Retro Review: Megaman Zero Collection (DS)

Mega Man Zero 4:

Okay, we’re almost done. This game starts with Zero and the resistance helping runaway humans to escape Dr. Weil and Neo Arcadia and settle at point Zero, where nature is starting to regrow. From there, there is some continuation of the previous games’ plot, but it comes across as Zero good, and Dr. Weil is bad, with minimal character development, or political intrigue.

Some things to note is that the Shield boomerang is gone, and the third usable weapon is the new Zero knuckle. The Zero knuckle is very short ranged, but can take the weapon of any common enemy it destroys for Zero to use. Most of these weapons aren’t that useful, so this new trick is only enemy specific, such as those with shields.

On a related note, there are row metal bars that Zero can grab onto, so that he can navigate the new level layouts. Some of these bars move by themselves, and are so small, you might not realize you can do this. I found that some of the ways these bars are used don’t improve the level design, and can be frustrating to work with, particularly late in the game.

I also found when you have the stage select screen for the first time, it is unusually hard to find an easy stage to play through at the beginning  of the game. This makes this one of the harder of the four games to play through, and I was playing on Normal difficulty (The game features Easy and Hard modes as well).

A tough boss fight in Mega Man Zero 4

There are some perks in relation to the previous games, though. By changing the weather before starting a mission, you can make the stage easier, or harder. If you choose the harder option, you will gain the boss’s EX: Skill upon completing the stage. The game’s only cyber-elf is upgrade-able to have the features of previous Cyber-elves, and is never lost when used. The level you set the cyber-elf to determines if you get a grade penalty. If it is at or below the maximum grade, there is no penalty, while if it exceeds the max level, there is.

The last thing to note is the part recipe system. All common enemies can drop the parts they are made from. You can combine these parts to make new head, body, and foot chips, similar to the last game’s chips. Recipes can be found by talking to some NPC’s. However, some chips are made from some part combinations that require you to guess correctly, with few hints scattered throughout the game. If you guess wrong, then you lose all the combined parts, and get a junk part instead. This is a tad awkward, and I only got two chips in my recent play through.

When all is said and done, you do get some closure to the series for completing this game even if the ending is Spoiler a tad sad…

The score for Mega Man Zero 4 is:

7.9/10 Almost Great

This game gets the same score as the first game, but for different reasons. Zero 4 is harder, and harder to start, and both are time-consuming when upgrading cyber-elves. The first game showed they were just getting their feet wet with the series, but the fourth shows that they forgot some of what they learned along the way.

Of note, here are some of the features exclusive to the collection:

  • An easy mode with all the cyber-elves for each game, played consecutively. (though you have to earn the EX: skills still.)
  • An art gallery.
  • And some features formerly available to Zero 3 from connecting to Battle Network 4

Now let’s go over some play recommendations:

  • Play each game in order, with or without easy mode.
  • Don’t worry too much about the grading systems the first time around.
  • Use the health upgrading cyber-elves to make the game easier.
  • Find as many collectibles as you can per game.
  • Play hard mode after the first play through for an extra challenge, if you like.
  • There are several unlockable mini games in 3 and 4. Many require some tough challenges, such as S-ranking the entire game. This is very tough, so most players should bother doing so…

The final verdict for this collection is:

8.125/10 A great collection of classic platformers

This is an average score for the entire collection, so some players may get more or less out of this collection of games.

So that was what I thought of this classic collection. Have you played these games? Which is your favorite, and why? Was there something I missed, and should mention? Let me know all this in the comments below!

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