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Nayus Dante
907 posts

This ended up being a little longer than I expected. I suppose the short version of what I'm asking is "How long until it makes sense to release another collection?"

To date, there have been five series-specific compilation releases:

  • Mega Man Anniversary Collection
  • Mega Man X Collection
  • Mega Man Zero Collection
  • Rockman Dash 1 and 2 (Japan Only)
  • Rockman Collection (1-6 and X7) (Japan Only)

Many of the games have never been released in a compilation. Specifically, oddities like Rockman and Forte, The Wily Wars, Mega Man Soccer, and the entire EXE/SF series have yet to appear in a collected format.

Currently, Capcom has been steadily releasing the series on Virtual Console and PSN, with the Wii getting 1-5 NES and X SNES, and the PS3/PSP getting the Complete Works imports. These have been slow releases, with maybe one or two a year. None of the side-games have seen a digital release.

From a business standpoint, Capcom is making the right decision. In my opinion, Sega has devalued their product by repeatedly flooding the market with collections of the same games. Releasing one game at a time ensures sales for each title.

I'm worried that we may never see a truly comprehensive collection. My dream is to have every release collected in one package, including regional variants and enhanced ports, sorted by series entry. That would mean including Rockman, Mega Man, and Rockman Complete Works, as well as X3 SNES alongside X3 PSX. X3-6 PSX would include the English localized versions as well as the originals with the vocal OP/ED music intact. A single-layer BD-ROM disc would easily hold everything. The problem is that it's not commercially viable yet. I wish it were, because I'm not really satisfied with the accuracy of the Anniversary Collection ports. Instead, we're getting the individual digital releases.

There is still a long period ahead in which the slow trickle of digital releases can continue. There are even several new markets that they haven't touched yet, including Steam, Games for Windows Marketplace, the Mac App Store, Windows Phone 7/8, Android, Linux, OnLive, Xbox Live Arcade, and modern web browsers. It's entirely possible that you will buy Mega Man 2 on two or more additional platforms before another compilation is released.

Does anyone else see what I'm getting at? Those collections we got in the last console generation will likely be the only collections for yet some time. The property is valuable enough that it still makes sense to sell the games individually. Nintendo seems to know this as well. Square Enix is playing a similar game with their continuously enhanced re-releases.

What I'd like to know is when everyone thinks it would be appropriate to begin expecting a new compilation. The current digital re-release schedule should put TOS and X available on PSN and VC within 3 years, but I'd assume they would restart it on a new platform sometime before then. They're also experimenting with iOS "enhanced remakes," but if the recent attempt at X is any indication, it's a terrible idea. I think it's entirely possible that the next compilation is a decade away, but I'd love to be wrong.

Anyone else care to weigh in on this?

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Getting virtual releases is one thing, getting a solid collection in a single package is another.

One of the things that bug me the most about these downloadable releases is their glacial pace. There are months, sometimes close to one full year between the release of each game, and at the speed at which they're going, replacement consoles could be already available on the market, restarting the entire thing from scratch. There's no reason why the games shouldn't be released one month or two apart only. That way, you could get an entire series out within a year, yet the releases are spaced out enough to give people a chance to play each one then wait for the next sequel.

I'll agree with you that too many cheap releases aren't a good thing either. On how many platforms can one get Sonic 1, now? And among that, how many releases were actually butchered as they didn't give it the care it deserved? The GBA port comes to mind, as it was on a system definitely powerful enough to run it properly.

Series by series, my take:

  • Original: If they've got Mega Man 11 underway somehow, no. Otherwise, I'd still feel like saying "no" as the games have had a lot of exposure already. Give a chance for the other series to take the spotlight. What would be nice is a collection of the 5 GB titles, possibly with the two Xtreme games as bonuses... but most of you know my thoughts on that already.
  • X: Yes. X1 to X8, all together with Command Mission, would be nice to have and would show to those who haven't played it that X8 actually had a solid design that can be built upon. It'd also give new life to Command Mission, which had high production values and a nice design yet was overlooked by many people.
  • Zero: Covered. :) The Zero Collection included everything that had to be included, and then some.
  • ZX: No, not unless a third ZX title is announced to complete a trilogy.
  • Legends: I'd have said yes if Legends 3 was on the way to be released. Now, though...
  • Battle Network: It has potential. Put them on the 3DS, both with the original versions and ones improved to use the 3DS' capabilities, much like what happened with Battle Network 5. That would make them worth replaying, and I'd say they mostly aged well. Throw in the first Wonderswan game, Battle Chip Challenge, and the two cellphone versions for the sake of completeness.
  • Star Force: No. The games aren't old enough at this point.

What are the best collections that have already been released for the series? The Rockman Complete Works, and the Zero Collection. The only problem of the Complete Works, of course, is the fact that they all came on separate discs. Feature-wise, however, they had it all: original mode, enhanced version, remixed music, extra modes, artwork, sound tests... I value my copies of the discs.

Overall, I've got the same feeling as you: new comprehensive compilations are probably a decade away, possibly a bit less depending on how the hardware cycle runs. Does that bug me? Not really. I'd rather get new games than re-releases of re-releases.

The admin formerly known as Dr. Cossack.

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