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Mega Man Classic Series

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Page 1:
Intro
Characters

Page 2:
Mega Man
Mega Man 2

Page 3:
Mega Man 3
Mega Man 4

Page 4:
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6

Page 5:
Mega Man 7
Mega Man 8
Mega Man & Bass

Page 6:
Mega Man 9
Mega Man 10

Page 7:
Mega Man (Game Boy)
Mega Man II
Mega Man III

Page 8:
Mega Man IV
Mega Man V

Page 9:
The Power Battle
The Power Fighters

Page 10:
The Wily Wars
Mega Man (Game Gear)
Complete Works

Page 11:
Battle & Fighters
Anniversary Collection
Powered Up

Page 12:
Wily & Right no RockBoard
Mega Man Soccer

Page 13:
Battle & Chase
Super Adventure Rockman

Page 14:
Tiger LCDs
IBM PC Games
Rockman & Forte Wonderswan

Page 15:
Rockman's IQ Challenge
Rockman Gold Empire
Rockman Strategy

Page 16:
Mobile Games
Panic Shot! Rockman
Street Fighter x Mega Man

Page 17:
Unreleased Games
The Krion Conquest

Page 18:
Cameos
Other Media
Legacy

Back to the Index


Rockman Battle & Fighters (ロックマン バトル & ファイターズ) / Rockman Power Battle Fighters (ロックマン パワーバトルファイターズ) - Neo Geo Pocket Color (2000), PlayStation 2 (2004)

Neo Geo Pocket Color Cover

PlayStation 2 Cover

Years after being released in the arcades, both Power Battle and its sequel were finally bundled together for home and portable consoles. The first release appeared on the Neo Geo Pocket Color with the title Rockman Battle & Fighters, shrinking each game down almost to 8-bit form in visuals and audio. The aesthetic downgrades don't hinder the game too much, keeping everything in scale and not losing any gameplay aspect. The bigger sprites for menus and endings have been redrawn, taking more design elements from illustrator Hideki Ishikawa, especially for Mega Man himself.

The PlayStation 2 port was released years later at a budget price. The games are spot-on conversions from the arcade, with the usual options for controls and difficulty. A Versus mode was added, letting players face off against each other with all the weapons available. Beating each game once also unlocks an Extreme mode, pitting the player against every boss in one mega game. Completing that unlocks more options for game speed, infinite weapon energy, and the ability to play the English versions of the game.

None of these collections were released outside of Japan. For those looking to play the arcade titles at home in the West, there are directly emulated copies hidden in the Anniversary Collection, but they lack any of the extra modes from the Japanese PlayStation 2 release.

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Rockman Battle & Fighters (NGPC)

Rockman Battle & Fighters (NGPC)


Additional Screenshots


Comparison Screenshots


Mega Man Anniversary Collection - PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube (2004)

Xbox Cover

Now here's a compilation that should be fantastic. On paper it sounds perfect: having Mega Man 1-8 all on one disc with both arcade games unlockable, everything for a reduced retail price. The grunt work for putting this together was farmed to Atomic Planet Entertainment, a relatively small studio that worked on other compilations like Taito Legends 1 & 2, Game Boy Advance ports like Aero the Acro-Bat and Super Puzzle Fighter Turbo, licensed properties like Family Feud and Jackie Chan Adventures, and the deplorable The Guy Game before going defunct in 2009. The end result is rather a mixed bag. The menu is a little original, with Mega Man's 32-bit sprite moving to futuristic metal doors with his remixed theme song playing, but everything looks bland in the menu scheme, using lots of text with no icons, still loading screens with bars and a piece of cover artwork plastered on. The first six games run great, and they're based on the Complete Works releases with mininal title screen edits, translations, and removed features. No databases, no missions, no powerups, no artwork, and much of the options stripped or shifted onto new overlays that clash with the presentation. One big negative for videophiles - the Anniversary Collection runs in interlaced mode, compared to the PS1 Complete Works, which display in crisp 240p.

Both Original and Navi Modes are available with the difficulty modifiers, with the hints translated. The rearranged music is also intact for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions (no need for the codes for the first three games), but is missing from the Gamecube release due to lack of disc space. Some of the tracks in Mega Man 6 were transferred incorrectly, so they sound distorted. Mega Man 7 is a bit of a bad emulation, adding slowdown and missing audio. The Mode 7 fire in the ending couldn't be replicated well in the emu, so the graphics are simply removed. Certain special passwords don't work either, like starting with all eight Robot Masters available, though a save system is put in place with an overlay menu. Mega Man 8 is ported decently enough, using the PlayStation version. There are some audio issues - a few voice clips have pitch issues and certain sound effects are too loud, peaking way too high. The arcade emulated versions of Power Battle & Power Fighters are also well maintained, though the CPS1 version of the former is used and both lack all the extras from the Japanese PlayStation 2 port. Most games have tiny text changes and fixes here and there, with Bass' "Damn" changed to a "Darn" for example.

A few bonus unlockables are thrown in - simple gallery pics, fanmade remixes, and videos exclusive to each console. The PlayStation 2 version has the first episode of the Ruby-Spears cartoon, the Xbox and GameCube copies get the "G4 Icons" TV documentary on Mega Man, which contains interviews with Inafune and others, and Xbox also has the first episode of Mega Man NT Warrior available. In terms of each console's port, the Xbox edges out with the least emulation issues and has the added bonus of button configuration, though it was released months after the others and has possible graphical glitches when played on a Xbox 360, especially on Mega Man 8. The GameCube version suffers from flipped buttons, having the big A button used for shooting and the tiny B button for jumping, which goes against the unwritten law of all classic 2D platformers in general, not just Mega Man.

Under the right conditions, this compilation plays remarkably well and the little emulation issues and cheap-looking menus can be overlooked. Sticklers for perfection will want to stick to the Virtual Console or PSN releases, or the original carts and CDs, especially fans of Mega Man 7.

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  • Atomic Planet Entertainment

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Mega Man Anniversary Collection (GameCube)

Mega Man Anniversary Collection (GameCube)

Mega Man Anniversary Collection (GameCube)


Mega Man Powered Up / Rockman Rockman (ロックマンロックマン) - PSP (2006)

Japanese Cover

American Cover

As the series neared its 20th anniversary, Keiji Inafune laid plans for a series of portable remakes of both the classic and X series for the PSP. Each remade game would have used 3D polygon models in a 2D plane with many changes and additions to flesh out the originals. Powered Up was released alongside a remake of Mega Man X named Maverick Hunter X. These remakes brought about many new modes to each game, along with spoken dialogue and multiple tweaks to the games' systems. The two major additions in Powered Up were a short prologue stage to set up the story of Wily's deceit and Mega Man's transformation as well as an expansion of the level selection to eight Robot Master stages, as was originally planned back in 1987.

DLN-00A Time Man

A very strictly punctual bot that doesn't mess around with his schedule. He was built for possible time travel experiments, but his only power is Time Slow and tossing lasers shaped like clock hands. It's suggested he serves as a prototype for Dr. Wily to swipe and perfect into Flash Man. According to him, Ice Man is the only one who fights right on time, not early nor late. [Weakness: Thunder Beam]

DLN-00B Oil Man

Oh dear! Tar baby allusions aside, it didn't help that Capcom made him talk with some urban hip speak to go with his slick personality. He glides on his Oil Slider like a surfboard and lobs flammable globs of his namesake around to slip Mega Man up. Every release outside Japan recolors him blue with yellow lips to circumvent his racially insensitive appearance. [Weakness: Fire Storm]

Much of the remake is rebuilt from the ground up, creating new design ideas and reforming the layout of stages to only vaguely resemble the original game. In fact, Powered Up acts more as an reimagining of the first game than a mere graphical upgrade. For one, Mega Man and many other playable character can't shoot through walls. Many memorable enemies and hazards from later titles are added into the game along with many new threats, like cacti Mets in Oil Man's stage and exploding fire tanks. The remixed music sounds more whimsical and many of the level are redesigned aesthetically. Cut Man's urban stage is shifted the most to a woodsy logging theme, Elec Man's stage looks more like a futuristic circuit board, and Bomb Man's stage is a lot darker. The addition of the two new Robot Masters also comes with a shift to the weakness chart to accomodate. Each boss also has an added large special attack, with frustratingly long invincibility time. There are also plenty of new blocks that can only be destroyed or moved by a specific weapon, including Timed Blocks Mega Man needs to slow down with Time Slow. There are also plenty of Construction Part packs to pick up in each stage to expand options in the Stage Construction mode.

Wily's Fortress has been thoroughly renovated. Each level is selectable from the stage selection menu, meaning you can take breaks and return to a Robot Master stage at your leisure. The Copy Robot boss is moved to the third level, following boss rematches within a teleportation room, much like in the rest of the series. Wily's Machine at the end is almost completely changed, resembling a skull-shaped tank with all the powers (and weaknesses) of the stolen Robot Masters, only sort of becoming the floating ship monstrocity after the tank is demolished and rebuilt. Humorous dialogue within the game suggests that at one point Mega Man could have attacked Wily as he was fixing his broken machine instead of waiting during the cutscene like a good robo-boy.

The best aspect of Powered Up is the ability to play through the entire game as any of the Robot Masters. Provided the boss was defeated using only the standard Mega Buster, they become selectable on the main menu, bringing their own strengths and weaknesses, some more unbalanced than others. Along with the Mega Buster exchanged for their default weapons, each of the Robot Masters brings its own perks into the mix. Cut Man has the ability to wall jump, Ice Man doesn't skid on slippery ice floors, Oil Man doesn't slip on oil, and so on. Playing as any of the other Robot Masters changes the story slightly to an alternate telling where the chosen character was the one not stolen and reprogrammed by Wily, and is replaced as a boss by the evil scarf-wearing "Mega Man?" instead. Each boss meet-up has its own unique pre-battle conversation, adding tons of personality and rivalry amongst the Robot Masters and even the player character's clone in the Wily Stages. Playing as Fire Man or Elec Man with their infinite Fire Storms and Elec Beams, respectively, makes for a far easier jaunt than playing through as Ice Man or Oil Man.

If having access to all eight Robot Masters wasn't enough, through passing challenges and difficulty modes (or just by downloading them online), Proto Man, Roll, and various different Mega Men are also available as playable characters. Proto Man plays similarly to his appearances in Mega Man 9 and 10. Roll is sort of an added hard mode with her short range swinging broom strike, but she comes with twelve extra outfits via free download for added silliness. Mega Man can be played with an added slide move, or slide with charge buster, or as his non-powered plain Rock form he has at the start of the game. All these multiple gameplay quirks plus the unique dialogues and three difficulties give the game plenty of replay value.

Along with 100 bonus challenges and 10 boss rush missions, budding stage designers can tinker with the game's Construction mode, using the tiles from each stage along with additional ones found in the levels. Those too daunted to start fresh can choose to build from the official main stages as a starting point. However, since the stages are designed in the same piece-by-piece structure the Editor uses, even the official main stages have a somewhat cheaper, assembled feel. The bonus editor packs allow for new tiles and new enemies from later games not found normally within the story mode. Capcom also released downloadable packs with retro tiles, holiday themes, and even a Ghost 'n Goblins set, complete with the appropriate main theme. There are also promotional stages given away by Capcom and various magazine and gaming news sites from across the globe.

There is also a mode known as "Old Style", which zooms the screen out and arranges the stage to mimic the classic NES game within the 3D engine as closely as possible. Oil Man and Time Man are unavailable, Mega Man is the only playable character, and even the original chip music plays throughout the game. It's a neat addition, though it's not quite the same as playing the actual NES game. Still, neat idea, but not quite the bonus on the level of the original Metroid unlockable in Zero Mission.

The English dub was recorded at Blue Water studios in Calgary and uses a large chunk of the voice talents of Ocean Group from Vancouver. The Canadian team does a decent job with the voices, lending a silly cartoon vibe to the game with the boastful vocals of a team with many syndicated animated shows under their belts. This version of Wily is his wackiest and squeakiest yet, sounding more like a bratty bully kid than a typical mad scientist. Probably the most fun voice is provided by Roger Rhodes for Fireman, giving the Robot Master a very over-the-top Texan accent and making him sound like Yosemite Sam as an arsonist. The only drawback is that the mouth animations for the characters aren't changed, so the dialogue scenes have a bit of a Godzilla/Speed Racer-level of lip syncing. A little translation issue has non-battle-ready Rock called "Mega".

Both Powered Up and Maverick Hunter X didn't set sales numbers ablaze like Capcom wanted, putting a halt to both their future remake prospects. It's a shame since a 3D remake of Mega Man 2 should have been huge smash success - well, if done right. A later semi-remake was be planned, but ulimately cancelled. The Japanese version is available on PSN, but unfortunately the English language versions are unavailable in any region.

Quick Info:

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Designer:

  • Tatsuya Kitabayashi

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Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)


Comparison Screenshots - Old Style


Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Characters

Page 2:
Mega Man
Mega Man 2

Page 3:
Mega Man 3
Mega Man 4

Page 4:
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6

Page 5:
Mega Man 7
Mega Man 8
Mega Man & Bass

Page 6:
Mega Man 9
Mega Man 10

Page 7:
Mega Man (Game Boy)
Mega Man II
Mega Man III

Page 8:
Mega Man IV
Mega Man V

Page 9:
The Power Battle
The Power Fighters

Page 10:
The Wily Wars
Mega Man (Game Gear)
Complete Works

Page 11:
Battle & Fighters
Anniversary Collection
Powered Up

Page 12:
Wily & Right no RockBoard
Mega Man Soccer

Page 13:
Battle & Chase
Super Adventure Rockman

Page 14:
Tiger LCDs
IBM PC Games
Rockman & Forte Wonderswan

Page 15:
Rockman's IQ Challenge
Rockman Gold Empire
Rockman Strategy

Page 16:
Mobile Games
Panic Shot! Rockman
Street Fighter x Mega Man

Page 17:
Unreleased Games
The Krion Conquest

Page 18:
Cameos
Other Media
Legacy

Back to the Index