Similar to the Anniversary Collection, this is a compilation of the following games:
There is also a museum containing designs and concept art, a music player, and a character database.
This game was mostly released in digital download form only, although there is a physical cartridge available for the 3DS. If you shell out enough, the 3DS physical version comes with a golden Mega Man amiibo (those little figurines for the WiiU) which is a recoloration of the Super Smash Bros. amiibo figure.
I’ve only played the 3DS version thus far, but most of this should apply to the other versions as well.
The games themselves are exact replicas of the NES games with no modifications. All of the NES flicker and slowdown is preserved in full NES glory. Because they are identical to the NES games, you can generally consult the Game Hints pages (links above) for those games for more details on how to play them.
If your version of the game is lacking a manual (as mine was), you can use the Strategies page for some tips on how to play if you’ve never played a classic Mega Man game before. Use the button configuration menu to figure out which buttons do what.
- You can play either the English or Japanese versions of the games. The Japanese games are literally the Japanese cartridges with all of the original Japanese text and game play. (For example, Japanese MM2 doesn’t offer a difficulty selection.) Note that choosing between “Mega Man” or “Rockman” mode is separate from the language you select in the system menu options; the system menus remain in that language regardless.
- The buttons are configurable in the options, and also off the system menu that you can access during a game. There is a separate button offered for turbo fire. Note that the text within the games themselves has not been altered to take the button configurations into account, so they will still say things like “Press A Button” when in fact the A button does nothing at all.
- For relevant systems, you are able to use either the stick or the control pad for movement. On the 3DS, the stick actually isn’t all that bad.
- The main menu screens use remixed music. The actual games use the original NES music.
- According to press releases, later versions of the collection have a “Rewind” feature that allows the player to quickly retry trouble spots. I don’t have any of the relevant systems, though, so it’s unlikely I will be able to try out the feature personally.
The museum for each game contains miscellaneous artwork collected by the game developers. Some of it consists of scans of physical items like boxes and stickers. Other pieces of art include concept art (including of enemies and ideas that went ultimately unused) and production artwork.
The database contains information on the major and minor enemies in the game, and some of the good guys as well. You can fight Robot Masters straight off the database; when you do so, you are given all of the weapons but no Energy Tanks. You are brought back to the database after the fight is over, win or lose.
There is also a music test as well. Almost all of the songs from the six games are here, including win and lose jingles and ending/credits music. Oddly, MM6’s ending music is missing. I’m not sure why. (It’s in the Song of the Whenever...)
It doesn’t appear that you have to unlock these extras. You can access these menus from the moment you first turn the game on.
Sadly, the interface for these is not all that great, in that I can’t find any way of paging through them (other than by jumping from one category to the next in the list), so about the only other way to navigate them is to arrow through each one individually. (The database doesn’t even offer a list; you just have to find what you want by hunting through everything one by one.) This is made more cumbersome by the fact that the game tries to load each item as you put the cursor on it, which makes the cursor somewhat sluggish; you also cannot hold down an arrow button to scroll quickly, but instead have to press the button repeatedly. (On the database, if you just want to fight a Robot Master, try pressing left from the first item; the bosses are usually near the ends of the lists.)
Challenges basically consist of a hodgepodge series of save states at various predefined points across all six games. (Some challenges focus on a particular game; others jump you across different games.) The goal of each section is to touch the black circle with the stars in the background; this acts as a warp that jumps you to the next save state. (In some cases, just beating a boss clears that section and you don’t have to touch the circle.) Finish all of the sections of a challenge within the time limit to clear the challenge. The game records your best time and also allows you to watch and save replays.
It seems you have infinite lives while in a challenge (or at least, I was never able to run out of lives, and believe me I was trying), but which weapons and items you have available for any given section depends on the particular save state. Your health bar does carry over from one save state to the next, but your weapons do not. If you die while in a challenge, you restart at the last save state that you’d reached. The timer keeps counting down during the delay before you start, but not while the game is busy loading the save state.
You do have to unlock most of the challenges by beating earlier challenges.
Ironically, some of the challenges are made more challenging by the pure nature of the save states. Some of the challenge save states dump you into horrible starting conditions. For example, the Mecha Dragon: any good player would have been much farther to the right by that point. So you have to scramble to get ahead before the dragon appears and blows you to kingdom come. Also, the long delay before the action actually begins makes you uncertain as to when you will gain control, which makes it hard to make some of the split-second reactions that are necessary with some of the given starting points.
On the system menu within a particular game you will find “Load” and “Save” options. These are literally save states. You can only have one save state per game, but loading the state restarts you at exactly the point where you’d saved. You can use these to save your progress and quit and go back later. You can also, of course, abuse save states to reload whenever you die and more quickly get past trouble areas. Note that every time you close the system menu, the game displays “Saving...” but it is only saving the settings you’d made in the menu. The game doesn’t actually record a save state unless you explicitly hit that “Save” option.
To load a save state later, just choose the game off the main menu, enter the game, and then at any time while the game is running (even if you’re on the title screen or something), open the system menu and select “Load.”
Games that support passwords continue to allow you to utilize passwords. You use them exactly as you would in the NES versions of the games.