I know I'm getting a little jaded with the release of all these old-school compilations even if I happen to like the game that's being exploited. These old games had their day and they weren't originally designed to be played on these powerful next-gen systems. These next-gen systems should inspire newly developed games that, in turn, shouldn't be expected to be played on the next-next-gen of game systems. The trouble is that they always sucker me in with offers that I can't refute, (I meant to use that word) such as including an entire series on one disk along with some new content and unlockables such as interviews, art and mini-games.

Such is the case with Mega Man Anniversary Collection. I can hardly blame the Blue Bomber for wanting to show off his vast collection of work. The gameplay still holds up. It can be a very difficult game but there have been some changes made. Before you purists start freaking let me explain that you can still play these old games as they were originally released but there are new modes that will give other players an opportunity to experience Mega Man on their terms. For the first time you can select the difficulty mode in addition to the number of lives.

Mega Man Anniversary Collection contains no less than eight Mega Man titles from his freshman days on the NES to the PSX. A couple of unreleased arcade fighting games are also included: Power Battles and Power Fighters. Other unlockables include artwork, interviews, a retrospective look at the history of Mega Man as well as a full-length animated episode. Package all of this with a price tag under $30 and you've got a deal that you can't refuse (I meant to use that word). Even if you've heard horror stories about how difficult Mega Man games can be you will find some assistance to make things a little easier for you.

Some of the new additions include the ability to cycle through the weapon cache without having to access a different interface. You can also release three, rapid-fire shots by holding the fire button down. Old-school gamers can still tap the button if they prefer. The music has been remixed and some of the graphics have been updated. Going into Navi Mode you will be able to experience these upgrades. You will also be able to receive hints from other characters in this mode. The upgrades don't affect the gameplay but make the older games look a little more modern. Once again purists can enjoy things the way they were by not selecting the Navi Mode.

There was no way I could play through all of these games before deadline. I took a sampling of each of them including the new fighting game which I found to be a little boring but it's an excuse to play with another gamer. The control on all games are tight and I didn't notice any slowdown. The graphics are primary colored and are very bright and cheery. Regardless of whether I was playing the first or eighth game of the series, I found myself so engrossed by the gameplay that it didn't matter if the graphics were eight or a million bits. That's the main reason that Mega Man is still popular after all these years.

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System: XBOX
Dev: Atomic Planet / Capcom 2
Pub: Capcom
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Cole