Full Review: In my day, videogame characters didn't have knees, so we couldn't duck. And we died every time we touched the enemy, we didn't have those newfangled life bars. And what's up with all this dag-blamed stealth?
There has been a lot of interest in retro-gaming lately. All anyone has to do is look around to see the countless compilations featuring games that debuted years ago, sometimes over a decade. One of the better of these collections is the recently released Mega Man Anniversary Collection.
Mega Man Anniversary Collection contains Mega Man 1-8, allowing gamers to follow the history of the little blue android from his humble beginnings. All of the games are perfect ports of the originals, for better or worse as some of the games are noticeably superior to the others. Mega Man and Mega Man 2 are both classics, while some of the others are more redundant, obviously rehashing the Mega Man formula with little to no innovation. Mega Man 7 seems distanced from the others, with a style that negatively sets it apart from all of the other titles.
There are a number of things added to the Mega Man titles, some which have actual utility and others that are unnecessary. One addition is a counter that tells how many uses of each acquired weapon are left, which takes the guesswork out. Some unnecessary additions are Beat the Bird, who hovers on certain screens with a pointer telling you in what direction you should go, as if the ladder or hole in the ground weren't indication enough. There is also an exclamation point that flashes at certain points on a stage that indicate that the pause menu will give you a tip, sharing pearls of wisdom such as ?Don't fall on the spikes.? However, sometimes the tips are useful, although they can detract from the player's own resourcefulness, not allowing gamers to figure out things for themselves. Thankfully, there is the option to turn off most of these additions for the purists and the more independent gamer.
Also appreciated is the autosave feature, which saves the game each time Mega Man defeats a boss. This allows gamers to beat a few bosses in one Mega title, stop play, pick up on another Mega title, and then resume play any time they choose to. Purists may dislike this new feature, but for them, the password system is still intact, allowing gamers to plug circles into a grid to resume their progress if they so choose.
The graphics and sounds are all faithful recreations of the classic games we remember, and should evoke pleasant nostalgia from gamers old enough to remember the original titles. There is a noticeable evolution in the graphics and gameplay, and gamers can watch the progression of the series, appreciating the introduction of devices that worked and continued, such as the slide, as well as things that didn't, such as the power system from Mega Man 6.
One thing that can be complained about is the complete lack of representation of the Mega Man X series. Although it can be argued that X is a completely different character, it would have been nice to get at least one game from the series into the compilation.
In addition to the regular series, players can unlock two games, the Mega Man Power Battles, which never reached American shores. Both of these games dispose of the stages and sets Mega Man against boss after boss. Also, unlockable are a number of tributes to the blue robot, including artwork, music, and commentaries.