Review by Thunderbird
"Wow..I'm simply amazed"
This is quite the excellent collection for any Mega Man fan, old or new. There are no less than TEN games on the disc, most of which are very good on their own. Everything is preserved as they were in the original games, or you can opt to activate a (small) number of graphical enhancements, and music remixes. Even the two unlockable arcade games are straight ports (Free Play flashes on the screen, as if you were playing a machine set to Free Play).
This one gets knocked off for a couple problems that I've noticed. First off, the Analog Mode is ALWAYS enabled, despite the fact that all of the games play just fine using the digital controls alone (the left analog stick can be used though, but you're essentially using it in a digital fashion). The main problem with this? At least one of the games (Mega Man 7) is a little too sensetive to the stick, and I've found myself sliding instead of jumping like I wanted to...and heading straight into a hole. Not the best situation. Also, though this one isn't quite as bad, the two arcade games use SELECT to start a game, instead of START, which you'd think would be the button (instead it brings up a menu allowing you to do a few things). It took me a bit because I was mashing START to try and start the game. The manual doesn't really explain the controls for the two arcade games, given that they are unlockable, but since the back of the case mentions them (though not by name), it would have been nice to see some information about that rather than general confusion. There's also the oddness of the fact that in Mega Man 3-6, the O button is mapped to down+jump literally to give you a single button slide, but if you're not in a situation where you CAN slide (on a ladder, or in one of the Rush Adaptors in Mega Man 6), strange things will happen. To the credit, some controls were added to 1-6 that weren't originally possible: L1 and R1 cycle weapons (might want to turn on Navi Mode so you can quickly see WHAT you're switching to, and in some games, L2 and R2 will cycle adapters/items. Handy, though if you couldn't open a menu while a boss was charging his meter in the original game, you won't be able to switch weapons on the fly while he's doing that either.
Note that this score isn't comparing the graphics to modern-day games, as none of these are such games. They were all ported straight from their systems (Mega Man 1-6 have some graphical enhancements, but very few, and you have to have Navi Mode turned on to see them). Their graphics were excellent for their time, though Mega Man 8 may have not used the PlayStation's full capability (in fact, Mega Man and Bass for the SNES (JP only) and GBA use Mega Man 8's graphics...on a lesser system).
It depends on which game you're playing. Though nearly all of them have a rather difficult final boss. The arcade games are the exception, mostly due to the fact that they were built around the fact that you could continue in the middle of battle by putting in more money, and they behave in the exact same way here, but as if Free Play was active, so the difficulty takes a huge dive. In fact, it's probably impossible to NOT complete the two arcade games, unless you run out of time or patience. The only change here is that Mega Man 2 is forced on Difficult mode (even if you set the difficulty to Easy in the options), so most of the one-hit destruction tricks won't work here (they take two hits).
Excellent, all around. Many of the NES tunes (especially from the earlier games) are very memorable. Though if NES music is not your cup of tea, you can turn on Navi Mode and access remixed tracks for most of the levels in Mega Man 1-6 (Mega Man 1-3 don't have all of their music remixed, Mega Man 4-6 do. Mega Man 7 and 8 don't have any remixed tracks). The remixes are outstanding, and enjoyable to listen to.
Excellent sound effects for the most part. While Mega Man 7 leaves a bit to be desired in this department, and Mega Man 8 has horrid voice acting (is it me, or is Mega Man's voice actually done by a girl?), those two occurrences alone aren't bad enough to devalue the excellent sound effects of the first 6 games.
Options And Other Stuff: 9/10
Seemed a little lacking in some parts, such as I would have liked an option to turn off Auto Save (really annoying, and why does it save during the fortress stages? There's no point because you will restart the fortress anyway if you reload from the save), and perhaps options to enable the remixed music or changed graphics WITHOUT also turning on the extra help, though that can be ignored. This game requires very little space on your memory card (8KB) so it won't occupy much. For those who prefer using passwords, the games that used them (Mega Man 2-7) still allow you to do so, and the saved games will not remember any more than the passwords do (they don't store your Energy Tanks in Mega Man 4-6, for example). However, this has one hidden feature: You can use passwords to unlock bonus items without having to actually DO the tasks required (just enter the password, and let the game save later). That doesn't apply in Mega Man 1 or 8, which don't use passwords, or for unlockables that require you to finish games. There are a few bad glitches, which unfortunately have been present since the original versions (though the only one that comes to mind is the Top Spin's erratic energy use in Mega Man 3, this wasn't fixed, even though all of the cheating glitches WERE).
There was a special thing added to both versions of the game independently to make each one unique: Each version has one unique unlockable (the PS2 version has one item the GCN version doesn't, and the GCN version has one item the PS2 version doesn't).
In general, if you want to play these games as if you were playing them on their original systems, it is entirely possible. However, if you are a relatively new player to the series and want some assistance for the games, and slightly prettier graphics, you can do that too. While these games won't appease the "if it's not 3D, it sucks" crowd (which I think is a rather stupid opinion anyway), they will be fun for those who are in it for the gameplay. At a price of $30 (at the time of this writing), you're literally paying $3 per game, which I'd consider quite a steal for these.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/10/04
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