Truly, who doesn't love Mega Man? The Mega Man brand name has produced some of the most exciting, excellently designed titles in the entirety of video game history, regardless of which series you consider. Everyone has some sort of special memory in their heart for Mega Man, and for those who consider him to be one of their most beloved video game franchises, buy this book immediately! It is, in its entirety, a real masterpiece of an art book.
First off, this book has about 300 pages, most of which have one big piece of fanart devoted to Mega Man. It's a very nice format that puts the focus purely on the art, with a small bit of text at the bottom with a little info on the artist. The variety of art styles here is amazing, and when you consider these 300 people were selected from over 2,500 submissions for the book, rest assured you are going to be treated to some incredible pieces of visual wonderment. You can expect to find some pieces you'll love more than others, but almost all bring something meaningful to the table in terms of artistic merit. I can't help but have a huge smile plastered over my face while going through this book. It's obvious each artist truly has a passion for the blue bomber, and it showed in their art. This is a book by fans for fans, and for that, it is one of the best art books I have ever seen. No joke. The printing done was fantastic too. The paper is high-quality and the colors are so vivid, it truly compliments and fulfills the original vision each artist had in mind when crafting their submissions. Bravo Udon!
There's also a fairly impressive variety of series that are represented in this book as well. A huge portion is devoted to the classic Mega Man series, obviously. There's also a fairly substantial amount of space devoted to the awesome Mega Man X series. In addition to those two, there's also art of the Mega Man Zero series (a personal favorite of mine, especially in its art design. If you believe that too, then getting the Megaman Zero Official Complete Works is a great idea too, as Zero is simply not represented enough in Tribute in my opinion, unfortunately), the ZX series, and the Legends series. If you wanted to see fan art of the Battle Network or the Star Force series, you're out of luck. You can always get their own Udon Official Complete Works art books to scratch that itch. Like I said earlier, the art depicting these truly iconic series is amazing. It just goes to show that Mega Man is truly a special franchise, so universally appealing to the imagination, that everyone has their own unique vision and view of the character and his adventures, and to see some of them depicted so vividly through so many different artists' perspective and style in this book is truly awesome.
This is one of the best art books I've ever owned, and definitely a high point in Udon's publication history, but I do have a couple of nit-picky complaints I feel are worth voicing. First off, while I love the variety of subject matter in the book, I can't help but wish it was a little more evenly spread out. The Zero and ZX games get very little space in comparison to Classic and X. I guess that's not surprising, but I would have love to see the real estate devoted to the Zero, ZX, and Legend series be a bit bigger, but that's a small complaint due to my personal preference, and doesn't do anything to bring down the quality of the book itself or its contents. Also, I've gone online and seen some of the submissions that didn't make it into the book and was left scratching my head as to why they were beaten by some of the weaker pieces in the book. I'll be honest, not every single piece is great, and a few are pretty weak and lackluster, in my opinion. Again, that may be purely preferential on my part. I wish/hope Udon does a Mega Man Tribute 2 in the future, as the potential for more incredible art is there, as evidenced by some of the truly spectacular pieces that, for some reason, were not chosen for this edition.
I have one more gripe, and this is more technical: the binding is not that great. Udon is known for this problem with their thick paperback books, and it's a problem here especially, due to how huge the book is. It's not a knock against the book, because it is to be expected with such a large book, but you need to be very careful with the book. Even then, you may find the binding start to come undone much sooner than you think. I'm *extremely* delicate with my copy, and even then I noticed the glued spine losing its hold quite quickly. Boo! Personally, I'd say it's worth spending a little more and getting the exclusive hardcover edition from Udon's online store. That edition has an exclusive art piece on its cover and it's obviously a lot more durable than this paperback edition.
All-in-all though, this is one of the best, most enjoyable art books I have ever owned personally, and I own quite a few. The subject matter of Mega Man, in all of the five forms included in the book, is a wonderful idea, especially for those who, like me, will always have a special place in their hearts for the Blue Bomber, X, Zero, Volnutt, or even the relatively new yet charming ZX characters, as well as all of their equally lovable supporting casts. It's clear this book was lovingly crafted from hundreds of people who all love Mega Man, for the purpose of being enjoyed by fans of Mega Man. It's an exceptional book, and I give it my highest recommendation. Buy it, enjoy the many unique depictions from Mega Man's spectacular history, and let this awesome celebration of a true gaming icon inspire you.