MegaMan Zero Collection is By Far My Favorite Collection

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MegaMan Zero Collection is By Far My Favorite Collection

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The games in the Zero collection follow the character Zero and take place after the X series of games.  The Zero games are known for being the hardest in the franchise and even feel unfair at some points. The Zero series is also one of those games that I’ve had for years and I’m very fond of; so fond that I consider these games my favorite MegaMan games of all time. So get ready for a little fanboying like in my Starforce 2 review.

As stated before, Zero takes place after the MegaMan X series; a long time after X. A couple hundred years to be exact. X has mysteriously turned against the humans and Zero has been missing. A group of reploids soon find him in what looks like an abandoned lab and wake him so that he can fight X’s forces and protect the humans.  There is so much more to the story of this series, but it’s so interesting that I recommend playing it or watch playthroughs to experience it.

The first “boss” of MegaMan Zero 1

The first game is pretty fun yet very difficult. The levels have a lot of enemies scattered throughout with very limited health restoratives and almost non-existent 1-ups. Zero controls great and the weapons are fun to use. There are some elemental chips that Zero can equip but they only work on a handful of enemies and a boss or two so they feel useless. The music is pretty meh, which is sad since the MegaMan series is known for having good music. The sprite work is okay. Some of them are really good while others kind of stink. The good ones are fairly detailed while the bad ones look like crummy sketches. The animations are smooth and are really nice to look like. What’s nice is that each enemy has a unique death animation for being slashed by Zero’s saber. There are also these things called elves which are used to heal, save from death pits, etc. The only issue is that elves aren’t easy to find and aren’t worth it. The first Zero game is probably the 2nd strongest story wise and maybe the 3rd combat wise. There is also a ranking system based on how well you did in missions and it carries over all the missions. So if you have an F rank after the first level, you’re gonna struggle getting to an A and might not get to one at all. If I were to rate this out of 10, I would give it a 7 or an 8.

The first stage in MegaMan Zero 2 in which you play as an injured Zero.

Zero 2 is the weakest of the series. The animations are the sames, as are the sprites, so there’s nothing to add there. The issue lies in the levels, gameplay, and  plot. The levels are made harder by adding a ton more enemies which, if you read my MegaMan X Legacy Collection review, I hate it when developers do that. It’s isn’t creative and is not rewarding in anyway. There are enemies guarding death pits so it’s easy to get killed and a fair amount of levels are timed. Now, a few gameplay aspects are better such as abilities for the Z-saber that can be unlocked. The only issue is that half of the abilities stink and the others are cheesy and spammable. There is also this chain whip thing which takes the place of the Z-spear of the previous game. The chain whip is so annoying to use! Chances are, you will have a better chance of winning if you never use it. The plot comes straight out of left field and is confusing as all heck. The music is still meh. You also NEED to get higher ranks in order to beat certain levels now which just stinks since the rank system is kind of stupid to begin with. One thing done better is the subtank system. Subtanks no longer need the use of cyber elves, which is a major plus. There are some minor details that are improved upon but nothing too notable. I would rate this 6 or 6.5 out of 10. This is just the worst out of the 4 but its still fun and one of my favorites. 

The boss Omega fro Zero 3. Probably the best part of the game.

Zero 3 is better than 2 but still has some issues. One massive improvement is the use of cyber elves. You can use them infinitely as opposed to only being able to use them once. The difficulty is slightly easier but is the same as 2 for the most part. Most animations are the same, but some portraits look much better than previous games. The story is a lot more down to earth compared to the previous game but it’s still pretty out there. The music is better compared to the previous entries but is nothing compared to other MegaMan games. This game’s hard to talk about since it carries over a lot of stuff from previous games. If I were to rate it, I’d give it a solid 7: Much better than previous entries but far from great. 

The Zero Knuckle in action!

Last but surely not least is MegaMan Zero 4. This game is the best of the entire collection in my opinion. The animations and graphics are the same, so let’s get that out of the way. The improvements are in the story, gameplay, and music. The story is over the top but it’s a fun kind of over the top. It’s not as confusing as 2 and 3, but it’s also not as meh as most of 1. There are a ton of gameplay adjustments that this game added that I just love. One great adjustment is the new cyber elf system. Instead of having multiple or having to find multiple, you have only one cyber elf that you level up with energy crystals. You can equip her with abilities that will help you in missions and it’s actually pretty rewarding. Another great adjustment is combat. In all the previous games you had to level up weapons, but now all weapons already have their full capabilities. On top of that there is an ability added that is probably the most fun in the franchise, Zero Knuckle. Zero Knuckle allows you to take enemy weapons and even boss weapons and use them temporarily. It’s so much fun to use and you even need it so solve some in-stage puzzles. The music is also more memorable this time around and far more enjoyable than previous entries. The game also gives the player the ability to adjust difficulty as opposed to previous games. If I were to rate this game I would give it either an 8 or a 9. This game was so much more fun compared to the other games and I see myself coming back to this one the most. 

MegaMan Zero Collection isn’t filled with the best games of the franchise, but they sure are some of the hardest. For me though, these are my favorite games of the franchise and I just can’t help but love it for its faults. If I were to recommend this to anyone, I would give the collection as a whole a 7.5, but If I were to score it personally then I would rate it and 8.5. This is something that I recommend to any casual or hardcore MegaMan fan.