courtesy capcom Mega Man — the robotic Smurf packin’ an arm cannon — is back with a retro bang and not since Superman has a character looked so good in blue tights. The Anniversary Collection has finally crept its way onto Xbox. So, kiss your social calendar goodbye, the platformer is packed with ten game titles spanning a decade from 1987 on. Those not familiar with the Blue Bomber will have an easy time grabbing the premise: stop the evil Dr. Wily and his minions. Sounds doable, right? Along the way you’ll need to take down thematic bosses, defeat them and absorb their power. Newly acquired weapons have various effectiveness on foes — think of it like a complex rock-paper-scissors match. Visually, don’t expect any 3D-polygonal jazz here: for only $20 gamers can enjoy a Mega Man Marathon that even purists will agree holds true to the original versions. While fighting your way through the mechanical environments, controller throwers beware; the frustration factor is present at all times. Jumps need perfect execution and starting points are never where you expired. Former Mega Masters, don’t expect a free ride on all titles; although play control stays similar throughout, each game has its own learning curve and pitfalls. This futuristic superhero flies solo (maybe it’s the tights?) meaning games are predominately one player only and feature no versus mode or Xbox live support. On the upside, longevity is ensured as players blast through levels to unlock a plethora of features: music, cartoons, interviews, and more. Almost everything is here… except wardrobe upgrades, such as a red cape and an ‘S’ for the chest.
Best feature: Discovering an enemy’s attack pattern and exploiting their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Worst feature: Frustrations cause expensive controller repair bills. Weirdest feature: Mega’s sexual innuendos for names of bosses: Wood Man, Snake Man and of course, Hard Man.