Scrape the rust off that old, blue robot, Mega Man Anniversary Collection takes you back to the beginning of the Mega Man legend. This collection features the first eight of his classic games beginning with his first appearance on the NES in 1987. The virtually faithful ports are a classic-gaming junky's dream come true.

Developers are often faced with the conundrum of whether to update old games or leave them as they were. Purist may freak with the slightest new addition and newbies will ignore old-fashioned gaming traditions by simply not purchasing the title. Let's face it, the developers aren't making games for the love of it. Suffice to say that not much has been changed in any of the Mega Man games presented here. Although there are some new additions, some, such as the auto save after a completed level, which should bring no complaints from anyone. The other upgrades are optional which should make everyone happy. If side-scrolling action is your bag then Mega Man Anniversary Collection is your shopping cart.

Mega Man is a humanoid robot in the tradition of Astro Boy. He's armed with a hand gun - literally - his hand is the gun. In virtually every level he must confront and destroy several enemy robots and traps created by the evil Dr. Wily. New weapons will be gained by defeating the various robot masters which can be used for defeating robot bosses. Eventually you will face off against Dr. Wily and some of his dangerous but fascinating creations.

Considering that all of the Mega Man games share the same gameplay premise it's a testament to the developers' talents that they are able to make each and every level seem fresh. Much of it is due to the imaginative robots and other mechanical designs. Anticipating the next enemy and figuring a way to defeat it is what drives the game at its core.

Some of the new features include the ability to equip any weapons automatically and quickly. You can choose a new blaster in micro-seconds. All games now feature a HUD which gives you instant data on your health (number of lives left), location and proximity of the enemy.

I can't find any indication that the graphics have been updated. It's difficult to score them because the first few games are very primitive by today's standards but they are meant to be perfect ports - in which case it has succeed. You should make a mental note that you'll be experiencing some graphics on your Cube that would be considered inferior even on the GBA. This time the purists win. But soon you'll get over the low-tech sprites and find yourself immersed in the gameplay which is always a blast.

There are few unlockables in the game such as interviews with producers as well as two Mega Man arcade games, Mega Man The Power Battles and Mega Man The Power Fighters. Both are very similar to the original eight games although they are a little less intense. These unlockables bring the game total to 10. For a budget-priced game, this is an example of a good value staring you right in the face.

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System: GC
Dev: Capcom
Pub: Capcom
Released: June 2004
Players: 1
Review by Fenix