Art Book Review: MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works


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Mega Man Official Complete Works | Cover Mega Man Official Complete Works | Back cover

I have loved lots of video games in my thirty-something years, but few as much and as passionately as the Blue Bomber—Mega Man himself! First introduced to him on the NES, I initially found the games too hard to beat. Not that this stopped me from playing them, mind you; to the contrary, I kept trying and trying until I gradually got better and better. Nowadays, I can proudly call myself a Mega Man pro. I have played all the main games in the series multiple times and have even enjoyed many of the offshoot titles. Thus, it was with great pleasure that I got my grubby mitts on MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works. Not only that, I got the exclusive hardcover edition from the San Diego Comic Con, thanks to a very close friend who picked it up for me.

First, I have to take a moment to express how beautiful and faithful a book it is. The outer dust jacket is a glossy, metallic blue, and the inner pages are all crisp, heavy paper stock. Pages turn with relative ease and don’t stick together. Furthermore, the book is full of tons of written excerpts that illuminate the game-making process, as well as the developers’ personal insights. The book is so faithful to the original source material, they even tried to use the same colors from the game box for images when they reproduce them in the book. They even retained the original punctuation errors in the transcripts. Beyond that, it represents both the Mega Man and Mega Man X series very faithfully and gives equal representation to both. Quite simply, MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works is a treasure trove of Mega Man nostalgia.

But enough gushing—how about some pictures? I will start with images from the original Mega Man series, which showed up on multiple consoles, from the NES to the PlayStation to the Game Boy. Take a gander at some of the beautiful retro goodness:

I can’t express how much those first Mega Man games shaped me as a gamer. They taught me to always be charging up a shot to fire, how to properly time jumps and how to rapid-fire by clicking the attack button like crazy, amongst other things. I am still inspired by the simplistic yet beautiful and evocative boss designs. But, as much as I love the original series, I am also partial to the darker, futuristic Mega Man X series:

The X series had its ups and downs, plot-wise, but gameplay-wise, they were all pretty fun. Zero did steal the show, but that only made the series more original and less derivative. I also really liked the use of animals for Mavericks instead of the standard humanoid Robot Masters. Besides these two main series, there were a lot of offshoot games that cropped up over the years. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Now, I enjoy nostalgia as much as the next person, but you probably want to see some more juicy stuff, right? If that is the case, take a gander at the following section:

Besides having some really nifty secret info, the sketchbook also provided cool insight into the design process for the bosses and other characters, as well as lots of behind-the-scenes tidbits. For anyone who thinks Mega Man is a simple or cheap-to-produce game, this section will put them to shame. The Mega Man series is pure heart, and the next section shows just how innovative and varied it can get:

In closing, I just want to reiterate how much I love this art book. At over 400 pages, MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works is a font of beauty, wisdom and nostalgia. It shows how far the Blue Bomber has come in 25 years, as well as showing where he can still grow. Quite simply, it is a must-have for any true Mega Man fan, and I still think it’s a bargain at $100 (USD) at the Udon store (http://www NULL.udonstore NULL.com/MM25-Mega-Man-Official-Complete-Works-HC-p/mm25-official-complete-works NULL.htm). However, if that’s too steep, you can find a softcover version on Amazon.com (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/1926778863/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1926778863&linkCode=as2&tag=opr-20), Amazon.ca (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/gp/product/1926778863/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=15121&creative=390961&creativeASIN=1926778863&linkCode=as2&tag=opr04-20), and Amazon.co.uk (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.co NULL.uk/gp/product/1926778863/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1926778863&linkCode=as2&tag=oprainfall-21) for significantly less. I truly hope Capcom doesn’t forget how valuable a commodity Mega Man truly is in the years to come.

Regardless, before I let you go, I just want to share some particularly cool pictures with you, including my favorite of the whole review:

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Review copy supplied by author.


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About Josh Speer

Josh Speer is addicted to two things in equal measure : Books and Videogames. He has a degree from the University of Washington in English with an emphasis on writing. He joined Operation Rainfall this year while following it on Facebook. His two giant life goals are to write his own series of fantasy / science fiction novels and to get into the creative side of the video game industry. He is beyond pleased to now have his proverbial foot in the door thanks to the opportunity provided by Oprainfall!