This will be the third time we discuss this Mega Man soundtrack collection. There must be something wrong with me, because I already own pretty much all the music available in this collection. And by "own," I mean physically own. I went onto eBay, e-Capcom, and wherever else I needed to go in order to obtain a complete CD set. But as a collector, I also can't pass up such a treasure, which is looking to be a step up from the merchandise already available.
The appropriately (and adorably) named Rockcan, as you may already be aware, is a compilation of the soundtracks from all 10 numbered Classic Mega Man games. In the weeks since its announcement, details have trickled down, shedding light on previously unknown content and allaying certain fears. Chief among my concerns was the fact that the officially released albums for Mega Man 1-8 had problems ranging from background static, stray sound effects, and other distracting hiccups due to poor recording techniques. After listening to the track samples on the product page linked above, I'm happy to report that the audio has been completely re-recorded and is completely free of those errors.
Each of the 10 discs contains a single game's soundtrack, and the discs for 1-6 also contain the arranged music from the Complete Works PlayStation ports. That's not all! An unused track from Mega Man 7 will be included, as will three exclusive tracks off the Sega Saturn version of Mega Man 8. Beyond that, two special promotional albums, produced by former Capcom in-house band Alph Lyla and released alongside Rockman 5 and 6, are being tossed in for good measure. Add to that the finalized can and CD label designs plus a booklet that will likely contain some art goodies, and the Rockcan doesn't sound too bad, does it?
There are, of course, some drawbacks keeping this from being the perfect Mega Man soundtrack collection. If you take a look at the full track list, you'll notice that the arranged versions of the Mega Man 1-3 OSTs are incomplete. This is not the fault of Capcom. For some reason, only Mega Man 4-6 received complete re-arrangements for the Complete Works versions. Mega Man 1-3 instead pulled music from the arcade titles Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. So in a way, it's like you are getting a partial soundtrack from two more games, which I can't see as a bad thing at all.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of other Mega Man games that I would have liked to see represented. The Game Boy series features a lot of fun, original music, yet it has never had a proper soundtrack release. Same with Mega Man & Bass, which is actually part of the main series canon and shouldn't have been disregarded. Hell, even the Sega Genesis-exclusive Mega Man: The Wily Wars could use some love. Quite the shame, though I'm certain Capcom had to draw the line somewhere.
Do I think the Rockcan is worth it? All in all, yeah, it is. But that's me. It'll be available on September 19 on e-Capcom for ¥14700 (about $185), but you can't order from the store without going through third-party channels like CDJapan, where the pre-order price stands at $221.69. I might be able to swallow that number, but I doubt many others are.
I would like to point out that roughly $185 is not unreasonable when it concerns Japanese CDs. Here in the US, people start blow a fuse if they have to pay more than $15. However, you are lucky to find a Japanese CD for the equivalent of $30. All Japanese media is expensive compared to American media. While we are complaining about $60 game prices, the Japanese are paying $20 to $30 more for the same software. Taking all that into consideration, $18.50 per CD in a 10 CD collection is quite the bargain... for the Japanese.
Sure, you could point at the Street Fighter anniversary collection and remark about how much you're getting for $150. But remember, that's the localized price. If the Japanese are receiving the same set, I shudder to think how much they'll wind up paying. As for the Rockcan, it's all up to you if you are willing to plunk down the green.
For me, sadly, there are no other options.
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11:30 AM on 02.24.2015