Review by Maxx the Slash
Megaman turns 15, yet he gives us the gift.
Megaman, a.k.a. The Blue Bomber, a.k.a. Rocky Light, turned 16 this past December (December 2005). A year ago, in the year of Megaman's 15th birthday, Capcom released Megaman Anniversary Collection on the Playstation 2 and GameCube, leaving the Xbox out of things, as usual. But 6 months ago, because Anniversary Collection sold well on the PS2 and Cube, an Xbox version was developed, and it was made far better than the previous versions.
Because this is a review for a compilation/collection of games, I can't review every individual game on this collection. So, I will just list it's pros and cons and rate the collection as a whole
THE PROS (Goodies):
1. Almost the entire Classic Series on one disc! All that's missing are the obscure ones that don't advance the story, such as Megaman Battle & Chase and the 5-game black-and-white Megaman games, which are basically alternate storylines for the NES, SNES and PSX/Saturn games. But this collection tells the real story of what went down in the Classic Series (with the exception of the Arcade game, Megaman: The Power Battle, which is actually a retelling of Megaman 1-7 and allows you to play as characters in the early games that weren't there in the real version of the games).
2. Loads of bonuses to unlock. These bonuses include 2 games (there are 8 available from the start, and these two unlockable games bump the game total up to 10 games), remixed music tracks, special videos, and character concept artwork galleries. All these goodies can be unlocked in a variety of ways. Some are obtained by beating certain Robot Masters in one of the games, and others are unlocked upon completing a game. These will all appear in the Secrets menu on the Main Menu screen.
3. Navi Mode, which can be toggled on and off before starting a game. Newbies to the Megaman games should check this game mode out before they jump into the series. The first 6 games have a Navi Mode. In Navi Mode, you're given alerts from Non-Player Characters like Roll and Dr. Light, telling you about upcoming traps and enemy weaknesses. The game's music is also remixed in Navi Mode so you can listen to updated versions of the vast majority of the game's songs. Many other fun and/or helpful things appear in Navi Mode.
THE CONS (Baddies):
1. The audio quality for the game's original tracks are downgraded severely. Even in the PS2 and GameCube versions. I'm shocked and amazed that Atomic Planet Entertainment, the developers and organizers of this collection, didn't bother to fix the previous version's errors for the Xbox version. That just shows they were very lazy and basically cut & pasted the previous versions onto an Xbox disc and modified it's extras slightly. In most of the games, if there's a loud sound effect, like a big explosion, the music portion of the audio will soften up for a few seconds before returning to normal. This is somewhat notable in the original Megaman game, but appears all the time in Megaman 8. Speaking of audio problems in Megaman 8, Megaman 8 contains voice acting. No, I'm not going to rip on Megaman 8's bad anime cutscene dubbing, but the actual in-game voice acting suffers greatly in the 2nd half og the game. The game's Robot Masters have their own voices, and the last four Robot Masters have high elf-voices for no apparent reason. They weren't like that at all in the Playstation and Saturn versions. It's very annoying.
2. Several things in a few of the games have been stupidly been altered or removed by Atomic Planet.
- Firstly, in Megaman 6, the opening movie music has been changed from the American version to the Japanese version. At first it doesn't seem like a major change, but, it is. In Japan, they have characters (symbols) for every word in their language, and each character can be stringed together to make a sentence. An entire sentence in America can be said in Japan with symbols equivalent to a 5 or 6 letter word in English. Because of this, the Japanese intro for Rockman 6 is shorter for the translated Megaman 6. Capcom of America couldn't use the original Japanese intro theme for the American version because the Japanese music matches the length of their own intro, but ends very early in America's version. A longer intro theme was made for the American version to match the American intro's length. But stupid Atomic Planet decided to throw the Japanese intro in the American version presented in Megaman Anniversary Collection, and now we have a long awkward silence for the 2nd half of the intro. Stupid, stupid Atomic Planet.
- The 2nd thing that was wrongfully removed was the 2 hidden bosses from the Saturn version of Megaman 8. Cutman and Woodman were hidden characters in that version. Atomic Planet ported the Playstation version, completely unaware of the fact that a better version of Megaman 8 even exists.
- The 3rd stupid removal of something important is the ending scene of Megaman 7. I wont spoil it for you, but let me just say that a cool scene can be watched during the credits of the original Super Nintendo version of Megaman 7, something that hints at a future event in a later Megaman series, and it's completely removed. People emailed Atomic Planet about this error, to which Atomic Planet replied, stating that there is no version of Megaman 7 that has such a scene during the credits. Bull crap, us NORMAL people who have played the Super Nintendo version know better, don't we?
- The last this that was butchered is a dialogue scene from Megaman 3, in which Dr. Light tells Megaman something after you destroy all 8 Robot Masters, the 8 Doc Robots and Breakman, which I wont spoil, but let me just say it's the most disgusting display of Engrish I've ever had the misfortune of reading in any video game, ever. And it's pretty sad that an English game development group like APE could take dialogue that was perfectly well done from 1990 and do a Japanese-quality Engrish job 14 years like a bunch of idiots.
That's pretty much it for my review. The negatives are sorta insulting to us die-hard megaman fans, but they're not major enough to make this collection not enjoyable. It's still a very fun game, and if you can ignore the fact that Megaman 8's Robot Masters have elf voices, the other negatives wont effect your ability to play these games.
Megaman Anniversary Collection, Final Score: 9/10: A must-buy for all Megaman Fans. But boycott everything else from Atomic Planet Entertainment. The company needs to fall for their stupid hack-jobs done to these Megaman games.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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