Mega Man 8 Review (PS1/Xbox One)

The Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 came out just recently and thanks to it I’ve finally been able to play Mega Man 8. Since I’ve played all the other 9 instalments of the main series, you can see why missing out on this one has been a bit of a bummer for me. I’ve done a Top-10 of my favourite Mega Man games before but I think I’ll be ranking the main series games in the near future as well.

So here goes…

Gameplay: 4½/5 – The gameplay feels incredibly solid with the variety of different features and special abilities to unlock. The auto-shoot upgrade was about the only bad thing in the game and even that’s a minor complaint from my part.  And the shoot-em-up sections are just priceless, especially since you get all the recognisable Mega Man characters to help you. Also, I love that the levels weren’t entirely linear either.

Really, the gameplay is near flawless. Only the board-sections feel a bit annoying but they’re not too bad once you memorize the track.

Graphics: 5/5 – The game is just gorgeous. The sprite-art is fantastic, smooth and detailed. I especially love the detail on the Robot Masters, but the stages are also varied and interesting.

Animation: 5/5 – Same goes for the animation. The FMV cutscenes have a very standard 90s anime aesthetic to them but even the in-game animation is just incredibly detailed. I especially love the detail on Aqua Man and a lot of the larger enemies are pretty excellent looking as well.

Music: 4/5 – The music is definitely a bit weird – it’s very laid back and late-90s. That said, every single stage theme fits their respective area just perfectly. I’m usually not the biggest fan of ambient soundtracks, but I honestly felt the sound fit the game perfectly. I especially love the Intro Stage, Stage Select, Sword Man, Aqua Man, Astro Man and Frost Man themes. I even quite like the first fortress stage theme (even if the stage itself is quite frustrating) and the Tengu Man theme from this version (as a side-note: I prefer the Saturn version theme). However, the more laid-back music also makes it so that this isn’t exactly the “catchiest” Mega Man soundtrack either which is a shame since the production quality is so high. But the soundtrack is far from bad (I would pick this over Mega Man 10 easily).

Sound: 5/5 – “You must stop Doctor Waiwee!” – Alright, everyone knows about the awkward as hell voice-acting in the game’s cutscenes but honestly, just as with most Capcom games of this era, I just find the voice-acting to be hilarious. Plus, I love the voice-clips of the Robot Masters and especially Mega Man himself. They all manage to give the game a bubbly, enjoyable anime feeling and I just can’t get enough of it. Especially Aqua Man’s super flamboyant delivery is just amazing to listen to. The only character whose voice is maybe a little too much (even for me) is Grenade Man, but honestly, even that performance makes me giggle like an idiot.

Replay value: 3½/5 – I love the general vibe of the game and the first set of levels are surprisingly easy when you get down to it. However, the difficulty does spike at awkward moments and there are definitely times I miss having the Rush Coil for instance. These small imperfections maybe eat away at the game’s enjoyability a little bit but honestly, the game is just supremely fun.

Difficulty: Mostly easy – I know I have more than two decades of Mega Man experience to my name – but even I was a little shocked at how easy the game is. The difficulty really didn’t start to spike up for me until it was time to face the second set of bosses. The fortress levels is really where most of the challenge lies (especially the first level and the final Wily fights).

Score: 90% – I have to say, Mega Man 8 might be just about the most overlooked of the classic Mega Man games. It has beautiful art, solid design, excellent gameplay and feels really like one of the most complete Mega Man experiences I’ve ever had. The gameplay variety keeps the game from becoming dull and I even feel a little sad about how many of this game’s features were dumped when they made Mega Man 9 and 10. Most of all, I think this would be a good entry point for those unfamiliar with Mega Man.

This is all around a top-notch instalment.