after they could beat some of the levels.) That's where the Navi mode comes in. The Navi mode is a way to help gamers through their struggle. It includes a different menu with the names of the weapons (instead of just a letter), an altered health bar and various other changes. Not only that, but PS2 owners get to listen to the remixed music in Navi mode (I hear there's a sound option on the GameCube, but nothing in their Navi mode.) Also, Navi mode serves as a guide in the middle of a level with helpful tips such as “Don't touch the spikes” or “Don't fall in the pit”. And if those words of wisdom aren't enough, there's also an option to change the difficulty and the amount of lives you start out with.

One of the only things that really annoyed me about the MMAC were the loading times. I mean, come on; these games should not take a minute to load; they were eight-bit cartridge games! How this is possible is beyond me, but I guess I can't have everything…

Besides the loading times, there isn't much to complain about. The MMAC even went so far to add a Secrets section. By meeting certain requirements (I.E.: beating a boss or completing a game) you can unlock this Secrets section, which offers a plethora of fun, including remixed music, original artwork, access to the two arcade games, and even an episode from the Mega Man cartoon.

Overall, the Mega Man Anniversary Collection is one of the better (if not best) collection out there. It combines the classic series with some new (optional!) extras and upgrades. Despite the age of most of the games, they still have managed to stand the test of time. It's worth it to buy the game for the nostalgia factor alone, not mentioning the fact that a collection of this size is really cheap. A friend and myself once priced out how much all eight games would cost sold separately; and we came to the conclusion that to buy the original eight games in the collection would cost somewhere around $200 or more. Instead you get all of that plus tons of extras for only $30; can you ever find a better deal? I think not.

Summary: Buy this game now.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/05/04

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