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Mega Man Zero Collection Review

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Mega Man Zero Collection

Mega Man Zero Collection

Image © Capcom
The Mega Man Zero titles for the Game Boy Advance kept 2D platforming alive in the early aughts. Mega Man Zero Collection for the Nintendo DS corrals all four games into one attractively-priced package, and includes bonus content.

While Mega Man Zero and its sequels creak a little in the joints, the gameplay is still solid, the graphics are still bright, and the challenge is still teeth-gnashingly difficult. Though the collection is great, there's a lingering sense that it could have shone if Capcom had given it one more quick rub-down.

Developer: IntiCreates
Publisher: Capcom
ESRB Rating: E
Genre: Platforming

The Basics

Mega Man Zero Collection contains Mega Man Zero one through four. The games link up to tell a story that's compelling for long time fans of the Mega Man series: Zero, the reploid hero from the Mega Man X games awakens from a long hibernation to discover that his old friend and partner, Mega Man X, lords over his own city and relentlessly persecutes and destroys innocent members of the reploid race in order to protect humanity. Zero teams up with a female scientist named Ciel, who leads a Resistance against X's tyranny. It's a long journey, and each game narrates a new chapter in the struggle until it all concludes at the climax of the fourth game.

Mega Man Zero Collection features a new Easy Mode that will help out struggling players. You can also play each of the games at their original difficulty, and rack up bonus content like art galleries and mini games.

Pros

Four Great Games For a Low Price - The Mega Man Zero titles can be difficult to track down. Mega Man Zero Collection puts them all in one spot. No more accidentally kicking cartridges under the couch, as I tend to do. The collection costs $29.99 USD, and many retailers are offering a discount. You can't go wrong.

Restored E-Reader Content - Nintendo's E-Reader accessory for the Game Boy Advance read bonus content for various games off cards purchased at stores. The E-Reader did well in Japan, but it didn't enthrall the world beyond. When certain Game Boy Advance games were localized for English audiences, including Mega Man Zero 3, E-Reader content was removed. Mega Man Zero Collection restores the lost E-Reader content as a bonus feature. The content doesn't alter gameplay, but you can fill your home base with cats, which is good enough.

There Is an Easy Mode - The game's Easy Mode declaws the series' famed difficulty by giving players maximum power-ups and unlimited lives. It's a good way to blaze through the games if you just want to see what they're all about, but you'll have to tackle the original difficulty setting if you want to get all your bonus content.

Lots of 2D Goodness - The Mega Man Zero games are tough, but if you like games that remind you of the unforgiving days of the NES, they'll scratch your itch. And then some.

Cons

The Localization Should Have Been Retooled: The first Mega Man Zero game in particular has a pretty shoddy translation. The other titles aren't nearly as bad, but they could have used a quick once-over for typos and awkward wording. It seems like a minor complaint, but that little bit of attention would have gone a long way to giving the Mega Man Zero Collection a polished shine.

The Screen Resolution Could Have Been Extended: The Game Boy Advance's screen resolution is quite a bit smaller than the Nintendo DS's. Mega Man Zero Collection preserves the original games' resolution and blacks out the unused screen space. It would have been nice to see a little further ahead on the playing field.

Conclusion

If you're looking for laid-back gaming experience, you won't find it in Mega Man Zero Collection. In fact, you should run away in the opposite direction. But if you feel like games have been coddling you lately and you need to spend some time with a friend who'll whip you in shape, Zero will be happy to accommodate you. Four times over.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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