Mega Man Zero Collection
MMZC Review Three Parter Part 3
Third, the soundtrack is nostalgic and integrating. True, the previous series had stellar tracks (Bubble Crab theme and Flame Stage theme come readily to mind), Megaman Zero has tracks that fit the mood: solemn tracks for serious missions (Power Plant level, MMZ2); upbeat music for exciting missions (Area Zero level, MMZ4; Shuttle Factory level, MMZ2); mournful music for depressing moments (Ragnarak, MMZ4; Elpizo pre-battle, fight, and aftermath, MMZ2, X theme, MMZ1-3); and epic music for world-changing moments (final boss fights, ZC). The synergy between the moment of impact and the sound effects are perfect and realistic. Even though the tracks are not as memorable as Halo's or Mass Effect's, the game music stays in the back of your mind, creating links to crucial moments of the game. A great accomplishment for a Megaman game in and of itself.
Fourth, the graphics are fluid and colorful. True, they are GBA style and have some pixels standing out, but the bosses boast intense detail for the most part and fill most of the screen without slowdown time. Zero's actions perfectly match your input and translates fluidly onscreen. The backgrounds get more detailed and more interesting with each new game. Cracks in the first game, architecture and shade in the second, constant change in color in the third, and finally constant background movement in the fourth. Even if you prefer the older Megaman games, a fan will love the SNES emulating graphics and feel right at home.
Fifth and finally, the story is well constructed, has characters that realistically change, and has no glaring inconsistencies within themselves or in connection to the Megaman X series. The story, bluntly put, is extremely dark, with death, prejudice, revenge, god-complexes, racism, fascism, and economic crises featuring prominently and consistently to the series. The dialogue is smart and concise with little to no translation errors (unlike SOME games I know, like Megaman X5 and 6!). The villains, while insane and blood crazed for the most part, are interesting. Take Harpuia for example: as one of the Four Guardians, he has devoted himself to X blindly. By the events of the second game, he comes to realize that there is a time and place for mercy and for destruction, respecting Zero enough to let him take on Elpizo. By the third game, Harpuia, while proud, is willing to die, even to aid Zero in order to save not just humanity but his erstwhile enemies the Resistance. Zero finds a new and better love interest in Dr. Ciel, a young prodigy of a scientist who views the world more optimistically than Zero, but later gains some of the courage and dogged stubbornness of Zero, while softening the war-hardened machine in the process. By the way, she's HUMAN, so if you are the kind of gamer who likes games where race issues are set aside in favor of love and respect, these are the games for you (even if professionalism is the main dividing wall between the two lovers). Also there is no absolutely terrible "I hid myself in order to repair myself" garbage of a plot device in this series (I salute you, great Clement, for pointing this out.). Also, when a character dies, THEY. STAY. DEAD. End of story (the sole exceptions being the reploids remade by Dr. Weil). In a series where resurrection and reincarnation are a usual gameplay and plot device, this is unnerving and refreshing. This means that the final boss is always something different. The emotions run high in this game, and even when the characters are dumb, you care about their fate and hope at least that they will become better people as a result of what they experience. The height of the game's emotion occurs at the end of the game, which I will not spoil for those who do not know (and if you do not know, DO NOT LOOK IT UP! I cannot stress this enough: it has to be experienced to understand), but well simply say that it was one of the most moving moments I ever experienced from a video game. I shed a tear, which I have only done TWICE before while playing. Enough said.
The cons to this series? The difficulty can be a problem, but is easy to remedy thanks to Cyber Elves, Sub Tanks, and experience. The Cyber Elves lack true originally over the course of the games and are a PAIN to level up with Energy Crystals. While I love the level up weapon system, it can take over an hour of grinding in order to max all your weapons, slowing the pace of the games. The mini games, while a pleasant diversion and test of skill, are pointless and boring over time. Hard difficulty slows your attack patterns, limits charge attacks to either the stupid Shield (which I will mention in a moment) and the short ranged Zero Knuckle. The Shield doesn't block much, it slows down your movement (you cannot even DASH while the shield is activated), and the attack is easy to dodge and weak. The combat doesn't evolve much over the course of the games either, despite how superior it is to that of the other games in the franchise. As if this wasn't enough, the games are short once you master them, taking anywhere between 1-2 hours minimum with no real incentive to play again except to do so on a harder or cheaper degree.
Despite the cons, I love these games: they boast high quality time, an interesting story line, a respectable difficulty, a flexible combat system, an amazing main protagonist, and four games for the price of one. And people STILL blow this game off! The ZC is not perfect, but it does it's job much better than the other Megaman games, and it was made before the whole MEGAMAN LEGENDS 3 CONTROVERSY. If you do not like this game, I can respect that. If you hate it, I can take it with tact. But, in my humble opinion, if you love action games, if you love good combat systems on handhelds, if you value quality time, and if you are a megaman fan or hardcore gamer, THIS is the game for you. DS games are going to vanish next year as a result of the 3DS' popularity. Buy it now before it is too late. Capcom, as a final act of respect to its fan base, worked hard to create a collection of awesome games that some might have missed 5 years before this collection's release: DO NOT LET THEIR WORK BE IN VAIN.
MMZC Review Three Parter Part 2
Secondly, the gameplay is more fluid and flexible than in other Megaman games. In the Classic Megaman through X series, the controls felt unnatural due to the fact that movement and combat was stiff: you jumped, then stopped and shot. Dash, slide...every form of motion is halted by firing your weapon, even for the X series version of Zero, and he had a SWORD. In the Zero series, movement and combat are COMBINED. You can dash and slash, jump up walls and shoot, fall and toss with ease. The wall jump/slide is crucial in navigation and battle, making the player believe that nothing, I repeat, NOTHING can slow this reploid (or old series robot for those who are REALLY into Megaman lore) from reaching his objective. In fact, Zero has the widest range of combat style of any Megaman character prior Megaman ZX: he can use his Z-Saber, the trusty Z-Buster (Buster Shot), the spear-like Triple Rod, the grappling Chain Rod, the tonfa acting Recoil Rod, a Shield BOOMERANG (despite the fact that it SUCKS) and hand to hand combat with the Zero Knuckle. Between the close range, middle range, and long range combat, the variety allows more room for gamers to choose from and create their own unique styles of fighting.
As for the difficulty, that mostly depends--in my opinion-- on your memorization, eye to hand coordination, and skill. Yes, there are more death traps; yes, the enemies layer on top of each other and block your path at cheap locations. But here's the twist: part of the reason the game is so difficult is because the game respects your intelligence and requires study, determination and observation. If you watch the enemies enough, you will notice when THEY pause, and how they are susceptible to certain angles and ranges of attacks and how THEY block each others movement. Given how adaptable Zero is, all that is needed is timing and memorization. The levels are ten minutes tops if you know what you are up against: plus you have room to maneuver. In Classic Megaman and Megaman X, the levels restrict movement, have deathtraps in UNREALISTIC LOCATIONS (granted, they are videogames but STILL!) and require cheap armor upgrades or weapons to get through. Yeah, one or two ways through a level, whereas Megaman Zero games allow multiple methods. The bosses are smarter: yes, they can be easier because they are not cheap, but they mostly KEEP MOVING! They dodge instinctively, they block, they force you to jump only to strike at you...in other words, the bosses fight like real life (no pun intended) creatures that want to live and want you DEAD. Also, if you are STILL complaining about the difficulty, the ZC has FOUR methods to make the game more user friendly: first, Cyber Elves. Yes, the one thing EVERYONE ELSE seems to lukewarmly reject. True, they damage your score. Sure, they require time and effort to raise in order to utilize (like anything worth having and doing in real life). However, this is NOT an excuse for not using them! They drastically increase your life bar. They slow down your wall slide. They make your movement faster. Health items appear more frequently. They attack or hinder enemies or OBLITERATE every enemy in the ENTIRE level. They can destroy the instant kill quality of spikes and lava. If that wasn't enough, they can CUT A BOSS' HEALTH IN HALF!!! If you complain about difficulty and you DON'T use these, you are either suffering from pride, some problem with your gameplay style, or BOTH. Second, the weather system in Megaman Zero 4 allows you to change the weather in a level to remove certain death traps and hazards or keep them. Use it. Third, suits and armor pieces can be found or made to enhance Zero, along with sub tanks for HP (by the way, sub tanks in the Zero franchise only use up how much HP you NEED from their reserves without emptying). Finally, the ZC allows you to play a Easy Scenario through all the games in order with EVERY SINGLE UPGRADE AND SUB TANK!!! These methods do not even take in account the E-card options for Megaman Zero 3 and the EX-Skills. EX-Skills are copied boss attacks that require an S or A rank in order to get them, plus the boss is harder with such a rank, meaning that the rank system HAS A POINT THIS TIME AROUND. In conclusion, DS controls and GBA controls are easier to touch and click than NES, SNES, or even PS controls. For goodness sakes, use your mind and hands in unison!
MMZC Review Three Parter: A gamer's eulogy
*Warning: this game is for gamers who prefer skill and difficulty over accessibility. If you are not one of these gamers, tread lightly. You have been forewarned. Also, this review is for gamers who honestly want to know how good this game collection is. If you do not want detail, turn away. Otherwise, enjoy!*
With the DS and 3DS on the rise, GBA games have taken a back seat and are about to be forgotten. Some games were either so terrible (Megaman Battle Chip Challenge) or so outdated (the 3rd generation Pokemon games, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald) that gamers were glad to be rid of them and never gave a second glance backwards. Some games, however, were discarded purely due to difficulty: the Megaman Zero games are four such games. However, I see sooo many reviews praising Megaman 9 and 10, Demon Souls, and Diablo III for those very same reasons: why is it that the Megaman Zero Collection (ZC for short throughout the rest of the review) gets the shaft? To me, an amateur yet devoted gamer, the ZC is a most have, and proof that there is soul in a otherwise repetitive and tired out franchise.
The first thing that gamers should note is that Zero takes the spotlight. That's right. Not some blue bomber that cannot fight man to man (or in this case, robot to robot) without support: Zero. Interestingly enough, Zero was originally Keiji Inafune's (the creator of the Megaman franchise) idea for the main character for the Megaman X series, but was deterred into the deuteragonist for the sake of keeping the series familiar to fans. Yet Zero has the most backstory and mystery in Megaman X: he was made by Dr. Wily to destroy X. He instead befriends X. He inadvertently causes the Maverick Wars and made Sigma go insane due to the virus inside Zero. He had a love interest. The gameplay was substantially different X4 and onwards for Zero. See where I am going with this? Zero as a character is more interesting and complex than X and Megaman ever were, and now players have a chance to analyze him as an individual without the larger cast from Megaman X. Zero changes, going from dutiful warrior to lone avenger, then to arbiter of justice (despite his personal belief) and then to selfless hero. What did Megaman do? Fight and let Wily escape. TEN TIMES AT LEAST. As for X? Beat Sigma (with Zero's help AND scientists to back him up), created Neo Arcadia, the ANTAGONISTS of most of the Zero series, goes pacifist on his best friend, allows evil to endure, and then goes to sleep for Zero TO TAKE CARE OF. THANKS A LOT X: YOU HAVE JUST BECOME A CERTIFIED TASKMASTER.
Punishing but Elegant, Old but New.
This Collection is a must buy for hardcore gamers and Megaman fans. The combat is fluid and flexible. The levels require skill and memorization to get through without requiring cheap upgrades (I am looking at YOU, Megaman X6). The story is dark and complex, with fascism, racism, prejudice, economic crises, god-complexes, and death throughout, all the while being consistent with the rest of the series (unlike *cough* Megaman X6 *cough* and *cough* Megaman ZX Advent *cough*). The music fits the mood perfectly. The difficulty is very adjustable compared to other Megaman games. You get four GBA masterpieces for the price of one. Buy before it is too late.
Zero is back!!
I played the Megaman Zero series on the GBA, and I loved them all! When I got my DSi, and got enough money later to purchase it, I felt really nostalgic playing this. Since the ds, is a little bigger than the GBA ("DUH!" I know I know....) it felt a little awkward trying to do all these reflex moves I mastered so well. Decent price for 4 great games!
Awesome time killer.
Basically it puts a ton of hard to find gba games into one game for a more current system. Its nice that it now has an easy mode for each game, as it took me about 3 years to beat the first one. The best way to go about this game in the normal mode is to memorize the bosses's attack patterns and weaknesses, and most of the weapons besides the z saber are not really useful, so just stick to the sword. Try to only use the cyber elves when necessary as you can only use them once. In the new easy mode it realy doesn't matter as much, until the end bosses in each game since you start out with all the health tanks and elves.
Perfect for any megaman fan!!!!!
This is a perfect game for any megaman fan. and if they are new to the megaman universe
a collection of 4 hard to find GBA games
These games are vary hard to find thay are good although i wish there whould be a zero 5 but anyway first gameplay it is great capcom took the classic megaman x gameplay and made it better the new gameplay tweaks are fantastic next graphics thay are good i have seen then them done over and over in online flash game which makes it less appealing to me but thats just my look on the on the graphics next sound is great capcom did a amazing job on the sound next lasting appeal with 4 games that are hard just like the old games oldschool megaman fans that played megaman x back in the day and did not get to try theses classics will need this collection and theses games have a sequel called the megaman zx game which are all so on ds so you have all the games that have the zero as the hero so you need the collection
The thing about the Zero Collection is that when you play on easy scenario, it is to short and easy. But when you play normal style, it is too long and hard. The lack of somewhere in between discourages me from playing. I would keep the game, but there is not enough replay value. I don't see why I would play it again. I finished Zero 1 in a week, and, since I have time to return it, sorry folks, but I will.
zero sure is a hero to me.
I sure did love the mega man zero games on the gameboy advance but there would be no reasone for me to play through them again especially because it was soul crushingly hard and i would probabaly snap my DSI in half,luckely there is a new easy mode you can call me a wimp but it makes the game that much enjoyable and without all the stress that made me break me gameboy (literally) this is a very fun game from the rich graphics to the epic story mega man zero collection is a game that no mega man fan should miss even if you played the originals