Everyone loves an established video game franchise. After all, some of gaming’s best loved characters have been going on adventure after adventure for years, prompting players to line up to reserve the next installment of Super Mario, Link, Samus Aran, or Sonic the Hedgehog. Over the years, however, some games just haven’t struck gold; they’ve been overshadowed by more popular fare that shares the store shelf or are even passed over due to something as petty as unimpressive box art or an unusual premise. They deserve to be remembered and revived, but instead they are The Forgotten.
Mega Man Mania (a.k.a. Mega Man Anniversary Collection)
Developed by Capcom
Today's installment of The Forgotten is a little unusual in that this game was never actually released. When Capcom announced the impending release of Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2, the company also announced a Game Boy Advance companion title that included the five original Game Boy adventures of the blue bomber. Each game in the compilation was to be colorized and given snappy borders, save game abilities, plus some manner of artwork and bonus materials were to be included. While some of the games in the set were particularly rough around the edges in their original incarnations (1989's Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge in particular) by the time the series reached the fifth installment the Mega Man engine was firing on all cylinders with new levels and new Robot Masters that did not simply rehash original Nintendo Entertainment System designs.
Unfortunately, the compilation has fallen off the face of the planet amid rumors that the developers cannot find the original Game Boy source code and are/were rewriting portions of the original games from scratch. Some people may even remember the first screenshots released by Capcom in 2004 that showed an early version of the game running a Game Boy Advance emulator for Microsoft Windows. Box art and advertisements for the game even appeared in stores for a brief period before the abrupt cancellation. It's especially sad to see this set fall away, as Mega Man III through V were especially fun for the original Game Boy and considering how Capcom has set the classic Mega Man character aside in favor of Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Zero, any revival of our hero is always welcome. Capcom's own website no longer lists the title as being in development, but online stores such as Amazon continue to list it in the catalog as "coming soon". We can only hope that someday Mega Man will return and bring his Game Boy adventures with him. In the meantime, go track down a Game Boy Advance SP and the original Mega Man titles for Game Boy. Fans of the NES Mega Man games won't regret it.