Review by PickHut

"...Man, Bubble Man, Gemini Man, Skull Man, Star Man, Plant Man, Junk Man, Sword..."

C'mon, you know you wanted this, to have all these classic Mega Man titles on one disc instead of having to go through the series on multiple consoles. And it would be an even bigger nuisance if you're just now going through the trouble of buying a bunch of used and dirty cartridges. Sure, Xbox owners are getting the compilation nine months after the PS2 and GC releases, but for just twenty-dollars, Mega Man Anniversary Collection is a great bargain title.

Ten games are included in this compilation: you'll get Mega Man 1-8 and the two arcade games, The Power Battle and The Power Fighters (which won't be available right away). The main concept of the first game was an interesting one back then, and has been implemented time and time again into its sequels (if it ain't broke...): select a stage, go through a bunch of platforming segments, defeat the Robot Master (the boss), obtain his special weapon, and repeat until you reach Dr. Wily. Sure, it doesn't sound like much, but there's something about the way Capcom does it that draws you back into each and every one of these MM games. Of course, not EVERY game in the series is exactly the same; with each installment there's always something new introduced: like MM2's addition of energy tanks that refill your life bar and Rush the dog that can transform into a jet or submarine in MM3, or the debut of the charge shot in MM4 and MM8's aweso.......MM8's aw......MM8's voice acting.

All of the games included have been left intact for the most part, with just a few adjustments, like the removal of the glitches (jumping out of pits and invincibility) in MM3, and the inclusion of the auto-saving box that pops up after you complete a stage. Don't worry, you can still use the original password features if you wish, continuing from the last save is simply a choice. It would've been great if there were an option to turn off the auto-saving, though. There are a couple of other changes made, but they're so minor that you won't even notice; hell, I didn't until I saw a "difference guide" on some website. But, there was one odd change in MM7; the scenes in the ending credits have been cut out, leaving you with a black background. I found this annoying since this was the first time I've played MM7, and had to go see what the actual ending credits looked like online.

There's also a mode included in MMAC to help out gamers playing through the series for the first time, and that feature is called Navi Mode. When switched on, you'll get all kinds of interesting tips whenever an "!" icon pops up in certain locations. Beat the bird and Flip-Top will also appear at times to show you which direction to move in (most of the time it's pretty obvious, though). It's a neat little feature that'll be useful to some gamers in the first few games, but I doubt that they'll use it for help throughout the entire collection. Even so, newbies and veterans alike will still play through the mode. Why is that? Out of curiosity, of course. You'll wanna know where and when the hints pop up and the kinds of things they'll tell you. And if that's not enough, Capcom has included remixed music in this mode, which REALLY makes you wanna play through the games again just to hear the updated tunes. But it's a real mixed bag. Some of the remixed tunes are really great to listen to, like Cut Man's dramatic stage theme and Plant Man's soothing melody stage theme. But then there are really annoying tunes, like MM3's awful xylophone stage select theme and Elec Man's out-of-place, energetic stage theme.

But that's not all you get, there's also a bunch of extras that get unlocked when you complete certain parts of each game. These extras range from picture sets and more remixed tunes, to a lengthly G4 interview (I dunno why it's called an interview, feels more like a "History of Mega Man" thing) and a Mega Man NT Warrior episode (BAD DUDES STARTING KITCHEN FIRES! EVIL!!). These are nice and all, but I didn't like the way they handled how they get unlocked; you don't even know if you've unlocked anything because the game doesn't tell you! Every time I finished playing a game, I ended up going to the Secrets section to see if I'd gotten anything new. While it's not that annoying, it would've been nice if you'd been alerted about unlocking something instead of being left pondering if you attained anything at all. There's also four button configuration options that's been included in the Xbox version, but it seems pointless considering the default setting has the normal jump/shoot button placements. Ironically, two of the configurations have the "reversed" controls, so I guess you can experience how GC owners are playing the collection if you want.

While it's a good compilation, my main gripe with it is that I wish a couple more games could've been included. Like Mega Man Soccer, Mega Man & Bass (yeah, I know it was re-released on the GBA prior to the collection, but still...), or even the obscure board game that was only released on the Famicom. But I'm being picky, because MMAC is still an enjoyable disc. For just twenty-dollars and being the most complete out of the three different versions, I don't see any reason why you haven't purchased this title yet. Now, if only Capcom can do a correct Street Fighter collection.......

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/10/05

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